Summer in Santa Fe County offers a feast for all the senses, from colorful cultural celebrations to extraordinary markets and one of the world's leading summer opera festivals. A steady parade of summer festivals at a treasured living history museum celebrates the region's many cultures and heritages. As summer winds down, things heat up when athletes from around the world compete in New Mexico's fastest, and breathtakingly scenic, marathon.
Whenever you plan to visit this season, you’ll find plenty of lodging options in Santa Fe County. From luxury resorts a countryside retreat, to a charming bed & breakfast or bring your RV and park in a scenic campground with all the amenities as well as surrounding mountains, fiery sunsets and endless starry night skies. Santa Fe County has your lodging accommodation for your vacation.
The summer market season kicks off with the 16th Annual International Folk Art Market, July 12-14. The world's largest folk art festival brings more than 150 master artists from some 50 countries to offer their handcrafted treasures. The 68th Annual Traditional Spanish Market, July 27-28, showcases regional artisans and their living tradition of artwork that dates back four centuries. The 98th Annual Santa Fe Indian Market, August 17-18, is the world's largest juried Native arts show and the biggest event of the year.
Experience the glorious sounds of music at the Santa Fe Opera, celebrating its 63rd season with 36 performances of five thrilling operas, June 28 – August 24. You'll be swept away by the world-class performances in this dramatic open-air venue as much as by the stunning sunsets in the surrounding sky. The 2019 season opens with one of the world's most beloved operas, Puccini's “La Bohème” and includes a revival of the Santa Fe Opera's acclaimed 2012 production of “The Pearl Fishers,” Georges Bizet's exotic story of friendship. Mozart's “Così fan tutte,” also on the schedule, has never gone out of fashion since its 1790 premiere in Venice. This season also brings Czech composer Leoš Janá?ek's “Jen?fa,” a dramatic exploration of Moravian life, and the world premiere of “The Thirteenth Child,” a fairy tale inspired by the Brothers Grimm, with music by Poul Rouders.
Enhance your opera experience with the longstanding tradition of tailgating in the parking lot before each show begins. Wear your finest gown or tux and pack your car with an elaborate feast, along with elegant tableware—linens, silver and candelabras. Or, don a pair of jeans and a pair of cowboy boots and dine on sandwiches and local craft beer. Either way, you'll join crowds of fans anticipating a spectacular night at the opera.
A Season of Festivals
At El Rancho de las Golondrinas (The Ranch of the Swallows), costumed docents and historic buildings bring New Mexico's Spanish Colonial and Territorial periods to life, documenting 300 years of rich history. This acclaimed living history museum also presents vibrant festivals and fiestas throughout the summer, including the Herb & Lavender Festival, June 15-16. Learn how to grow your own lavender garden and make perfume from wildcrafted plants. Shop for lavender soaps, essential oils, plants art and other natural products and enjoy live music along with lavender cookies and tea. The 26th Annual Santa Fe Wine Festival, July 6-7, showcases wines made by 20 vintners around New Mexico, the country's oldest wine region. Sample the wine and enjoy arts and crafts, food and live music. The 12th Annual ¡Viva México! Fiesta, July 20-July 21, presents a colorful pageantry of culture, art, music and food that pays tribute to New Mexico's neighbor, Mexico. Then, savor the 3rd Annual New Mexico Food and Beer Festival: Panza Llena , August 3-4. You'll learn about historic methods of food and beer preparation, sample local fare and shop from a marketplace of vendors and artisans.
A Mighty Marathon
Ready to test your endurance? Sign up for the 9th Annual Santa Fe Thunder, which draws some 1,500 runners from more than 40 states and half a dozen countries. The event takes place on September 15 and the course features a 1,000-foot elevation drop as it winds through the Rio Grande Valley, offering magnificent mountain views for inspiration. The event also includes a half marathon, a Lightning 5K and a one-mile fitness walk. The race is organized by, and supports, the nonprofit Global Running Culture, which strives to improve young people's lives through sports and education.
Passport to Pueblo Country
For a rare and insightful experience of Pueblo life, take a guided tour with Passport To Pueblo Country, owned by Deborah and Elmer Torres of San Ildefonso Pueblo. Not only will you explore San Ildefonso Pueblo, you'll also see a pottery demonstration by a gallery artist and enjoy a traditional Feast Day meal of horno-baked bread, stews, red chile chicken enchiladas, a roast turkey or ham and more. Add on a guided 1.5-mile hike in nearby Tsankawi to view petroglyphs. “We really like to immerse guests in the culture, take a tour of the pueblo, let them freely ask questions, and let them know our perspective, our point of view of living here,” Deborah says.
To book a tour, call Deborah at 505-301-3956.