The Many Fun Things To Do In Santa Fe, New Mexico

After a day in Taos, New Mexico, I made it to Santa Fe! My brother and sister-in-law moved here a couple month ago so I stayed with them to visit and explore for about 2 weeks.

There’s so much to do here! Here are some fun things I did while here:

Santa Fe Plaza

There are SO many shops, galleries, side streets, and places to explore here. I walked for almost 3 hours total just wandering and wandering. I ducked into shops, browsed art galleries, and checked out parks.

Here are some recommendations from my walk:

  • The actual center Santa Fe Plaza
  • Art galleries inside El Centro De Santa Fe shopping mall
  • Art market outside Palace of the Governors
  • Just getting lost in the streets

I was never really that into art and galleries, but it was actually a lot of fun to just browse and wander around. I found some pieces and styles that I really liked! It was a little out of my budget though 😅. The highest priced piece I found was $215,000.


Free parking seems to be non-existent here in Santa Fe. There’s plenty of metered street parking, open lots, and garages though. We parked in the Sandoval Parking Garage west of the plaza which had reasonable rates and a good location.

Coffee at Cafe Fe Coffee Trailer

This is such a cute little coffee shop with friendly and welcoming staff. A perfect vibe to a nice relaxing Sunday morning.

Canyon Road Art Galleries

If you want to scratch more of your art-fix, walking Canyon Road is a must-see.

It’s just gallery upon gallery upon gallery, all lining the road. Each one has a different and unique style. We walked for almost 2 hours and still didn’t visit every gallery. I also spotted a new highest price artwork here at $375,000 🤯. That’s like an entire house (well, pre-record-inflation levels, LOL)…

We specifically liked The Longworth Gallery towards the west side.


Fortunately we found some side-street residential parking that seemed to be free and legal. Other than that, the other on-street parking seemed iffy, but others went for it.

Railyard District

If you’ve been to Denver, Santa Fe’s Railyard District reminds me of Denver’s RiNo District.

There are lots of shops, cafes, restaurants, and many more galleries in the area to explore. It’s just a cool vibe.

ALSO, every Saturday (and Tuesday), there’s a Farmer’s Market in the Railyard. Lots of fun to walk around, browse, and try local eats.

Farmer’s Market with my brother and sister-in-law


I drove around for a good 30+ minutes looking for free parking and unfortunately found nothing. The main park parking lot is a pay-to-park and the residential to the west is all permit only. I ended up parking at the Railyard Municipal Garage which seemed to have reasonable rates and was a central location.

Santa Fe Lunch Spots

Over the course of the 2 ish weeks, here are some places I had lunch in Santa Fe that I liked. Actually, they were all really good and would recommend them all.

  • El Chile Toreado – food truck, mexican/southwestern, burritos, tacos, quesadillas
  • La Choza Restaurant – mexican/southwestern restaurant
  • Opuntia Cafe – hip brunch rooftop cafe
  • Iconik Coffee Roasters (either location) – coffee shop with numerous food options (I didn’t order food here but my brother did and he really liked it)
  • Coyote Cafe & Rooftop Cantina – rooftop cantina and bar, mexican/southwestern food


We also went to a couple breweries while here:

  • Leaf & Hive Brew Lab – this was SO cool and different, it’s like kombucha honey beer, I don’t know how to explain it so just visit their website
  • Second Street Brewery – classic-style brewery with local brews
  • Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery – another classic-style brewery, they had live music

Cross of the Martyrs

Sunset here is beautiful!

Pro tip: If you park up here at the top you don’t have to make the hike up the hill 🙂

Meow Wolf

If you’ve never been to a Meow Wolf (locations in Santa Fe, Denver, and Los Angeles), it’s worth checking out. I’d explain it as: an immersive art exhibit with an extra layer of mystery if you dig deeper.

For a more casual person, you can wander around (and through) to just take in the really cool and mind-boggling weird art. But if you’re looking for more and like solving puzzles, there’s always a story and mystery that you can pick up by interacting with the exhibit and piecing things together.

A must-see!

Day/Weekend Trips Around Santa Fe

There are lots of viable day/weekend trips, here are some that I/we took, feel free to check them out!


Overall, I liked Santa Fe a lot! The unique architecture, the slow, chill vibe, and the art all make it a great place to visit (or live!). There’s so much to explore and so many cool things you can see just by wandering around, which I love to do.

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