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The quaintness of Santa Fe permits travelers significant freedom in their choice of nightlife. In a spontaneous mood, a visitor could simply listen for music downtown, follow it, and enter the doors of any given bar. There are rarely lines, guestlists, or bouncers to ruin a night of partying. Yet, in Santa Fe, "partying" has a unique connotation when compared to other cities. The clubs and bars have low draws and little to no cover. Few venues have a dance floor or play popular dance music.
However, people are quite outgoing and there is a greater chance of meeting new friends here than elsewhere in the U.S. Dress codes are not strictly enforced, so it is an opportunity to relax and be yourself. Initially, limit alcoholic beverages. 1 serving of alcohol equals 3 at this high altitude. This way a traveler can fully explore the changing shape of the Santa Fe nightlife.
Rock and country music and beer at the Cowgirl BBQ. There is usually no cover charge and touring bands frequently debut at the Cowgirl. Consider one or two choice-bars as initial options. Upon visiting one or two of these venues, there will likely be others in the vicinity. Then, hop over to the place that sounds the best from the streets.