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Arriving

By Plane -- Many people choose to fly into the Albuquerque International Sunport. However, if you want to save time and don't mind paying a bit more, you may be able to fly into the Santa Fe Municipal Airport (tel. 505/955-2900; www.santafenm.gov), just outside the southwestern city limits on Airport Road. In conjunction with American Airlines, commuter flights are planned to be offered by American Eagle (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com); as well, Delta Airlines (tel. 800/221-1212; www.delta.com) is planning to begin service in late 2008, though at press time the airport was still awaiting confirmation.

If you do fly into Albuquerque, you can rent a car or take one of the bus services.

From the Santa Fe Municipal Airport, Roadrunner Shuttle (tel. 505/424-3367) meets every commercial flight and takes visitors anywhere in Santa Fe. From the Albuquerque Sunport to Santa Fe, Sandia Shuttle Express (tel. 888/775-5696 or 505/474-5696; www.sandiashuttle.com) runs shuttles from 8:45am to 10:45pm.

By Car -- I-25 skims past Santa Fe's southern city limits, connecting it along one continuous highway from Billings, Montana, to El Paso, Texas. I-40, the state's major east-west thoroughfare, which bisects Albuquerque, affords coast-to-coast access to Santa Fe. (From the west, motorists leave I-40 in Albuquerque and take I-25 north; from the east, travelers exit I-40 at Clines Corners and continue 52 miles to Santa Fe on US 285. Note: Diesel is scarce on US 285, so be sure to fill up before you leave Clines Corners.) For those coming from the northwest, the most direct route is via Durango, Colorado, on US 160, entering Santa Fe on US 84.

Visitor Information

The Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau is located downtown at 201 W. Marcy St. (P.O. Box 909), Santa Fe, NM 87504-0909 (tel. 800/777-CITY [2489] or 505/955-6200). You can also log on to the bureau's website, at www.santafe.org.

City Layout

Main Arteries & Streets -- The limits of downtown Santa Fe are demarcated on three sides by the horseshoe-shaped Paseo de Peralta and on the west by St. Francis Drive, otherwise known as US 84/285. Alameda Street follows the north side of the Santa Fe River through downtown, with the State Capitol and other government buildings on the south side of the river, and most buildings of historic and tourist interest on the north, east of Guadalupe Street.

The plaza is Santa Fe's universally accepted point of orientation. Its four diagonal walkways meet at a central fountain, around which a strange and wonderful assortment of people of all ages, nationalities, and lifestyles can be found at nearly any hour of the day or night.

If you stand in the center of the plaza looking north, you'll be gazing directly at the Palace of the Governors. In front of you is Palace Avenue; behind you, San Francisco Street. To your left is Lincoln Avenue, and to your right is Washington Avenue, which divides the downtown avenues into east and west. St. Francis Cathedral is the massive Romanesque structure a block east, down San Francisco Street. Alameda Street is 2 full blocks behind you.

Near the intersection of Alameda Street and Paseo de Peralta, you'll find Canyon Road running east toward the mountains. Much of this street is one-way. The best way to see it is to walk up or down, taking time to explore shops and galleries and even have lunch or dinner.

Running to the southwest from the downtown area, beginning opposite the state office buildings on Galisteo Avenue, is Cerrillos Road. Once the main north-south highway connecting New Mexico's state capital with its largest city, Albuquerque, it is now a 6-mile-long motel and fast-food strip. St. Francis Drive, which crosses Cerrillos Road 3 blocks south of Guadalupe Street, is a far less tawdry byway, linking Santa Fe with I-25, 4 miles southwest of downtown. The Old Pecos Trail, on the east side of the city, also joins downtown and the freeway. St. Michael's Drive connects the three arteries.

Finding an Address -- The city's layout makes it difficult to know exactly where to look for a particular address. It's best to call ahead for directions.

Maps -- Free city and state maps can be obtained at tourist information offices. An excellent state highway map is published by the New Mexico Department of Tourism, 491 Old Santa Fe Trail, Lamy Building, Santa Fe, NM 87503 (tel. 800/733-6396 or 505/827-7400, www.newmexico.org; to receive a tourism guide call tel. 800/777-CITY [2489]). There's also a Santa Fe visitor center in the same building. More specific county and city maps are available from the State Highway and Transportation Department, 1120 Cerrillos Rd., Santa Fe, NM 87504 (tel. 505/827-5100). Members of the American Automobile Association (AAA), 1644 St. Michael's Dr. (tel. 505/471-6620; www.AAA.com), can obtain free maps from the AAA office. Other good regional maps can be purchased at area bookstores.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.