Traveling to the city of Santa Fe was never on my bucket list. The state of New Mexico wasn’t, either. But when I heard about an Amtrak deal on the radio for a $66 one-way ticket to Albuquerque while I was driving one evening, there was no way I couldn’t not take advantage of that.
In a previous blog post I wrote about how I found out that Albuquerque is ranked one of the most violent cities of the United States, right before I was about to board my train to go there. That made me nervous, and you can read about it here.
Although I’d originally planned to spend a week in New Mexico’s largest city (Albuquerque is home to about half a million people), I ultimately split the trip in half by opting to spend a couple of days in Santa Fe as well.
From Albuquerque, there’s a train called the Rail Runner that takes you to Santa Fe for $9! A two-hour train ride for that amount is an incredible deal!
Going to Santa Fe at the last minute, I didn’t even bother to book a hostel room in advance. This was the first time I’d arrived in a city without booking accommodations beforehand. And you know what? It worked out fine, mainly because there aren’t that many people traveling in February.
Santa Fe definitely felt a lot safer and more travel-friendly than Albuquerque did. I was surprised to learn that it’s home to about 70,000 people. So, it’s a lot smaller than other cities I’ve been to, but I appreciated that smaller town feel. It was also nice to be able to walk around freely without feeling the need to pay heightened attention to my surroundings. (That wasn’t the case in Albuquerque!) I was even able to take public transit from my hostel to a few places! That made me happy. Haha 😛
One thing I wasn’t prepared for was the altitude in the city, which is over 7,000 feet! Having come from Albuquerque – where the altitude is over 5,000 feet – probably prepared me a bit better. Sometimes, when I walked briskly or on incline, it felt like I was running because it was hard to breathe. Staying hydrated was helpful, but my body wasn’t able to fully adapt to the altitude in the four days I was there: it was hard to breathe, my skin dried out faster than normal, and my nose scabbed. Just something to note if you’re planning on visiting, but if you’re in good health, don’t let that deter you from coming!
There are so many different things to do in Santa Fe, including a good selection of museums. My favorite attraction of all was The House of Eternal Return by Meow Wolf (more on that later), and Santa Fe Plaza.
I remember going to a hair dresser once who said she’d taken the train to Santa Fe a couple of times before and absolutely loved it. Now I completely understand why. I hope my blog posts on what I was able to do in the city will encourage you to think about adding the capital of New Mexico to your bucket list of travel destinations. It’s a unique place that isn’t as densely populated as other touristy metropolitan areas, but it has a nice, laid back feel to it. If that’s something you’re open to, like, or don’t mind, then I think you’d enjoy spending some time in this city 🙂