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The Santa Fe Plaza is one of the city's primary tourist strongholds. Shops, restaurants, a central park and monuments such as St. Francis Cathedral abound. The most efficient method of travel within the plaza is by foot. Everything is within walking distance and the windy streets are much easier to navigate with a pair of shoes rather than a steering wheel. Visitors who are staying in hotels inside the Plaza are fortunate because they do not need to rent a car every day. If you do not plan to rent a car, Paseo de Peralta rings the Plaza, or "downtown" neighborhood. (Paseo de Peralta completes a circle by intersecting St. Francis in two places.) Try to find a hotel inside its loop.
On the other hand, people who stay outside the Plaza should either wake up early for parking in the Santa Fe visitor's center or take a bus to the plaza. The environmentally friendly bus in Santa Fe adheres to the schedule every day except for Sunday. The Santa Fe Express is a tour bus that is open-air during warm months. It begins on the Northwest corner of the plaza and the length of the tour is 75 minutes. If you choose to drive in Santa Fe, buy a map and remember that the roads are laid out a bit like a wagon wheel. You may need to make multiple right turns to travel in a straigt line.
A car is a necessity for cross-town or day excursions in Northern New Mexico. Pack an emergency gallon of extra drinking water in the car and keep the fuel tank full. An empty fuel tank is the easiest way a tourist can become stranded in between towns. Also, do not pick up hitchhikers. Note their location and call 9-1-1 on a cell phone to report a person under distress.
Santa Fe Express Information