Walking around Santa Fe Plaza is a great way to get a feel for the rich history of New Mexico’s capital city.
When I went there in February, checking out the downtown area on foot was one of the first items on my itinerary. I’ve written before that walking in cities is my favorite way to get familiar with places I’m visiting, and that’s because I can really take in my surroundings more fully and more easily stop to admire what’s around me.
Santa Fe Plaza has been the heart of the downtown area for nearly 400 years and it was great to be able to see what today remains the center gathering place in the city. Many events, including craft shows and festivals, take place at the plaza.
Probably my favorite part of strolling through this place was taking in the traditional adobe architecture and the Pueblo, Spanish and Territorial style buildings. I found that interesting since it’s not something I see too often in Los Angeles.
Within the plaza you can see a number of historic sites including San Miguel Chapel, the Cathedral Basilica of St Francis of Assisi, and Loretto Chapel. Also on the grounds is the Palace of the Governors, the oldest continuously occupied public building in the United States. It was built in 1610 to house the first Spanish royal governor of New Mexico. The building was unfortunately closed when I was there, but it’s home to the New Mexico History Museum, which is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.
Palace of the Governors
This area is also home to a variety of restaurants, clothing stores, art galleries, and other businesses.
Santa Fe Plaza is a beautiful place to visit. Whether you just want to walk around to get a feel for the history of the city or poke into some of the stores, walking through the plaza is a fun activity and a good way to learn about the city.