Santa Fe Travel Guide

USA  #17 in Best Fall Vacations
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Getting Around Santa Fe

The best way to get around Santa Fe is on foot. You can get your bearings and take advantage of the free, self-guided walking tours provided by the Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau. Driving can be a hassle, but a car will be necessary to explore the surrounding areas; you should park it when you get into town. Reaching town, however, can be a challenge, since Santa Fe doesn't have a large airport. Most out-of-state travelers use Albuquerque International Sunport Airport (ABQ), which is about 65 miles south.

For a higher ticket price, you can fly into Santa Fe Municipal Airport (SAF), which is located just outside Santa Fe's city limits. However, American Airlines and United Airlines are the only commercial carriers to serve that airport.

On Foot

If you are in Santa Fe, you came to see the outdoors and the art. Both attractions are best enjoyed up close and not behind the window of a vehicle. The dense historical sections of downtown, where many of the galleries and Spanish colonial structures are located, cater to pedestrians. Don't forget about the free, self-guided walking tours. (Find multiple options on Tourism Santa Fe's website.)

Car

Santa Fe's driving conditions can be explained in the following equation: Convoluted roads plus lost drivers plus rush-hour traffic equals a huge mess. What's the solution? Get out of your car as soon as you are within walking distance of your destination. Parking can be tough to find in the summer months thanks to the full calendar of events, but most attractions and downtown hotels sit within walking distance of one another. Plus, most parking meters in downtown Santa Fe cost just $2 an hour. Also note: Santa Fe Plaza is used to orient many visiting drivers. If you are lost, ask someone how to get there, and then you'll be near most of the attractions. When driving, keep in mind that using cell phones while operating a vehicle is illegal; hands-free devices are allowed.

Ride-hailing services like Lyft and Uber are also available in Santa Fe.

Public Transport

Santa Fe Trails Transit operates six city bus routes that are tourist-friendly and conveniently run in and out of downtown. The Santa Fe Pick-Up is a free shuttle that runs throughout town and stops near many of the city's most popular attractions, including Canyon Road and the Museum of International Folk Art. Commuter rail service is also available by the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, which connects Santa Fe to downtown Albuquerque and Belen, New Mexico.

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