Santa Fe in New Mexico is rapidly rising in popularity among travelers and for good reason. This is a city that is one of the most artistic in the world, known for its creative spirit and the artists who flock there. It’s a modern city that still retains much of its history, a place to relax that nonetheless will stimulate your senses and your creativity. With this combination of attractions, it’s no wonder that Santa Fe is becoming known as one of the hottest travel destinations.
Often called “The City Different” Santa Fe is still off the regular travel route, so you may have trouble finding the best neighborhood in Santa Fe for your first time, or on a return trip. That’s why we’re here to help with an insider’s guide to the best areas in this amazing city.
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Santa Fe?
- Where to stay in Santa Fe first time – Historic District
- Where to stay in Santa Fe on a budget – The Railyard District
- Best neighborhood in Santa Fe for families – Midtown
- Best area to stay in Santa Fe for nightlife – Downtown
- The Coolest place to stay in Santa Fe– Canyon Road
Where to Stay in Santa Fe
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Santa Fe.
Luxury Condo in Santa Fe
- Mountain Views from this top floor unit
- Outdoor pool, BBQ area, fitness center
Free parking on premises
With space for up to 4 guests, this apartment offers stunning mountain views. It’s impeccably finished, with stainless steel appliances and a fireplace as well as new fixtures. The apartment is located in a facility that has an outdoor pool, fitness center, BBQ area, and 24-hour controlled access for maximum entertainment and security.
Artist’s Casita Near Museum Hill
- Indoor fireplace, Refrigerator
- With good WIFI and the easy access to nature the casita is a comfortable refuge
Beautiful, bright, and airy, this luxury condo is a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Santa Fe for couples. It has one bedroom and an open floor plan with a small kitchen, sitting area, and bathroom. There’s also a fenced yard and private entrance and you can even bring your furry friend along on your trip with you!
- 1 swimming pool, Bar
- Santa Fe Plaza is 400 m from the hotel.
- Loretto Chapel is 550 m from the hotel. Santa Fe Ski Area is 35 minutes’ drive from Drury Plaza Hotel in Santa Fe.
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Santa Fe close to everything, this hotel is a good choice. It’s close to the Loretteo Chapel and the Historic Center of the city, and the Santa Fe Ski Area is just half an hour drive away. The hotel has an outdoor pool, business center, and fitness center as well as large rooms with a fridge and microwave.
Santa Fe Neighborhood Guide
Santa Few is the 4th largest city in New Mexico but only houses around 85,000 people, so it isn’t that large compared to other international cities. Most of the main attractions are clustered around the central areas, but you’ll also want to head out of the city to enjoy the natural landscape.
The first area to look at in Santa Fe for accommodation is the Historic District. This is where you’ll find the best combination of attractions and history, so it’s ideal if you don’t want to travel far to find something amazing.
The Railyard District is the best neighborhood in Santa Fe if you are on a budget. It’s close enough to the center of the city that you could walk there in a few minutes but offers a more local vibe and prices.
If you want to be close to everything but stay in a slightly quieter area so the kids can sleep, then check out Midtown, with its relaxed, local vibe and low-key attractions.
And the final choice on this list is Canyon Road, probably the most artistic area in the whole city. The vibe in this area is hard to beat, so if you have an ounce of creativity in your soul, you’ll love it!
Santa Fe’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
If you’re looking for cool areas to stay in Santa Fe, here’s where you’ll find them no matter what kind of traveler you are.
Where to stay in Santa Fe first time
- COOLEST thing to do in Historic District – Spend time at the Georgia O’Keefe Museum
- BEST place to visit in Historic District – The Plaza, for people watching, shopping and food
The Historic District in Santa Fe is based around the central Plaza and it’s filled with old buildings, restaurants, interesting shops, and a variety of people. That’s what makes it the best choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Santa Fe for your first time.
When you wander around the Historic District, you’ll want to spend a lot of time just tucked away watching all the people and observing the buildings. But don’t be afraid to wander around too, because there are lots of beautiful churches and museums to see in this part of the city, and you’ll want to experience them all.
