Fall is beautiful everywhere, but at 7,000 feet it becomes absolutely stunning. In Santa Fe, locals often say autumn is their favorite season, and here are just a few reasons why:
Smaller Crowds and a Huge Burning Puppet
That’s right, as soon as the summer crowds leave, we Santa Feans get together and burn a 50-foot marionette. Zozobra—as it’s called—is a ritual to chase away the doom and gloom of the previous year, and we’ve been doing it since 1926.
Blazing Gold Aspens
Every year in late September and October, the aspen trees that blanket Santa Fe’s Sangre de Cristo Mountains put on a gorgeous display as their leaves turn from soft green to brilliant yellow. It’s beautiful but fleeting, so locals seize every opportunity to enjoy the fall foliage. For the best view, drive up to Ski Santa Fe and take a scenic chairlift ride to soak in blazing vistas.
Hiking and Biking Perfection
Santa Fe may be known for arts and culture, but our outdoor spaces are equally superb. Santa Fe is a hiking and biking paradise year-round, but it gets even better in autumn, when the weather is absolutely flawless. The summer monsoons have abated, the air is cooler, and of course the aspen trees are spectacular.
A Bountiful Harvest
Northern New Mexico’s thriving agricultural community really shines in the autumn. The Santa Fe Farmer’s Market is positively booming and local farm-to-table restaurants take full advantage of the seasonal abundance. A few of our favorites that embrace the locavore concept include:
Oh, and did we mention chile is in season? The aroma of our beloved state vegetable roasting on the fire fills the air all September long, and it’s available by (and consumed by) the truckload.
Nearby Festivals and Celebrations
Also in fall, there’s a plethora of annual events in and around Santa Fe: Santa FeWine and Chile Fiesta in September, Albuquerque’s famed Balloon Fiesta in October, the Bosque del Apache Festival of the Cranes in November, and Native American Tribal Feast Days throughout the season.
For these reasons and innumerable others, fall is Santa Fe’s worst-kept secret. Come see for yourself, but be forewarned: Once you get a taste of autumn in Santa Fe you may never want to leave!