Parking in Sante Fe and Albuquerque

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Jun 5th, 2018, 05:51 AM
  #1
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Parking in Sante Fe and Albuquerque

We're planning a vacation to New Mexico. We have two young children (eight and 10). The plan is to rent a vacation rental in Sante Fe for a few days, and then move on to Albuquerque for a few days (in each instance, we plan to spend some time in town, and also do day trips outside of town). In both instances, it looks like the choice is, basically, between more spacious places just out of town with more amenities, or smaller places closer to the center of town with fewer amenities.

Our question is: how is the public parking in both Sante Fe and Albuquerque? If we stayed out of town and drove in every day, would we end up spending a fortune in parking fees, and waste a lot of time finding a place the park the car?

Thanks in advance for your advice on this matter.
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Jun 5th, 2018, 06:30 AM
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Although I didn't drive, the free shuttle worked fine for getting around the historial plaza and out to Museum Hill. Here is some transport info:
http://www.santafe.org/Visiting_Sant..._Fe/index.html

I didn't notice parking signs, so check into it but one of the common shuttle stop intersections was near the main tourist information center (near the Capitol). You might be able to park there and take the shuttle to the downtown plaza or the other to Museum Hill. Again, do check. One of the shuttle stops was at the train station--you might consider taking the train to/from Albuquerque??

FWIW, here's my TR for Santa Fe for some visitor ideas--the altitude bothered me:
www.fodors.com/community/united-states/santa-fe-getaway-2018-a-1652084/

Last edited by TDudette; Jun 5th, 2018 at 06:32 AM. Reason: typo
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Jun 5th, 2018, 08:01 AM
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Never had problems parking in Santa Fe. But I wouldn't stay outside the town. That tiny town has outgrown its core capacity and the traffic heading downtown from outskirts tends to suck. Why you would choose a vacation rental without parking in Santa Fe is beyond me.

Albuquerque is a big city. It's also relatively new in most areas, which means it is spread out over a large land mass (189+ square miles, or 3.4 Miamis). If you stay outside city limits, you will drive a lot.
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Jun 5th, 2018, 09:13 AM
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Why would we stay outside of town? Right now, in our price range, properties with access to a pool seem to be mostly located out of town. With young kids who love to swim, staying at a property with a pool is a big draw for them. So, that's partially what's driving the decision. Good to know about the traffic, though — that's definitely one of my concerns. Is this mostly a morning and evening rush hour phenomenon?
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Jun 5th, 2018, 04:29 PM
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With young kids I would stay where there is a pool too. I haven't found it hard to drive into SF and found parking fairly easiy.

To give the kids a bit of a different view, take them to Bandelier NP which is about an hour west of SF. There are ruins of ancient Native Americans, which were carved into the soft rock of the hillside that they could climb up into.
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Jun 6th, 2018, 07:02 AM
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@Emalloy – Thanks for the suggestion. We've definitely been looking at Bandalier National Park as one of our day trips.
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Jun 6th, 2018, 07:43 AM
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I think a car is a necessity in Albuquerque and I've never really struggled to find public or street parking.

Seems like there are million chain hotels with pools off of I40 through Albq.

Petroglyph National Monument has at least one very kid friendly hike. https://www.nps.gov/petr/planyourvis...activities.htm
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Jun 6th, 2018, 09:32 AM
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@obxgirl Thanks for the hike recommendation! As for hotels, we prefer to stay in vacation rentals for a variety of reasons: with kids, it's much easier and better to have more space, separate bedrooms, and access to a fully equipped kitchen and outdoor grill for breakfasts and leisurely dinners (we eat out as well, but it helps to have a few nights in when you have a tired eight and ten year old, for example).

We're actually curious as to how much to expect to spend on parking in both downtown Albuquerque and Santa Fe on a daily basis? Or, are there free options available?
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Jun 6th, 2018, 11:15 AM
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Missed where you said vacation rental. Sorry about that. Not sure I agree with you on hotels v. rentals but totally get that you have a preference and are seeking a rental. Corrales has some lovely AirBnB options. Don't know about pool availability.

I'd put the cost of parking in the incidental category for both places.
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Jun 6th, 2018, 01:59 PM
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" Is this mostly a morning and evening rush hour phenomenon?"

Santa Fe is an art and government town, it's not a banking and commerce town so the rush hour concept doesn't really apply. The center is old and streets are narrow and that means bottlenecks. And it is a town - it is not by any stretch a city (good luck finding a building that's even 70 feet tall). That's part of the problem. It was small and starting to grow out of its core 15 years ago when its population was under 70K; now it's nearly 85K and there's no room in the center so it has Southern/Southwestern sprawl on a smaller scale.
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Jun 7th, 2018, 08:36 AM
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We visited Santa Fe and Albuquerque in March/April - we found free, easy parking in Albuquerque along a side road near Old Town. There's also a parking area right near the entrance to Old Town next to the Museum. It was cheap and on the honor system - you just insert a few dollars in the slot that corresponds with the number of the parking bay you've selected - you have to estimate how long you will need, but you can always return to add a few more dollars if needed.

There is free parking at places like the International Balloon Museum, and your parking is also free if you pay for admission at the Albuquerque Museum, just provide your bay number when you purchase your admission.

More info here:

Where can we park?
There is limited free, two hour, parking on all the streets in the Old Town area. There are also numerous city owned and privately owned paid parking lots. Prices range from $ 1.00 to $6.00, depending on the length of time you park. (There are no change machines available, so be sure to bring some small bills or quarters.)

We also found free parking near the Plaza in Santa Fe along a side street. Otherwise, there is metered parking.

Metered parking spots in downtown Santa Fe cost $2 per hour for the first two hours and $3 per hour thereafter. Meters are in operation from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, excluding major holidays.

More info here:

https://www.santafenm.gov/parking_lots_and_garages

Last edited by Melnq8; Jun 7th, 2018 at 08:42 AM.
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Jun 7th, 2018, 08:58 AM
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@Melnq8 – Thanks — that's very helpful. Much appreciated.
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Jun 7th, 2018, 09:54 AM
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We easily found free street parking in Santa Fe but were there in low season.
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