1 5 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N P S T W Y Z

Santa Fe

geographic name | part of encyclopedia/places
Pronounced: \san-tuh fey\ or \sahn-tah fe\
IPA: /ˈsæn tə ˈfeɪ/ or /ˈsɑn tɑ ˈfɛ/

Definition of Santa Fe

Santa Fe near Saint Francis of Assisi Cathedral
Santa Fe in from of the Saint Francis of Assisi Cathedral Stereographic

The capital city in New Mexico and the county seat of Santa Fe County. This city is located in Central New Mexico at the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Currently known as the center of government and culture within the State, with strong Pueblo & Spanish roots, within its modern American culture. The city covers a total of approximately 37.45sq mi, with a current population, according to the 2010 census, of 67,947 people and approximately 145,000 in its micropolitan area.

Located at about 7,199 feet above sea level. The terrain ranges from bunchgrass prairie, xeric shrublands, to piñon-juniper woodland.

Examples of Santa Fe


The main streets of Santa Fe are I-25, Saint Francis Drive, Cerrillos Road, Rodeo Road, Zia Road, Saint Michaels Drive, Agua Fria Street, and the Veterans Memorial Highway. San Francisco Street is noted for being a part of main street in Santa Fe’s Historic Downtown featuring the Santa Fe Plaza and the Saint Francis of Assisi Cathedral. Other landmarks around the city include the New Mexico State Capitol, Palace of the Governors, the Santa Fe National Cemetery, the Bataan Memorial Building, The Santa Fe Opera House, Santa Fe Railyard, Loretto Chapel, Inn and Spa at Loretto, San Miguel Mission, and Jean Cocteau Cinema. Several trails and open spaces including El Camino Real Park, The Santa Fe Rail Trail, Cerrillos Hills State Park, a many more. Municipal parks are numerous, nearly 70, several featuring swimming pools, golf courses, and/or sports fields. Museums and art galleries within the city of Santa Fe are numerous, including the New Mexico Capitol Art Collection, Bataan Military Museum, New Mexico Museum of Art, and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. Santa Fe also has the Santa Fe Visitor Center which has a very elaborate website.

The city has numerous commercial art galleries and is extremely rich in artistic and cultural activities. The most prominent libraries in city are owned by the Santa Fe Public Library. There are numerous theaters located in the town including the historic Lensic Theater and Jean Cocteau Cinema, and several modern theaters Regal and United Artists. The Santa Fe University of Art and Design, St. John’s College, and Institute of American Indian Arts, call Santa Fe their home; with the local community college being Santa Fe Community College. Broadcasts from the city includes the television stations FOX affiliate KASA, The CW affiliate KWBQ, PBS station and sister station of KNME with KNMD, and Christian station KCHF; FM and AM stations are numerous, including NPR Station KSFR, KHFM, KRZY-FM, and KQLV. The city’s newspaper is the The Santa Fe New Mexican and The Santa Fe Reporter, with other news publications being the New Mexico Magazine, Santa Fean, Santa Fean NOW, The Santa Fe Times and First American Art Magazine.

“When I first moved to Santa Fe, back in 1979 or 1980, I read in one of the newspapers, and its probably still true, there were more places in Santa Fe to buy an original oil painting than there were to buy a cheeseburger.”

— George R.R. Martin, quoting a newspaper, on Durch die Nacht mit… Sibel Kekilli & George R.R. Martin


New Mexican cuisine: Dining experiences are Aldana’s Restaurant, Anasazi Restaurant, Atrisco Cafe & Bar, Blue Corn Brewery, Cafe Castro, Cafe Pasqual’s, Caffe Greco, Coyote Cafe, Dr. Field Goods, El Milagro New Mexican Restaurant, Eloisa, Estevan’s, Geronimo, Iguana Cafe, Maria’s New Mexican Kitchen, Mine Shaft Tavern, The Pantry Restaurant, The Plaza Cafe, Rancho de Chimayo, Santa Fe Brewing Company, Santa Fe Bite formerly the Bobcat Bite, Santacafe, Luminaria Restaurant and Patio, Tia Sophia’s, and Tomasita’s. New Mexican fast food: not to the underestimated NM fast food; New Mexico’s statewide staples Blake’s Lotaburgers and Dion’s Pizza, and local Santa Fe fast food restaurant the Shake Foundation. American cuisine: Blue Window, Chicago Dog Express, Restaurant Martin, and Revolution Bakery. New American cuisine: New Mexican cuisine inspired New American cuisine there’s Joseph’s. Other choices: Andiamo!, Maki Yaki, Shohko Cafe, and Pranzo Italian Grill. Deserts and Beverages: Chocolatesmith, Kakawa, Señor Murphy, and Frogurt. As one of the capitol cities of the US, the city has an eclectic food scene.

Specific Landmarks

  • Downtown Santa Fe and Santa Fe Plaza; Cross of the Martyrs, De Vargas Center Mall, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, Lensic Performing Arts Center, Loretto Chapel, Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, New Mexico Museum of Art, The Oldest House, Palace of the Governors, The Railyard, Saint Francis of Assisi, San Miguel Mission, downtown Santa Fe Public Library, Santuario de Guadalupe, and the State Capitol.
  • The Santa Fe Railyard; Farmer’s Market, New Mexico Rail Runner, The Santa Fe Railyard Park, Santa Fe Visitor Center, and SITE Santa Fe.


From the corner of Old Santa Fe Trail and San Francisco Street facing towards the Santa Fe Plaza and the Place of the Governors.
From Cerrillos Road looking towards The Santa Fe Railyard Park.
From inside The Plaza Mercado

Origin of Santa Fe

The Pueblo culture first called this area their home. The Spanish founded La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asís in the Santa Fe de Nuevo México culture in 1610, making it the oldest capital city in the United States and the American modern culture; at the base of the Santa Fe mountains at the southern edge of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Prior to the modern town of Santa Fe being established in 1692, the town was called Ogha Po’oge under Puebloan rule from 1680-1692. Some of first buildings in Santa Fe, including The Palace of the Governors and the Santa Fe Plaza, were built in the early 1600s have been used by multiple groups, from the first settlers, to the Pueblos after the Pueblo Revolt, all the way through to modern times. In the early 1700s the town’s other defining man-made landmark was created, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi.

New Mexico music related to Santa Fe and the Santa Fe Fiesta

Alternate spellings exist; Santa Fé.
First Known Use: 17th century as La Villa Real de la Santa Fé de San Francisco de Asis.