Moving to Santa Fe: Understanding local neighborhoods and areas
Here’s an overview of Santa Fe Neighborhoods
Thinking of moving to Santa Fe? We don’t blame you. Who wouldn’t want to live here? Clear skies, beautiful mountains, food, art, culture, all accompanied by abundant sunshine and green chile, two of our favorite things.
If you’ve never lived here before, you probably find yourself wondering about the different neighborhoods in the area. Let us help. Here’s a map and then a narrative list of neighborhoods in Santa Fe and surrounding areas along with links to properties available around that area. We are happy to help you find the perfect home in the perfect area.
SANTA FE CITY NORTHEAST/HISTORIC EASTSIDE
Santa Fe’s Historic Plaza resides on the NE side of town. The area considered the Historic Eastside runs east from St. Francis Drive, north of East Alameda to Hyde Park/Artist Road (which climbs to Ski Santa Fe and the Sangre de Cristos). Deemed as highly desirable both in price and design, Santa Fe’s Northeast area, while conveniently located, provides close-in quiet living. Older, well-established historic adobes stand next to newer, award-winning architecture. The area is a pleasure to explore. It also frequently provides walkability to the historical center of the city.
In times past, this area was the center of life in Santa Fe. On the north side of the Plaza is the Palace of the Governors, which is the longest continuously occupied public building in the United States. Built in 1610 as a fort, the Palace is now part of the Museum of New Mexico and the New Mexico History Museum. Museum policy reserves the portal for participants in the Native American Vendors Program to sell their handmade jewelry and pottery under the portal of the Palace. This program is dedicated exclusively to regional Native American arts and crafts.
Artist Road, which becomes Hyde Park Road, boasts mouthwatering east and northern views, and newer homes in Santa Fe. The Summit and Sierra del Norte are two of the city’s premier developments. Also on Hyde Park Road are Cerros Colorados and the older community of Hyde Park Estates, both with wonderful homes and incredible views.
SANTA FE CITY SOUTHEAST
The SE part of Santa Fe is rich with history, with some homes dating back centuries; these neighborhoods boast some of Santa Fe’s most photographed adobe homes and gardens. Hosting a mix of multi-generational families and newcomers, the homes, often hidden behind high walls and accessed by narrow, dirt lanes, recall the city’s early history and lend Santa Fe a unique heritage. Views are scarce here, but authenticity and atmosphere dominate. Charm is the garment that many of these homes wear. You might hear folks refer to this as Canyon Road, South Capitol, Old Santa Fe Trail, Museum Hill, and the St. John’s area. There’s also De Vargas Heights and Sol Y Lomas. More on that below.
Long famous for the galleries, restaurants and specialty shops, Canyon Road has become one of Santa Fe’s most popular attractions. Upper Canyon Road has long-established residences and the Randall Davey Audubon Center, encompassing 135 acres and miles of hiking trails, a nature store, and the historic house of artist Randall Davey.
Old Santa Fe Trail/Museum Hill
Stretching from the heart of Santa Fe to Missouri, this historic westward route has carried thousands to the Southwest. Now, Old Santa Fe Trail boasts gracious, adobe homes and newer architectural wonders. Around the ‘museum district’, housing the Museum Of International Folk Art, The Museum Of Indian Arts and Culture, The Wheelwright Museum Of The American Indian, the terrain is dotted with piñon and juniper.
Old Pecos Trail
Bordered in the northeast by Old Santa Fe Trail and in the southwest by the South Capitol area, the length of this road comprises a professional district and established communities. The hospital is located here as are many of the doctors’ offices.
Established in the early part of the Twentieth Century to accommodate the growing railroad industry, this area has many different architectural styles. From bungalows to brick homes to older adobes, the different styles all work together to create a lovely mosaic. The trees are old and large, the sidewalks broad and well-planned. Wood Gormley elementary school is centrally located.
Guadalupe Historic & Railyard District
Bordered on the east by the ancient Santuario de Guadalupe, the end of the Camino Real, and in the west by St. Francis Drive, this little neighborhood is a collection of beautifully-renovated adobes and up-and-comers. The lots are small and tidy. Short walking distance from the Plaza, the Rail Runner train station, shops and a quaint movie theater.
