At the base of the Rocky Mountains in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains lies Santa Fe, New Mexico. The second oldest city in the United States, Santa Fe was founded between 1607 and 1610, and at over 7,000 feet above sea level , it is the highest city in the nation. Approximately 70,000 people call Santa Fe home, making it the fourth largest city in New Mexico.
ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES
Santa Fe is the nation's second largest art market, holding approximately 300 art galleries and dealers. The art industry is a major supplier of jobs in this area. Tourism is also a major draw to the area, with over one million travelers visiting Santa Fe each year.
Major employers include the Santa Fe School District, Santa Fe Community College, St. Vincent Hospital and the Santa Fe Opera.
NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS
In 1912, all of the buildings in Santa Fe were remodeled to mimic the Spanish/Pueblo style in an effort by city officials to draw in tourists. Around 1930, when architect John Gaw Meem entered the scene, he expounded on the original theme, developing a new style dubbed "Territorial," which included larger windows and carved woodwork. Santa Fe has been nicknamed "City Different" because the Spanish/Pueblo Style makes the city look completely different than anywhere else in the country. Today, Santa Fe has changed and evolved, but it still retains its unique architecture.
Visitors can take a walk along Canyon Road, an old Indian trail, and witness homes dating back to the 1700s with many samples of Santa Fe's one-of-a-kind style.
Santa Fe, which is the capital of the New Mexico, has many neighborhoods, each having its own distinct features:
- Casa Alegre has shops, schools, churches and internal parks.
- Downtown Santa Fe encompasses older homes, historic properties and condos.
- The South Capitol District offers a variety of Victorian homes and Arts & Crafts style bungalows. However, many of these properties are going through renovation. South Capitol was established in the 20th century and is composed of varying architectural styles ranging from red brick to adobe to wood frame. Turquoise Trail was used by the miners in the 1880s to unearth turquoise worth millions of dollars.
- Eastside runs up to the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Canyon Road is the heart of the eastside and encompasses art galleries and adobe houses. One can find many different houses which range from simplest of structures to the swankiest of estates.
- Guadalupe Historic District is a small neighborhood and encompasses renovated adobes and lots which are tiny and tidy.
- Historic Eastside or Canyon Road hosts a mix of multi generation families and portrays the history of the city. The eastside comprises of the Canyon Road which has galleries, restaurants and Friday night gallery openings.
- Museum District is just minutes away from the downtown. It is so named because four internationally acclaimed museums are located here.
- The Old Vegas Corridor gives the feeling of the rural city with large lots and beautiful vistas.
In addition to a number of charter schools, Santa Fe has an off-the-reservation school, Santa Fe Indian School, specifically designated for Native American students. Santa Fe is also home to six private college-preparatory high schools:
- Santa Fe Waldorf School (K-12)
- St. Michael's High School
- Desert Academy
- New Mexico School for the Deaf
- Santa Fe Secondary School
- Santa Fe Preparatory School
There are two public high schools in Santa Fe:
- Santa Fe High School (New Mexico)
- Capital High School
Liberal arts colleges in Santa Fe include:
- St. John's College
- College of Santa Fe
- Santa Fe Community College
- Institute of American Indian Arts
ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT
Chosen by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2005, Santa Fe is one of only nine cities in the world to be labeled a Creative City. Santa Fe has professional and community theaters, a children's theater, ballet, and even an opera.
Santa Fe also has over a dozen museums covering a variety of themes:
- Palace of the Governors: Dating back four hundred years, it is the oldest continuously occupied building in the nation. Concerning the whole of New Mexico's past, from territory to statehood, this museum holds wide-ranging collections and exhibitions.
- New Mexico Museum of Art (formerly the Museum of Fine Arts): Find works here by artists from both Santa Fe and Taos, as well as rotating exhibits by more contemporary artists.
- The Georgia O'Keefe Museum: Boasting over 1,000 works of art in a 14,000 square foot space, this striking contemporary building is the first museum entirely dedicated to a female artist.
- Museum of Spanish Colonial Arts: Starring the past and present history of the Hispanic culture, this has become the largest and most in-depth collection of Spanish Colonial art in the entire southwest.
With 325 days of sunshine a year, there are plenty of outdoor activities to do in Santa Fe. They include:
- Hot-Air Ballooning
- River Rafting
- Rodeo de Santa Fe: Roping, barrel racing, and bull riding are just a few activities incorporated in this annual event in late June. Families enjoy the "Mutton Bustin' just-for-kids" show that also includes a carnival and parade.
- The Santa Fe Film Festival: Presenting premiere films from local New Mexican films to foreign movies, this annual event's festival film categories include: Independent Spirits, Making It Reel, Eye on the World, Art Matters, and Southwest Showcase. In addition to films, there are block parties, a VIP reception, and lots of music.
- Burning of Zozobra and Santa Fe Fiesta: Marking the reoccupation of Santa Fe by Don Diego de Vargas in 1692, this is the oldest community in the entire United States. Highlights include a children's pet parade, the burning of a 49-foot marionette that signifies the erasure of past troubles, music, and religious ceremonies.
- Santa Fe Wine and Chile Festival: Quickly growing in size, this September event showcases more than 100 wineries and 50 Santa Fe chefs, each taking part in seminars, demonstrations, the famed Grand Food and Wine Tasting, and the Gruet Golf Classic.
There are a number of free-standing shops located in and around the city. The four major malls of Santa Fe include:
- Plaza Mercado
- Santa Fe Place
- Sanbusco Market Center, a southwestern-themed mall with various shops and boutiques
- Santa Fe Outlets, with more than 40 stores
DID YOU KNOW?
- Sessions with Mick, actor Val Kilmer's first CD, was recorded at Frogville Studios in Santa Fe.
- Many films have been shot in Santa Fe, including The Spy Next Door, Crazy Heart, 3:10 to Yuma, The Cowboys, Rent, Every Which Way But Loose, and Easy Rider.
- Santa Fe has six sister cities: Bukhara, Uzbekistan; Parral, Mexico; Santa Fe, Spain; Sorrento, Italy; Tsuyama, Japan; and Holguin, Cuba.
- Santa Fe also rests at the edge of the infamous 800-mile Santa Fe Trail.
Just North of Santa Fe are various Indian pueblos, some dating back to the 1300s:
- Nambe Pueblo
- Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo
- Pojoaque Pueblo
- San Ildefonso Pueblo
- Santa Clara Pueblo
- Taos Pueblo
- Tesuque Pueblo
- Picuris Pueblo