They call Santa Fe the City Different and you're gonna love it!
If you fly into Albuquerque, or drive in from another part of the country, in all probability you will come to Santa Fe from the south using Interstate 25. Ten miles from the city you will top the crest of La Bajada Hill and begin your descent into the valley at the foot of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains. In that valley lies, The City Different.
Founded in the 1600’s, Santa Fe is America’s second oldest city. The adobe buildings give Santa Fe a feel of looking into the past. Many of the buildings are still as they were one hundred and fifty years ago. Santa Fe protects its heritage and unlike many cities, tearing down and rebuilding is difficult if not impossible. Historical building restrictions are tight and enforced.
All of this gives Santa Fe a feeling of, “let’s put on some jeans and boots and grab a Margarita”. You’ll have no problem doing that at one of the many New Mexican Restaurants or Bars. Each one has their specialty of New Mexican Cuisine and drinks. The center of it all is the downtown Plaza. Typical of many Spanish Town Plaza’s, it was the center of all activity back in the days of the real cowboys. Whether you like your food hot or not, you will not go hungry. If you are new to New Mexican food, always ask the heat level of the red and green chile sauces or you may be sorry!
There are many hotels and restaurants in Santa Fe and you will find the one for you if you ask the locals. They are very friendly because they have out-of-town visitors every day. Santa Fe is the center of Native American art and if you are lucky enough to arrive during Indian Market in August you will see over 1,000 artists from over 100 tribes. Afterward, if you happen to drive by the local airport, you’ll see a variety of business jets parked waiting for their owners to finish shopping and fly home.
Santa Fe is at 7,000 feet and at the foot of the 12,000 foot Sangre De Cristo Mountains. The sun shines, most of the time so take your hat, sun glasses and sun block, you will need them, summer or winter. It can snow in the winter, but it melts quickly.
So, what makes Santa Fe so special? For one thing, there are no tall buildings so where ever you are, you have an unrestricted view of the amazing sky and mountains. Also, many of the streets are old and narrow with buildings that are brown adobe structures. There isn’t much green (except for the chile)! Many of the roads are dirt so it’s almost impossible to keep your car clean.
Party during the day here because after an awesome sunset, night becomes quiet and peaceful in the streets. If you are there in the winter, the smell of burning pinon wood in the kiva fireplaces is intoxicating.
So why do people buy million-dollar homes in the mountains of Santa Fe? It’s magic. If you are like me, you may never leave.