Sol Y Lomas
Sol y Lomas is an older subdivision with established landscaping and located in the southeastern part of the city. Still close in, Sol y Lomas is perfect for those seeking more substantial homes on larger lots than found downtown. Most homes have garages and many properties also have guesthouses/studios.
Describing itself as ‘The Premier Residential Community of the Southwest’, Quail Run is a community of 265 individually owned and appointed condominium homes on 103 beautifully landscaped acres. The homes are complemented by a PGA-rated, par 32, nine hole golf course, Pro Bounce lighted tennis courts designed for high altitude play, a complete fitness center, a 65-foot indoor ozone purified pool, a full service restaurant, spa services and so much more. All resides in a secure, gated environment allowing you to relax and enjoy yourself in this high desert oasis.
Homes & Land for sale in Santa Fe City Northwest
SANTA FE CITY NORTHWEST
Within the city limits of Santa Fe, in the northwest corridor, you’ll find established family neighborhoods like Casa Solana. With beautiful mature trees, sidewalks and paved streets, Casa Solana has a real neighborhood atmosphere. Gonzales Elementary is within walking distance to all and the Casa Solana shopping area is a treat. The homes were built in the 1960’s by developer Allen Stamm and all include vigas, hardwood floors, fireplaces and solid construction. As you travel down West Alameda, the homes begin to spread out a bit. Horse farms dot the landscape. Newly-constructed homes appear on large open tracts. A left turn off West Alameda takes you to the Santa Fe River. Right turns lead you into the hills above Santa Fe. Some lots in the hills offer 360 degree views, some a beautiful view of the Santa Fe city lights. Includes Zocolo and Santa Fe Estates.
SANTA FE CITY SOUTHWEST
Santa Fe city southwest, the largest area of Santa Fe and still growing….
This older, family community boasts an eclectic mix of commercial development and mid-priced adobe structures. St. Anne’s church and Larragoite elementary school help create a neighborhood atmosphere.
Barrio de la Canada
Close to town and just west of the west side, this small area provides a quiet, family-oriented community. The homes are larger in size than the west side and many have special decorative touches. Older landscaping and mature trees line the sidewalks.
Traveling west on Agua Fría Street you will find a delightful park known as Frenchie’s Field. Directly across is Casa Alegre. These smaller homes are similar to the Casa Solana neighborhood as they were also developed by Allen Stamm in the 1950s. Some of the great features of this area are the close proximity to shopping, schools and churches such as St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, 1301 Osage Avenue.
The homes here, accessed from Monterey drive just off Cerrillos road, are also of Stamm-design with hardwood floors and vigas in an area with parks, schools and churches. A broader selection of architectural elements are available here from the flat roof styles of California to Spanish pueblo or Territorial. Planned by famed Santa Fe architect John Gaw Meem, Kaune Elementary School, 1409 Monterey Drive, serves the families here. The school was named for Alfred Kaune, a past president of the Santa Fe school board.
Tierra Contenta is a mixed-use, mixed income community designed to provide low and moderate priced housing for under-served families of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Tierra Contenta Corporation is a 501(c)(3) corporation that provides builder-ready tracts to production homebuilders and finished lots for small builders and non-profit housing providers. Their goal is to provide at least 40% of the homes affordable by those earning less than 80% of the area median income. When complete, Tierra Contenta will have approximately 4000 homes, plus businesses, schools, community services, parks, and abundant open space.
Just south of Santa Fe, the community of Rancho Viejo blends with the scenic beauty of the Southwestern landscape and reflects the rich cultural heritage of New Mexico. Uniquely designed as a collection of villages, each with its own central gathering plaza and bordering preserved open space, Rancho Viejo creates a sense of living amid nature, complemented by community amenities and homes of exceptional quality.
Nava Ade is a beautiful, planned development off Rodeo Road. Located near the Santa Fe Community College and the Santo Niño Catholic School serving students grades PreK-6, Nava Ade combines stunning architecture with easy access to town, I-25 and a vast array of shops. There is a Homeowners Association. Nava Ade is served by Pinon Elementary, Capshaw Middle School and Santa Fe High School.
