We spent 24 hours in Santa FE and had NON STOP fun throughout the entire city. Santa Fe is a city you must visit! Santa Fe is full of art, culture, great food, amazing pop ups, historical buildings and so much more making it a top bucket list travel destination.
We had a little over 24 hours to explore, and we never had a moment of down time. We went from one adventure to another and had an incredible time. These are our don’t miss out on adventures while in Santa FE.
Meow Wolf is a fun, trippy, family friendly pop up that you could spend hours lost in the details of each room. I honestly felt like I was thrown into the middle of the Alice in Wonderland set. There is nothing I can compare this to. I have been to many pop ups for cute instagram photos, but this seemed more like a combination of insta photo opps and an escape room.
There are secret tunnels and doors that lead you into the next rooms and even people walking around adding ambiance, or creepiness. There were also performers there doing juggling and acrobatic acts. Like I said, you could just spend hours here getting all the best photos, getting lost, and trying to figure out what exactly is going on.
I felt like a big kid the entire time. I cannot do this place justice with just my words no matter how descriptive I get, so you must watch the vlog on this one!!! And even that won’t capture every little detail on this place. This is a unique experience you do not want to miss whilst in Santa Fe. For information on tickets and hours for Meow Wolf, click here.
Plaza Down Town
The Plaza in Down Town Santa Fe is full of life and adventure. There are so many things to explore in such a small perimeter. Everything else I talk about in this blog is located in the downtown plaza area, if that helps you see what I mean. The Plaza here has a European vibe to it and is very walk-able, so if you love Europe, you will love this Plaza.
We actually spent the entire rest of our day after Meow Wolf in this area. The Plaza Down Town has great street food for one, with a couple of vendors lined up around the square. I had delicious tamales, but they also sold corn, fresh squeezed juices, tacos and more.
As you can see they sell a lot of Mexican food, or i guess New Mexican food here, which being from Texas, I was a huge fan! They also had a concert at 6 pm in the middle of the plaza where lots of people gathered and sang/dance. There are so many shops, restaurants, art galleries, markets, historical buildings, and pop up art in the Plaza that you are going to have a wonderful time.
Be sure to take your time and explore every inch of the plaza, as there is something new at each end and you will not regret it. As I said the next few points are all located in the plaza, so I will go more into detail about them below.
Santa Fe Cathedral
The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis is located right in the heart of the downtown Plaza area, behind the La Fonda hotel. This cathedral is just as beautiful inside as it is outside. I highly suggest you take a moment to go in and explore the beauty in every detail.
It was a very peaceful part of our day and something I am glad we experienced. It only takes about 10-15 minutes to check out the inside, and then be sure to get a picture out front. The gorgeous cathedral makes for a great photo opportunity.
You are not allowed to video or take pictures inside, but the outside is okay. We walked around and tried to get pictures from different angles as you can see below. This cathedral was built between 1869-1886, and is rich in New Mexico history.
This is a must do when in Santa Fe. For more information on the cathedral or mass hours, click here.
The Loretto Chapel
The Loretto Chapel is not only a beautiful, mystical chapel in the heart of Santa Fe, but it also is home to one of the great wonders of the world; the miraculous staircase. This staircase is infamous because it is held up with absolutely no base.
It is almost as if it is floating from the ground up. No one has been able to explain this phenomenon. Legend has it that the Sisters of Loretto Chapel used to have to climb a ladder to get up to the choir loft but they were always a little fearful for their lives, so they prayed hard for 9 days straight for someone to come in and build them a staircase.
Then one day a man showed up to build the staircase with nothing but a hammer and a carpenter’s square. A few days later, the staircase was built and that man was never seen/heard from again. Some believe it was St. Joseph himself, while others believe it was someone sent by him. Either way, it is believed divine intervention helped bring this staircase into the world.
The Loretto Chapel draws people in from all over the world just to see the staircase. Whether you are a devout believer or a bit of skeptic, you will certainly be mesmerized by it’s architecture. When in Santa Fe, take a moment of your day to go in, explore the chapel, read it’s rich history, and see this legendary staircase for yourself. To read more about it before you head over to the Loretto Chapel, click here.
Oldest House in Santa Fe
Now how can you not check this out when in Santa Fe. It is believed that the oldest house in Santa Fe is actually the oldest house in all of America, as it dates back to the 1200’s, but there has been much debate on that. Walk in, check it out, and see for yourself the OG house of Santa Fe.
What is really cool about it, is that it is located right next to the oldest church in Santa Fe. I suggest taking a moment to go and explore both. It will only take up about 20 minutes of your day, as both are pretty small, but it is really interesting to see.
Plus, we received free Santa Fe coasters just by checking in at the oldest house museum. For more information on the oldest house, click here.
Bell Tower @ La Fonda Roof Top
After walking around the plaza all day, I suggest you take a moment to relax and enjoy the sunset, preferably with a glass of wine in hand. My suggestion for where to do this is at the Bell Tower which is the Roof Top bar at the La Fonda Hotel. The La Fonda Hotel is located right in front of the cathedral. When you go in, go straight to the right and down the hall way and you will see an elevator to your left.
Go up to the 5th floor and you will be let out right at the best rooftop bar in Santa Fe. The views are pretty great and the sunset over the plaza is something you don’t want to miss. It is the perfect way to end an evening, or set the mood for the rest of the evening to come.
The tables all wrap around the corner of the building outside and is a great way to wind down after a long day of exploring. For more information on the Bell Tower bar or more on what the La Fonda has to offer, click here.
Lots of galleries/local art/shops
Located in the heart of Santa Fe Plaza area is a plethora of local art galleries, unique shops, and pop up art. If you are looking to buy something, this is the place. They have items in every price range, so don’t worry about breaking the bank if you are on a budget. Now V and I aren’t big souvenir people, but I did find me a cute New Mexico shirt here.
Something I found cool is that they have people who come out in the afternoons and sell jewelry, little statues, clothing and more on the street for a good price. It is their own street market of sorts. Also, we walked around and checked out the art galleries, as we know the art scene here is one of a kind. I suggest you take some time to do this, whether you plan to buy or mostly window shop like we did.
Also, if you are a big Christmas fan like me, they have a couple of Christmas shops open all year on the square. V and I collect Christmas ornaments on our travels, so this was a huge plus to us! I know I have mentioned it a bit in this blog, but truly take the time to get lost on the plaza and wander in and out of the different shops/galleries, you will be amazed at all you see.
As always I am sure there are plenty more things to explore in Santa Fe, but we were on a short time frame. Please comment below your must do’s in Santa Fe. Also, comment below what you are most looking forward to now if you’ve never been before. 🙂
Until next time…. XOXO ❤