Not packed in a bus. Not herded with a group. Self guided walk is the SAFEST way to sightsee while observing SOCIAL DISTANCING!

Santa Fe Introduction Walk (Self Guided), Santa Fe

With the Sangre de Cristo mountains at the backdrop, Santa Fe, the capital of New Mexico, has long been a place attracting creative minds. The latter is obvious in the signature local Pueblo-style architecture. Founded by the Spanish back in the early 17th century, the city has traditional Plaza at its center surrounded by crooked streets and plethora of historic buildings, such as the Palace of the Governors, now home to the state history museum. To explore this and other landmarks of Santa Fe, follow this orientation walk.
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Santa Fe Introduction Walk Map

Guide Name: Santa Fe Introduction Walk
Guide Location: USA » Santa Fe (See other walking tours in Santa Fe)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 16
Tour Duration: 3 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.9 Km or 3 Miles
Author: sabrina
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Santa Fe Plaza
  • Palace of the Governors
  • New Mexico Museum of Art
  • Georgia O'Keeffe Museum
  • Lensic Performing Arts Center
  • Our Lady of Guadalupe
  • El Santuario de Guadalupe
  • Santa Fe Southern Railway
  • Farmer's Market
  • New Mexico State Capitol
  • San Miguel Mission
  • Loretto Chapel
  • La Fonda
  • Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi
  • Cross of the Martyrs
  • Canyon Road
Santa Fe Plaza

1) Santa Fe Plaza (must see)

Mirroring the traditional Spanish-American colonial cities, the Santa Fe Plaza is a National Historic Landmark. The plaza, or "city-square", was originally, and is still to this day, the center gathering place in town, or as many know it "the heart of Santa Fe." The landmark has since grown into a playground for many tourists interested in Spanish, Native American, and Mexican cultures, including music, design, jewelry, art and dance. Known simply as the "Plaza," it is home to annual events including Fiestas de Santa Fe, the Spanish Market, the Santa Fe Bandstand, and the Santa Fe Indian Market.

Encompassed in the general Plaza area are historic monuments, restaurants, businesses and art galleries, including the Palace of the Governors (the oldest public building in the U.S.), the New Mexico Museum of Art, Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi, and the Loretto Chapel.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Palace of the Governors

2) Palace of the Governors (must see)

The Palace of the Governors (1610) is an adobe structure located on Palace Avenue. The Palace of the Governors is the oldest continuously occupied public building in the United States.

The Palace originally served as the seat of government of the Spanish colony of Nuevo Mexico, which at one time comprised the present-day states of Texas, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nevada, California, and New Mexico. After the Mexican War of Independence, the Mexican province of Santa Fe de Nuevo México was administered from the Palace of the Governors. When New Mexico was annexed as a U.S. territory, the Palace became New Mexico's first territorial capitol.

It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960.

Operating hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10 am – 5 pm except in the summer (Memorial Day through Labor Day), when the Palace is open all week long. Fridays: til 8 pm

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
New Mexico Museum of Art

3) New Mexico Museum of Art (must see)

The New Mexico Museum of Art, the oldest art museum in the state of New Mexico, is one of four state-run museums in Santa Fe. It is one of eight museums in the state operated by the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.

Designed by Isaac Rapp and built in 1917, it is an example of Pueblo Revival Style architecture, and one of Santa Fe's best-known representations of the synthesis of Native American and Spanish Colonial design styles. The museum’s permanent collection and changing exhibitions of traditional and contemporary art place the art of the region into national and international contexts.

The museum’s collection spans the historic art colonies of Taos and Santa Fe of the past hundred years to cutting-edge contemporary art from around the region and the world. Highlights of the museum’s 20,000 works of art include extensive collections of the Cinco Pintores; the Taos Society of Artists; the largest collection of Gustave Baumann; the Lucy Lippard Collection; major American photographers, including the Jane Reese Williams Collection of women photographers; new media, including video installations; and an important collection of Georgia O’Keeffe paintings. The Museum of Art hosts a changing schedule of temporary exhibitions, including both traveling shows and exhibitions developed by the museum's curatorial staff. In April 2007, the Museum installed "How the West is One," a long-term exhibition based on the museum's permanent collection, reexamining what constitutes "traditional art of the Southwest."