The southwest of Santa Fe within city limits also includes the Villa Linda Mall and the Genoveva Chavez Community Center, 3221 Rodeo Rd, a newer public facility featuring a leisure swimming pool with triple loop slide, a 50 meter lap pool and diving boards, ice skating rink, track, aerobics and a weight room.
The picturesque, incorporated village of Tesuque enjoys a rural feel (there are still horse properties here) and is only five minutes north of Santa Fe, just beyond Bishop’s Lodge. Known for its valley of lush vegetation and the Tesuque River, as well as hilltop sites with views and traditional Northern New Mexico pinon and juniper, Tesuque attracts artists, professionals, retirees, second home owners, and celebrities looking to hide out. There is a small commercial community consisting of the landmark Tesuque Market, the restaurant El Nido and Shidoni Foundry.
Almost all the communities located in this area have a view of the entire Rio Grande Valley all the way to the Colorado border on a good day. Small villages are interspersed with newer subdivisions perched on the hills. The secret home of many a celebrity, this area is made up of adobe fixer-uppers and architectural gems. The area includes Los Caminitos, Vista Redonda, Chupadero, Rio En Medio, Pacheco Canyon and Pueblo Encantado.
SANTA FE COUNTY SOUTHEAST
As the Old Santa Fe Trail winds north, these lovely, heavily-forested communities run alongside. Located in the foothills of the Sangres, the lower elevations provide rolling hills of pinon and juniper with the high-elevation nestled in mountainous terrain. All have wonderful views of the Sandias and famous Santa Fe sunsets. Most lots start at 2.5 acres and some are over ten. The area includes Cloudstone, La Vista, Coyote Mountain Road, Mercer, Double Arrow Road, La Barberia, Overlook I and II, north and south of Old Santa Fe Trail from Camp Stoney cutoff.
SANTA FE COUNTY NORTHWEST
Homes and land with 360 degree views of the Sangre de Cristos and Jemez Mountains…
Decades in the planning and development process, Monte Sereno is a special community with approximately 600 acres of land, just minutes north of town, with generous home sites averaging 1.7 acres.
Tano Road, Las Dos, and La Tierra
Surrounding Las Campanas, one finds these spacious neighborhoods which can offer large tracts of land, a gentle, rolling landscape, heart-stopping Sangre de Cristo and Jemez views, a few horse properties, and some incredible homes that are priced up to several million.
Aldea is a new residential community in this area that is based on traditional Spanish Colonial towns where homes are gathered about a central plaza.
The world-famous Santa Fe Opera is also located in the northwest part of town. In addition, the Marty Sanchez City Golf Course is located nearby.
The area also includes Los Suenos, La Vida, La Mirada, La Mariposa, La Serena, Tano Road, Casas De San Juan, Sangre De Cristo Estates, Puesta Del Sol, Pinon Hills and all other subdivisions off Camino La Tierra.
SANTA FE COUNTY SOUTHWEST
This rapidly growing area with plans for expansion extending into the 2050’s is largely made up of rolling hills dotted with pinon and juniper. Most of the communities located here have extraordinary views of the Jemez, the Sangres and the Sandias. Affordable family homes abound! The area also includes Old Galisteo Road, Town & Country, Chuck Taylor Subdivision, Young, Miles and Santiago Subdivisions.
Further along are the beautiful communities of La Cienega, La Cieneguilla, Pena Blanca and Cochiti.
An established bedroom community of about 5000 residents – a mix of families, retirees, singles and couples–with its own commercial center, elementary school and social/recreational center, Eldorado is only twenty minutes from Santa Fe and feels like a transition between city and country. The area includes Dos Griegos, Alteza Estates, The Islands and Belizia.
In the tree-studded rolling hills northwest of town are Las Campanas and a host of other developments and neighborhoods of larger, private lots and newer homes, most with city services and utilities. The land here sits between the city and the arroyos that carry rainwater to the Rio Grande, just a few miles west, creating a landscape almost like ocean waves rolling into shore. The community of Las Campanas has been going strong since 1991 seeing a steady supply of new homes beginning around $600,000 in price on lots ranging from about 200K to much higher for larger parcels. The two signature Jack Nicklaus golf courses, combined with a world-class equestrian facility and extensive trail network, the triple adobe clubhouse that hosts golfers and diners and gala events, and a sprawling day spa make this resort community a first class find for those shopping for amenities to enjoy near home.
