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Green Goods Presents: Our Favorite Santa Fe Museums to Visit

Santa Fe may be the state capital of New Mexico, but for those who love the arts, it’s something far more: A place of wild and timeless beauty and endless mystery. Founded over 400 years ago, it’s both the oldest state capital and at an elevation of 7,199 feet above sea level, also the highest.

What makes Santa Fe so special? For many, it comes down to the city’s long history as a center of arts and culture. Santa Fe is recognized as part of UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, and any resident will affirm that art is very much a part of everyday life here.

But while art is everywhere, you can catch some of the best of it at the many Santa Fe museums. Where to begin? Start with our curated list of the best Santa Fe museums, of course!

Green Goods’ Top Santa Fe Museums to Visit

New Mexico History Museum

Santa Fe Museums 1

113 Lincoln Ave
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 476-5200

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Housed in a former governor’s palace dating back to the very founding of the town, this adobe-walled exhibit is a must-see attraction in the lineup of Santa Fe museums. With a focus on the many peoples who have called the region home, it boasts a stunning array of photographs, historical artifacts, video presentations, and craft fairs featuring local artisans. The governor’s palace, by the way, is its own museum, accessible via the nearby Native American Market.

Museum of International Folk Art

On Museum Hill, 706 Camino Lejo
Santa Fe, NM 87505
(505) 476-1200

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With a sprawling and expansive vision of just what encompasses “art,” this museum is unusually inviting. You’ll find everything from ancient Japanese “demon” masks to audiovisual exhibits celebrating New Mexico’s indigenous “Hispano” music to handmade Afghan carpets commemorating the iconography of war. With a collection spanning over 130,000 objects from more than 100 countries, it’s easy to lose yourself at this sprawling testimonial to human creativity.

Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian

704 Camino Lejo
Santa Fe, NM 87505
(505) 982-4636

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As the oldest independent, non-profit museum in the state, this venerable institution is a reminder of the importance of Native Americans in the story of New Mexico. With exhibits on traditional medicine healers, the plight of modern-day indigenous women at the U.S. border, the world-renowned Center for the Study of Southwestern Jewelry, and the Case Trading Post, one of Santa Fe’s oldest galleries for traditional Native American art, the Wheelwright packs a lot of attractions into a dense and entertaining package.

New Mexico Museum of Art

Santa Fe Museums

107 W Palace Ave
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 476-5072

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With a focus on contemporary art and photography, this beloved Santa Fe museum builds on the rich past to take us firmly into the present. Housed in a sprawling historic adobe building, the museum collection focuses on local artists such as painter Will Shuster and gallerists such as Elaine Horwitch, who was a major force in New Mexican art from the ‘70s through the ‘90s. The museum grounds a lovely place to wander and lose yourself in sculpture gardens, colorful murals, and the delights of the sensual realm of the artist.

Oldest House Museum

215 E De Vargas St
Santa Fe, NM 87501
(505) 988-2488

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Though small in size, this museum packs a lot into its right-angled walls, a hallmark of a historic building style far older than the United States. You’ll see antique furnishings and be able to purchase handcrafts at the attached gift shop. All in all, a visit to this ancient dwelling—believed to date to 1646—is a visceral and memorable glance backward in time.

Check them out, then stop by our Santa Fe dispensary!