For those with Santa Fe travel in their minds, a primer can be helpful. With that in mind, here are answers to some typical questions about our City Different!

Beautiful Santa Fe

Is Santa Fe a desert like Arizona?

Most definitely not! While we are considered a high mountain desert, the operative word is “high.” Santa Fe’s elevation is 7000 ft., which means that even summer evenings can be cool enough for a light wrap. The “desert” word, however, means you need water, so drink lots of it, especially if you are having a margarita at this altitude!

What is the weather like in Santa Fe?

The Santa Fe area has four distinct seasons, each with their particular joys. While summer is hot, with temperatures frequently in the 90’s, our low humidity means that you’ll encounter none of the drippy feelings associated with summer. Summer is also our rainy season, but rains usually come and go within an hour or so, with the sun returning and the occasional double rainbow for show. Autumn is glorious, with median temps in the mid-60’s. While we don’t have the colors of New England, the annual show put on by our aspen trees is a sight to behold. Winter brings snow, and temperatures average between 20 and 40, but since the sun still comes out with regularity to melt the snow off the streets, we enjoy the scenic without the slipping. When spring returns, heralded by daffodils and crocus, lows can be in the 30’s but daytime highs hover in the 60’s.

Aspens in Autumn

What’s the best time of year to visit Santa Fe?

This really depends on why you’re here. If you’re an opera-lover, it has to be between early July and the end of August for the Santa Fe Opera season. If you like studio tours, late September and October are the perfect months. If you live somewhere really hot, come in summer, since it’s so dry here, and if you never see snow in your hometown, come in January or February, and take advantage of the Inn’s lowest rates of the year. Spring break travel is busiest in March, and the Inn’s all-inclusive rates are a family-friendly way to travel. Frankly, we love every time of year, that’s why we live here!

What should I pack to wear?

Our weather can be changeable, so always have a light jacket for the warmer months, and warm gear for winter. We have umbrellas at the Front Desk, so don’t bother to bring one. Santa Fe is a casual town – you’ll see people in shorts at the Santa Fe Opera – so dress-up clothing is optional.  Leave the family heirloom jewelry at home, so you can pick up some turquoise and silver here to create a new heritage. If you’re planning to tour on foot, comfortable walking shoes or sandals will help you last longer.  Since the shopping in the City Different here is a bit different than other places, leave an extra spot in your luggage for that special something you can’t resist.  And if those cowboy boots just won’t fit in your luggage, we’re happy to pack and ship.

The Santa Fe Plaza, Heart of the City Different

Is Santa Fe a walking town?

Yes, yes and yes! The downtown area is easily accessed on foot, and since the Inn includes free parking, you can leave the car behind. The Santa Fe Plaza is the heart of our town, and plenty of events take place on the Bandstand there. The New Mexico Museum of Art, the New Mexico History Museum, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts are all downtown, as is the beautiful Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis, the Loretto Chapel and the Oldest House.  The Folk Art Museum, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, the Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts and the Wheelwright Museum are all on Museum Hill, not walking distance from downtown, but parking up there is free, and there is bus service right outside the Inn’s front door.

Is all the food in Santa Fe tacos and tamales?

Heavens, no! While we locals love our southwestern food, we too have those times when we want a juicy steak or a tofu scramble. The city has a wide choice of dining establishments, ranging from the no-reservations enchilada joints all the way to James Beard award-winning restaurants. The chile can be hot, so if you’re uncertain, ask for it on the side. And our staff is always available to discuss dining options, even if you’re not staying with us!

Santa Fe Wine and Chile Festival

What is there to do in Santa Fe?

Santa Fe has a well-deserved reputation as an art town, but there’s so much more to see and do. If music is your thing, we have the stages at the Lensic, St. Francis Auditorium and Sol Santa Fe for live performances; in the summer, the Bandstand on the Plaza has nightly concerts. If you enjoy the outdoors, just put on the hiking boots or the bike helmet and go. State and national parks abound in the area, and fishing holes are out there, although for white-water rafting, you do have to venture north to access the Rio Grande. There are cooking classes, culinary walking tours, literary readings and lectures, vintage shopping and quality shopping in general!

How do I get to Santa Fe?

While regional travelers generally arrive by car, most travelers from points east and west fly into the Albuquerque International Sunport, an hour’s drive to Santa Fe. American Airlines does fly regional jet service right into the Santa Fe airport from both Dallas and Los Angeles, and Amtrak pulls in and out of the Lamy Station, 18 miles south of Santa Fe. Shuttle service is available from both airports and the train station; reservations are suggested. From Albuquerque, contact Sandia Shuttle; from the Santa Fe airport, contact Roadrunner Shuttle, and for a lift from the train station, call the Lamy Shuttle at (505) 982-8829.

What does “Christmas” mean in Santa Fe?

While our Christmas display of farolito lights is well-known, if you’re talking Christmas year-round, it means you want both red and green chile on your meal!

Ask for It Christmas-Style! Photo by Eric Swanson