Okay, here’s a trivia fact sure to win you a bar bet: Santa Fe, N.M. is the highest state capital above sea level. (Cheyenne is second, Denver third.) Maybe it’s the altitude that has made the city so different, and so fascinating. Certainly the surrounding terrain is beautiful, with the mountains providing a palette for the desert sun. The architecture is in the pueblo, adobe style — mandated by law. And the mix of people who call the area home is as varied as the rich tapestries for sale in the markets and galleries.
Historically, the city is at the intersection of the old Camino Real and the Santa Fe Trail. Geographically, it’s nestled in the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Culturally, it’s a national center for art, opera, and the traditions of both Hispanic and Native American life. And spiritually, it’s been a destination for wide variety of truth-seekers throughout its history.
Santa Fe is celebrating its 400th anniversary in 2010. And it’s certainly not a secret these days. Conde Nast Traveler Magazine Readers’ Choice Awards poll named Santa Fe as the #3 most popular travel destination in the U.S. In the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards, Santa Fe was rated as the #2 U.S. destination in the Relaxation & Spa category, #9 for Great Food & Wine, and #10 for Culture and Sightseeing.