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12 surprising facts you probably didn't know about Santa Fe

Stepping foot in Santa Fe, you’ll feel as if you’ve been transported to another country or time period; the city that was once the northernmost output of the Spanish empire in the Americas is simply unlike anywhere else. Located about a one hour drive north of (the much bigger) Albuquerque, Santa Fe is undoubtedly one of the United State’s most interesting cities. In fact, over the years, the city has been nicknamed ‘The City Different’, as it’s always marched to its own beat. Home to a diverse history and a culture rich in all things healthy living, organic food and urban sensibility, it comes with little surprise that there is much to learn about Santa Fe. To help get the ball rolling, we’ve put together this list of interesting facts about Santa Fe.

Santa Fe is the oldest State Capitol in the United States

Santa Fe was founded by New Mexico’s third Spanish governor, Don Pedro de Peralta in 1607 and became the capital of the territory just three years later in 1610. The city is both the oldest capital city in the country and the oldest European settlement west of the Mississippi. 

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It is also the country’s highest capital city

Not only in Santa Fe the United State’s oldest capital city, it’s also the highest, sitting at 7,000 feet above sea level.

It’s the perfect place for sun-lovers!

If you’re constantly chasing the sun and warm weather, you’ll love this fact about Santa Fe…. the city receives sun for about 310 days of the year! It also maintains a pleasant climate throughout the year too.

…But, the landscape is more similar to a ski basin than it is desert

Despite being sunny for much of the year, locals and visitors to Santa Fe do experience all four seasons. Contrary to popular belief, the city isn’t actually high desert, rather, it’s semi-arid steppe. Which is great if you’re planning multiple trips and are searching for different things to do in Santa Fe each time. An outdoor-lovers mecca, depending on the time of year, visitors can go biking, hiking, camping, climbing, skiing and more! An interesting fact about Santa Fe is that Ski Santa Fe averages around 225 inches of snow a year! 

Embrace Santa Fe’s landscape when you travel on the ‘Santa Fe Explorer End Santa Fe’ tour with Trafalgar.

The city is home to the third-largest art market in the country

One of the top things to do in Santa Fe that might surprise you is to hunt for art. After New York and Los Angeles, Santa Fe is home to the third-largest art market in the United States.

Santa Fe was the country’s first UNESCO-designated Creative City

It can’t be denied; Santa Fe is a city of talent! Designated a UNESCO Creative City in 2005, one in ten jobs in the city are connected to the arts. It comes with no surprise that the city has been home to many famous writers and artists over the years, including Georgia O’Keefe and George R.R Martin to name a few.

Explore the best of Santa Fe’s cultural and mystical hub when you travel with Trafalgar on the ‘Santa Fe Explorer End Albuquerque’ tour.

Food is an art

Whether you’re enjoying a meal at a local diner or are in search of traditional New Mexican cuisine, if one thing is for certain, it’s that you’re in for a treat! The single key ingredient included in every traditional meal is chilli. If you’re unsure whether you should go with green or red chillies, we recommend asking for ‘Christmas’ – a combination of both!

The city is home to a Margarita Trail

What better beverage is there to pair your spicy foods with than a chilled margarita?! The Santa Fe Margarita Trail includes 45 different margaritas, each of which have been crafted specifically for the trail by a local establishment. Salud!

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Santa Fe is home to the Oldest Church in the USA

We weren’t kidding when we said that Santa Fe is home to a rich history! The city is also home to the country’s oldest church; the San Miguel Chapel. It’s a Spanish colonial mission church which was built in the early 1600s. It was damaged in the Pueblo Revolt in 1680, but has since been resurrected. 

America’s oldest government building is in Santa Fe

Now a museum, The Palace of Governors is the oldest landmark/government seat in the United States. It was built in 1610 by Pedro de Peralta and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960.

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Santa Fe has a rich Native American heritage

A significant portion of the city’s cultural heritage is connected to the 23 Native American Tribes, Nations and Pueblos who reside in New Mexico. Each tribe has its own sovereign nation, so rules, languages and culture changes depending on what tribe you’re visiting.

The city’s full name is a real tongue twister!

An interesting fact about Santa Fe…. it’s full name is La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asis – the Royal Town of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi.

Did any of these facts surprise you? Or, have any of these interesting facts about Santa Fe intrigues you enough to plan a holiday? Let us know in the comments below! Or, head to our website where you can learn more about how you can travel to ‘The City Different’ with Trafalgar.

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