As one Santa Fe resident put it, "Santa Fe is a metropolis, without being a metropolis." You can enjoy all that this sophisticated city has to offer—it's the third largest art market in the U.S.—yet still live near wild horses and elk. Spend the day fly fishing or hiking a remote mountain trail and catch the opera in the evening.
Santa Fe is truly "the City Different," as it is often called, with more than 250 art galleries, 225 restaurants, a world-class opera company, and enough variety in housing to fit every taste. The Sangre de Cristo Mountains provide a gorgeous backdrop—snowcapped in winter; dramatic in summer, as thunderclouds form above the peaks.
Santa Fe, Spanish for "Holy Faith," is a city that's rich in history. In 1598, it was the northernmost settlement along the Camino Real, the "Royal Road" from Mexico City. It's the oldest state capital in the country.
The town was built around a central plaza, in the traditional Spanish style of the day. In 1829, the plaza marked the end of the Santa Fe Trail from Missouri. Today the Plaza is ringed with shops and galleries, and it's the site of art festivals, performances, and special events. Native American artists sell their jewelry and crafts at the north end, under the portal at the Palace of the Governors.
Since the 1800s, Santa Fe has been the home of three distinct cultures: Native American, Hispanic and Anglo. There are eight sovereign Indian pueblos located near Santa Fe. Indian art fills galleries and museums. Spanish influences are everywhere in Santa Fe—from art and cuisine to churches, plaza, culture, and government.
The spirit of the West is very much alive in Santa Fe. You'll see it in dress, home décor, and attitude. There's a sense of independence among Santa Feans. Diversity is valued and encouraged. History and tradition are part of everyday life.
When it comes to real estate, "the City Different" certainly applies. There is a wide variety of neighborhoods to choose from—and property to fit every lifestyle. Are you looking for a golf course community? Horse property? A cozy, in-town condo? A second home? Be forewarned: once you start looking at Santa Fe real estate, you may never leave this beautiful city!