Walking Santa Fe

Just a few blocks south of my inn, a short walk down Guadelupe Street, stands the iconic sculpture at Santuario de Guadelupe. Opened in 1795, she is listed on the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Properties. Our Lady, a lovely dark figure, draped in a light blue cape studded with stars, a patch of sky that has come down to envelop and caress her, is obviously a beloved fixture. At her feet were bouquets of fresh flowers, probably replaced daily.

Santuario entrance

I was intrigued by the Railyard District, a historic warehouse and railroad yard. Neglected for years after the trains stopped running, the warehouses have been revitalized as home to the Farmers’ Market, galleries, and an art center (isn’t everything in Santa Fe?).

COVID vaccinations

I love an outdoor market and was pleased to see that, in addition to Saturdays, Santa Fe’s market was open on Tuesdays (although the art center was not). The Santa Fe Farmers’ Market proclaims that all products for sale, including crafts and jewelry, are locally grown or made in northern New Mexico by the people selling them. I milled around with the crowd of locals, chatting with the proud vendors and admiring their colorful, fresh produce, regretting that I couldn’t take some home, since I’d be travelling for the rest of the week.

Café in the building
On a market wall
Contemporary art center

The warehouses in the district were covered with murals. (Click to enlarge.)

The train is running again, south to Albuquerque, and it graced me with a performance as I wandered among art stands. When I heard the train’s roar, I rushed up to capture it going by. After taking this series of photos, I spun around to see a woman grinning at me, happy to have shared the excitement of that moment.

At the south end of the district, the rail lines still exist in Railway Gardens, cutting through native plant landscaping. Leaving the city streets behind, it was a refreshing place to stroll.

The next morning, I wandered through the rooms at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum slowly, relishing the paintings of an artist I admire. I learned more about her life through the progression of her work and photographs taken both by her husband, Alfred Stieglitz, and her own. I was pleased to see that the exhibit was not dominated by her flower paintings, although they were represented in the collection, a blending of soft colors in flower petals. The Ghost Ranch landscapes were familiar and evocative. (Ghost Ranch post to come.) Some of the paintings made while she lived in that desert world included found animal bones. A museum guard, whose mother knew O’Keeffe, told a story about one painting of a horned skull with a bullet hole. The artist put a flower through the hole, which inspired her to do a series of related pieces.

The Plaza, which I had seen on previous visits, is surrounded by high-end art galleries. I poked into quite a few. The prices were well beyond my reach, but I wasn’t there to buy. The Santa Fe and New Mexico art scene is booming and blossoming, modern and abstract, native and natural themes, scenes of historic locations and desert landscapes.

IAIA Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, painted by artist Yakita Starr Fields
New Mexico Museum of Art
Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi
Nuestra Senora de la Paz, oldest Madonna in U.S.

Around town

More New Mexico wanderings to come.
Santa Fe road trip: Leadville, Santa Fe landmarks, Walking Santa Fe, Bandelier National Monument, New Mexico towns, Ghost Ranch, Antonito

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Published by rkrontheroad

Writer, photographer, traveler

46 thoughts on “Walking Santa Fe

  1. Hi Ruth,

    New Mexico is on our list and hope to take a road trip there early next spring. Thanks for sharing some places I now want to check out like the trains.

    I love Georgia O’Keeffe, she truly was a master. Now, I really need to start planning our trip.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely post ! I enjoyed the railway eara, the rail runner train, the farmers market, the wonderful street art and the holly shrines and madonna’s you showed. For us Santa Fee is mainly related to the Santa Fee Express (a train if I remember well) Now we got some real images of the far away place.

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  3. I’m loving revisiting Santa Fe with you, seeing places I enjoyed like the Railyard, Santuario de Guadelupe and O’Keefe museum, and others I didn’t see for myself. I’m glad the train is running again – it was being talked about when we were there.

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  4. Such a wonderful collection of beautiful photos from Santa Fe – if you did not know better, you would think you had left the United States and travelled to Mexico or Spain’s remote location. I very much enjoyed all the photos from the farmer’s market and the beauty of the buildings – the adobe buildings are stunning. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There is much of the influence of Mexico and Spain in the U.S. southwest. And the adobe buildings throughout New Mexico use those natural resources, so they blend in beautifully to the environment. Thanks for your kind comment, Aiva!

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  5. There is so much more here than I remember from a long-ago family reunion in Santa Fe. Our time was concentrated in the square, with the contrast of upscale art galleries and locals seated on blankets selling their wares. And what is it about a train? I’d also pause whatever I was doing to catch a glimpse of its arrival. The name and image of “Rail Runner” is entirely appropriate for the passage between Santa Fe and Albuquerque.


    1. I think most visitors don’t get far beyond the plaza and galleries. This was a great opportunity to explore a little more of an interesting city. I actually have a treasured black clay bowl I bought from a pueblo woman artist sitting around the plaza in the early 70s.


  6. I just love a market! And the veggies here looks so fresh (and colourful). You have so many beautiful photos here Ruth – I like the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi … oh, and how much fun is that mural at the end of the elephant on the swing!

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