SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO: The oldest capitol city in the USA

May 16 ~ Santa Fe, NM 

Santa Fe, NM

Founded by Don Pedro de Peralta in 1610. At 408 years old, Santa Fe is the oldest capitol city and the second oldest city in the United States. The climate is pretty extraordinary, boasting an average of 325 days of sunshine a year. Another record it holds is that with an elevation of 7,000 feet above sea level, it is also the highest capitol city in the USA.

But if that did not interest you enough to visit, you might want to consider coming to see one of the 80+ festivals and events that celebrate anything from wine to chili to jazz to Native American art.

On top of that the city has over 250 art galleries, 400 restaurants and 20 major museum.

And if I have still not convince you that Santa Fe should be added to your wish list, then I can only hope that some of the pictures of places we visited today will help move the needle.

State Capitol Building

It is the only round state capitol in the United States, and is known informally as “the Roundhouse.

State Capitol rotunda

“The Rotunda in the center of the building is 49 feet (15 m) in diameter and 60 feet (18 m) high, spanning the second, third, and fourth floors. The Rotunda is finished with Travertine marble native to New Mexico and inlaid with a turquoise and brass mosaic of the Great Seal of New Mexico. The ceiling skylight is designed to resemble an Indian basket weave, with blue and pale pink stained glass representing the sky and the earth, respectively. The flags of New Mexico’s 33 counties are on permanent display on the fourth floor balcony.” ~ Wikipedia

State Capitol rotunda floor

There is an extensive art collection inside the building that is worth seeing.

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San Miguel Mission

San Miguel Mission

This Spanish colonial mission was built between 1610 and 1626, making it the oldest known church in the continental USA.

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Oldest House

Inside oldest house

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Shopping places everywhere

Sample shopping arcade

Many art gallery shops

Loretto Chapel and Miraculous Staircase

Loretto Chapel

You can click here to read the story of the miraculous staircase.

Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis

Cathedral Basilica of St Francis

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Palace of the Governors

I was looking forward to seeing this site as it had been highly recommended but, unfortunately this was closed due to renovations taking place.

Georgia O’Keeffe Museum

Georgia O’Keeffe painting

This is a relatively small museum, but if you are a fan of her work, quite interesting. There is also a 15 minute video where she describes some of her art and life. 140 of her paintings are on display, ranging from 1901 to 1984, the year failing eyesight forced O’Keeffe into retirement.

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Meow Wolf

Just inside the entrance to Meow Wolf

They bill themselves as an Immersive Experience Company. There is really no way to describe this extremely unique, colorful, imaginative, quirky experience. This is the first Meow Wolf, but one is opening soon in Las Vegas and more planned for Phoenix, Denver and Washington, D.C. You can click this link – Meow Wolf – for a short video of how it came about.

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Just FYI, there is an app that can be downloaded prior to your visit that may make negotiating through the complex easier. Clues can also be activated while touring with the app. There is a mystery to be solved – but it may take several visits to do so…

We packed a lot into one day but feel like we just scratched the surface. Tomorrow is another day!

GRATITUDE MOMENT: Today I am grateful that we have discovered another fascinating city to explore. This is a place that I could see us coming back to spend a month, but for now, I am just grateful that we have another full day tomorrow to squeeze in as much as we can.

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About Tim and Joanne Joseph

Hi and welcome! We are Tim and Joanne Joseph and we have just embarked on our latest adventure. We hope you will join us!
This entry was posted in New Mexico, RV Life, United States and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO: The oldest capitol city in the USA

  1. Moira and Mike Murray says:

    My parents retired to New Mexico and we visited often, taking side trips all over the state. We love the area . Glad you got to know Santa Fe!


  2. nanci dixon says:

    Just left Santa Fe and loved it! Went to Georgia O’Keeffe museum in Santa Fe and tour of her house/studio in Abiquiu New Mexico. Outstanding.


  3. Just wanted to say that I enjoy your blog, and keep following your adventures. We recently came back from a month in Tuscany, and like you, I find that blogging is awesome. Keep inspiring us!


  4. paperpopups says:

    Thank you for another great write up. You are super!


  5. ricky says:

    I love Santa Fe! And agree that a month-long visit is in order. We spent 10 days there and barely scratched the surface. There is a nearby must-see place called Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. If you have time….
    You can see some photos here:


    • I just read your write up and Kasha-Katuwe looks like a combination of Cappadocia, hoodoos, and Slot Canyon all rolled into one. Very interesting. Not sure that we can fit it in this time, but certainly made a note for the future as we REALLY want to come back for a longer stay.


  6. Enjoy, very nice photos and descriptions


  7. Darlene says:

    Santa Fe is one of my favourite US cities. Sedona being another one. I love all the art shops, many with the artists working on their craft right in the shop. The oldest church and oldest building are amazing to see. Your pictures are wonderful.


    • Thank you Darlene. That is one of my regrets that I did not have time to go in and out of more art shops. Just too much to see and do here. And yes, we love Sedona too. We may be going through there on our way home in several weeks.


  8. Your lead photo is amazing! I love it when people look at every day things – like pines – from a different angle. And loving Santa Fe, it’s great to recognize it as seen through your lens. Thank you


  9. corkscot says:

    My brother lives there and said that in 2 years he has never used his A/C. He loves it.


  10. I was in Santa Fe once when I was a child, but I look forward to going back. I want to see the market, but your visits also sound great.



  11. I’m loving New Mexico, thanks for the history and photos


  12. Ooh, Santa Fe! Taos was as far west (!) as we made it in New Mexico, but I’d love to visit Santa Fe. I agree–I’d need a month to get a good feel for the place. Maybe it’s still in our future.


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