Santa Fe Opera House#3 in Best Things To Do in Santa Fe
Price & Hours
The Santa Fe Opera House is a world-renowned venue that plays host to a variety of operas each summer. The company has presented operas – comedies, dramas, tragedies and more – every summer since 1957. The venue itself is an open-air theater surrounded by the Sangre de Cristo and Jemez mountain ranges, which means it offers some gorgeous views, and it can accommodate around 2,200 spectators. Patrons can arrive up to three hours prior to the show and many often do, specifically to tailgate in the surrounding parking lots with picnics, gourmet meals and drinks. (The opera also offers special dining options like premade tailgate picnics and preview buffet dinners for a set price.)
Recent visitors offered plenty of praise for the Santa Fe Opera, saying the singers were impressive and that the setting is quite picturesque. Travelers and residents agree that tailgating is a must – people are dressed to the nines, sipping on sparkling wine and savoring "chic eats," so plan to bring some food and drinks to enjoy. Some warn that you may experience thunderstorms, but that the lightning makes for an even more dramatic backdrop during the show and add bringing a sweater or a wrap is a good idea.
Located about 8 miles north of downtown Santa Fe, the opera house welcomes visitors for performances and backstage tours. Opera season runs from July through August; because the opera is such a popular activity, you should book your tickets well in advance. Tickets can be purchased through the box office from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Mountain Time) Monday to Friday (and Saturdays in season) and are also available online. An individual ticket can cost anywhere from $41 to upward of $200. Hourlong behind-the-scenes tours are available from late May through August. Tours cost $10 for adults and $8 for seniors; kids and young adults up to 22 years old can tour for free. The venue also offers on-site parking for free. For additional information on the Santa Fe Opera and the Opera House, visit its website.
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#1 Canyon Road
If there's any doubt that Santa Fe is a prime destination for art lovers, Canyon Road quashes it. Situated just east of the Santa Fe Plaza, Canyon Road is home to a slew of art galleries selling renowned artwork from famed artists, such as Fernando Botero and cultural treasures like hand-woven Navajo rugs and Southwestern wood carvings. The area is touted as an art lover's mecca because of the variety of mediums used to highlight art. Pop into the different galleries (there are more than 100) along the street and you'll find everything from jewelry and pottery to sculptures and paintings. The street itself is also a feast for the eyes: Many of the galleries found here are housed in historic adobe buildings laced with brilliantly colored flowers, art installations are often showcased outside and the spicy odor of chile peppers wafts from the doorways of top-notch eateries like Geronimo Restaurant and Compound Restaurant.
Recent visitors said the best way to experience this arts district is simply by strolling down the street, adding that it's a wonderful way to experience art without being stuck indoors or inside a single museum. Travelers were impressed with everything from the variety of art to the pueblo architecture and said there are ample opportunities to snap photos of this vibrant site.
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