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Santa Fe Visitor Tips

Parking can be tight in Santa Fe in June, July and August, though most attractions are within walking distance of downtown hotels. There are convenient city-owned parking lots in the downtown area and many meters available for one or two hours only that cost $1 per hour.

Seniors Check with your doctor regarding any physical condition that could be affected by Santa Fe's high altitude. Wear sturdy walking shoes and be aware of uneven floors when entering historic buildings.

Take it easy. Santa Fe's high altitude (7,000 feet above sea level) means air is rarefied, thinner. It usually takes about 48 hours to adjust and staying hydrated helps.

Watch your alcohol intake. One drink is the equivalent of three at sea level.

Use sunscreen and wear a hat. There are no beaches, but Santa Fe is closer to the sun, and the sun shines 300 days of the year. Santa Fe's climate is dry, with sometimes less than 20 percent humidity. Nights and early mornings are cool, even in July and August. Santa Fe is in mountain and ski country, so expect six to eight major snowfalls from November to April.

Be patient in traffic and mindful of pedestrians. Obey all traffic rules and be alert, whether driving or walking. Many Santa Fe streets in the downtown area are narrow with an abundance of foot traffic.

Santa Fe Attractions

Historic Santa Fe Plaza
In Hispanic culture, the Plaza is a place for coming together, for performing public functions, for defense in case of attack, for government to communicate with the people, and for churches to open their doors. When the American traders first appeared in Santa Fe, they took the functions of Plaza to the next level. If it wasn't for the strength of the Native American and Hispanic traditions, and the people who follow them, we might not have a Santa Fe now.

Santa Fe Opera
This world renowned venue is an amphitheater in the rolling hills just outside of Santa Fe with views of the surrounding Sangre de Cristo and Jemez mountains. Not only is the setting spectacular but the performers, musicians, set design and productions are of the highest caliber. The season runs from late June through the end of August every yera.

Loretto Chapel
Here you can take a look at the historic Santa Fe, New Mexico chapel and find out more about the revered, "miraculous spiral staircase."

Day Trips

Bandelier National Monument
Bandelier's human history extends back for over 10,000 years when nomadic hunter-gatherers followed migrating wildlife across the mesas and canyons. By 1150 CE Ancestral Pueblo people began to build more permanent settlements. Reminders of these past times are still evident in the park as are the strong ties of the modern Pueblo people.

Visiting Taos
If you want to combine the outdoor activities available in Taos with an urban day trip, Santa Fe is only 70 miles away and makes a nice contrast to the laid-back atmosphere of Taos.  Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. The multi-storied adobe buildings have been continuously inhabited for over 1000 years.

Outdoor Activities

Ski Santa Fe

Just 16 miles from the heart of historic Santa Fe, New Mexico, Ski Santa Fe is nestled high in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Ski Santa Fe is among the highest ski areas in the continental United States with a base area elevation of 10,350 feet. The New Millennium Triple Chairlift takes snow sport enthusiasts to a new height of 12,075 feet and well into some of the southwest's finest skiing. Ski Santa Fe's vistas are unsurpassed and are the gateway for thrills like steep bump runs, powder filled chutes, gladed tree-skiing, and lots of groomers. Visitors from around the world and local patrons alike can find something for their taste, whether they're a first time skier/boarder or seasoned veteran: Ski Santa Fe offers complete services for all level of participants. Ski Santa Fe is family oriented, but those seeking real challenges can find their place on this mountain.

Hiking in Santa Fe National Forest

Santa Fe is a hiker's paradise. And you don't have to travel far to find it. Just a few minutes away from bustling downtown lie acres of pristine wilderness in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Here you'll find miles of excellent trails to explore that range from easy to challenging. Leave the human world behind as you pass through shaded forests of pinon, juniper and ponderosa trees.


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