How to Live Like a Santa Fe Local

If you’re buying a home in Santa Fe, congratulations! You’ve decided to become a Santa Fe local.


You can look for a home in any season in Santa Fe. Just for the record, Santa Fe truly has four seasons, plus an average of 325 sunny days a year.


Santa Fe also sits 7,199 feet above sea level, which makes it the highest state capital in the country. Living like a Santa Fe local means becoming acclimated to the effects of altitude. Most sources say it generally takes several days to adjust to the elevation. Avoiding overexertion, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep will help during your first few days here.


As you plan to settle in Santa Fe, there’s a lot on your to-do list. We pooled our knowledge as Santa Fe real estate brokers and residents to come up with seven ways to live like a Santa Fe local.


Still looking for homes in Santa Fe? Let our local experts help you. Start your search here to search by location and explore neighborhoods, subdivisions, luxury listings, condos and townhouses, and land listings.



952 Acequia Madre, Santa Fe, NM is listed exclusively by Barker Realty.


1. Buy a Home with Barker Realty

You can’t be a Santa Fe local without a local place to live. Homes in Santa Fe are prized for their nods to traditional adobe architecture. Many homes are authentic adobe structures. With a natural setting that’s inspired artists and outdoor enthusiasts for generations, it’s easy to see why Santa Fe attracts homebuyers from all over the country.


Why buy a home with Barker Realty? For starters, our brokers have set the bar for excellence in real estate. As an independent firm founded 50 years ago, we’re proud to be a Santa Fe-sized company with brokers and staff who deliver industry expertise, local knowledge, and personal attention to our clients.


Barker Realty has been voted the best real estate agency in Santa Fe three times by the readers of the Santa Fe Reporter. Credit is due to our business philosophy (we donate a portion of closed sales to local charities) and our brokers. On average, our brokers garner higher sales and achieve the lowest average days on market to sell their listings.



The logo of the Santa Fe Reporter newspaper


2. Read the Local Press

We’re giving a shout-out to our friends at the Santa Fe Reporter for their award-winning news coverage since the newspaper’s founding in 1974. When you’re in town, you can pick up a free copy every Wednesday at more than 250 locations. You can read the SF Reporter online and subscribe to one of their email newsletters.


Bookmark these additional local newspapers and media outlets:




Sunflowers on display with vendor tents in the background at the Santa Fe Farmers' Market

Photo courtesy of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market


3. Shop at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market

The Santa Fe Farmers’ Market makes the most of our 300+ sunny days a year by operating year-round on Saturdays in the Santa Fe Railyard. Summer hours are 7 AM to 1 PM June through September. Winter hours are 8 AM to 1 PM October through May.


There’s also a Tuesday market from early May through late November at the Railyard location, plus a second Tuesday market from early July through late September in the parking lot of the Presbyterian Medical Center on 4801 Beckner Road off I-25.


A Sunday market from 10 AM to 3 PM highlights the works of Santa Fe artisans and makers. The Railyard Artisan Market features original art, jewelry, home decor, and crafts.


While you can buy locally-grown produce, baked goods, and more at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market, you can also get to know members of the community. And you can visit us. Our primary office is located in the renovated Gross Kelly warehouse in the Santa Fe Railyard. Check out the view from our front door on our webcam!



The ruins of the South Pueblo at Pecos National Historical Park


4. Learn About Native American Culture and History

Santa Fe is steeped in Native American culture and history. Native American heritage is part of our past, present, and future.


Nineteen Pueblos make their home in New Mexico, with eight northern Pueblos located between Santa Fe and Taos. You can visit Pueblos on feast days and celebrations that take place year-round. If you go, follow these etiquette tips: Call in advance to ask about times and dates, observe tribal protocols, don’t take photos, and remember you’re visiting someone’s home and not a tourist site.


You can also learn about Santa Fe Native American culture at these sites:



5. Go to a Santa Fe Festival

Santa Fe is renowned for its festivals. Among the most famous are the Spanish Market, the Indian Market, the Folk Art Market, the Santa Fe Wine and Chile Fiesta, Rodeo de Santa Fe, and last but not least, the Burning of Will Shuster’s Zozobra, which takes place in a just a few weeks on September 3.


Here’s a roundup of sites where you can explore these annual festivals online and get all the intel about attending in person:



Plus, you can use the event calendar on the official Santa Fe tourism site to find festivals happening nearly every month.



A mountain biker cycling a trail through a stand of aspen trees near Santa Fe, New Mexico


6. Hike or Bike Outside Your Front Door

Depending on where your home is located, you really can hike or bike from your front door in many parts of Santa Fe.


Santa Fe is a mountain biking paradise with a network of trails, a MTB community, and multiple shops providing service, equipment, and rentals.


The MTB community includes the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society where you can find a directory of trails.


Our own contribution is our Santa Fe Cycling Guide with information on top mountain biking trails, cycling clubs, tips for gearing up to ride, and advice on navigating urban biking.


Santa Fe is located at the southern end of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, providing a spectacular setting for hikers of all ability levels.


Here’s just a sampling of hiking destinations in and around Santa Fe:


  • Dale Ball Trails Just a short distance from downtown Santa Fe. 25 miles of trails for hikers and mountain bikers.
  • Bandolier National Monument This 33,000-acre preserve has more than 70 miles of trails. Bandolier is also an excellent place to learn about the ancestral Pueblo people who settled here nearly 900 years ago.
  • Santa Fe National Forest Year-round access to hiking trails in this enormous wilderness area includes trailheads that are a short drive from Santa Fe.



A green chile cheeseburger served at the Santa Fe Bite restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico


7. Eat Local Specialities

Green chile cheeseburgers are one of New Mexico’s most famous dishes, and one of the most highly-rated places to eat one is at the Santa Fe Bite.


Get your chance to taste Santa Fe’s best green chile cheeseburgers at the Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown, happening September 11.


A quick rundown of some of New Mexico’s foods you can sample in Santa Fe:


  • Chiles (red, green, or Christmas)
  • Chocolate
  • Frito pie (said to be created at the Santa Fe Woolworth’s counter in the 1960s)
  • Posole (a hominy stew)
  • Pinto beans
  • Breakfast burritos
  • Margaritas