Las Campanas Amenities
- Hacienda Clubhouse
- Fitness Center
- Equestrian Center
- Youth Activities
The 2,500 or so acres that comprise this area immediately south of Eldorado are part of the old Sebastian De Vargas Grant and include Lamy, Galisteo, Camino Valle Street, Los Caballos, Los Vaqueros, Old Road Ranch, Pinon Street, Ranchitos de Santa Fe, The Ridges and Cimarron. Lovely tree-covered artist and ranching villages are surrounded by gently rolling hills.
GALISTEO AND LAMY
New Mexico is home to many quiet villages and two of the most beautiful are Galisteo and Lamy. Only 18 minutes south of the Plaza, Galisteo and Lamy provide both exquisite, charming adobe village homes and beautiful view homes on acreage.
Named for Archbishop Jean-Baptiste Lamy, the village of Lamy became the location for the local train station In 1896 the Fred Harvey Company built the luxurious El Ortiz Hotel here, signifying that Lamy had become an important railroad junction. The Amtrak Southwest Chief still stops here daily on its run between Chicago and Los Angeles.
The Lamy Railroad and History Museum, located in the historic “Legal Tender” restaurant building, is dedicated to preserving local history and heritage, with emphasis on the railroads and their impact on the area. The museum buildings, formerly the Pflueger General Merchandise Store (built in 1881) and the attached Annex Saloon (built in 1884), are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Galisteo, centered in the magnificent Galisteo basin is an all adobe village of some 250 residents and includes an incredibly diverse artist population. These artists, drawn by the natural beauty of our high desert surroundings and breathtaking sunsets, have made Galisteo their home.
The annual Galisteo Studio Tour allows you to wind your way through the many studios of Galisteo where you’ll find photography, paintings, pottery and ceramic art, retablos, jewelry, bronze sculpture and weavings.
Galisteo has served as a filming location for a number of major motion pictures. Nearly all have been westerns (including The Cowboys, Silverado, The Hi-Lo Country, Young Guns and Crazy Heart), though the town also served as backdrop for fantasy blockbusters Legion and Thor.
The area around Galisteo is called the The Galisteo Basin Preserve – an ecological region of fragile beauty and diversity celebrated for its scenic, cultural, and wildlife values. The Galisteo Basin Preserve is planned to conserve and restore more than 13,000 acres of open space as well as promote thoughtful, stewardship-oriented community development.
GLORIETA, PECOS & ROWE
These small communities are located in the southern Sangre de Cristo Mountains along Interstate 25 on the east side of Glorieta Pass (elevation 7500 ft.). With many homes backing up to National Forest land, these areas are ideal for those wanting peaceful seclusion within commuting distance of Santa Fe.
Glorieta was the site of two important battles in New Mexico history, the Battle of Santa Fe and the Battle of Glorieta Pass.
Pecos is built along the Pecos River which flows from the north out of the Santa Fe National Forest. Notable locations nearby include Pecos National Historical Park, Glorieta Pass, Pecos Benedictine Monastery, and Lisboa Springs Trout Hatchery. It is also an entry point for hunting, fishing, hiking and camping in the Pecos Wilderness. Pecos Independent Schools serves the Village of Pecos as well as rural areas in western San Miguel County.
Rowe is located along Interstate 25 near the Pecos National Historical Park, at an elevation of 6,821 feet.
Rowe was established to provide labor for the Santa Fe Railroad in the late 1870s and early 1880s. The majority of the population came from Las Ruedas two miles away on the Pecos River. A pipeline to provide water for steam engines was laid between Rowe and the then village of Las Ruedas. Las Ruedas ceased to exist and by the time of the 1880 U.S. Federal Census most of the former residents of Las Ruedas were resettled in Rowe.
LA CIENEGA AREA
La Cienega means “the swamp” in Spanish, but don’t be fooled by that name. It’s a historic area that was an important stop on the El Camino Real, the royal road from Santa Fe to Mexico City. With larger lots that are dotted with juniper and pinon, La Cienega is a beautiful place to own a home. Homes on lower elevations are lush with mature cottonwoods. Includes Remuda Ridge, the race track area and the Ranchos de la Luna subdivision.
