Why Santa Fe is the City Different

Darlene Streit



Have you ever wondered why Santa Fe, New Mexico is called “The City Different?” There are many things that make Santa Fe different from any other city in the United States (and even the world). This article breaks down several of those.

Why Santa Fe is The City Different

The Santa Fe Art Scene

Santa Fe is art. Sure, you could go to one of the hundreds of art galleries, but the simple truth is that you see art all around you – in the style of the buildings, the colors, the sculptures, even something simple like a wooden ladder lying against an Adobe home by an inviting teal door.

As you walk by the amazing Palace of the Governors, you will find vendors displaying their amazing creations. You can attend one of the many famous summer art markets with cutting-edge displays.

Here’s what Smithsonian Magazine says about the art scene in Santa Fe:

“Collectors from all over the world travel to buy at its internationally renowned summer fairs: the Traditional Spanish Market, the Santa Fe Indian Market, and the International Folk Art Market. Santa Fe also has more than 200 galleries and a dozen museums.”

And the Huffington Post, in an article titled, “An Art ‘City Different’: What Santa Fe Has to Offer” said this:

“The jewel of the American Southwest, Santa Fe is one of the oldest cities in the United States, with a rich, diverse artistic history and a thriving market for art. It is, in fact, the third-largest art market in the nation, behind New York and Los Angeles. But, like most things, Santa Fe does art a bit differently… Santa Fe operates more like a 365-day, citywide art fair.”

Santa Fe’s History and Culture

Did you know that Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the United States? And that the oldest church in the United States is in Santa Fe? It is a friendly city with a diversity of residents and visitors.

Santa Fe is one of those rare cities that continues to improve with time. For centuries the community has done an incredible job of preserving key historic sites.

Here’s an excerpt from an article on TripAdvisor about the Santa Fe culture:

“The major cultural groups within Santa Fe are Anglo, Hispanic, and Indian cultures. Pueblo Indians had inhabited the area continuously for 1,000 years until 1607. In 1607, the Spanish ruled New Mexico and brought Catholicism to the territory. Mexico gained control of Santa Fe prior to the sovereignty of the United States. Americans later followed the Santa Fe Trail to explore mining and trapping ventures. Today, this extraordinary blend of cultures still remain. With a million and a half tourists per year, Santa Fe is truly a unique city.”

Santa Fe’s Environment

Surrounded by art, history, culture, amazing weather, mountains, blue sky, colorful sunsets, and unique architecture, Santa Fe is more than an amazing place to visit or live. It is an experience… every day.

The average summer temperature is 75 degrees Fahrenheit! Imagine yourself at a lively festival full of amazing food, great music, and culture. You then take a stroll along Canyon Road taking in dozens of stunning art galleries. After eating an amazing dinner at one of many award-winning restaurants, you return to your Adobe home. You go outside and sip some tea while watching the sky light up in an aura of colors. It’s another incredible sunset!

How would you not want to live in a place like that?

That’s Santa Fe. The environment is one that you can see and feel.

It’s a sensory sensation.

Santa Fe Entertainment & Lifestyle

Have you ever lived in a place where you wanted to do something, but the options were extremely limited? Well, that’s not Santa Fe! From a plethora of hiking trails to unique experiences, Santa Fe is never short on entertainment.

Want to ski in the winter? Ski Santa Fe is only 15 minutes away.

Want to take in an opera? The world-renowned Santa Fe Opera is at your service with amazing productions all summer long.

Want to experience a unique Christmas Eve experience? Try the Canyon Road Farolito Walk.

Are festivals your thing? Santa Fe is never short on creative festivals that you won’t find elsewhere.

Want to visit an art gallery? There are hundreds to choose from, and they are all within city limits.

But the diversity of entertainment is growing in Santa Fe. One of the most unique modern entertainment experiences in the U.S. is at Meow Wolf.

In January 2015, author George R. R. Martin (yes, that one) pledged $2.7 million to turn a vacant bowling alley into an interactive and creative immersive art attraction called Meow Wolf. This award-winning experience has gained so many rave reviews that the concept is expanding into other cities like Las Vegas, Nevada, and Denver, Colorado.

Santa Fe Accolades and Awards

Santa Fe is a magnet for awards and accolades. In 2019, Travel & Leisure named Santa Fe the second best city in the United States! Pure Wow calls Ski Santa Fe one of the top 23 ski resorts in America. Oyster says Santa Fe is one of the best Spring Break destinations for families.

In early 2020, Santa Fe was only the second city in the world to earn LEED Gold Certification based on the stricter LEED version 4.1 rules. Santa Fe takes sustainability and renewable energy extremely seriously.

TripAdvisor named Santa Fe one of the top 20 cities to visit, saying:

“Boasting world-renowned cuisine, vibrant cultural attractions, and one of the country’s largest art scenes, Santa Fe has earned its title as one of the top places to travel in the US. From November through February, Santa Fe hosts ‘Artists in Residence,’ where you can watch and interact with artists as they create jewelry, painting, and pottery. Eat and drink your way through the city on a Taste of Canyon Road Food Tour. Explore some of the stunning natural beauty of Santa Fe while hiking on Atalaya Mountain Trail or strolling through Hyde Memorial State Park.”

There are two more awards, out of more than 100, that we’d like to highlight:

> Insurify Insights, a team of data scientists and content specialists from Insurify (insurance agency) named Santa Fe as the city with the best up and coming housing market!

> Apartment Therapy, a lifestyle blog, and publishing company named Santa Fe as the third Best Small City in America to Live.

You get the hint – it’s awesome to live in Santa Fe, New Mexico!

If you are ready to make The City Different your home, then contact Santa Fe’s Number One Real Estate Agent, Darlene Streit, at 505.920.8001 or [email protected]


Enjoy a buying or selling process filled with ease, efficiency, and the depth of experience that only Darlene can provide. Call, text or email today.

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