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Quick Tips For Visiting Santa Fe

Take it easy. Santa Fe's high altitude (7,000 feet above sea level) means air is rarefied, thinner. It usually takes about 48 hours to adjust and staying hydrated helps.

Watch your alcohol intake. One drink is the equivalent of three at sea level.

Use sunscreen and wear a hat. There are no beaches, but Santa Fe is closer to the sun, and the sun shines 300 days of the year.

Santa Fe's climate is dry, with sometimes less than 20 percent humidity. Nights and early mornings are cool, even in July and August.

Santa Fe is in mountain and ski country, so expect six to eight major snowfalls from November to April.

Weather
The climate in Santa Fe can change rapidly and often. In the summer, days can be hot (90+) and nights quite cool (low 60's). Be sure to check current conditions before traveling as monsoon rains can quickly cool down a hot day and bring unexpected floods and rapid humidity. The average temperature difference between Albuquerque and Santa Fe is between 6-8° on any given day.
click here for the 7 day forecast

Average Temperatures in Santa Fe
JanFebMarApr MayJunJulAug SepOctNovDec
Avg. High 42 48 55 64 72 83 86 83 78 67 52 44
Avg. Low 19 24 28 33 42 51 56 54 48 37 26 19
Mean 30 34 38 47 55 65 68 66 60 51 40 32
Avg. Precip. 0.7 in. 0.7 in. 0.9 in. 0.8 in. 1.0 in. 1.3 in. 2.9 in. 3.4 in. 2.1 in. 1.1 in. 0.9 in. 0.7 in.

The Santa Fe area is arid, and water is precious. Restaurants serve water by request and hotels may ask that you participate in water conservation.

Make hotel reservations in advance. Weekends in the summer are usually booked near capacity, and rooms during Santa Fe's Indian Market (third weekend in August) are booked up to a year in advance.

If you're staying outside the downtown area, your best bet is to have a car. There is city-wide taxi service and a public bus system, Santa Fe Trails, that serves the city with six routes, including specially decorated buses to Museum Hill. Buses operate from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturdays. There is no service on Sundays or holidays. Schedules are available on each bus, at libraries and at locations throughout the city. For schedule, rate and fare information, call 984-6730.

Parking can be tight in Santa Fe in June, July and August, though most attractions are within walking distance of downtown hotels. There are convenient city-owned parking lots in the downtown area and many meters available for one or two hours only that cost $1 per hour.

Be patient in traffic and mindful of pedestrians. Obey all traffic rules and be alert, whether driving or walking. Many Santa Fe streets in the downtown area are narrow with an abundance of foot traffic.

Using hand-held cell phones while driving is illegal, but hands-free devices are allowed.

Reservations are always recommended for upscale restaurants. Busiest dining hours are from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. Casual dress is acceptable in most restaurants.

Standard tipping is 15 to 20 percent of bill. Some restaurants will add a service charge up to 18 percent for parties of five or more.

Seniors Check with your doctor regarding any physical condition that could be affected by Santa Fe's high altitude. Wear sturdy walking shoes and be aware of uneven floors when entering historic buildings. If you have dietary concerns, call the restaurant ahead of time for information.

Pets must be leashed and under control at all times. Owners must clean up after their animals. Pets are not allowed in Cathedral Park or in the Plaza during special events. Your dog can roam free in the popular dog park, Frank Ortiz Park, 160 Camino de las Crucitas.

Santa Fe has six Sister Cities and they are Bukhara, Uzbekistan; Parral, Mexico; Santa Fe, Spain; Sorrento, Italy; Tsuyama, Japan; and Holguin, Cuba.

Information for the Physically Limited
To obtain a copy of Access Santa Fe, an access guide for people with physical limitations, stop by the State of New Mexico's Welcome Center, located at 491 Old Santa Fe Trail, or the office of the Governor's Committee on Concerns for the Handicapped at the same location, 505-827-6465.

Visit International Visitors to learn more if you're not from the U.S.