Open every day 10:00am - 5:00pm. Friday nights: Open 5-7pm on the first Friday of each month
Sight description based on wikipedia
Georgia O'Keeffe Museum

4) Georgia O'Keeffe Museum (must see)

The Georgia O'Keeffe Museum is dedicated to the work of the American artist Georgia O’Keeffe and to the study and interpretation of American Modernism. It opened on 17 July 1997, eleven years after the artist's death, and is located at 217 Johnson Street in Santa Fe. The private, non-profit Museum was founded in November 1995 by philanthropists Anne and John Marion, part-time residents of Santa Fe. The first director, Peter H. Hassrick, resigned immediately after the museum opening, leaving Jay Cantor temporaryily charge, as tens of thousands of visitors arrived to view the small edifice and its contents. George King was director from 1998 to 2009.

Initially, the collection was made of 140 O'Keeffe paintings, watercolors, pastels and sculpture, but now its holdings of O'Keeffe works number over 1,000, representing the largest repository of work by O'Keeffe available to the public in a single institution. Subjects range from the artist's innovative abstractions, iconic large-format flower, skull, and landscape paintings, in addition to paintings of architectural forms and rocks, shells, and trees, dating between 1902 and 1984. It is the largest permanent collection of O'Keeffe's work in the world.

Opening hours: Monday- Sunday: 10 am -5 pm; Friday: 10 am – 7 pm.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Lensic Performing Arts Center

5) Lensic Performing Arts Center (must see)

The Lensic Performing Arts Center, located at 211 West San Francisco Street, is an 821 seat theater designed by the Boller Brothers of Kansas City, well-known architects who designed almost one hundred theaters throughout the West and Midwest, including the KiMo Theater in Albuquerque. This Moorish, Spanish Renaissance style theater built by Nathan Salmon and E. John Greer opened in 1931. Its name derives from the initials of Greer's grandchildren. From 1999 to 2001 it was restored, providing Santa Fe with a modern venue for the performing arts.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Our Lady of Guadalupe

6) Our Lady of Guadalupe

Our Lady of Guadalupe also the Virgin of Guadalupe is a Roman Catholic icon of the Virgin Mary. The tradition relates that on 9 December 1531, Juan Diego, a recently converted Aztec peasant, had a vision of a young woman, a lady, while on a hill in the Tepeyac desert. The lady in the vision asked him to build a church where they stood on the hill.

The tilma icon is displayed in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which is among the most-visited Marian shrines in the Roman Catholic religious world. The icon of the Virgin of Guadalupe is Mexico’s most popular religious and cultural image, it appears bearing the titles: the Queen of Mexico, the Empress of the Americas, and the Patroness of the Americas. Throughout the Mexican national history of the 19th and 20th centuries, the Guadalupan name and image have been unifying national symbols; the first President of Mexico (1824–29) changed his name from José Miguel Ramón Adaucto Fernández y Félix to Guadalupe Victoria in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
El Santuario de Guadalupe

7) El Santuario de Guadalupe (must see)

El Santuario de Guadalupe, built at the end of the 18th century, is located in the city center. It contains a history and art museum exhibiting Italian Renaissance and Mexican Baroque paintings, as well as artifacts of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.
Santa Fe Southern Railway

8) Santa Fe Southern Railway

Santa Fe Southern Railway (reporting mark SFS) is a short line railroad. It carries both passengers and freight between Lamy and Santa Fe, a distance of 18.1 miles (29.1 km). It is a tourist railroad that also carries freight: the passenger cars are vintage and most passengers are tourists.

It began operations in 1992, after the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway ended operations on the line and a group of local businesspeople purchased the line, initially operating freight service, but subsequently adding passenger trains. Currently, the railroad operates mixed trains, hauling freight, which consists largely of building supplies, and passengers, which run at least twice a week, depending on the season. It also operates occasional charter and special trains.

On 20 May 2011, the railroad was evicted from its headquarters at the depot in Santa Fe to make way for a new visitors center planned to serve New Mexico Rail Runner passengers.

