Santa Fe is fun to visit, but property there will cost you an arm and a dillo. - Emo Philips
The Best Thing About Santa Fe?
Come On, Of Course It's The Art
It’s kind of an obvious answer but the art scene here is world-class. In particular the local, both Spanish and Native American are available in galleries year-round and via major market events that the city holds every year in the summer/fall in the center of downtown for artists to show and sell their art. This persistent and major event art culture creates a vibe that makes Santa Fe different from any other city in the U.S.
Here's a transplant's point of view on living in Santa Fe:
We moved to Santa Fe 5+ years ago from New England. We love it here but we are older but still working. SF definitely skews older but seems to be a decent brewery & music scene for its size. The weather is awesome, 4 seasons none of them harsh. Lots of museums & galleries both cheesy & not. Someone is bound to reply that it sucks here and you should go to a real, cool, big city, but while cost of living is higher here than most of the state but still cheap compared to either coast.
For more reviews of what living in Santa Fe is like from locals check out: The Buzz
The Worst Thing About Santa Fe?
Feeling Like A Newbie
Transplants to Santa Fe note the oddity of the social interplay there. For starters there are three dominant cultures that tend to stick to themselves.
1) The Spanish culture, which considers itself the original community and founders of Santa Fe.
2) The Native American culture, primarily the ancestral Pueblo, who mostly live north of the city in the Pueblos.
3) The transplanters who tend to hang out together and act much as expats do in foreign countries.
This feeling like an outsider many transplanters say is what they find most disconcerting about living here: like they never quite fit in.
Lifestyle of Santa Fe
In addition to the art culture which offers tons of galleries and museums, Santa Fe also has a growing brewery and music scene. Not exactly Nashville but decent for a city its size. The weather is excellent, four seasons and none of them too harsh, which means outdoor activities can be enjoyed close to year round. Santa Fe is at more than 7,000 feet and right in the southern Rocky Mountains so hiking is at your doorstep and is as good as anywhere in the country. The city experiences 320+ days of sunshine a year and so in addition to hiking there are hundreds of bike trails, also river rafting, golfing and when winter comes, plenty of snow and amazing skiing.
Check out the Santa Fe calendar of events to see what goes on here: https://www.santafe.org/visiting-santa-fe/calendar/
Worklife of Santa Fe
The job market is tough in Santa Fe. It is largely an art and tourism-based economy with plenty of people making money off of the services provided to visitors but not much local business beyond. It gets a lot of newcomers from empty nesters and retirees who don’t need to visit an office and growth during the pandemic indicates this trend will continue.
Why You Should Move Here Now?
If you’re an artist, working from home, or retiring then Santa Fe can work for you. It is truly a beautiful place and while it can feel slow to outsiders from bigger cities if you’re ready for a casual pace, great outdoor experiences, and a culture of living in the moment you’ll enjoy it here.