Is Santa Fe ‘Better’ Than Albuquerque?

Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe ‘vs’ Albuquerque. Why?

Is Santa Fe Better Than Albuquerque?
A Canyon Road art gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The question Is Santa Fe better than Albuquerque? was posed to me recently on a travel forum. I would not consider Santa Fe a ‘better’ city than Albuquerque… each city has its virtues. Santa Fe is a more beautiful city in the southwestern tradition. It has shrewdly borrowed from its historic roots to fashion an urbane jewel that is a visual tour-de-force of Adobe and Pueblo-style architecture second-to-none. It has world-class art galleries, hotels, spas and restaurants, making it a very desirable travel destination, and an attractive prospect for the affluent retiree.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
An art gallery on Canyon Road in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Is Santa Fe Better Than Albuquerque? - A Santa Fe Pueblos-Style Doorway
A Santa Fe, New Mexico Pueblo-Style Doorway

Why Santa Fe Is America’s Paris

Albuquerque is a large working city by southwestern standards. It has to meet the needs of working/middle-class families and the demands of a major urban center. Yet, it also is shaped by culture and history in a way that makes it just as appealing as Santa Fe. Albuquerque is a more affordable option both for residents and travelers (Check out my post on things to do in Historic Old Town Albuquerque).

Route 66 culture mixes with classic southwestern influences in a fascinating way in Albuquerque, The amalgam of Native American, Spanish, and ‘Anglo’ cultures makes it distinct from any other large American urban center. It has a fascinating mix of natural and cultural attractions that makes it the most distinctly ‘un-generic’ metropolis in the US.

Old Town, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Classic cars in Old Town, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta - Over the Rio Grande
Albuquerque Int’l Balloon Fiesta – Over the Rio Grande

Albuquerque Photos & More…

The Rail Runner commuter train connects these two cities in such an efficient way that you do not need to choose between them. Visit both to broaden your sampling of the New Mexico experience! Visit Santa Fe for its marvelous immersion into classic Pueblo-style architecture. Visit Albuquerque for its Route 66 culture rooted in the southwestern tradition. Both cities will inspire you!

Cottonwood Trees, Fall color, Old Town, Albuquerque
The dazzling fall colors of cottonwood trees in Old Town Plaza, Old Town, Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Old Town, Albuquerque
Late afternoon sun warms up a plaza in Historic Old Town, Albuquerque, New Mexico.