Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, NM is a city like no other. Its rich heritage is seen scattered around the city. Around the city are the heritages of the Spanish, American, Pueblo and Mexican culture. Because of thorough city planning over the decades, the city remains unique and has its own charm that is not found elsewhere. Because of this, today, the city is proud of its Five Historic Districts, four National Historic Landmarks, three Archeological Review Districts and more than one hundred sites with special attractions that are either registered at the national or state level for their qualities.

With such surroundings, there are plenty of exciting things to do when visiting the city. One can visit the historic sites, experience creative tourism, go on road trips, try the geocaching challenge and other indoor and outdoor activities. The city offers a lot of things to do for everybody.

Dining is also an experience visitors will enjoy. There are southern, contemporary, American, Italian and Middle Eastern restaurants to eat at. One can also choose different accommodations. There are many great hotels and resorts, as well as clean and safe motels and bed and breakfast, or one can camp or park their RVs in the dedicated RV parks in the city.

Santa Fe is a great place to live in. There are intriquing options in entertainment, education, affordable living and many other benefits the city offers its residents. Many businesses in the city also thrive.

Santa Fe History

The history of the City of Santa Fe dates back to the time of the Pueblo Indians who settled in the area in 1050. They built their own communities by building their homes around the area which is now the Plaza. Then in 1598, Don Juan de Onate came to the region and established the Santa Fe de Nuevo Mexico. This made the city a province of Spain. Then in 1608, the third governor of the city Don Pedro de Peralta established a new city, the La Villa Real de la Santa Fé de San Francisco de Asís, the Royal Town of the Holy Faith of Saint Francis of Assisi. This new city was just at the foot of the mountains of Sangre de Cristo. Two years after the establishment of this new city, Governor de Peralta made it the new capital of the entire province. This made Santa Fe the oldest capital city in the entire United States of America and its third oldest surviving city founded by colonists.

The city remained a province of Spain until the Mexican War of Independence in 1810. Under the 1824 Constitution of Mexico, the region became a Mexican territory. Then when Rio Grande seceded in 1836 from Mexico, the city became part of the Republic of Texas. Then through the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, which was signed in 1848, the city, as part of New Mexico, became part of the United States of America. After years of decline and progress through the establishment of several resources for education and the arts, such as the School of American Research, the city was fully established by the time it became the capital of New Mexico when it became the 47th state of the United States of America in 1912.

That year the leaders of the city decided to undertake an immense city planning goal of developing the city while preserving its history. It was the time when the historic streets were preserved. Scientific planning was necessary to preserve the structures of the past and create ways for new suburban development. In compliance with the city development plan of 1912, an ordinance in 1957 mandated that buildings, whether old or new, must have the Spanish Territorial or Pueblo style architecture. Since then the city was built with the elements of Spanish Pueblo Revival style. Thus the city became "different" as it tried to "pueblofy" hence it got its name The City Different.

Then in 2003, it was determined that the city should focus its economic efforts on specific industries because the city is becoming too dependent on tourism. The city since then has undertaken steps to revitalize other industries and yet maintain tourism as its major industry.

About Santa Fe, New Mexico

The City of Santa Fe is the capital of the State of New Mexico and its fourth largest city in terms of size. It is also the seat of the county of Santa Fe. The original name of the city was "La Villa Real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Asisi" which translates to "The Royal Town of the Holy Faith of St. Francis of Assisi". It has a total area of 37.4 sq. miles, 37.3 sq. miles of it is land while the remaining 0.1 sq. miles is water.

Santa Fe, NM's official nickname is The City Different; and indeed it lives up to this name because the city is unique and distinct from other cities in the country. The first city planning was in 1912 and the plan at that time was to keep the narrow streets of the city that give it its identity and charm. From then on, through constant and thorough city planning, the city now offers a unique combination of architecture from different influences, Mexican furniture, the monochromatic color of the desert across the city, Native American art and pottery, Spanish tiles and other influences that date back centuries ago. All these create what is now known across the globe as the Santa Fe Style.

Today, Santa Fe is one of the most visited places in the state and the nation. It has five historic districts that are about 20% of the city. The districts have about 6000 structures and visitors find it a great experience to see and visit these structures. The Downtown district and the Eastside Historic District are where the oldest parts of the city are found. Today, one can see a meeting of the past and the present in these districts because they also have the urban commercial establishments in these areas that cater to tourists. The other three historical districts are the Don Gaspar Area Historic District, also known as South Capitol, the Transition Historic District and the Westside Guadalupe Historic District. Visiting five historical districts is like visiting the past of different people with their different and distinct culture.

The experience is as diverse as the city itself. One can explore the Native American ruins, be transported to the Spanish Colonial Era and visit the European style abode and churches of centuries past. One can ride the historic railroad and experience how the people traveled in the past. Or one can enjoy the other activities that suit one's taste and be transported to layers and layers of history of people who have created and embraced different influences and cultures.

About Santa Fe County, New Mexico

The City of Santa Fe is part of Santa Fe County, New Mexico. It is considered part of the Santa Fe Metropolitan Statistical area and as of last census, its population was 144,170, making it the third most populous county in the state of New Mexico. The county seat of Santa Fe County is Santa Fe. The county has five county commissioners who govern the county. They serve four year terms.

The neighboring counties of Santa Fe County are Rio Arriba County in the north, Mora County in the northeast, San Miguel County in the east, Torrance County in the south, Bernalillo County in the southwest, Sandoval County in the west and Los Alamos County in the northwest. It has two cities, Espanola and Santa Fe, and one town, Edgewood. Other localities in the county are Nambe Pueblo, Seton Village, Stanley and Waldo.

Two national protected areas are found in the county, the Pecos National Historic Park and the Santa Fe National Forest. Pecos National Historical Park is 25 miles east of Santa Fe. Originally Pecos National Monument, the park was extended over the years and now included the Pecos Pueblo which is a National Historic Landmark. It also includes the Forked Lightning Ranch which was occupied by Greer Garson and was designed by John Gaw Meem. The Santa Fe National Forest was established in 1915 when the Jemez National Forest was joined with the Pecos National Forest. It now consists of Cayote Ranger District, Cuba Ranger District, Espanola Ranger District, Jemez Ranger District and Pecos Santa Fe Ranger District.

The County of Santa Fe has a good public transportation service. The North Central New Mexico Regional Transit District services the county and operates on all weekdays except on holidays. It services Edgewood, Moriarty, Stanley, Galisteo, Eldorado and Santa Fe. The county has the Santa Fe Municipal Airport which is just nine miles from the central business district of the county. The Rail Runner Express also provides commuter service to the county. Buses that travel to the major cities in the county are also available.