Nicknamed The City Different, Santa Fe has quite a reputation to live up to… and it does. Discover how to spend a weekend in Santa Fe with this brilliant two day itinerary.

With all the fuss about Santa Fe and its quirky vibe, I couldn’t resist a trip on my recent American southwest adventure. And do you know what? I was not disappointed.

I’ll be honest – there’s so much to see and do in the city that planning an itinerary, particularly a short one can be overwhelming.

But don’t worry; I’ve done all the hard work for you. Here’s a finely tuned Santa Fe itinerary to guide your two-day journey. From checking out the city’s artsy side to chowing down at some of the best eateries in New Mexico, let’s explore.

Wanna Take a Sneak Peek? Check Out My Youtube Video on Santa Fe! 

Handy Tips for Planning Your Santa Fe Itinerary 

Top Tours for Your Santa Fe Itinerary 

Top tip: See more of Santa Fe on foot with my guide to the best hikes in the city.

What to Pack for Your Santa Fe Itinerary

Dale Ball Trails Santa Fe

Before jumping into what you’ll fill your Santa Fe weekend trip with, you’ll need a few packing ideas. Thankfully, I’ve put together a travel packing list to help you.

First things first. Santa Fe is ideal for casual and laid-back clothing, although, at night, it can get cold, so pack a light jacket. 

Bring along comfortable trainers for when you’re out exploring the city streets. Of course, if you’re planning some downtime, pack a pair of fashionable sandals (I swear by my Birks).

Although you’re in town for only a weekend, remember your hiking boots and water bottle if you decide to venture out and go hiking. As for the essentials, don’t forget a daypack to carry what you’ll need when you’re out and about.

Where to Stay for Your Santa Fe Getaway

Eldorado Hotel & Spa

Undoubtedly one of the best places to stay for a weekend in Santa Fe, the Eldorado Hotel & Spa is a stunning 4-star property. Its grand architecture screams New Mexico at its finest,  with spacious interiors showcasing a range of must-have amenities.

It also sits close to many of the city’s top museums and attractions. While on-site, there is the tantalising Agave Restaurant & Lounge and the tranquil Nidah Spa – which I highly recommend taking advantage of, if you can spare a couple of hours.

Check Rates and Availability 

Quick Info for Your 2 Days in Santa Fe 

  • Time Zone: Mountain Daylight Time (GMT-6)
  • Currency: US Dollar (USD)
  • Plugs: Type A & B (120V, 60Hz)
  • Nearest Airport: Sante Fe Airport (SAF)
  • 5 Must-See Spots: Canyon Road, Meow Wolf, New Mexico Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Loretto Chapel
  • Top Tip: Explore the diverse culinary scene of Santa Fe. The city has some of the best food you’ll ever taste.

Getting Around 

Santa Fe is a place best explored on foot, especially within the various areas of the city where most of its famous attractions and activities lie. However, you might be glad to hear that Santa Fe also has a very efficient public transport system. 

Six bus routes run throughout the city, with the Santa Fe Pick-Up Shuttle service also offering stops and pickups close to many city highlights. Alternatively, you can use ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft or hire a car for the weekend.

Top tip: Book your car rental in advance to make sure you get the best deal.

2 Days in Santa Fe Itinerary 

Santa Fe Itinerary Day One: History & Art of Santa Fe

I hope you’re ready to pack a whole lot into two days! Kicking off your Santa Fe weekend, you’ll first explore some rave-worthy hotspots within its rich and diverse historic downtown and Canyon Road.

Grab Breakfast at Tia Sophia’s

You can’t start your day without breakfast, and if you want it to be a fantastic bite, begin your morning with a stop at Tia Sophia’s. 

I recommend their breakfast burrito, served here since 1975; it’s absolutely delicious (filled with scrambled eggs, potatoes, cheese, and your choice of bacon, sausage or chorizo, with either red or green chile sauce to garnish – or both). 

Not just that, but it’s a cheap breakfast at about $14, and portion sizes are huge.

Explore the New Mexico Museum Complex

New Mexico Museum of Art Santa Fe

Next up, right across the street, you’ll find the New Mexico Museum of Art. Beyond the beautiful facade, inside, you’ll find multiple exhibits influenced by the southwest. 

Afterwards, enjoy a short stroll along the stunning Santa Fe Plaza and stop by the Palace of the Governors for a cool photo opp.

Finally, head to the New Mexico History Museum, where dozens of displays focus on local history, with a few rotating exhibits each year. This is the best spot to learn more about native populations and how the Santa Fe Trail shaped much of New Mexico’s development. 

Museum of Contemporary Native Arts (MoCNA) 

Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

By now, it’s probably early afternoon, so let’s keep the fun coming. No trip to Santa Fe is complete without spending some time at the IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

It’s pretty tiny but features stellar displays of Native American art, from jewellery to traditional canvas paintings. 

Loretto Chapel

Loretto Chapel 

From here, head down Cathedral Pl, passing the gorgeous Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi on your way to Loretto Chapel. 

