THINGS TO DO IN SANTA FE
Nestled at the foot of the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains at an elevation of 7,200 feet in New Mexico's desert highlands, Santa Fe is a city known for its rich blend of Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures and traditions. Guests of Eldorado Hotel & Spa are within walking distance of world-class restaurants, shopping venues, and local attractions such as the Santa Fe Plaza, the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum and the Lensic Performing Arts Center. Minutes away are The Museum of New Mexico and Loretto Chapel's miraculous staircase, a magnificent engineering marvel shrouded in religious mystery.
Year round, Santa Fe activities and events attract people from near and far. Be sure to check calendars of events and ask the concierge for seasonal Santa Fe, NM attractions and activities, whether you’re on a family vacation, visiting solo, or on business.
Santa Fe Travel
As the second oldest city in the United States and with more than a dozen museums, Santa Fe is the perfect destination for history-buffs and art enthusiasts alike. In the midst of it all, Eldorado Hotel & Spa places you at the heart of all to see and do:
- Downtown Santa Fe (1 block)
- Santa Fe Plaza (2 blocks)
- NM History Museum (2 blocks)
- Palace of the Governors (2 blocks)
- New Mexico Museum of Art (Formerly the Museum of Fine Arts) (0.3 miles)
- Georgia O’Keeffe Museum (0.3 miles)
- Loretto Chapel (0.4 miles)
- Cross of the Martyrs (1 mile)
- Canyon Road Galleries (1 mile)
- Ski Santa Fe (16 miles)
- Santa Fe Opera (4.3 miles)
- Bandelier National Monument (22.6 miles)
Ghost Ranch (52.2 miles)
Historic Walks of Santa FeWalk in the footsteps of Spanish, Native American and Old West cultures for an interesting and enriching way to see our fascinating and unique city of Santa Fe. The majority of the guides from “Historic Walks of Santa Fe” are museum docents who comment on the rich history and cultures of Old Santa Fe, including the New Mexico History Museum, St. Francis Cathedral, Loretto Chapel's Miraculous Staircase and one of the oldest mission churches in the U.S. – San Miguel Mission. Daily Historic / Cultural Tours depart from the Eldorado Hotel & Spa at 9:30 am and 1:30 pm.
Santa Fe with Kids Means Limitless Adventure
Children are right at home in Santa Fe, with activities and recreation that abounds. Visit the Eldorado Hotel & Spa with the entire family and spend your trip discovering the countless things to do with the young ones. We'll even treat the kids 5 and under to complimentary breakfast! From kid friendly hiking trails to the Santa Fe Children's Museum, there are more family friendly activities in Santa Fe than ever before. Start your family adventure and see all the sights. Or stop by our Toy Lending Center at the Concierge Desk where you can find books, board games and more.
Looking for family-friendly activities? Here are just a few adventures to enjoy during your next stay:
- Museums, including the Santa Fe Children's Museum, Museum of International Folk Art, El Rancho de las Golondrinas, Palace of the Governors and Casa Grande Trading Post.
- Kid Friendly Adventures, including Santa Fe Fly Fisher's School, Kokopelli Rafting Adventures, Mountain Treasure Hunt, Rock Climbing, and more.
- Playgrounds, for all ages from toddler to elementary, including Genoveva Chavez Community Center, Fort Marcy, Cerro Gordo Park, Salvador Perez Park, Frenchy's Park and Alto Bicentennial Park.
Santa Fe Day Trips & Tours
Discover Magnificent Landscapes and Diverse CulturesDuring your Stay in Santa Fe, take some time to discover the magnificent landscapes and diverse cultures outside the city with unique day trips. Visit Native American pueblos, ancient ruins, high mountain towns, picturesque valley villages, Turquoise Trail mining areas and the majestic red rock country captured on canvas by Georgia O'Keeffe, one of America's greatest painters.
Taos and the High Road
Round trip of about 165 miles
Head north on US 84/285 and turn right on NM 503, which will take you to NM 76. Follow NM 76 to Chimayo, a traditional weaving village with galleries featuring work by award-winning weavers. Here you'll find the 19th-century Santuario de Chimayo, known as the "Lourdes of the Southwest" because it attracts thousands of pilgrims seeking the "miraculous dirt" on church property which is rumored to have healing powers.
