Santa Fe Sightseeing: Art, History, Culture and Natural Beauty

Choosing 10 best places for sightseeing in and around The City Different is a daunting task. The city has a rich history and many important cultural sites are an integral part the essential  Santa Fe experience. The city with its rich history boasts some of the oldest buildings in the USA such at The Palace of the Governors on the Santa Fe Plaza as well as the oldest church and house in the country. There are over 10 museums, a lot for a relatively small city, including the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum downtown and four museums on Museum Hill. There’s also a lot to see within an hour of Santa Fe. Visitors are often interested in the history of the Pueblo people. Visiting the cliff dwellings at Bandelier National Monument or Puye Cliffs gives insight into how they lived. The area was ruled by Spain for hundreds of years. El Rancho de las Golondrinas, a living history village, gives visitors a peek at life as it was lived during the Spanish Colonial era. If you don’t have time to see it all, pick the sights that interest you most. At the end of the day, don’t forget to look west for the glorious high desert sunset.



San Miguel Mission is the oldest church in the United States. It was originally built in the early 1600s by Tlaxcalan Indians from Mexico under the direction of Franciscan Friars. It was destroyed during the 1680 Pueblo Revolt. It was rebuilt in...  Read More

Museum of Indian Arts and Culture
Photo courtesy of Steve Collins


Santa Fe has four museums devoted to American Indians and their influence is felt in others. The state-run Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (MIAC) showcases the art, culture and history of the Pueblo and other native peoples. Their mission is...  Read More

Santuario de Chimayo
Photo courtesy of Steve Collins


Santa Fe is a deeply religious city. Founded as the La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Assisi (The Royal City of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi), it's been a Catholic stronghold for over 400 years. Some early settlers...  Read More

El Rancho de las Golondrinas
Photo courtesy of Steve Collins


Spanish Colonial history is a big part of the area's heritage. El Rancho de las Golondrinas, a living history village southwest of Santa Fe, recreates life in Spanish Colonial New Mexico. The property was originally a parejo (camping stop) on...  Read More

Georgia O'Keeffe Home and Studio
Photo courtesy of Georgia O'Keeffe Museum


People often associate Georgia O'Keeffe with Santa Fe. In fact, the iconic artist didn't live in the city until her last years. She lived in Abiquiu, about an hour northwest of Santa Fe. Her original home was at Ghost Ranch, a former dude ranch...  Read More

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument
Photo courtesy of Steve Collins


Tent Rocks National Monument (Kasha-Katuwe) is a spectacular series of rock formations on the Pajarito Plateau southwest of Santa Fe. The conical rock formations resulted from volcanic eruptions six or seven million years ago. Some of the...  Read More

Bandelier National Monument
Photo courtesy of Joy C. Frank-Collins


If you're interested in seeing cliff dwellings, head to Bandelier National Monument. Signs of human presence date back at least 10,000 years. The Tyuonyi Pueblo and cliff dwellings, ancestors to the current-day Cochiti Pueblo, were inhabited...  Read More

Canyon Road
Photo courtesy of Steve Collins


A walk up (or down) historic Canyon Road is a must. This charming, narrow thoroughfare is home to about half of the city's over 200 galleries. Artists have been living on this street at least since the late 1880s. Discover unique boutiques and a...  Read More

The Santa Fe Plaza
Photo courtesy of Steve Collins


If you only had time to go to one place in Santa Fe, it should be the historic Santa Fe Plaza, the center of life in this city for over 400 years. Every day you'll find food vendors, buskers and great people-watching year 'round. The Palace of...  Read More

Cathedral Park
Photo courtesy of Steve Collins


This delightful pocket park, adjacent to the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi, provides a tranquil opportunity to relax while exploring downtown Santa Fe


Meet Billie Frank

Billie Frank is a freelance travel, food and feature writer based in Santa Fe New Mexico. Her blog, Santa Fe Travelers, is a treasure trove of information on the oldest capital city in the...  More About Billie