Indigenous people of theTanoan and later the Tewa lineage lived in the area now called Santa Fe for thousands of years. The city is an example of one of the earliest European settlements in el norte. Founded in 1610 by Spanish conquistadors, including Juan de Oñate, the city was abandoned by Europeans between 1680 and 1692, during the Pueblo Revolt. Diego DeVargas commanded the reconquista of the city and soon the area was repopulated with colonists from Spain, Portugal, France and the Meditteranean. In 1846 General Kearny and the Army of the West marched into Santa Fe and declared the entire state a territory of the US, with the city in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo mountains its capital.
Once an exotic travel destination, Santa Fe was indeed remote in the 19th century, but now represents the best the state has to offer. With world class art and opera scenes, beautiful 5-star hotels that mirror the city’s modern Pueblo design aesthetic and a wide range of Native and continental cuisine to rival even European cities like Florence and Paris, Santa Fe has a cosmopolitan, old-world feel. It’s the oldest capital city in the United States with government buildings like the Palace of the Governors that were built during the first Spanish occupation.
Cooler than its neighbor to the southwest, Albuquerque, Santa Fe is known for its pleasant summers and sometimes snowy winters; a large and very popular ski resort is situated just east of the city and the rest of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, including recreation areas in Hyde Park and the Santa Fe National Forest are just minutes away.
The City Different as it is known, is also the site of some of the nation’s most educating and entrancing museums, including the Folk Art Museum, The Museum of the American Indian, the Wheelright Museum and many, many others. St. John’s College, an Ivy-League educational entity, has a branch campus in the city.
Santa Fe always features amazing entertainment choices, besides the Lensic Performing Arts Center, the Santa Fe Opera House is a classic destination and its summer production schedule world renowned. In addition to the utmost in galleries, Meow Wolf, an artistic community and experimental exhibition site continues to gain popularity for its singular vision and fun quotient.
With everything Santa Fe has to offer, and events happening just about every day of the week, it’s a cultural hub that can take a couple of weeks for the interested visitor to fully explore. That may seem like a lot of time for one place, but remember the place really is “Santa.” ()