Continue on NM 76 through Cordova, Truchas and Ojo Sarco, all towns with great galleries selling woodcarvings, pottery, rugs and other local arts and crafts. In Las Trampas, an 18th-century mission church is one of New Mexico's best-preserved examples of Spanish Colonial architecture. Pick up NM 518 at Peñasco and wind your way through the Carson National Forest to US 68 at Ranchos de Taos, where you'll see the famous San Francisco de Assisi Church, photographed and painted by many artists. Drive into Taos and explore museums, galleries, shops, restaurants and the historic Taos Pueblo.
Head back to Santa Fe on NM 68 following the Rio Grande as it drops dramatically from a broad mesa into a narrow canyon. River rafters and kayakers are often on this part of the river, where several miles of churning waters offer thrilling rides. Visit Embudo, a historic railroad stop, then drive through farmland dotted with roadside stands offering seasonal chile, fruit and other locally-grown foods before you turn south on US 84/285 in Española and return to Santa Fe.
Turquoise Trail and Madrid
Round trip of about 150 miles
From Santa Fe, drive south on NM 14, known as the Turquoise Trail. A National Scenic Byway, this trail takes its name from the gemstone that Native Americans, then Spaniards, Mexicans and Americans mined in this region for centuries.
NOTE: June 15, 2010 marked the 10th anniversary of the designation of NM Hwy 14, Albuquerque to Santa Fe and Hwy 536 to Sandia Crest as the Turquoise Trail National Scenic Byway. Known as the "Artful Way to Santa Fe," the 62 miles of the Turquoise Trail passes through the Ortiz, San Pedro and Sandia Mountains and their old mining towns and historic Spanish villages-turned-art-communities. Please come up and visit our National Scenic Byway, it's worth the trip.
Along the Turquoise Trail, you can explore the unique mining towns of Golden and Madrid offering restaurants, shops, lodging, artists' studios, galleries and museums. Prehistoric people made their homes here. Spanish missionaries explored the area and Civil War battles were fought over this land. Outlaws and Confederate soldiers camped in the area. Kit Carson marched Navajo people along the Trail in their "Long Walk" to incarceration at Fort Sumner. Mines were dug in the mining districts for native copper, lead, iron, gold and turquoise.
Valles CalderaSee the Valles Caldera that erupted a million years ago and Los Alamos, where scientists from around the world secretly created the first atomic bomb during World II's Manhattan Project. Learn about Taos Pueblo's multi-storied architecture built more than a thousand years ago. Follow the trail that Pueblo ancestors, Spanish settlers, fur trappers, mountain men and American pioneers traveled as you explore the fascinating scenic roads and byways near Santa Fe, in the heart of northern New Mexico.
Explore The Great Outdoors in Santa Fe
To fully experience the natural wonder and beauty of Santa Fe, head outside and take part in an outdoor adventure. With more than 330 days of sunshine with cool temperatures in a high desert climate, Santa Fe is the perfect destination to escape both harsh winter weather and the extreme dry heat of the desert. Eldorado Hotel & Spa is just minutes away from an array of outdoor activities, including horseback riding, skiing, golf, kayaking and river rafting. Hike one of the dozens of trails located near our hotel, go fly-fishing at the Pecos River, or enjoy a wintry trip to the ice-skating rink at Genoveva Chavez Community Center or Ski Santa Fe! No matter your definition of fun, you'll find plenty of exciting things to do in Santa Fe.
"Wild and Scenic" describes the Rio Grande and Rio Chama of northern New Mexico, the sites of the best of New Mexico Rafting, and is the designation conferred on these two magnificent rivers by the U.S. Congress. The Rio Grande thunders in the depths of a precipitous gorge, with wild rapids boxed in by sheer cliffs, while the Rio Chama flows sedately through a canyon of multi-hued sandstone and stands of tall Ponderosa pine.
With a base area elevation of 10,350 feet, Ski Santa Fe is nestled high in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains among the highest ski areas in the continental United States. Ski Santa Fe offers complete services for all level of participants, from first time skier/snowboarders to seasoned experts.
Exploring Cliff Dwellings
Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence here going back over 11,000 years. Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs, and standing masonry walls pay tribute to the early days of a culture that still survives in the surrounding communities.