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How to Spend 1 Day in Santa Fe

How to Spend 1 Day in Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a well-known artist hot spot and foodie hub ensconced in a stark, high desert landscape. With one day to explore, you can enjoy New Mexico's blue skies and outdoor sports, while still making time to see Santa Fe's downtown, replete with high-end eateries and countless art galleries. Here’s how to spend your day in Santa Fe.

Morning: Time in Nature

Start your morning in the great outdoors with a white-water rafting excursion on the Rio Grande River. Most beginner-friendly rafting tours last only a few hours. Typically, you're carried through a few rapids and end the adventure with light refreshments. To experience nature without breaking a sweat, explore the more than 50 acres (20 hectares) of the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. You can see New Mexico's stunning flora without leaving the city, and can get skip-the-line entry if you book your ticket in advance. 

Afternoon: Santa Fe and the Railyard Arts District

After your morning in nature, spend the afternoon touring Santa Fe's must-see Railyard Arts District on a guided walking tour. Plan for a sightseeing tour if you want to grab your own lunch, or opt for a culinary-themed tour if you want to sample the local cuisine. Since food-and-drink tastings are typically included, you can arrive hungry. Arts enthusiasts should end the afternoon on Canyon Road, visiting the numerous galleries showcasing everything from handmade crafts to fine arts. 

Night: Dinner and the Opera

The Santa Fe Opera is a cultural gem. Known for its open-air design and forward-thinking performances, it's a must-see attraction for theater lovers that want to take in a show or book a backstage tour. If you prefer to stay around the downtown area, try a quirky scavenger hunt—or holiday-themed scavenger hunt—exploring the city. Because you'll use your smartphone to keep track of your finds, you can take your time sightseeing and avoid being rushed by a guide. After working up your appetite, eat a dinner featuring famous New Mexico chiles. Be sure to order a dish swimming in green-chile sauce. 

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Canyon Road Art Tour

Canyon Road Art Tour

Discover Canyon Road, home to over 80 art galleries, on a guided tour through Santa Fe. Walk through a number of exciting galleries to give you a sense of what Canyon Road has to offer. Engage with many of the art pieces and have a chat with the local artists and gallery curators. Your tour is limited to 10 participants, which allows for a more personal experience.
  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation