Santa Fe: Like No Place Else

This New Mexico city is packed with art and culture. Here, just a few of the attractions that make it so unique.
By: Nancy Zimmerman
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Santa Fe’s official nickname, “The City Different,” is more than just a slogan dreamed up by local boosters.
The city is a fascinating blend of Native America, Old Spain and the Wild West. Don’t let its centuries-old buildings and courtly charm fool you: the 21st century is alive and well here.

A Big Little City
Many people would love the convenience and more human pace of small-town living if only they didn’t have to give up their big-city amenities. Unique among small cities, Santa Fe combines many of the benefits of rural life and the sense of wide-open spaces with access to intellectual and cultural offerings normally associated with larger cities.

Concerts, lectures, readings, panel discussions and more are popular among the local communities of writers, artists, scientists and academics, providing an ongoing, collective conversation that’s fully engaged with the world despite Santa Fe’s relative remoteness.

Culture, Culture Everywhere
Santa Fe is the second-largest art market in the country after New York. It has long been known as a source of exceptional Western and regional art, as well as Native American fine-art crafts and Hispanic religious folk art.

What’s less known is that Santa Fe has emerged as a serious player in the world of contemporary art, with numerous galleries selling cutting-edge work and more than a handful of renowned contemporary artists living in and around Santa Fe.

SITE Santa Fe, a nonprofit contemporary arts organization, mounts an international biennial exhibition in even-numbered years that brings in the latest and greatest works from around the world. ART Santa Fe is an annual boutique art fair showcasing international works from the world’s top galleries. The SOFA (Sculptural and Functional Art) show, of New York and Chicago fame, has added SOFA West-Santa Fe to its offerings, a more intimate gathering of elite artists and galleries.

Santa Fe Opera
Housed in an architecturally stunning amphitheater surrounded by panoramic vistas, the Santa Fe Opera shares its summer offerings with opera-lovers from all over the world.

Santa Fe Institute
A scientific think tank co-founded by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Murray Gell-Mann, a revolving roster of renowned scientists from a variety of disciplines uses computer modeling to examine key questions of human existence.

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