Come to beautiful Santa Fe, New Mexico and immerse yourself in a world of Southwestern art, history, and culture. The city and surrounding areas are like no other place on earth. This vibrant city is perfect for exploring historic neighborhoods, shops, museums, and local culinary specialties. The rugged terrain outside the city boundaries is fascinating and picturesque, and you’ll want to take lots of great photos during your visit. Book a stay at a Santa Fe vacation rental today. From pizza to pueblos, here are just a few incredible finds to experience in Santa Fe.

1. The Plaza, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Source: Pixabay/orenstein2

Founded in 1610, Santa Fe has the distinction of being the oldest city in New Mexico, and oldest state capital in the United States. Find a comfortable home centrally located near this bustling event and shopping district. Festivals and other cool local events are enjoyed by locals and visitors at this main community hang out. Each day, you’ll be near the center of all the action, living close to numerous shops and restaurants. The Plaza is always buzzing with activity, and here is where you’ll find beautiful handmade Native American Turquoise jewelry. Browse collections of clothing, crafts, art, and desirable things you’ll find hard to pass up.

2. Historic Guadalupe, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Source: Pixabay/darewhee

Part of Santa Fe’s charm is its beautiful Spanish structures, and if you admire the southwestern architecture, choose a luxury home in Guadalupe. Vintage historic structures are lovingly preserved and admired by all. Be sure to check out the Santuario de Guadalupe, a shrine built in the 1700s. In addition to architecture, the neighborhood has unique boutique shops, art galleries, theaters, and charming cafes. Guadalupe surrounds the historic railyard, and the New Mexico RailRunner Express is a fun way to travel to nearby towns and cities.

3. Las Campanas, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Source: Pixabay/cassielozuk

Las Campanas is an upscale suburban neighborhood nestled among the hills of Sante Fe. Choose a luxurious home located in a gated community setting a mere 10 minutes from downtown. Alternatively, you may decide to select a cozy log cabin or a rustic ranch home for your stay. Regardless of what style of home you choose, most homes in this area share one thing in common: spectacular rural views. From this home base, you can easily get to popular must see attractions such as Canyon Road art galleries, the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and the Plaza.

4. Tesuque, Santa Fe, New Mexico

camel rock formation
Source: Flickr/R0Ng

Experience authentic New Mexico rustic tranquility when you choose to stay in the tiny town of Tesuque. Find a cozy adobe cabin or luxury home surrounded by rustic natural beauty. Native Americans living at the Tesuque Pueblo are nearby, and so is the famous Camel Rock formation. The setting is quiet, peaceful, and isolated, and you’ll enjoy lots of privacy. When you want city excitement, hop in the car and drive the six miles into nearby Santa Fe.

5. Albuquerque, New Mexico

bronze statues in front of the plaza
Source: Flickr/teofilo

Albuquerque is a populous city bordering the flowing waters of the Rio Grande. This thriving community is home to the University of Mexico and Kirtland Air Force Base. Albuquerque is ideal for families seeking a memorable southwest vacation experience. Choose a luxury home near fun activities, museums, parks, shopping, and restaurants. The city caters to diverse interests, and you and your family can snap pics while enjoying a children’s museum, a beautiful botanical garden, a panoramic tram ride, or ancient rock formations at Petroglyph National Monument. Eclectic museums you may want to visit include ones devoted to racing, rattlesnakes, and turquoise.

6. Taos, New Mexico

beautiful pueblo building
Source: Flickr/Robert Wilson

Taos is a scenic small town located in Taos County. Located near the Taos Pueblo, the town is nestled in a Rio Grande Valley. You’ll get a taste of authentic southwest culture when you stay at a comfortable home near scenic sites, museums, shops, and restaurants. Many homes in the area feature adobe architecture as a nod to traditional Native American and Spanish cultures. Gorgeous scenic places to visit include the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, the High Road to Taos, the ruins of the Taos Pueblo, and the San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church. Browse shops in the downtown plaza for unique memorabilia.

7. Los Alamos, New Mexico

rock signage
Source: Flickr/Ron Cogswell

Spend your vacation living in one of the most diverse cities in New Mexico. Los Alamos, including nearby White Rock, ranks high in overall livability. This family-friendly small town has cozy homes near lush greenery and hilly peaks. Choose a home conveniently located near restaurants and shops. Wear comfortable clothing and shoes so you can explore local natural wonders. Scenic areas you’ll want to see include Bandelier National Monument, Anderson Scenic Overlook, and White Rock Overlook Park. Take the kids to the Los Alamos Nature Center for cool interactive exhibits. For adult fun, check out the Don Quixote Distillery and Winery.

8. Rio Rancho, New Mexico

bird near its nest
Source: Flickr/mnchilemom

Rio Rancho is a fast-growing city located in Sandoval County. This is a wonderful city for families, and young kids enjoy the playground at the uniquely named A Park Above. Find a luxury home close to scenic hiking areas such as the Willow Creek Trail. Or, select a home close to downtown shops, museums, and restaurants. Golfers enjoy the greens at Club Rio Rancho. The J and R Vintage Auto Museum is a must see for car buffs. For sports entertainment, check out football, basketball, and hockey action at the Star Center.

9. Los Lunas, New Mexico

catholic church
Source: Flickr/teofilo

The village of Los Lunas has existed in various incarnations since 1716. The little village nestled in Valencia County was even the site of some Civil War skirmishes. Today the area is a peaceful enclave for vacationers seeking refuge from busy lifestyles. Relax in your cozy home near area shops and restaurants. The vibe here is friendly, and a massage at the Garden Gate Day Spa and Salon feels wonderful, getting you in the mood for more site seeing. The whole family can get a nice workout climbing Tome Hill. Afterward, treat yourselves to sandwiches and pizza at Dion’s.

10. Las Vegas, New Mexico

hot spring
Source: Flickr/Birdie Jaworski

Escape to the wide-open spaces of the southwest prairie with a visit to this “other” Las Vegas. Always a popular stop for travelers moving through the Old West, the town used to host annual cowboy reunions. Secure a cozy home close to restaurants and shops in the quaint downtown area. The free spirit of the cowboy lifestyle lives on at places such as Victory Ranch, except you’ll be seeing playful alpacas instead of horses. Must see nature areas are the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge and Storrie Lake State Park.

11. Espanola, New Mexico

rainbow
Source: Flickr/Jerry Friedman

Espanola is a small city nestled on the banks of the Rio Grande. This picturesque town is 25 miles from Santa Fe. Find a comfortable cabin or home near shops and restaurants, enjoying scenic rustic views as you travel through spacious neighborhoods. The surrounding terrain is gorgeous, and you should see fascinating places such as the ruins at Puye Cliff Dwellings. Love horses? Explore scenic trails riding beautiful horses from the Santa Fe Stables at Black Mesa. At the Bond House Museum, find out about local culture from an interesting historical point of view.