A Month in the Land of Enchantment: Santa Fe, New Mexico

David Winton, Docent Palm Springs Museum of Art, NDSC Regional Director  (October 2018)

Santa Fe, New Mexico is beautiful in any month of the year, but in August it is truly magical. Whether you are an Opera lover, a fan of chamber music, a collector of Native American art and jewelry, a museum wonk, or just here for the green hatch chili stew and sopaipillas, Santa Fe has it all and then some.



With more than twenty museums, hundreds of art galleries, nightly music performances on the Plaza, weekend festivals and miles of walking-trails, your day starts early.

Since most museums open at 10:00 AM, an often-overlooked hidden gem is the State Capitol which opens at 8:00 AM (Mondays – Fridays) and is free. Located near the center of town, the State Capitol houses over 600 pieces of New Mexican art and furniture.  The artwork is displayed on three floors in three buildings.  There are two guided tours daily.  In addition to seeing the art, you learn about the history of New Mexico’s statehood, the significance of the architecture of the building and see both legislative chambers as well as the Governor’s office.


Nampeyo, Martinez, Houser, “Kiva” New, Scholder, Yazzie, Cannon, O’Keefe, Naminga, Herni, Baumann, and Shuster will all become familiar names as you visit the Santa Fe museums and galleries. If you only have a couple of days to spend, a day at Museum Hill will whet your appetite to return.  Two of these museums sponsored by the New Mexico Foundation for Cultural Art are on the upper plaza, the Museum of International Folk Art and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture as well as the Museum Hill Café.