Santa Fe Downtown Hotels

Attractions in Santa Fe

Santa Fe, New Mexico, the oldest State Capitol in the U.S., has a variety of attractions that capture the flavor of this unique city’s cultural heritage as a meeting place for Native American, Hispanic and Anglo peoples. Museums, art galleries and churches abound in the winding narrow streets and adobe-styled buildings. Start at the center of the town, the Plaza, where people have gravitated for over 400 hundred years. Fronting the Plaza, the Palace of the Governors is one of the oldest public buildings in the country. Now a museum, visitors will learn about the city’s illustrious past with its exhibits and artifacts. Along the porticos on the outside of the building, Indian craft vendors sell some of the region’s best turquoise and silver jewelry.

Also on the Plaza, the Museum of Fine Arts is a showcase for spectacular paintings and other art from the many artists that flocked to the region, inspired by the high-desert landscape. The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, dedicated to the region’s most iconic artist, is a few short blocks from the Plaza.

The Gothic-inspired Loretto Chapel with its miraculous staircase is a favorite Santa Fe attraction and a couple of blocks from the Plaza. Legends abound about the mysterious carpenter who built the staircase without nails or other visible support.

The St. Francis Cathedral is a building rich with history and contains the oldest wooden Madonna in North America. Willa Cather’s classic book, Death Comes for the Archbishop was inspired here. Nearby, the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum offers visitors a chance to view art in a contemplative setting inspired by Native American traditions.

The oldest church in the U.S., the San Miguel Mission dating back to 1625, is a few blocks from the Plaza on Old Santa Fe Trail.

To check out the contemporary art scene of Santa Fe, take a stroll along Canyon Avenue and drop into the many art galleries and shops that proliferate here.

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