A Gothic Revival-style chapel where you can grab a snapshot of one of the world’s most unique spiral staircases, Loretto is not just an architectural marvel. In fact, there’s a rather curious story about how the staircase came to be. 

Legend has it that the chapel was originally built without a staircase to the choir loft, and due to limited space, a traditional staircase was deemed impossible. 

The Sisters of Loretto prayed for a solution to the problem and within days, a mysterious carpenter arrived at the chapel offering to build a staircase, but then disappeared after completing the staircase. 

Canyon Road

Canyon Road Santa Fe

Moving down East Alameda Street and onto Paseo De Peralta, you’ll arrive at one of the artsiest areas ever, Canyon Road. Home to over 80 galleries, it’s a whirlwind of captivating art and artistic installations. 

Aside from the many galleries, you’ll also find an assortment of artisan boutique stores for some retail therapy.

There are a few standouts but plan to spend a few hours here. Include stops at Meyer Gallery, the Longworth Gallery, and Kay Contemporary Art. While indulging your artistic side when peckish, head to Cafe Greco for a quick bite or Kakawa Chocolate House for your sweet tooth.

Museum Hill & Santa Fe Botanical Garden

Ending your first day in Santa Fe, you’ll grab the bus at the Alameda @ Palace stop just up the road from The Teahouse on Canyon Road. This line will take you directly to Museum Hill, where you’ll discover another few Santa Fe must-visit spots.

Spend time admiring the displays housed at the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art and the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, finishing with the Museum of International Folk Art. Before leaving, stop by the Museum Hill Cafe to grab something to eat. 

Finish up with a late afternoon stroll through the Santa Fe Botanical Gardens right across the street.

Dinner at Radish & Rye

Radish & Rye

Head back into town for an incredible dinner at Radish & Rye. Take my advice – it’s the best restaurant in town. Championing farm-to-table, R&R offers a range of seasonal dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. 

The menu changes frequently to reflect what’s fresh and in season, but expect inventive and delicious dishes. I had a rib-eye steak on my recent trip and, not to be dramatic here, but I think it seriously might be the best steak I’ve ever eaten. 

But that’s not all, as the restaurant’s cocktail menu is equally impressive, with creative drinks made with local spirits and ingredients. It’s the perfect way to round off your first day in Santa Fe.

Santa Fe Itinerary Day Two: Essential Santa Fe 

Your second day in Santa Fe is dedicated to essential attractions that make any trip to the city different (get it?). 

Morning at Meow Wolf Santa Fe

Meow Wolf Santa Fe

Santa Fe was the OG installation from the Meow Wolf Collective – trust me when I say that you have to add a visit to The House of Eternal Return to your weekend itinerary. 

It’s everything you expect it to be, crazy, eclectic and a few things you probably didn’t expect too. 

In a world where immersive art is having a moment, it’s the ultimate experience. Fair warning, though: it’s pricey and gets busy over the weekends, so it’s best to arrive as early as possible. 

Wander around for hours and marvel at creations that will blow your mind. Some of these include a gigantic robotic raven, an archway made of televisions, and a geodesic dome of glowing animal eyes. 

I told you it was bonkers. 

Discover the Baca Street Arts District

Heading up Cerrillos Road from Meow Wolf, you’ll find the Baca Street Arts District, which occupies part of the Railyard Arts District. Beyond its collection of galleries, take the time to indulge in some retail therapy and tempt your tastebuds at a few eateries.

You can try your hand at glass blowing with a visit to Liquid Light Glass, although you need to book a spot at their workshops in advance. 

Alternatively, test your skills at Baca Street Pottery, snatch up some vintage clothing at Art.i.fact, and, trust me on this one, end your time here with a bite from Counter Culture Cafe.

Catch the Sunset from The Cross of the Martyrs

Santa Fe, New Mexico Cross of the Martyrs

Venturing through downtown Santa Fe one last time on your weekend escapade to the city, make your way to The Cross of the Martyrs. Head onto a short walk up a winding path that cuts its way up a hillside lined with city plaques devoted to this landmark.

It’s not known as one of Santa Fe’s epic sunset spots for no reason. The viewpoint provides a glorious view over the downtown area. All that’s left for you to do is bask in the blazing hues of the last light. 

Indulge at Zataclan and Santa Fe Spirits Tasting Room

Making your way into the heart of the city, your next stop is Zataclan for dinner. This brilliant contemporary Mexican restaurant serves up some of the best eats in the city, including a rather delicious selection of tacos and burritos. 

Once you’ve filled up, it’s time to head to Santa Fe Spirits Tasting Room. And, if you love going where locals go, this is the place to be. 

Every type of spirit you’ll find here gets distilled in-house and is aimed at capturing the essence of Santa Fe. While the staff here prefer to serve these delicious brews straight, the menu also includes a variety of tasty (and boozy) mixed drinks. 

Santa Fe Itinerary – Map 

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