For travelers who prize the gift of tranquility…
Santa Fe is like no other city in North America – indeed, in the world! A colorful amalgam of Native America, Old Spain and the Wild, Wild West, it welcomes visitors with an intriguing juxtaposition of rustic simplicity and pure sophistication.
You can experience the distinctive art of New Mexico in its 200-plus galleries and the haute cuisine of the best Santa Fe restaurants, or embark on an outdoor adventure filled with hiking, horseback riding, white-water rafting or fishing. Visit ancient petroglyph sites and living Indian pueblos, soak in natural hot springs and climb pole ladders to peer into prehistoric cliff dwellings. Nowhere else can you combine so many interests in one compact package, whether you’re a music lover, a skier or hiker, an artist or a history buff, a celebrity sighter or just a curious newcomer.
Santa Fe enjoys an illustrious history: Settled by the Spanish circa 1607, it was officially designated as a city by the king of Spain in 1610, just around the same time that the Jamestown settlers of Virginia were struggling to make a go of it in the New World. The town soon became a thriving northern capital of the empire of New Spain, which eventually stretched west to California and south to the tip of South America. Now in the midst of celebrating its 400th anniversary, the Santa Fe Cuartocentenario, with a variety of special events, the many charms of the city continue to attract travelers from around the globe.
Centuries before the Spanish arrived, the ancient Pueblo peoples of New Mexico, known as the Anasazi, established their culture here, and the resulting blend of traditions, rooted in nature and a profound spiritual awareness, imbued Santa Fe with a timeless aura that endures to this day. The Native American legacy includes the distinctive flat-roofed adobe buildings, some standing for centuries, which characterize an earthy architecture, sturdy structures that appear to grow organically from the inspiring landscape.
Rimmed by the beautiful Sangre de Cristo (translated as the Blood of Christ, probably for their color at sunset) and Jemez (a name possibly derived from the Towa language term for the people of the Jemez pueblo) mountain ranges and blessed with an unusually agreeable climate, the city of Santa Fe welcomes visitors with a warmth born of stable local cultures steeped in centuries of relaxed hospitality. This tradition prevails at the Inn on the Alameda, where the inviting ambiance reflects the historic charm of a city that has embraced and absorbed visitors from all corners of the earth throughout the years. While there are many downtown Santa Fe hotels, the ideal location of the Inn makes it especially easy to explore the peaceful residential neighborhoods, the lively city center and the Canyon Road art galleries, full of works by both international art stars and local Santa Fe artists. It’s simple to stroll into the heart of the downtown to visit the historic Santa Fe Plaza and the many museums, making sure to stop into the New Mexico History Museum, opened in May 2009. Take in a musical or theatrical performance at the thoughtfully restored Lensic Performing Arts Center (www.lensic.com), a magnificent Pueblo-Deco masterpiece from the 1920’s cinema era, or shop leisurely for high-quality jewelry, textiles, home furnishings and fashions in the many fine boutiques throughout the city.
In 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico, was honored as one of UNESCO’s Creative Cities, the only North American city to be so designated and the only one in this prestigious international network to be recognized in two fields: folk art and design. As you browse the varied shops and studios, many housed in historic and architecturally intriguing buildings, it will be easy to see why!