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The Albuquerque International Sunport is the largest major airline gateway in New Mexico. Many travelers choose to drive one hour to Santa Fe from Albuquerque. A number of car rental companies provide service in Albuquerque. It is a short, scenic road trip that begins on Interstate 25 North.
As the road winds into the city, Santa Fe is an apparition that appears after a long, plateau climb. Additionally Sandia Shuttle services depart from the airport up to 26 times daily. It is advisable to book these services in advance.
The Railrunner train runs from Albuquerque to Santa Fe a number of times a day, with a limited schedule on weekends. There is a free shuttle from the Albuquerque Sunport to the Railrunner station. From the Santa Fe depot, the Santa Fe Pick Up provides a free shuttle to the plaza and other downtown locations, but, according to its official website, does not operate on Sundays..
The Santa Fe Airport is accessible at this time (2016) by American to/from Dallas and Los Angeles and United to/from Denver. Shuttle services or rental cars can be arranged from the Santa Fe Airport, too. The Amtrak trains are infrequent and travel on routes between Los Angeles and Chicago. The train stops in Lamy, NM and travelers must take a shuttle from Lamy to Santa Fe (14 miles).
Directions from Albuquerque International Sunport**
**See Map in detail
Alternative directions from Albuquerque, using the last Santa Fe exit off I-25.
1. From the interchange (the Big I) of I-25 and I-40, referenced in no. 4 above, go 57 miles north on I-25 to the last Santa Fe exit, Old Pecos Trail (Exit 284).
2. Turn left and proceed on Old Pecos Trail.
3. Stay in the right lane because at 1.5 miles (after you pass Zia Road), Old Pecos Trail forks right.
4. At another 1.5 miles, Old Pecos Trail merges into Old Santa Fe Trail.
5. Take Old Santa Fe Trail until it ends at Water Street. (You just passed the Loretto Chapel on your right.)
6. Turn left and an immediate right for the dog leg of Old Santa Fe Trail and you are at the southeastern corner of the plaza next to the La Fonda. (Look to your right, down San Francisco Street, to see the St. Francis cathedral.)
Metered parking near the plaza is available along some streets. Many shops and restaurants, as well as hotels, have their own parking. The cathedral has its own parking for services. Government buildings have their own parking. Among others, public lots are available for a fee on Water Street between Don Gaspar and Shelby and at the large garage at the Convention Center, off of Federal, north of Marcy. Another parking garage opened at the Railyard, and there is a small self-pay lot up Canyon Road.