Three Days In Santa Fe, New Mexico
How should you spend three days in Santa Fe, New Mexico?
How should you spend three days in Santa Fe, New Mexico? Are you interested in the absolute perfect three day getaway with your friends? I insist that you tell them all to meet for three days in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
New Mexico is called the Land Of Enchantment for a reason, and Santa Fe is one of its crown jewels. Spend three days in Santa Fe, New Mexico enjoying the mountain scenery, the exquisite sunsets, the art, the culture, and the peaceful energy, and I guarantee you will return home refreshed and satisfied!
It’s the kind of place that replenishes, inspires, and touches your soul! Here are my suggestions for your three days in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
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Know before you go
When is the best time to go to
Santa Fe is known for having crisp, clear skies all year long.
Summer is the peak season with temps in the 70’s and 80’s from May – September.
Fall and Spring are more mild in the day with cooler weather in the evenings and definitely fewer tourists, so that is my recommendation.
Winter is gorgeous but absolutely colder, in the 40’s. The snow doesn’t stay long in the city because Santa Fe has an average of 283 days of sun a year!.
Best places to eat in Santa Fe
I can’t say enough about the food in this city. You can find elegance or casual and it all tastes great. Tradditional Mexican cuisine, chili sauce, and a thing called Frito Pie are the local favorite tastes.
Head to the historic Santa Fe Plaza for the best places.
Here are some top places in town:
Tia Sophia – Traditional New Mexican cuisine.
210 West San Francisco Street
Coyote Cafe – Southwestern fine dining and arooftop bar.
132 West Water Street
Sazón – Award winning chef and fine dining.
221 Shelby Street
Santa Fe is known for its locally grown, fine dining experiences with that Southwestern taste that we all love! Eat your way along the Santa Fe Chocolate Trail and drink along the Santa Fe Margarita Trail.
Whatever you do, book reservations before you travel!
How do you get to Santa Fe?
Santa Fe has a small regional airport which is convenient for some. However, you may not find affordable flights in, unless you are coming from Denver, Dallas, or Phoenix.
Albuquerque International Airport is just one hour from Santa Fe. So, that’s your best choice.
Splitting the car rental is great and then we have wheels to tour around, go to the market, and get back to the airport.
Helpful tips for visiting Santa Fe
Sunscreen! Santa Fe is over 7000 feet above sea level and very sunny!.
Santa Fe is higher than the mile high city of Denver, so don’t be surprised if you are a bit fatigued and need a day to acclimate to the elevation.
Drink plenty of water, get a good night sleep, and don’t over indulge on the Margarita Trail!
Pack hiking clothes and shoes, and your favorite jeans with comfortable shoes for walking around town. Bring layers because the evenings and early mornings can be chilly.
Bring your camera everwhere. You’ll not believe the colors of this place – all day long!
Save suitcase space for purchases!
Start at the Traditional Plaza
After you arrive, find the closest market to gather your snacks, cocktails, and breakfast items, then settle into your beautiful new home.
I suggest a low key afternoon and evening to acclimate to the elevation.
Have a dinner reservation already in town, so no one has to cook.
Walk to the Plaza and enjoy the Pueblo style architecture, dating back to 1610. The charming crooked streets are filled with historic adobe landmarks.
The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is housed in this area on Johnson St.
Walk along the Old Santa Fe Trail to the San Miguel Chapel which is the oldest church in the US!
You’ll also find the historic Railyard District by walking along Sandoval St. from the Plaza. There, you will find the site of the famous Farmer’s Market, and lots of galleries to enjoy.
The Farmer’s Market is on Tuesday and Saturday mornings until 1PM.
Visit Bandelier National Park
Get up early for your trip to the Bandelier National Monument.
Bandelier National Monument is a 50 minute drive from downtown and well worth it!
Bandelier is a huge park – 33,000 acres – of mesas, canyons, and ancient ruins. Some have not even been excavated!
There’s a stream flowing through the bottom of the canyon and a walkway guiding you through the sites of the ruins.
As you walk up stream, you encounter the cliff dwellings of the Tyuonyi village in the Frijoles Mountains.
Some of the homes of the pueblo were built on the canyon floor and others are tucked into the rock of the canyon and are accessible by ladders.
Be sure to find the waterfall and petroglyphs as you explore.
The history of the ancestral people who occupied this land is fascinating and awe inspiring!
Plan on a few hours for your visit and you can be back at home for lunch.
Visit Canyon Road and Museum Hill
After you have freshened up, you have choices!
Head to Canyon Rd, the half mile street filled with more than 100 galleries and shops.
Yes, touristy, but some beautiful items can be found – clothing and jewelry, and lots and lots of artwork.
Go Museum Hill to visit the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, or the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art.
There’s a shuttle bus called the Santa Fe Pick-Up which runs every 30 minutes, and it’s FREE!.
The bus travels between Museum Hill and Canyon Road.
Makea reservation for night two on Canyon Rd. Some of the finest five star meals are here!
Georgia O’Keeffe’s House Museum in Abiquiu, New Mexico
Just 60 minutes from the Plaza is the home of Georgia O’Keeffe in Abiquiu. For me, this is a major highlight of the trip.
Be sure to get reservations for a tour before you travel. They may be booked up very far in advance.
You’ll experience the environment which inspired dozens of her paintings.
O’Keeffe lived and worked in this simple adobe home from 1949 until just two years before she died at age 89 in 1986.
The home is now a National Historic Landmark and is cared for by the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Plan on an hour and a half for the tour.
What are the best places to stay in
→ The Inn of Five Graces – This highly rated luxury resort features East Indian and Tibetan furnishings, has a spa and a restaurant, and is close to the plaza. Prices start at $700 per night.
→ Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi – A reknowned luxury hotel with a lovely breakfast and patio cocktail hour. Prices start at $600 per night.
→ La Fonda on the Plaza – This famous hotel on the plaza has mountain views, a rooftop spa, and a pool. Prices start at $189.
Sante Fe Canyon Preserve
Drive straight to the Santa Fe Canyon Preserve trailhead back in Santa Fe.
Just 10 minutes from the Plaza is the Santa Fe Canyon Preserve, an area of 525 acres on Upper Canyon Rd.
There is a parking lot.
The Interpretive Trail is a lovely 1.3 mile loop along the Santa Fe River and by the historic Stone Dam.
If you take another of the Dale Ball Trail system you will find varying difficulties and views for days!!!
Find your way back home for a quiet evening, order food in, watch the sunset, and pack your bags while planning your next trip! Try never to leave a great weekend without a plan for the next adventure!