A Guide to Santa Fe, New Mexico

January 16, 2015 Updated: January 16, 2015

Santa Fe New Mexico is rich in history, culture, and tradition. It’s a destination full of color and diversity, inviting you to experience snow-capped mountains and deep valleys, old Indian rituals, and magnificent architecture.

If you want a place to stay in the heart of downtown Santa Fe, it has many hotels. When you look for a budget friendly place, try Garrett’s Desert Inn. The inn provides free WiFi and parking. There’s a fitness center, pool, and restaurant, too — a lot of value for the budget minded.

Santa Fe isn’t a very big city, but it’s big on museums, historical sites, and galleries. Begin your day with a walk on the magical historic streets lined with adobe buildings and charming architecture.

If you don’t know where to stay near the places you’d like to visit, try Hipmunk.com, the Webby Award winning travel website of 2013. Once you reserve your hotel, visit the nearby historic treasures. Bring your camera and capture the fleeting moments of yesteryear.

Top 3 Places You Must See While in Santa Fe

Santa Fe Plaza

Located in the heart of downtown, Santa Fe Plaza dates back 400 years. It’s a place built for community gatherings, to expand their art and culture. Today it’s the meeting place for Native American vendors to showcase their hand-made jewelry, art, and pottery. The Plaza is also host to Indian and Spanish markets, concerts, shops, and restaurants.

If you decide you want to be closer to the Plaza, stay at the Hilton Santa Fe Historic Plaza.

Santa Fe Railyard District

The newly established Railyard District south of the Plaza is the shopping and entertainment zone with nearby hotels, upscale restaurants, and boutiques. It’s a new gathering place for locals and visitors alike. Meet friends, have an authentic lunch, and then watch a performance. Next, shop for locally grown vegetables and fruit, or visit a gallery. With so many things to choose from, you can literally spend hours at the Railyard.

If you want to spend more than a few hours, find a hotel nearby like the Santa Fe Sage Inn and walk out your door to the lively atmosphere, sights, and sounds of a thriving community.

Canyon Road and the East Side

Long ago the natives used the trail to find water and hunted in the forest for game. Just east of Santa Fe, Canyon Road then became a route for the woodcutters, and in the 20th century as a residential street with a gas station and general store.

Today the two-mile stretch lined with art galleries, upscale shops, and restaurants, ends at the base of the mountains. Lower Canyon Road is where you’ll find the galleries, shops, and restaurants. Upper Canyon Road is narrow and brings you to hiking, walking, and biking trails, quite a diverse street.

St. John’s College is on the East Side. Here skinny streets with adobe homes seem as if they came from the earth. The Canyon Road self-guided walking tour will take a few hours or it may take an entire day.

If you stayed in Santa Fe and want to share some information, write your comments below.

This article was written by Linda Manning and originally published in Budget Travel Guide. Read the original here.