Santa Fe, New Mexico, founded in 1607, is a spectacular old Spanish town that showcases the old Spanish-American West. As one of the world’s top travel destinations known for its scenic beauty, long history, and cultural diversity, the outskirts of the area are just as memorable as Santa Fe itself. The small villages depicting the authentic lives of long ago are just a short drive away. Make your home base The Lodge at Santa Fe, relax by the pool and feel like you’ve gone back in time, then begin your exploration.
Don’t Miss Espanola, North of Santa Fe
Located just 25 miles from Santa Fe, Espanola is in the heart of Santa Fe County. Rich in history and culture, the most central place to visit is the Plaza de Espanola, within walking distance of several cultural attractions. There you’ll see a replica of an original mission built by the Spanish in 1598. The arches represent architecture from the Alhambra in Granada. Visit the Puye Cliff Dwellings and the ancient ruins of the Santa Clara people, or go rafting through the Rio Grande Gorge. At the end of the day it’s a short drive back to one of your favourite cheap hotels in of Santa Fe.
A Must-See: Eldorado, South of Santa Fe
Eldorado is home to great people, a rich culture, and gorgeous views. Now a modern neighborhood where Indians once lived and hunted, it has about 2, 600 homes and plenty of open space. Eldorado is at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo mountains and is just 25 minutes to Santa Fe. Get a glimpse of the Santa Fe Railway where it passes through the center of Eldorado. Because you are so close to Santa Fe, stay at the Hyatt Place Santa Fe or The Hacienda Spa at Hotel Santa Fe, both a short distance from Eldorado.
Located only 15 miles north of Santa Fe and at the base of the mountains, Pueblo of Nambe has existed since the 14th century. When Spanish colonists arrived in the area in the 17th century, it already had a thriving cultural, economic, and religious center.
Rivers play an important role in the lives of Santa Fe County residents. The Rio En Medio, only 14 miles away, has scenic waterfalls and overlooks open meadows, and the Rio Chiquito River snakes through the county.
If you’re traveling to Santa Fe County by air, search for cheap flights with Hipmunk.com. The area is also reachable by automobile from other destinations, or by rail. Santa Fe is a rich community with culture and history, endless fairs and festivals. Be sure to visit the Palace of the Governors, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, and Mission San Miguel, but don’t miss the outlying small villages and towns where history also plays a significant role.
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Linda Manning lives in trendy Newport, Rhode Island, with her husband, Paul, and young English springer spaniel Brooklynn. As a licensed boat captain and certified diver who loves to travel, the artistry of writing was given birth. Linda enjoys going on press trips to exotic places, then showing people around the world how travel can change their life. At home, Linda loves gardening, cooking, entertaining, art, museums, and all Newport has to offer.