TURQUOISE TRAIL | HWY 14
Explore and then live on the Turquoise Trail, aka South Highway 14. This is the “back way” from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, and is a beautiful way to travel the less beaten path. Most lots come with acreage of at least an acre, and many with more. The wide open spaces have less building restrictions than you’ll find in the City of Santa Fe, and horses are generally welcome. Like old western movies like “Silverado” or “Cheyenne Social Club?” This area is where you’ll find the famous Eaves Movie Ranch, the backdrop for these and many other films featuring the Old West. And if you’re looking for interesting, artistic and eclectic living, the villages of Cerrillos and Madrid are along this highway. The area includes Rancho Alegre, Rancho San Marcos, Turquoise Trail Subdivision, Valle Linda, and Valle Vista.
CERRILLOS & MADRID
Once home to the large mining community, Madrid is now a sleepy little town of artists. With an ice cream parlour and old fashioned businesses, Madrid feels other-worldly to visitors. Homes here are early 20th century wooden structures painted a variety of colors. Just north of Madrid is Cerrillos, a traditional New Mexico village of older adobes and quaint shops. Located just northeast of Albuquerque between Albuquerque and Santa Fe along Highway 14 – the Turquoise Trail – near the Rio Grande River, this community includes County Road 55, Goldmine Road, Golden and Edgewood.
Located 22 miles southwest of Santa Fe, Cochiti community is a historic pueblo, which is listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. The community boasts a golf course, the Cochiti dam and the Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. Cochiti Pueblo contains 53,779 acres of reservation land of which 7,042 acres are dedicated to residential and commercial lease properties and the golf course.
The elevation varies from 5300 to 6800 feet above sea level and is characterized by the Rio Grande, which flows through reservation lands. Cochiti Pueblo is well known for their craftsmanship in making jewelry, pottery, (storyteller), and drums.
Peña Blanca’s name is derived from the Spanish term for “white rock”, peña blanca. However, without the tilde, pena blanca actually means “white sorrow” or “white pain”.
The areas to the north between Santa Fe and Taos possess some of the most spectacular and varied landscapes in New Mexico. Beautiful communities line the Taos Gorge and the Rio Grande like Espanola, Velarde & Dixon along what is called the ‘Low Road’ to Taos.
The ‘High Road’ is a scenic, winding road through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains that runs between Santa Fe and Taos. Among the quaint villages that line the High Road to Taos are: Nambé, Chimayo, Truchas, Las Trampas, Chamisal, Picurís, Peñasco, Vadito, Sipapu, Talpa and Ranchos de Taos. Many of these tiny villages perched high in the mountains have a church or Santaurio of significance. In Chimayo you will find the famous Santuario de Chimayo and in Las Trampas, the stately San José de Gracia Church, completed in 1776. At the end of the trail in Rancho de Taos is the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church, the subject of several paintings by Georgia O’Keeffe, and photographs by Ansel Adams, Paul Strand and Ned Scott. Georgia O’Keeffe described it as, “one of the most beautiful buildings left in the United States by the early Spaniards.” Many of these villages are home to a flourishing artistic community of weavers, potters and traditional woodcarvers.
Home to the Los Alamos National Labs, the words “Los Alamos” actually means the cottonwoods in Spanish. Built on the four mesas of Pajarito Plateau and White Rock Canyon, the city of Los Alamos and White Rock both make up the population base for the city. Los Alamos was original founded during World War II to house the scientists and laboratories where the Manhattan Project was undertaken.
Top-ranked among New Mexico public schools, Los Alamos High School’s academic achievements have been recognized by a number of national publications.
Creativity abounds in Los Alamos and White Rock and plays a major role in community life. The same intellectual curiosity that drives scientific discovery and creativity has also produced a deep appreciation and involvement in cultural pursuits. Art, music, dance, theater, and lecture activities are accessible every day of the year. Art fairs, concerts, lectures, demonstrations, plays, recitals, parades, festivals, etc. are frequent.