- Head out of the city to climb Atalaya Mountain and take in the views
- Wander around the San Miguel Chapel, the oldest church in the continental US
- Explore the local art culture at SITE Santa Fe
- Look for some bargains at the Sanbusco Shopping Center
- Check out the Oldest House Museum, one of the oldest buildings in the US
- Have a meal at local spots like Tia Sophia’s, Coyote Café and Rooftop Cantina, or Del Charro
- Listen to some chamber music at the St. Francis Auditorium
Best Airbnb in Historic District
With 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, this house is suitable for a small family or group of friends of up to 6 people. It has a fireplace, a fully equipped kitchen, and common spaces where you can hang out and enjoy your time with friends or family.
Best High-End Airbnb in Historic District
You can’t get any more central than this casita, located in the best neighborhood in Santa Fe close to everything. It’s the only apartment of its kind right on the Plaza and has enough space for up to 4 guests with 1 bedroom and 1 sofa bed. Built in the late 1800s, it’s freshly remodeled with New Mexican decor and boasts views over La Fonda and complimentary valet parking.
Best Budget hotel in Historic District
If you want to be right in the center of town, in the Plaza, there’s no better place than this hotel. It’s of course close to everything and boasts views of the mountain, an outdoor pool, rooftop hot tub, and spa. There’s also a restaurant and bar on-site for late-night meals and large, spacious rooms with lots of extras like ironing facilities and work desks.
Best Luxury Hotel in Historic District
Located in the best neighborhood in Santa Fe close to everything, this hotel is within easy reach of attractions, shops, and restaurants. It has a full-service spa on-site as well as Southwestern style decor that’s both warm and colorful. The rooms are decorated in the pueblo revival style and have handcrafted native furniture. The hotel also has its own restaurant, open for every meal, and a lounge that boasts live music from Thursday to Saturday.
Where to stay in Santa Fe on a budget
- COOLEST thing to do in The Railyard District – Head over to the weekends’ farmer’s market in the old train station
- BEST place to visit in The Railyard District – Jean Cocteau Cinema for an independent movie and cocktails
The Railyard District is a local area. This where you’ll get the chance to eat and mingle with the locals and experience their unique way of life. This neighborhood is also an easy walk from the center of the city and the Santa Fe Plaza, so you won’t miss out on any of the best attractions.
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Santa Fe on a budget, this area is the best choice. The restaurants are more locals, there’s a good variety of accommodation options, and there are still plenty of things to do and see that will keep you and every member of your travel group occupied!
Beer lovers will be eager to grab a pint at the. The art galleries tend to be more contemporary than many in the Historic District and on Canyon Road.
- See what the locals are creating at the Santa Fe Artists Market
- Get some cheap local eats at the Santa Fe Farmers Market
- Check out the amazing displays at the El Museo Cultural De Santa Fe
- Have a meal at Tomasita’s, Pizza Centro, or Andiamo!
- Look for some handmade gifts at the International Folk Art Market
- Take the kids down to play in the Santa Fe Railyard Park and see if there are any shows on
- Grab a brew at the Santa Fe Brewing Company or the New Mexico Hard Cider Tap Room
Best Airbnb in The Railyard District
You’ll enjoy complete privacy when you stay in this comfortable casita. It’s just a few minutes in the car from local hiking trails, museums, and restaurants and has its own private garden and entrance. The apartment is suitable for up to 2 guests and it has a full kitchen and laundry facilities.
Best High End Airbnb in The Railyard District
Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Santa Fe for nightlife or would like a quieter visit, this apartment has it all. The private studio space has enough room for up to 2 guests and has been recently remodeled to include all new fittings and appliances. It’s only a few minutes drive from local attractions, so you won’t have to go far for entertainment when you stay in this beautiful apartment.
Best Budget hotel in The Railyard District
This 2-star hotel is a good choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Santa Fe on a budget. It’s close to the college and has an indoor pool, hot tub, and comfortable rooms with seating areas and fridges. Breakfast is served at the inn and there are also BBQ facilities on-site as well as a table tennis area.
