Santa Fe

Santa Fe has been a trading post for eons. Nearly a thousand years ago the great pueblos of the Chacoan civilizations were strategically located between the buffalo-hunting tribes of the Great Plains and the Indians of Mexico. Native Americans in New Mexico traded turquoise and other valuables with Indians from Mexico for metals, shells, parrots, and other exotic items. After the arrival of the Spanish and the West's subsequent development, Santa Fe became the place to exchange silver from Mexico and natural resources from New Mexico for manufactured goods, whiskey, and greenbacks from the United States. The construction of the railroad in 1880 brought Santa Fe access to all kinds of manufactured goods.

The trading legacy remains, but now Downtown Santa Fe caters increasingly to those looking for handmade furniture and crafts, and bespoke apparel and accessories. Sure, a few chains have moved in and a handful of fairly tatty souvenir shops still proliferate, but shopping in Santa Fe consists mostly of high-quality, one-of-a-kind independent stores. Canyon Road, packed with internationally acclaimed galleries, is the perfect place to browse for art and collectibles. The Downtown blocks around the Plaza have unusual gift and curio shops, as well as clothiers and shoe stores that range from theatrical to conventional. You’ll find quite a few art galleries here, too. The hip, revitalized Railyard District (sometimes referred to as the Guadalupe District), less touristy than the Plaza, is on Downtown's southwest perimeter and includes a wide-ranging mix of trendy boutiques, gift shops, and avant-garde contemporary art galleries—it’s arguably the most eclectic of Santa Fe’s shopping areas.

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  • 1. Andrew Smith Gallery

    The Plaza | Art Galleries

    This highly esteemed photo gallery deals in works by Edward S. Curtis and other 19th-century chroniclers of the American West. Other major figures...Read More

  • 2. Gerald Peters Gallery

    East Side and Canyon Road | Art Galleries

    Santa Fe's most impressive gallery of American and European art from the 19th century to the present. Contained within are works by Max Weber...Read More

  • 3. LewAllen Galleries

    Railyard District | Art Galleries

    Set in a dramatic 14,000-square-foot neo-industrial building beside the farmers' market in the Railyard District, this leader in both contemporary...Read More

  • 4. Manitou Galleries

    The Plaza | Art Galleries

    This respected gallery near the Plaza carries mostly contemporary representational paintings and sculptures by such world-class artists as Jie...Read More

  • 5. Morning Star Gallery

    East Side and Canyon Road | Crafts

    Owned by the prestigious Nedra Matteucci Galleries, this is a veritable museum of Native American art and artifacts. An adobe shaded by a huge...Read More

  • 6. Art of Russia Gallery

    East Side and Canyon Road | Art Galleries

    The art communities of Santa Fe and Taos have a surprisingly strong connection with those of Russia, and this Canyon Road space carries a...Read More

  • 7. Bellas Artes

    East Side and Canyon Road | Art Galleries

    A sophisticated gallery with a serene sculpture garden, Bellas Artes has a captivating collection of ceramics, paintings, photography, and sculptural...Read More

  • 8. Charlotte Jackson Fine Art

    Railyard District | Art Galleries

    This Railyard District notable focuses primarily on monochromatic "radical" painting and sculpture and is set in a fantastic, open space in...Read More

  • 9. Giacobbe-Fritz

    East Side and Canyon Road | Art Galleries

    Stop inside this late-1890s adobe building to admire a truly diverse collection of paintings, drawings, and sculpture, much of it with a regional...Read More

  • 10. Meyer Gallery

    East Side and Canyon Road | Art Galleries

    One of the oldest and most prestigious galleries in the Southwest, Meyer is a good place to begin a stroll up Canyon Road—it's at the bottom...Read More

  • 11. Monroe Gallery

    The Plaza | Art Galleries

    In this attractive storefront space a couple of blocks from the Plaza, you can admire works by the most celebrated black-and-white photographers...Read More

  • 12. Nedra Matteucci Galleries

    East Side and Canyon Road | Art Galleries

    One of the Southwest's premier galleries, Matteucci Galleries exhibits works by California regionalists, members of the early Taos and Santa...Read More

  • 13. Peyton Wright

    The Plaza | Art Galleries

    Tucked inside the historic Spiegelberg house, this gallery represents some of the most talented emerging and established contemporary artists...Read More

  • 14. Shidoni Gallery and Sculpture Garden

    North Side | Art Galleries

    This picturesque compound on the grounds of an old chicken ranch in rural Tesuque is home to a rambling sculpture garden and a gallery (Shidoni...Read More

  • 15. Ventana Fine Art

    East Side and Canyon Road | Art Galleries

    Set in a dramatic and expansive Victorian redbrick schoolhouse on Canyon Road, Ventana has been at the forefront of Santa Fe's constantly shifting...Read More

  • 16. VIVO Contemporary

    East Side and Canyon Road | Art Galleries

    Distinct in that it focuses solely on Santa Fe artists who produce contemporary works, VIVO also offers some very interesting programming from...Read More

  • 17. Zane Bennett Contemporary Art

    Railyard District | Art Galleries

    The sleek design of this airy, two-story gallery with a skylighted atrium is a fitting venue for the cutting-edge photography, paintings, sculptures...Read More

  • 18. James Kelly Contemporary

    Railyard District | Art Galleries

    Instrumental in transforming the Railyard District into Santa Fe's hub for contemporary art, James Kelly Contemporary mounts sophisticated,...Read More

  • 19. Waxlander Gallery

    East Side and Canyon Road | Art Galleries

    Owned by Phyllis Kapp, who helped bring Canyon Road's art scene to world acclaim and is one of the most respected names of the Santa Fe creative...Read More

  • 20. Eight Modern

    East Side and Canyon Road | Art Galleries

    In an unassuming building just off of Canyon Road, this increasingly renowned gallery showcases modern and contemporary painting, photography...Read More

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