Experts Just Picked This U.S. City As The Perfect 2024 Destination

Traveling In Focus disclaimer

Brace yourselves, travelers, for we are about to drop an absolute fact-bomb.

Santa Fe is officially one of the top 10 cities to visit in 2024, as declared by the ever-reliable band of wanderlust wizards (American Express Travel).

Now, we know you’re thinking, “Santa Fe, really?”

But trust us, as seasoned road warriors who have crisscrossed the good ol’ USA more times than we’ve lost our luggage, Santa Fe is the real deal.

It’s got charm, culture, and chiles that’ll knock your socks off.

So, if you’re still scratching your head wondering where to plant your flag next year, We’ve got two words for you: Santa. Fe.

Why You Should Visit Santa Fe Next Year

You might be asking, “Why should I visit Santa Fe? Why is it so special? Is it the allure of an alien abduction in nearby Roswell?”

Well, not quite, our UFO-loving friend.

Let’s dive into the top reasons that’ll have you booking a one-way ticket to this Southwest gem faster than you can say “extraterrestrial enchiladas.”

santa fe new mexico at sunset with pink and purple hues above a skyline of buildings and churches
© sepavone | depositphotos

Cultural Tapestry

Santa Fe is a cultural smorgasbord.

Born in 1610 and still looking fresh, this city is older than that questionable yogurt you found in the back of your fridge.

And if art galleries were a food group, Santa Fe would be the most well-fed city on the planet.

Over 100 art galleries jostle for space on Canyon Road alone. If that doesn’t scream “Art Haven,” we don’t know what does.

If you’re looking to add a dash of diversity to your palette, the annual Fiesta de Santa Fe is your ticket.

This centuries-old bash has been keeping the city’s cultural heartbeat thumping since 1712. Parades, music, dance, and more – it’s like Santa Fe’s very own time machine to its Spanish roots.

So, if you are into history and art, Santa Fe’s got a feast waiting for you. But remember, like the city’s chili peppers, its cultural heritage also adds a flavorful kick. Best be prepared.

Our Tip: If you’re really looking to get under Santa Fe’s skin (in a good way, of course), you have got to give a traditional art workshop or craft class a whirl.

Forget your run-of-the-mill sightseeing; we’re talking about getting your hands scrumptiously dirty with pottery-making in a town that knows its ceramics like the back of its hand. Or, if you’ve got a thing for threads, why not try a textile weaving class in a city that’s got a fabric art history so rich it could give a multi-layered burrito a run for its money?

aspen trees in the fall looking up at the treetops from a bugs eye perspective down low
© designpicsinc | depositphotos

Natural Splendors

Now, before you think Santa Fe is just a non-stop art and culture party (which, let’s face it, it kind of is), let’s get into its wild side.

And no, we don’t mean the local nightlife, although that’s something to behold, too.

We mean Mother Nature, served up Santa Fe style. You see, they don’t just have a backyard.

They have Bandelier National Monument, a playground that makes other outdoor spaces look like pocket parks. With ancient cliff dwellings so fascinating they could make Indiana Jones weep and petroglyphs that tell stories older than your great-great-grandma’s cat.

It’s the outdoor adventure you didn’t know you needed until now.

And as if that wasn’t enough, let’s not forget the picturesque route between Santa Fe and Taos.

It’s like a Bob Ross painting sprung to life – mountains, forests, and villages that seem lost in time.

If you love national parks, the Grand Canyon isn’t too far away as well and might make for a perfect road trip while in the area.

a beautiful turquoise gate in an arched doorway stands out front of a adobe wall
© jimekstrand | depositphotos

Architectural Wonders

This beloved city is also an architectural paradise that would make even the snootiest of design connoisseurs raise an eyebrow (in a good way, of course).

The Pueblo-style architecture? Oh, it’s not just a style. It’s a tradition, a throwback to their indigenous roots, and we’re not just talking about the occasional building here.

They are so serious about it that they made it a law back in ’57. Yes, you heard that right, a law, because why not?

And let’s not forget about the Loretto Chapel. A chapel with a “miraculous” spiral staircase that makes M.C. Escher’s art look like child’s play.

Two full 360-degree turns and no visible support…we’re not saying it’s aliens, but…it’s aliens.

Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi at dusk with the church all lit up
© wollertz | depositphotos

A Foodie’s Paradise

Santa Fe is the culinary Wild West, where food lovers and flavor chasers saddle up for a yummy adventure that’ll leave their taste buds hollering for more.

Thought you knew food? Santa Fe is here to give your palate a reality check.

This city was cooking up a storm before your favorite food blogger knew how to spell “quinoa” (which, as an aside, the first time I, Jenny, asked for it at the grocery store, the grocer looked at me like I was an idiot because I mispronounced it. Anyone relate…no, just me?).

Considered the birthplace of New Mexican cuisine, Santa Fe is a melting pot of Native American and Spanish flavors that will make your taste buds dance the flamenco.

And the chefs? They’re not just good at what they do; they’re James-Beard-award-winning good. That’s right, they’ve got culinary wizards sautéing, roasting, and baking up masterpieces that are as beautiful as they are delicious.

Savor local delicacies whipped up by these food maestros, and you’ll understand why Santa Fe’s culinary scene is nationally recognized.

Our Tip: Next time you wander around Santa Fe Plaza, desperately seeking solace in a salsa-covered sanctuary, amble over to The Shed. This gem dishes out New Mexican cuisine like you’ve never tasted.

Trust us on this one and order their Red Chile Enchiladas – an audacious medley of blue corn tortillas, cheese, onions, and a fiery red chile sauce. Oh, and did we mention the cheese? It’s a meal that’ll make your taste buds do a somersault. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

bright fall leaves of red and yellow on vines from a blue window set in an adobe house in santa fe, new mexico
© dfikar | depositphotos

Commitment To Sustainability

Santa Fe is a class act, green queen, and eco-hero extraordinaire.

It doesn’t just talk the green talk; it strides the sustainable stride, with building codes so strict that even the bricks are quaking in their mortar.

New construction or renovation? You’d better bring your A-game because Santa Fe is not messing around.

It better be energy-efficient and environmentally friendly to pass the muster here. No cutting corners, no sneaky shortcuts. We’re talking full-on, pedal-to-the-metal commitment to keeping the city as green as possible.

And let’s not forget about tourism and how you contribute.

This city loves its visitors, but not at the expense of Mother Nature.

Santa Fe goes the extra mile to keep tourism from wearing down its natural and cultural charm. Eco-friendly accommodations? Check. Sustainable tour operators? Double check.

Even the tourists are given tips on how to tread lightly. So when you visit, remember to keep it clean and keep it green.

To Finish – Santa Fe Is The Perfect 2024 Destination

So, what’s the final scoop?

Picture this – you, basking in Santa Fe’s sun-soaked plaza, a freshly brewed latte in one hand and a self-satisfied smirk because you knew to add this cultural bonanza to your 2024 travel list.

What’s not to love? An art collective you can’t exhaust, a history that refuses to quit, and a buffet of food that will have you upsizing your shorts.

In short, if Santa Fe isn’t on your bucket list yet, it’s time to fetch a pen.

While spending time in the Southwest, why not hit up one of the least visited national parks in the U.S.? It is only a couple of states away in Nevada.

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