Best Luxury Hotel in The Railyard District
This comfortable hotel has a pool and hot tub, daily continental breakfast, and spacious rooms with all the modern amenities. It’s 15 minutes drive from the airport and attractions like Loretto Chapel and has a fitness center and laundry facilities. Some of the spacious suites even have their own balconies with views.
Best neighborhood in Santa Fe for families
- COOLEST thing to do in Midtown – Go shopping on Baca Street
- BEST place to visit in Midtown – Meow Wolf, an interactive art installation in an old bowling alley
Midtown is the best neighborhood in Santa Fe for families because it’s close to everything but offers a quieter, more local vibe. This area is also close to Meow Wolf, an interactive art installation that’s become one of the most popular attractions in the entire city. If you’re traveling with kids, this attraction will keep them occupied and happy for hours.
Midtown is also close enough to the center of town that you can easily walk there for more attractions. And it has its own collection of bars, restaurants, and shops too, so you shouldn’t have to go into the Downtown area at all if you don’t want to.
- Have a meal at Tortilla Flats, Jambo Café, or Liu Liu Liu
- Grab a drink with some new friends at the Second Street Brewery or Rowley Farmhouse Ales
- Take the kids rock climbing at the Santa Fe Climbing Center
- See a show at the Adobe Rose Theatre
- Wander along Second Street, go shopping, or check out the cafes
- Play a round at the Santa Fe Country Club
Best Airbnb in Midtown
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Santa Fe on a budget, this apartment is a good choice. It’s newly built and centrally located close to local shops and restaurants. In fact, the apartment is about the same distance from the Plaza as it is from Canyon Road and the Railyard District, making it the most convenient option possible. Within 10 minutes walk, you could be anywhere in town.
Best High End Airbnb in Midtown
Enjoy an authentic New Mexican experience at this rustic studio apartment. Relax by the fireplace, enjoy the full kitchen, or curl up on cold days and watch TV in the cozy living area. Located within walking distance of the Santa Fe Plaza, this apartment provides the perfect base for a relaxing stay in Santa Fe.
Best Budget hotel in Midtown
Just 5 minutes walk from the market, this hotel is a good choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Santa Fe for families. The rooms are each decorated in a unique style and include a dining area and a private entrance. There are shops and restaurants close by and the Loretto Chapel is just a short walk away from the hotel’s front door.
Best Luxury Hotel in Midtown
With on-site spa services and gourmet dining options, this hotel is a luxury-lovers dream. It’s Native American-owned and features Hacienda-style guest rooms with fireplaces, and seating areas. But the best thing about this hotel is the extra features. The hotel holds ceremonial dance performances and historical storytelling events regularly, so make sure that you check out what’s on while you’re at the hotel.
Best area to stay in Santa Fe for nightlife
- COOLEST thing to do in Downtown – Explore the local craft beer scene and find some new favorites
- BEST place to visit in Downtown – The Matador for live music in an old dive bar atmosphere
Santa Fe isn’t really a party city. It’s more for people who are interested in art, history, culture, and a cool vibe that can’t be found anywhere else. But that doesn’t mean you should be in bed by 9 pm every night. If you’re looking for the best neighborhood in Santa Fe for nightlife, then Downtown is the best choice. This is where you’ll find the greatest concentration of bars and clubs as well as a burgeoning live music scene.
The Downtown area is a good place to stay for daytime attractions as well as night-time ones. It offers easy access to some of the city’s best restaurants and shops as well as cultural and historical attractions. And the public transport in the Downtown area will also keep you well connected to anything else you want to see in Santa Fe.
- Go on the Historic Walks of Santa Fe
- Have a meal at the Teahouse, Santafamous Street Eats, or The Compound
- Have a delicious drink with your meal at Fire & Hops, Tonic, or the Dragon Room
- Head out of the city and try one of the local bike trails like the Dale Ball Trail, La Tierra Trail, or White Mesa Bike Trail
- Head out of the city to see 11,000-year-old human settlements at the Bandelier National Monument
- Spend some time at the beautiful Loretto Chapel
Best Airbnb in Downtown
With 2 bedrooms and 1 bathroom, this house is right in the heart of the Downtown area, close to all of its shops and attractions. It’s suitable for up to 4 guests and has off-street parking, a full kitchen, and a large dining/living space where you can hang out with friends old and new. The home used to be a gallery space, which is why it features some amazing photography created by local artists.