The railroad operates several coaches formerly owned by the Central Railroad of New Jersey, as well as a dome car, a flatcar, and a caboose. Motive power consists of two EMD GP7s, one rebuilt to GP16 specifications.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Farmer's Market

9) Farmer's Market

The Santa Fe Farmers’ Market is one of the oldest, largest, and most successful growers’ markets in the country. Serving more than 150 farmers and producers in 15 Northern New Mexico counties, the Market brings fresh food, education, and fun to community and promotes small farms and sustainable agriculture in Northern New Mexico.The Market also features live music, a breakfast/lunch concession, a cooking and gardening gift shop, and exciting special events.
New Mexico State Capitol

10) New Mexico State Capitol (must see)

The New Mexico State Capitol, located in Santa Fe, is the house of government of the U.S. state of New Mexico. It is the only round state capitol in the United States, and is known informally as "the Roundhouse".

The building was designed to resemble the Zia Sun Symbol when viewed from above. Architecturally, the Capitol is a blend of New Mexico Territorial Revival style and neoclassical influences. Above each entrance is a stone carving of the State Seal of New Mexico. The building has four levels, one of which is below ground.Dedicated on December 8, 1966, the building was designed by W.C. Kruger and constructed by Robert E. McKee. Its extensive marble-work was installed by the New Mexico Marble and Tile Company. The first floor contains the semicircular House and Senate chambers, which are not accessible to the public. The second story, which is the ground floor, includes galleries where visitors can view the House and Senate chambers.

The House gallery seats 281 people and is located on the south side of the building. The Senate gallery, which seats 206 people, is on the north side of the building. The two upper floors are mainly offices, with legislative committee offices on the third floor and the offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and legislative Council Service on the fourth floor. The Rotunda is finished with Travertine marble native to New Mexico and inlaid with a turquoise and brass mosaic of the Great Seal of New Mexico. A renovation in 1992 included expansion of the committee roomsmechanical and electrical improvements and greater accessibility for handicapped people. The building was rededicated on December 4, 1992.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
San Miguel Mission

11) San Miguel Mission (must see)

San Miguel Mission, also known as San Miguel Chapel, is a Spanish colonial mission church in Santa Fe. It is claimed to be the oldest church in the United States. Built between approximately 1610 and 1626. The church was damaged during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 but was rebuilt in 1710 following the Spanish reconquest and served for a time as a chapel for the Spanish soldiers. The wooden reredos, which includes a wooden statue of Saint Michael dating back to at least 1709, was added in 1798. Though the church has been repaired and rebuilt numerous times over the years, its original adobe walls are still largely intact despite having been hidden by later additions. The church is a contributing property in the Barrio De Analco Historic District, which is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
Loretto Chapel

12) Loretto Chapel (must see)

The Loretto Chapel in Santa Fe is a former Roman Catholic church that is now used as a museum and wedding chapel. It is known for its unusual helix shaped spiral staircase (the "Miraculous Stair"), that may have been created by French carpenter Francois-Jean "Frenchy" Rochas, although the Sisters of Loretto credit St. Joseph with its constructionIn 1872 Jean-Baptiste Lamy, the Bishop of the Santa Fe Archdiocese, commissioned the building of a convent chapel to be named Our Lady of Light Chapel, which would be in the care of the Sisters of Loretto.

The chapel was designed by French architect Antoine Mouly in the Gothic Revival style, complete with spires, buttresses, and stained glass windows imported from France. Although it was built on a much smaller scale, the chapel bears an obvious resemblance to the Sainte-Chapelle in Paris. The architect died suddenly and it was only after much of the chapel was constructed that the builders realized it was lacking any type of stairway to the choir loft. Due to the chapel's small size, a standard staircase would have been too large. Historians have also noted that earlier churches of the period had ladders rather than stairs to the choir loft, but the Sisters did not feel comfortable with that prospect because of the long habits that they wore. The Loretto Chapel is now a museum and no longer functions as a church, but weddings may be arranged, including a highlight of the couple being photographed while standing on the spiral staircase. There is an entrance fee for the chapel. It is owned by a private company.

