Your Ultimate Summer Guide to Santa Fe County

With summer on the way, we’re gearing up to host the country’s most celebrated art markets, showcasing traditional Spanish Colonial artists international folk artists, and Native American artists from across North America. Get all the details below, so you can add the dates to your travel planner. We’ve also included a few other enticing reasons for you to visit Santa Fe County, from a fantastic farm to table experience to waterfall fun. We know we’ll see you soon!

Must-see Markets

A pageantry of sights, sounds and colors transforms the Santa Fe Plaza into a vibrant celebration during the 71st annual Traditional Spanish Market. Hundreds of Spanish Colonial artists sell their handcrafted retablos, santos, straw applique, hand-carved furniture, tin work and other exceptional pieces. Shop the artist booths and meet the makers, and enjoy art demonstrations, live music, dance and regional foods.

Friday, July 28 through Sunday, July 30

Where else do you get the chance to meet more than 150 artists from 53 countries than at the International Folk Art Market? You can buy their exquisite, handmade jewelry, textiles, clothing, paintings, pottery and a staggering variety of other works. These artists have traveled across the world to take part in this beloved market and to talk with market-goers about their work. The festive market includes live world music, dance and other performances and foods from around the world.

Wednesday, July 5 through Sunday, July 9

More than 1,000 Native American artists from across North America travel to Santa Fe for the city’s biggest event, the annual Santa Fe Indian Market. The world’s largest Native American art market, held on the Santa Fe Plaza, draws avid collectors to purchase pottery, weavings, jewelry, basketry and other traditional, handcrafted works. Presented by the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts, Santa Fe Indian Market also features an indigenous fashion show, time-honored dances and drumming, live Native music and other exciting events.

Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20

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Meet 400 artists selling a variety of traditional and contemporary jewelry, pottery, sculpture, beadwork, painting and apparel at Pathways: Indigenous Arts Festival, held at Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino. The festival, presented by Poeh Cultural Center and the Pueblo of Pojoaque, showcases Indigenous creative entrepreneurs through art demonstrations, live music and dance performances on indoor and outdoor stages, film and television screenings, artist panels, youth activities, an Indigenous Fashion Showcase and other exciting events. Food trucks offer Indian tacos and other traditional Native fare at this popular Indigenous celebration.

Friday, August 18 through Sunday, August 20

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Water Fun

The stunning double-drop waterfall is reason enough to visit Nambé Falls & Lake Recreation Area, where trails take you above or below this spectacular site.  But bring your bathing suit, fishing tackle and camping gear, because this serene spot is great for swimming, lake fishing and overnight camping beneath a canopy of stars. Located in the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, 29 miles from Santa Fe on Nambé Pueblo, this lovely landscape offers endless family fun, with rafts, float tubes, paddle boards, canoes and kayaks available to rent, in case you didn’t bring yours.

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Dine on the Farm

Dinner doesn’t get much better than when the ingredients are field-fresh, harvested just feet from your table and bursting with flavor. That’s the kind of meal you’ll savor at the unique farm to table dinners at Reunity Resources, a two-acre regenerative urban farm, that also offers a farm stand, simple prepared foods to go and a chance to wander the farm fields and their bounty of foods. Seated at an outdoor table right on the farm, enjoying creative dishes prepared by acclaimed local chefs, and serenaded by live music you couldn’t be more connected to the full farm experience.

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Take a virtual visit to Reunity Resources with this short video:

Lights, Camera, Action

New Mexico is a hot spot for movie-making, hosting big studio and indie productions as well as a steady flow of streaming series. But Hollywood’s love affair with the Land of Enchantment is nothing new. From the world’s first movie, Indian Day School—shot in 1898 by Thomas Edison on Isleta Pueblo—to countless Westerns, blockbuster action movies, sci-fi films and a variety of other genres, New Mexico’s landscape has played a starring role. To see some of the key film locations over the decades, take a look at our Hollywood in the High Desert Itinerary.

Park It

From high-desert glamping to mountain forest escapes, RV parks with panoramic mountain views and a KOA campground that attracts hummingbirds as much as RVs, Santa Fe County offers plenty of picturesque places to set up camp. If you’re looking for a yurt, we’ve got that, too, in the ponderosa pine mountain forest of Hyde Memorial State Park. Find all your options on our website:

RV Parks and Camping in Santa Fe County

New Travel Guide

We can’t wait for you to see the new Santa Fe County Travel Guide. It’s filled with pages of great ideas for things to do, places to stay, dine and shop and so much more. Look for it in June or visit our website for a digital version.

Download Now!

Upcoming Events

To Market

Shop for fresh vegetables, fruits and other foods grown in the Pojoaque Valley and northern New Mexico, when the Pueblo of Pojoaque Farmers’ and Crafts Market opens for the season, at Pojoaque Pueblo’s Poeh Center. From fava beans, and sugar snap peas to saffron and cilantro, the market offers diverse and delicious foods, along with flowers and Native crafts.

Wednesday May 3, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Art in the Park

A visit to Cerrillos Hills State Park is always fun, but stop in in for Amigos Art in the Park, and you’ll have a blast. The annual event features jewelry, Cerrillos turquoise, paintings, photography, note cards, candles and dozens of other works by artists from the Turquoise Trail corridor and surrounding area. On top of all that, there’s a bake sale, too.

