Lay of the Land
Santa Fe dates from the 1600s, a time before city planners: It's an utterly confusing place to get around, with concentric roads that seem to actually cross themselves. Nonetheless, the majority of hotels, galleries, and restaurants are downtown, near the Santa Fe Plaza. Canyon Road. a beautiful old street stuffed with galleries, is a few minutes' stroll southeast from the Plaza. Hyde Park Road will lead you north toward Ten Thousand Waves and Santa Fe's ski basin.
Taos is 70 miles northeast of Santa Fe. As in the capital, the major attractions here are situated near the main square, Taos Plaza—but everything in Taos is on a much smaller scale.
WHEN TO GO
As the sun shines year-round in Santa Fe and Taos, it's rare to find yourself in a disagreeable season. Because of the high elevation (around 7,000 feet), it gets colder here than in many parts of the state, with temperatures dropping to 30 degrees at night, even in the summer. Spring and fall are the most moderate seasons, as summertime temps can hit the 90s. July and August are peak season, thanks to all the festivals.
HOW TO GET THERE
You will need a car to get to Santa Fe, even if you simply park it when you get there. There's an airport, but no commercial airline service, so you'll have to fly to Albuquerque and drive an hour. Rentals are available from all the standard operators at Albuquerque's airport (505-244-7700; www.cabq.gov/airport). There are direct flights to Albuquerque from most American cities, including Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and New York. Airlines serving this airport include American, Continental, Delta, Frontier, Northwest, Southwest, and United.
The Santa Fe Visitors Center is in the Lamy Building at the corner of Paseo de Peralta and the Old Santa Fe Trail, across the street from the state capitol.
201 West Marcy Street
Tel: 505 955 6200