Opening hours: Monday – Saturday: 9 am – 4:30 pm; Sunday: 10:30 am – 5 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
La Fonda

13) La Fonda (must see)

One the city’s top landmarks, La Fonda was built in 1922 in a Pueblo architectural style. Its adobe features reflect an historical mixture of Spanish, Mexican and Native American cultures. Located on Santa Fe Plaza, this hotel has always attracted tourists for its vibrant colors and ornamental details.
Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

14) Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi (must see)

The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi is a Roman Catholic cathedral in downtown Santa Fe.The cathedral was built by Archbishop Jean Baptiste Lamy between 1869 and 1886 on the site of an older adobe church, La Parroquia. The new cathedral was built around La Parroquia, which was dismantled once construction was complete. A small chapel on the north side of the cathedral is all that remains of the old church.

Influenced by the French-born Archbishop Lamy, Saint Francis Cathedral was designed in the Romanesque Revival style. As such, the cathedral features characteristic round arches separated by Corinthian columns and truncated square towers. The large rose window in front and those of the Twelve Apostles in the lateral nave windows were imported from Clermont-Ferrand in France. The towers were originally planned to be topped with dramatic 160-foot steeples, but due to lack of funds these were never built. The cathedral was built from yellow limestone blocks quarried near the present site of Lamy. A 2005 addition to the upper facade of the cathedral is a small, round window featuring the dove of the Holy Spirit. It is a stained glass replica of the translucent alabaster window designed in the 17th Century by Italian Baroque artist Bernini that can be seen in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City. The Cathedral of Saint Francis of Assisi was officially elevated to a basilica by Pope Benedict XVI on October 4, 2005, becoming the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Opening hours: Monday – Friday; 8:30 am - 5 pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
Cross of the Martyrs

15) Cross of the Martyrs (must see)

The monument of the Cross of the Martyrs was built to honor the Franciscan friars who died during the Pueblo Revolt in 1680. The hill on which the monument is located offers a spectacular view of the city. On the walk up the hill are plaques detailing the history of this event.
Canyon Road

16) Canyon Road (must see)

Canyon Road is an art district in Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States,with over a hundred art galleries and studios exhibiting a wide range of art, including Native American art and antiquities, historical and contemporary Latino art, regional art, international folk art, and contemporary art.
Canyon Road was once a primarily residential neighborhood.Houses built in the Pueblo Revival style, in accordance with the local Spanish Colonial and Pueblo methods were constructed with adobe walls and courtyards, often as compounds for extended family.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Create Your Own Walk in Santa Fe

Create Your Own Walk in Santa Fe

Creating your own self-guided walk in Santa Fe is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Shopping in Santa Fe

Shopping in Santa Fe

Santa Fe has a wide range of shops where you can find unique gifts, including local handicrafts. Much of the city’s shopping consists of independent retailers. Take this walking tour to find a souvenir to remember your trip to Santa Fe.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 Km or 0.6 Miles
Religious Walking Tour in Santa Fe

Religious Walking Tour in Santa Fe

Santa Fe has many beautiful churches, some of them dating back to the foundation of the city. Take this self-guided tour to discover the Archdiocese of Santa Fe’s artifacts, see the oldest church in the country and enjoy collections of Italian Renaissance and Mexican Baroque paintings.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.8 Km or 1.7 Miles
Canyon Road Cultural Walk, Santa Fe

Canyon Road Cultural Walk, Santa Fe

Canyon Road, Santa Fe’s richest historical street, houses exclusive galleries, museums and specialty shops. Take a walk in this area to discover Native American and modern art, historical architecture, sculpture and gorgeous gardens.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.7 Km or 0.4 Miles
Santa Fe Art Museums and Galleries Walking Tour

Santa Fe Art Museums and Galleries Walking Tour

As the oldest capital city in the United States, Santa Fe contains a lot of historical architecture, some dating back to the Spanish Colonial era. It also has many fine museums and galleries, most of them located near the historic downtown plaza. Take this self-guided tour to see Santa Fe’s best museums and galleries.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
Museums of Santa Fe Walking Tour

Museums of Santa Fe Walking Tour

Museum Hill, on the southeast side of the city, contains several museums devoted to Native American and international folk art. Take this self-guided tour to discover the culture and traditions of Native Americans.

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles