Welcome to "the City Different" -- Santa Fe, New Mexico. The city is well-known as a center for the arts; in fact, Santa Fe's art market is the second largest in the United States after NYC. Canyon Road, east of the Plaza, has the highest concentration of art galleries in the city and is a major destination for international collectors and tourists. One of the most well-known, New Mexico-based artists was Georgia O'Keeffe; she has her own museum in Santa Fe.
Laid out in 1607, the Plaza has long been Santa Fe's historic center. Today, the area holds many of the city's key attractions. Learn about state history at the Palace of the Governors, view regional art at the Museum of Fine Arts and see the work of New Mexico's most famous painter at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. Don't miss the town's oldest hotel, La Fonda, and the amazing St. Francis Cathedral.
Located just southeast of the Plaza, the Canyon Road area is a two-mile stretch of upscale shops, restaurants and galleries. It's also one of the oldest parts of Santa Fe. For many years, Canyon Road was a residential area for early Spanish settlers, but in the 1920s artists from all around the world began migrating here. Parking can be difficult along the narrow street, so walking is recommended.
Sprawling to the south of the Plaza is the most modern section of New Mexico's capital city. But because no structures in Santa Fe are more than five stories tall, government buildings won't obscure your view of the mountains. On Santa Fe's busiest thoroughfare, Cerrillos Road, you'll find a lot of modern hotels and stores, as well as Villa Linda Mall, the city's largest indoor shopping center.
Late winter/early spring is the best time of the year to travel to Santa Fe. It is not cold, the days are getting longer, and hotel rooms and restaurant reservations are easier to get.