Welcome to Fifty Grande’s Best of the U.S. Bucket List series. This is your one-stop travel guide to the best, most unique and quintessential experiences of a city, state or event. Want to know how to “do” Santa Fe? We’ve got you covered. Curated by experts, vetted by in-the-know locals, this is all you need to have the best trip ever. If we’ve written a Bucket List, we recommend you go. If it’s on this list, it’s the best the city has to offer right now. Consider this your one-stop answer to “What are the best things to do in Santa Fe?”
Don’t sleep on Santa Fe. This is the oldest capital city in the United States, but it’s far from past its prime: It has some of the country’s best examples of pueblo-style architecture, breathtaking desert vistas and bundles of chile peppers everywhere you look. Hispanic, Anglo and Native American cultures have collided here in the Sangre de Cristo foothills for centuries, creating a community teeming with creativity and artistic expression. In fact, artists like the great Georgia O’Keeffe have spent years in the area capturing its beauty through their work. Here, you can visit a National Historic Site before relaxing on the patio of an award-winning brewery while making plans to wander an otherworldly art installation. You can indulge in traditional New Mexican cuisine while being surprised and delighted by modern, fusion foods made by James Beard Award-winning chefs. You can trek through sandstone canyons and along red-dirt paths in the shadows of historic cliff dwellings in pursuit of jaw-dropping views that give way to the mountains beyond. And you can connect with Indigenous artists working to expose new generations to their craft. Whether you’re an artistic spirit, an outdoor enthusiast or just someone in need of a restorative retreat, this guide will lead you to some of the best Santa Fe has to offer.