Nearby is Bandelier, a 33,677-acre National Monument preserving the homes and territory of the Ancestral Pueblo People. Most of the pueblo structures date to two eras, in total from 1150 to 1600 CE. The Valles Caldera is also close, a 3.7-mile wide volcanic caldera in the Jemez Mountains. A number of recreational and/or historical uses take place in Valles Caldera. Many of these uses involve trails. Valles Caldera has many miles of ranch roads, livestock and game trails. These include a network of trails currently designated for horse riding. Historically, Valles Caldera was a location for equestrian endurance races. After establishment of VCNP, the first race in the caldera was held in 2009. The largest grass valley, Valle Grande, is a venue for ski orienteering. Activities are open to the public, though some require reservations.
The Village of Jemez Springs is located a bit south of Los Alamos, the site of Jemez State Monument and the headquarters of the Jemez Ranger District. The village and nearby locations in the Jemez Valley are the site of hot springs and several religious retreats.
Taos is a town in the north-central region of New Mexico in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and incorporated in 1934. Other nearby communities include Ranchos de Taos, Cañon, Taos Canyon, Ranchitos, El Prado, and Arroyo Seco. The town is close to Taos Pueblo, the Native American village and tribe from which it takes its name.
Beginning in 1899, artists began to settle in Taos; six formed the Taos Society of Artists in 1915. In time, the Taos art colony developed. Many paintings were made of local scenes, especially of Taos Pueblo and activities there, as the artists often modeled Native Americans from the pueblo in their paintings. Some of the artists’ studios have been preserved and may be viewed by visitors to Taos. These include the Ernest L. Blumenschein House, the Eanger Irving Couse House and Studio—Joseph Henry Sharp Studios, and the Nicolai Fechin house, all of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Influential later 20th-century Taos artists include R. C. Gorman and Agnes Martin.
The Taos valley, Rio Grande and Taos mountains provide many opportunities for recreation, such as fly fishing, horseback riding, golfing, hot air ballooning, llama trekking, rafting, mountain biking and more. In the winter many people come to Taos to ski. Wheeler Peak, at 13,161 feet, is the highest peak in New Mexico. The Taos area has four ski areas – Taos Ski Valley, Red River ski area, Sipapu (ski area) and Angel Fire ski area. Other winter activities include hot air ballooning, horseback riding, snow-shoeing, cross-country skiing, ice skating, ice fishing and snowmobiling.
“It is not a country of light on things -it is a country of things in light.”
About 60 miles north of Santa Fe, Abiquiu and surrounding communities of El Rito, Youngsville, Ojo Caliente and Chama to the north are some of the most beautiful landscapes New Mexico has to offer. Celebrated artist Georgia O’Keeffe lived at nearby Ghost Ranch for many years and also bought a house in Abiquiu in 1945, using it variously as an art subject, residence and studio for several years.
Nearby is the Benedictine Abbey of Christ in the Desert. This beautiful old Roman Catholic monastery is reached by a rough dirt road, accessible in dry weather only.
Ojo Caliente is a small community northeast of Abiquiu. Generations continue to make the pilgrimage to Ojo Caliente to enjoy the unique combination of mineral waters: Lithia, Iron, Soda and Arsenic. Ojo Caliente is a legendary oasis healing body, mind, and spirit naturally for countless centuries.
El Rito is a village northwest of Ojo Caliente and was one of the first Spanish settlements in northern New Mexico and boasts the oldest church in New Mexico, restored in the 1980s. It is the home of the Carson National Forest Service – El Rito Ranger District, the El Rito Public Library, the Las Clinicas del Norte, and a campus of Northern New Mexico College. Originally named El Rito Colorado, the red creek, it took its name from the creek that passes through the village. Tewas call the El Rito region “pink below place” for the El Rito Mountains, known to them as the pink mountains. El Rito is surrounded by the Carson National Forest. El Rito also has an annual Artist Studio Tour.
Chama Village is located in the beautiful Northern New Mexico Rocky Mountains and is the western terminus of the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad, a steam-driven, narrow gauge heritage railway which carries visitors to and from Osier, Colorado, and Antonito, Colorado, during the summer months.
Still unsure where you might want to live. Call us at 505-504-1101 to discuss areas. We’re here to help!