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. 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

  • 2. Robert Nichols Gallery

    East Side and Canyon Road | Crafts

    This long-running establishment on Canyon Road represents a remarkable group of Native American ceramics artists doing primarily nontraditional...Read More

  • 3. Keshi: The Zuni Connection

    The Plaza | Crafts

    Since the early '80s, this gallery specializing in beautiful animal fetishes carved out of turquoise, marble, onyx, and countless other materials...Read More

  • 4. Niman Fine Arts

    The Plaza | Crafts

    This intimate space focuses on the prolific work of contemporary Hopi artists Arlo, Dan, and Michael Namingha. Arlo is a sculptor working in...Read More

  • 5. Rainbow Man

    The Plaza | Crafts

    Established in 1945, this colorful, if a bit touristy, shop does business in an old, rambling adobe complex, part of which dates from before...Read More

  • 6. Shiprock Santa Fe

    The Plaza | Crafts

    Eclectic Modern Vintage" is Shiprock Santa Fe's tagline, and it accurately sums up their impressive collection of pottery, textiles, painting...Read More

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