Saturday, May 27, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tailgating Tips for the Santa Fe Opera

Opera season is on the horizon. Tickets are on sale now for the 2023 season, which kicks off June 30th with Tosca. In honor of this year, we've compiled some essential Santa Fe Opera tailgating tips to ensure that your tailgate experience is enchanting.

The Santa Fe Opera has long reigned as one of the world’s leading summer opera festivals, held in the stunning open-air Crosby Theatre surrounded by the dramatic foothills of the Rockies. But the pre-opera gatherings in the two-tiered parking lot are equally as famous at the venue’s acclaimed opera performances. Drawing opera aficionados dressed to the nines whose tables are set for royalty, tailgating at the Santa Fe Opera is a longtime and cherished summer tradition.

We’ve compiled some essential Santa Fe Opera tailgating tips to ensure that your tailgate experience is enchanting.

Dress Up, or Down

One of the biggest decisions for a Santa Fe Opera tailgater might be choosing what to wear. Rest assured, the Crosby Theatre has no dress code, and this means almost anything goes. You’ll see women wearing ball gowns and jewels, and others dressed in faded jeans and comfy shirts.  Men may sport tuxedos with waist coats, or jeans and cowboy boots with a Stetson hat to match. Carnival masks, top hats, wigs and other accessories abound. Perhaps the most fun you could have dressing up for this opera is to customize your wardrobe for that night’s performance. For instance, don a sailor’s outfit for Richard Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, about a fated sea captain in search of a bride to break the curse that haunts him. A performance of Bizet’s Carmen would be well-suited by a colorful gypsy outfit. The turquoise sky’s the limit when you’re dressing for the Santa Fe Opera tailgate.

A Moveable Feast

Just about any kind of finger food, from cheese and crackers to chips and dips, works well for a tailgate. But this isn’t just any tailgate, so most opera-goers elevate the fare with elegant multi-course dinners. You’ll see fancy spreads of salads, cold salmon with dill and sliced steaks, as well as colorful pasta dishes and decadent desserts. You can order prepared foods such as these at local restaurants and grocery stores, but making your own tailgate feast can be infinitely more fun. Especially if you create your menus to match the opera of the night. Puccini’s Tosca, which opens the Santa Fe Opera’s 2023 season, calls for a tailgate of Italian fare. Think antipasti platters of fontina and mozzarella cheese, beef carpaccio, olives and roasted vegetables accompanied by crusty bruschetta or pasta fredda, a hearty cold pasta dish tossed with shrimp.

The first performance at the Santa Fe Opera took place on July 3, 1957, with Puccini’s beloved Madama Butterfly, which is set in Japan. It’s been a festival favorite ever since. A tailgate offering of a sushi selection is the perfect fit, along with udon noodles. Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro is an equally popular opera at this festival, having been performed for nearly 20 seasons. Spanish tapas would make an ideal tailgate feast before this opera.

For a French opera such as Puccini’s La bohème, set in 1830s Paris and centered on the Bohemian lifestyle of a poor seamstress and her artist friends, you could put together a Parisian meal of St. Andre, Camembert and other gourmet French cheese, country patés and baguettes, followed by quiche Lorraine with bacon and Gruyère, and scrumptious profiteroles for dessert.

If you don’t have time to put together your tailgate food, the Santa Fe Opera offers ready-made tailgate picnics. Order them by 3 p.m. two days before the performance you plan to attend. (These sampler and dinner boxes are not available on August 13 and 20, 2023.)  Find more info here:

Park It

The best tip for the Santa Fe Opera’s tailgate is to get there early, by 5 p.m., about three hours before performance time, so you can nab a good spot in a parking lot.  Some picnic tables next to the parking lots are available, but it’s more fun to tailgate directly in front, or back, of your vehicle. Either way, the views of majestic mountains and memorable sunsets are just as thrilling as the opera performances themselves. It’s also fascinating to see the table setups, food, and outfits of other tailgaters. (Note that charcoal fires are not permitted.)

The Setup

From two folding chairs set in front of a cooler that doubles as a table to folding tables lined up for 20 or more guests, tailgate setups at the Santa Fe Opera are a far cry from burgers and dogs served out of the back of a station wagon. Experienced hosts cart in everything from candelabras and chandeliers to elaborate flower arrangements. The table settings feature fine china, real silverware, champagne flutes and party favors on linen tablecloths. But you don’t have to compete with the extravagant décor. Some opera-goers simply set up chairs in the back of their pickup trucks and spend more time people-watching than setting up and cleaning up.

The Wrap-up

Most opera performances last three hours, so consider wrapping up your tailgate feast with coffee or black tea. If you’re interested in attending a free Prelude Talk about the opera you’re there to see, they’re held one hour before the performance starts, in the onsite Stieren Hall, so you’ll have to end your tailgate before then.

Once you’ve experienced the pageantry of a Santa Fe Opera tailgate party, set against a backdrop of beautiful mountain scenery, you’ll likely find yourself planning an encore.

2023 Santa Fe Opera Season: June 30- August 26​.


Plan your trip to Santa Fe County this spring! We're looking forward to seeing you. For more information, Visit and be sure to follow us on social media.