Best High-End Airbnb in Downtown
Centrally located and sporting a traditional Northern New Mexico style, this two-bedroom, two-bathroom cottage is a real find. Inspired by Georgia O’Keeffe, it was built in the 1850s and features lots of Santa Fe charm and lots of period details to make you really feel like you’re on holiday somewhere new and exciting.
Best Budget hotel in Downtown
Complete with its own fitness center and deluxe continental breakfast every morning, this hotel is a real find. It’s comfortable and welcoming, with unique decor, and rooms that boast a private patio or balcony and a full kitchen. The hotel is also close to local attractions like the Plaza as well as to some interesting shops and restaurants.
Best Luxury Hotel in Downtown
This unique hotel in Santa Fe is close to local museums like the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture and the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and offers apartment-style living. Each of the units has a fully equipped kitchenette, DVD player, ironing facilities, and warm, welcoming decor.
The Coolest place to stay in Santa Fe
- COOLEST thing to do in Canyon Road – Experience the city’s artistic past at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture
- BEST place to visit in Canyon Road – El Farol, the oldest bar in Santa Fe
If you’re visiting Santa Fe, then you probably want to see some art and culture, and Canyon Road offers all that and more. Located just outside of the Downtown area, it’s a half-mile road that has more than 80 galleries along it. This is what makes it the best neighborhood in Santa Fe for couples who have an artistic bent or just want to see beautiful things.
Canyon Road also has lots of bars, restaurants, and shops along it. In fact, it’s the perfect place to stay if you want everything close to hand. And the creative, festive vibe in this part of the city will make your holiday just that little bit more special.
- Head out of the city to go biking or hiking in summer, skiing in winter
- Walk down the road starting at Paseo de Peralta and see what catches your eye
- Have a romantic night at Geronimo or El Farol
- Watch a Flamenco performance during your night at El Farol
- Go to Museum Hill and explore the Museum of International Folk Art and the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art
- Check out some of the local galleries like Manitou Galleries, Chiaroscuro Gallery, or the Turner Carroll Gallery
Best Airbnb in Canyon Road
Suitable for up to three guests, this casita welcomes you with open arms. It has an outdoor patio area with a fire pit where you can relax and is just a few minutes away from the plaza. Canyon Road is just a block away and the apartment is also ideally positioned if you want to get out of the city and enjoy some hiking in summer or skiing in winter.
Best High End Airbnb in Canyon Road
This apartment is just steps from Canyon Road and suitable for up to three guests. it’s located in a prime historic neighborhood, close to some of the best coffee shops and restaurants in the city and just a short walk to the Plaza. Quiet and well-appointed, this casita is the perfect romantic getaway and even includes an enclosed patio where you can sit and relax after a day exploring the city.
Best Budget hotel in Canyon Road
A short walk from Canyon Road, this hotel offers spacious, welcoming rooms close to local restaurants. The decor is traditional Santa Fe and the rooms have free toiletries and cable TV. The hotel also offers a hot New Mexican breakfast spread that you can use to fuel you up each morning!
Best Luxury Hotel in Canyon Road
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Santa Fe for couples, then why not this beautiful and romantic hotel? Located close to Canyon Road, it has four restaurants, a spa, a swimming pool, and elegant rooms with period accents. There’s also a poolside hot tub for lounging in and a fitness center where you can work off that holiday weight. Basically, this hotel has everything and it’s even within walking distance of shops, restaurants, and the city’s best art galleries.
Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Santa Fe
When you travel to a new city and want to explore it, you want to stay close to the heart of the city so you can experience everyday life as well as all the best tourist attractions. That’s exactly what you’ll get when you stay in the best neighborhood in Santa Fe close to everything. Whether you like history, want a bit of quiet time, or want to see how the locals live, the choices on this list will satisfy all of your travel dreams.
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