The Best Time to Visit Santa Fe

A Seasonal Guide

Vacation planning can be a tedious undertaking. You not only have to decide where you want to go but also what time of year you'd like to go! That decision ultimately boils down to what kind of vacation you want. Are you looking for relaxing days spent exploring a city at your leisure, or do you want a more adventure-heavy, excitement-filled trip full of new experiences? If you want to get outdoors, do you want cold or warm weather? Mountains or desert? These are just the questions you'd like to answer when it comes to truly planning your ultimate getaway.


Thankfully, if your sights are set on Santa Fe, you can have the best of everything all in one destination! Discover our ultimate guide to the best time to visit Santa Fe with our seasonal breakdown. From annual events to thrilling adventures, this guide will have you ready to pack your bags in no time. Keep reading to uncover why Santa Fe is always the perfect destination to explore.

Spring in Santa Fe

Spring in Santa Fe sees some of the most glorious weather, making it an excellent time to visit. With highs between 60 and 70 degrees, you can spend time outdoors without the extreme heat of summer. This is also the best time to visit if you’re looking for a more relaxed trip, as tourist season doesn’t kick off until closer to summer.


 Looking for some awesome spring activities in Santa Fe? Check these out:

  • Hit the Trails: The cool weather makes it perfect for hiking in Santa Fe. If you want to explore the beautiful landscapes, consider visiting the Sierra Del Norte trailhead for a leisurely stroll with well-maintained trail markers. Or you can trade juniper forests for aspen groves when you visit the Aspen Vista Trail just south of Santa Fe. With 12 miles of winding alpine lanes, you’ll enjoy sweeping views of rolling hills and the lush greenery of towering trees.
  • Sip Some Wine: The dry desert air and intense heat of the New Mexico landscape produce some of the country's most uniquely flavorful wines. When you visit Santa Fe in spring, enjoy the fruits of local vintners’ labor when you check out some of the area’s wineries. We recommend Gruet for those looking to stay in the city. Or, if you’re willing to make the short drive an hour up the road, you could visit New Mexico’s oldest winery at La Chiripada. Either way, a cool afternoon with a delicious glass of wine is an excellent experience to add to your Santa Fe itinerary.
  • Check Out the Art Scene: Santa Fe is known for its incredible art scene, from the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum to the famous Canyon Road, where you can wander at your own pace and enjoy fine art worldwide. Take advantage of the springtime calm when you attend an uncrowded 1st Friday art walk and see why Santa Fe has earned the reputation of being the “best art gallery and museum town on earth.” 


No matter what you enjoy on your spring vacation to Santa Fe, we know you’ll enjoy exploring the city before the summer crowds roll in.

woman on hiking trail in new mexico
group of guys white water rafting

Summer in Santa Fe

Peak tourist time in Santa Fe falls between July and September, largely thanks to the city's incredible outdoor activities and events. If you’re an adventure seeker, there’s no better way to spend a summer day than white water rafting down the Rio Grande or mountain biking through the rugged Santa Fe wilderness. If you want a more leisurely summer activity, the city is home to top-rated golf courses where you can practice your swing and enjoy the scenery.


Summer is also a great time for local festivals and markets. Don’t miss the 72nd Annual Traditional Spanish Market presented by Atrisco Heritage Foundation. As the country's oldest and largest juried art show of its kind, this market showcases all things traditional New Mexico. Attracting tens of thousands of collectors, tourists, and locals every year, it’s an incredible opportunity to experience the rich culture in Santa Fe. Enjoy live music, art demonstrations, and traditional Spanish food over this two-day celebration: July 27 and 28, 2024, from 8 am to 5 pm. For another beloved cultural event, check out the 19th Annual Santa Fe Spring Festival. Despite the name, this festival takes place on June 1 and 2, 2024. Over the two days, visitors will experience traditional New Mexican ranch activities, a fiber marketplace with local artisans and craftsmen, delicious traditional food, and more!


Whether you’re enjoying the great outdoors or experiencing the rich community of New Mexico, Summer in Santa Fe opens a world of opportunity for you to discover this exceptional city.

Fall in Santa Fe

Santa Fe comes alive in the fall with vibrant events and golden hues of changing leaves, making it one of the most epic and picturesque times to visit. Grab your camera and get outside for a glimpse of the changing Aspen trees, or take a scenic chairlift ride at Ski Santa Fe. If you’ve driven to Santa Fe or rented a car, the High Road to Taos is a 75-mile trek that winds you through some of the most stunning high-desert badlands of the Sangre de Cristo mountains and offers tons of unique stops along the way from the tiny El Santuario de Chimayo, built in 1816, to incredible eats at Sugar Nymphs Bistro. If you’re visiting in October, the annual Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta turns the piercing blue desert skies into a kaleidoscope of colors as hundreds of bright, hot air balloons take flight for nine days of balloon rodeos and nighttime glows.


Additional can’t-miss fall events include visiting local farmers markets for delicious chili harvests, catching incredible films at the Santa Fe International Film Festival, and, if you’re visiting over Halloween, the Día de los Muertos festival on the Plaza will give you a traditional experience filled with mariachi music, bright marigolds, decorative skulls, and traditional fare. For many, fall is the best time to visit Santa Fe, and with so much color and vibrancy, it’s easy to see why. We hope you’ll enjoy some of these local activities if you find yourself here in the fall.

hot air balloons
person skiing through snowy trees

Winter in Santa Fe

When you think of skiing, the first places that come to mind are probably Colorado or New England, not the desert of New Mexico. But, to those who’ve experienced it, Ski Santa Fe offers some of the most incredible powder of the season. With a base elevation of 10,350 feet, Ski Santa Fe is one of the Southwest’s most popular ski destinations, offering 85 trails suitable for all skill levels, as well as lively après ski events and great workshops and camps.

When you want to warm up from the snow, the annual Souper Bowl culinary competition is the place to be. This longstanding event brings in the best local chefs as they battle it out for titles in best Savory, Seafood, Cream, and Vegetarian soups, as well as the coveted Best Soup award. And the best part? You get to taste them all! With proceeds benefitting The Food Depot, your ticket will help feed New Mexico residents in need.


For more winter fun in Santa Fe, visit the Genoveva Chavez Community Center’s ice rink or sled down the hills at Hyde Memorial State Park. Let your imagination run wild at the Meow Wolf experience, or do it all and then cozy up by the fire in your beautiful Santa Fe vacation rental as you reminisce about your winter adventures.


porch view from Santa Fe vacation rental

Book Your Santa Fe Vacation Rental

As you can see, any time is the best time to visit Santa Fe, and we hope this seasonal guide has given you some great ideas on how to make the most of your trip whenever you visit. When you’re preparing for your vacation, let Santa Fe Vacation Rentals help you find your ideal home away from home. We have an incredible selection of beautifully furnished homes in coveted locations around Santa Fe perfect for everything from romantic getaways to family trips. Browse our available vacation rentals and book your Santa Fe vacation directly with us for the best rates and service in the area. We can’t wait to welcome you to Santa Fe!