Santa Fe: Places to Explore

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Railyard District

The most significant development in Santa Fe in recent years has taken place in the Railyard District, a neighborhood just south of the Plaza that was for years called the Guadalupe District (and is occasionally still known as that). Comprising a few easily walked blocks along Guadalupe Street between Agua Fria and Paseo de Peralta, the district has been revitalized with a snazzy park and outdoor performance space, a permanent indoor-outdoor home for the farmers' market, and quite a few notable restaurants, shops, and galleries.

This historic warehouse and rail district endured several decades of neglect after the demise of the train route through town. But rather than tearing the buildings down (this is a city where 200-year-old mud-brick buildings sell at a premium, after all), developers gradually converted the low-lying warehouses into artists' studios, antiques shops, bookstores, indie shops, and restaurants. The Rail Runner commuter train to Albuquerque has put the rail tracks as well as the vintage mission-style depot back into use; the restored scenic train to Lamy canceled service in 2013 due to financial challenges, but as of this writing, its operators were planning to resume service in 2014.

A central feature of the district's redevelopment is the Railyard Park, at the corner of Cerrillos Road and Guadalupe Street, which was designed to highlight native plants and provide citizens with a lush, urban space. The buildings just north, in the direction of the Plaza, contain the vibrant Santa Fe Farmers' Market, the teen-oriented community art center Warehouse21, SITE Santa Fe museum, art galleries, shops, restaurants, and live-work spaces for artists. This dramatic development reveals the fascinating way Santa Feans have worked to meet the needs of an expanding city while paying strict attention to the city's historic relevance.

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