The Santa Fe Plaza has long been a popular place to meet in New Mexico's capital city. Found in the heart of downtown Santa Fe at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and San Francisco Street, this National Historic Landmark plaza was established at the same time as its home city. The year was 1610, and the early days saw the plaza serving as a fort. Found within the fort's defensive walls were the Governor's palace and a chapel, among other things. Over time, the wall came down as homes for Spanish officials were built. In the early 1800s, the Santa Fe Plaza became the terminus for the famed Santa Fe Trail, thus establishing it as a major stop for travelers, and to this day, it continues to be a popular place to gather.
Many Santa Fe tourists make it a point to visit the Santa Fe Plaza at some point, and it's not hard to understand why. For starters, this small park with its adobe architecture boasts a lovely setting, and there is almost always something of interest going on. The plaza plays host to a variety of events throughout the year, including the Santa Fe Indian Market, and during the summer months, its gazebo stage is used for concerts and dance performances. The Christmas season is also a great time to visit the Santa Fe Plaza, as it is decked out with lights, though there really isn't a bad time to drop by for a look when it comes down to it. The Santa Fe Indian Market takes place in late August and is the biggest Native American art market in the world. If you want to do some serious Santa Fe Plaza shopping, this is an event worth planning your trip around.
In the center of the Santa Fe Plaza is an American Indian War Memorial that you will want to check out while visiting. It's not the only landmark of interest, however. Surrounding the plaza are various structures of interest, and these structures include the original Governor's Palace, the San Miguel Mission, and the St. Francis Cathedral. The San Miguel Mission dates back to 1640, and is widely considered to be the oldest church in the country.
A number of other top Santa Fe attractions can be found in and around the Santa Fe Plaza, and they include the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Loretto Chapel. Add in the shops, art galleries and restaurants, and it only becomes more evident that this is a great area to base yourself in while visiting Santa Fe. Some of the best Santa Fe hotels are found in and around the Santa Fe Plaza, and they include the La Fonda. This historic hotel enjoys a fine location right on the plaza, and its 167 guest units are both comfortable and nicely equipped.
Other Santa Fe Plaza hotels that offer a considerable amount of comfort and amenities are the Hotel St. Francis and the Hotel Plaza. If you seek an even more upscale lodging experience, however, then a stay at the Inn of the Anasazi is arguably the way to go. This elegant boutique hotel near the Santa Fe Plaza offers 58 sumptuous guest units, and a variety of services are available for guests to take advantage of.