If we were to start listing all of the best art and culture in Santa Fe, we’d never finish, because 50 new developments would have popped up by the time we reached the end. There are hundred-page books that cover the best art and culture of Santa Fe, and they barely scratch the surface. But here’s what we can do: We can tell you about a few of the best places to start exploring Santa Fe’s art and culture scene. And to make sure we can fit it into a single blog post, we’ll skip the annual festivals for now and stick to year-round attractions. As you look for homes in Santa Fe, be sure to put these on your list of must-see destinations.
Museum of Indian Arts & Culture
For those who are brand-new to Santa Fe culture, the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture will help you get a good grasp on what the town is about, where it gets its unique character and the traditions that defined the region even before it became the region’s capital for American artists in the early 20th century. General admission is only $12, or $7 for students, with museum members and visitors under 16 admitted for free. The presentations here focus on the folk art of early Native American people leading up to the modern era, with pottery and other archeological clay work being shown alongside blankets, baskets, jewelry, and contemporary painting and sculpture.
Santa Fe Opera
If you want to see local rock bands and other performers, the Railyard hosts regular events, and you can catch a show there at least once a week. If you’re looking for opera, ballet, live theater, and classical music, then a visit to the Santa Fe Opera is in order. Located about 12 minutes north of the Plaza, this famed opera house features a rotation of touring and local acts, with events like Opera Dining, where you can enjoy performances in the open air along with pre-show dining as the sunset casts a magical orange glow across the landscape. Simply taking in the twilight in this setting is a memorable experience, so here’s our advice: don’t bother waiting for the right performance, just go as soon as you can.
Lensic Performing Arts Center
Housed in a downtown Santa Fe landmark building that dates to 1931, the Lensic Performing Arts Center presents over 200 performances each year that run the gamut from music to theater to dance and a lot in between. The Lensic is where to go to see performers like Grammy-winning trumpeter Chris Botti, who performed there on August 5. Check out the Lensic events here.
Palace of the Governors
It’s easy to describe the Palace of the Governors in just two words: Living history. The Palace of the Governors has seen some restoration work, but it is, for the most part, the same building today that it was 400 years ago. It’s still in use today, with the location housing the New Mexico History Museum. Located in the Santa Fe Historic District, the Palace is a perfect starting point for your journey through Santa Fe history and culture.