The Land of Enchantment is brimming with little-known history packed into its borders. Small towns and cities dot the state, but no single area has a more diverse selection of attractions and sights than the City Different. Santa Fe’s historical sites are second-to-none, containing a collection of homes, churches, and even a Civil War battlefield. Those looking to experience these treasures will need the help of our trusty Santa Fe Vacation Guide! It’s packed with the top places to see, things to do, and flavors to savor during your trip to our beautiful area.
Uncover the Mystery Behind These Santa Fe Historical Sites
109 East Palace
Everyone knows about the atomic bomb and its effects on World War II, but few know the secrets surrounding the development of these deadly weapons. The nearby mountain town of Los Alamos served as the secret lab where scientists from around the world created the bomb. 109 East Palace was the unassuming bus pick up point for scientists on their way to the lab. A plaque commemorates this little piece of local history played an important role on the world’s stage. While you can’t visit the Los Alamos National Laboratory, you can explore the Bradbury Science Museum and the Manhattan Project National Historical Park on a nice day trip to Los Alamos.
From the outside, Loretto Chapel is a beautiful Gothic Revival-style church that looks a little out of place among the many adobe structures. It’s the inside of this old church that makes it one of the most interesting historical sites in the Santa Fe. The structure lacked a way to access the choir loft after the church’s completion in 1878, and there wasn’t enough room to build an architecturally sound staircase. After days of praying, an unidentified man offered his building services and constructed the Miraculous Staircase. The gorgeous helix staircase has no central support with all of the weight resting on the bottom step. The identity of the man and how he built this marvel are still unknown.
Palace of the Governors
The Palace of the Governors lies in the heart of the City Different. This Southwestern-style adobe building bordering the north side of Santa Fe Plaza is one of the most historic buildings in the city and served as the seat of government since Spain erected it in the 17th century. This Santa Fe historical site now houses the New Mexico History Museum.
De Vargas Street House
This tiny adobe house in the Barrio De Analco Historic District claims to be the oldest building in America. While construction of the building dates back to the early 1600s, the ancient pueblo foundations of the house are from the 13th century. The De Vargas Street House is an excellent stop on a hot day in Santa Fe.
Pecos National Historic Park
The hiking trails, guided tours, and Civil War battlefield of Pecos National Historic Park are 20-minutes east of Santa Fe and are well worth a day trip while you’re in town. The park offers four free guided walking tours of the ancestral sights, the Battle of Glorieta Pass battlefields, and a van tour of a nearby ranch. This Santa Fe historical site is a fantastic way to experience Southwestern landscapes with a sprinkle of rare Civil War history in New Mexico.
Santiago E. Campos U.S. Courthouse
The Santiago E. Campos U.S. Courthouse is a stately building on the north side of town, but most walk or drive by this building without knowing its history. Originally built as the capitol building, this historic site in Santa Fe served as the center of the Santa Fe “Tertio-Millennial” celebration during its construction. Builders put a room over the unfinished building that housed the local Indian participants during the games. An oval racetrack that is now the street surrounding the courthouse was the main attraction of the games before the completion of the building in 1889.
Stay at El Farolito
Your cozy bed and well-appointed room at El Farolito is just a quick 5-minute walk from the heart of Santa Fe and most of its historic sites! After waking up to a tasty gourmet breakfast in our bright and vibrant dining room, you’ll be ready to take on everything that our incredible city has to offer!
Start planning your trip through Santa Fe history by booking your room today! We look forward to welcoming you to our slice of Northern New Mexico paradise!