Santa Fe Plaza
Santa Fe Plaza

This is the third part in Dennis Kamoen’s five-part series about Santa Fe, New Mexico, which he discovered on a visit to the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival. Check out the first part here, the second part here, and tune in tomorrow for the next chapter.

Says Dennis:
“My trip to Santa Fe is about discovering a special place to visit; a cool film festival, great food and accommodations, beautiful environs and great people. I will return to Santa Fe time and time again.”  

I enjoyed attending the Santa Fe Independent Film Festival this past October. It was small enough not to be too crowded, even though the festival hosted over 10,000 attendees over five nights and over 100 films.

Lensic Performing Arts Center
Lensic Performing Arts Center, showing films for the festival

On the way back to my cozy room at La Posada de Santa Fe one day to collect a warmer coat, I caught that wonderful smell of cool air below the azure skies of New Mexico. Leaves were still on the trees, but beginning to fall, and the signs of autumn were pleasantly present.

However, winter would soon arrive in Santa Fe, and the snow would soon grace the mountains that surround the oldest capital city in the United States. Santa Fe is certainly a beautiful and majestic place all year ‘round. During the winter holiday season and Christmas time, local residents display their luminarias, little bonfires in driveways and courtyards, and farolitos, brown paper bags filled with sand and lit candles, which are placed on their adobe walls and are truly a warm and welcoming sight.

Farolitos and luminarias in Santa Fe
Farolitos and luminarias in Santa Fe

Santa Fe in winter
In the winter months, you can enjoy Santa Fe’s ski area, which is only about fifteen minutes from town in the Santa Fe National Forest. I took a really interesting sightseeing tour with Loretto Line Tour Company of Santa Fe where I learned about the city’s rich history and architecture and found a new appreciation for adobe homes. The tour usually starts downtown at the Loretto Chapel, or at La Fonda Hotel on the central Santa Fe Plaza. I recommend making a reservation online. The tours are seasonal, from mid-March to the end of October.

It was a bit chilly, so the Mexican blankets provided by tour director, longtime resident Sven, were a warm welcome. Sven was passionately knowledgeable about Santa Fe and its fascinating history.

Santa Fe in spring and summer
Of course, spring and summer are also great times to visit and explore under these beautiful skies. Consider hiking the great outdoors around Santa Fe. Whether on foot, bike or horseback, you can enjoy majestic views in and around Santa Fe and take time explore the hundreds of art galleries located within only a couple of square miles.

The springtime also welcomes the blooms on the aromatic trees, which start to blossom, and seasonal galleries start to open. Whitewater rafting down the Rio Grande, with expert guides and gourmet lunches, is a fun summertime option, too. Summer is the busiest time in Santa Fe, with many popular festivals taking place, so parking can be a challenge.

There’s so much to do in Santa Fe. I really didn’t want to leave. The Santa Fe Visitors and Convention Bureau uses the slogan, “Santa Fe: The City Different.” While it doesn’t quite have the ring of “I Love New York,” I did discover why the words work as the city’s slogan. People come from all over the world to discover this magical place for the food, the sights, the friendly people, and the beautiful azure skies.


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