Thirty years ago, most roads in this high-altitude town were unpaved and the only visitors were hippies and artists who came to paint the desert landscape in cruisy contemplation. These days, Santa Fe ranks among the top tourist destinations in the USA.
Movie stars live in adobe mansions in the cedar-spotted hills, there are more art galleries than there are grocery stores and the folk munching on green-chile burgers are all wearing black turtlenecks. Santa Fe has arrived, and it's a great place to visit.
The compact center offers cosmopolitan conveniences and culinary delights. Just outside town are stunning forests and deserts, ripe with possibility for high energy exploration. The phenomenon of desert light, partly a factor of the high altitude, is one of many highlights that can be appreciated only through experience. The history of the area's peoples - Indians, Hispanic settlers, traders and mountain men - cannot be separated from the landscape. Any visit to Santa Fe can shed light on this primal relationship, especially if you combine visits to museums and pueblos with some outdoor activities.
Facts for the traveller
Off the beaten track