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4 Things to Do on a Budget-Friendly Vacation in Santa Fe

Santa Fe is a wonderful tourist destination. The capital of New Mexico offers plenty of entertainment options, but many of them aren’t cheap. Here are four things to do on a budget-friendly vacation to Santa Fe.

Visit the Institute of American Indian Arts

Image via Flickr by sarahstierch

Santa Fe is home to 16 museums. Some of them are free to visit, but employees will request donations at check-in. The Institute of American Indian Arts isn’t free, but its modest fee of $5 is less than what you’d pay for lunch.

You’ll want to visit because it’s the only contemporary Native American-centric museum in America. You’ll find the work of modern artists and get to watch students. It’s an educational facility with an active curriculum and one of the most extensive libraries in the city. With careful planning, you can book a great Santa Fe hotel and stay within blocks of this facility.

Go to the New Mexico History Museum

Downtown Santa Fe is a thriving area, but it also has plenty of history on display. As you walk past the buildings, you’ll appreciate the uncanny integration of classic buildings with more modern designs. One of the most beautiful buildings is the New Mexico History Museum, and it’s one of the cheapest tourist attractions in town.

For $12 per guest, you can learn about the Native American heritage that still provides the backdrop for much of Santa Fe’s style. You can study the exhibits, flip through the photo archives, or sit in on a class about Southwestern culture. This museum is great educational fun.

Attend Music on the Hill

Do you have flexibility with your travel dates? Aim for June or July as your vacation time. On Wednesdays during these months, St. John’s College hosts a wonderful event called Music on the Hill. It’s exactly what the name indicates, a hillside concert series featuring popular local bands. In prior years, jazz music was the chosen format, but now the concert has dance music instead.

You should bring a picnic chair or blanket. Otherwise you’ll have to sit on the grass. Other than that minor inconvenience, it’s a wonderful event that’s free of charge.

Eat Cheap

Santa Fe’s Southwestern flavors are world-renowned. Since they’re an integral part of the city’s culture, you’ll find a wide array of delicious eateries in town. Several are quite affordable. For example, most of the dishes on the menu at the Burrito Company are under $10, making it a wonderful option when you’re in the mood for Mexican food.

For only a bit more, you can eat at a couple of Santa Fe institutions. Some online critics rank Palacio Café as one of the top 10 restaurants in the city, but many of its entrees are in the $10 range. TIA Sophia’s is another eatery that’s popular with the locals. It doesn’t rank quite as high with critics, but its prices are also under $10. As you can see, you’ll eat cheap in Santa Fe.

You don’t have to break the bank to visit Santa Fe. Follow the tips listed here to take control of your vacation budget while maximizing your enjoyment.