ABOUT SANTA FE
SANTA FE NEIGHBORHOODS
One of the most enchanting and impressive features of Santa Fe is the diversity of its neighborhoods – starting with charming historic areas in the heart of town right off the Plaza, to newer developments that take in the space and sky outside of town. While not all-inclusive, the following describes most of Santa Fe’s eclectic areas.
The Historic Eastside begins on the east side of Paseo de Peralta and runs up into the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. On the north, it is bordered by the Santa Fe River and on the south by Old Pecos Trail. Canyon Road is the heart of the Eastside with art galleries and adobe houses that were prototypes for "Santa Fe Style". Small roads, many of them dirt, meander off Canyon Road. Homes vary from the simplest of structures to the swankiest of estates. In the mountains above St. John's College, for example, is Wilderness Gate with 5+ acre view lots and large, elegant homes.
The Northwest is a land of rolling hills and sweeping vistas. It is bordered on the east by Highway 285 North and on the west by the Rio Grande River. The region contains some of the most lavish and sought-after real estate in the area. Lots start at one acre and go up to 20 plus acres. The two primary subdivisions are La Tierra and Las Campanas.
The North Hills rise from Paseo de Peralta and are bordered by Old Taos Highway on the west, the Sangre de Cristo mountains on the east and Tesuque on the north. The terrain is rolling with small pinons and juniper further uphill, and culminates in the mountains with spruce and ponderosa pines approaching the Ski Valley. Tesuque is an area of riverbed and meadows, pastoral and picturesque. The Gonzales and Cerro Gordo Road areas are reminiscent of the Eastside dirt roads with houses ranging from humble to expansive. The Old Taos Highway corridor includes condos and homes on one-plus acre lots. Like the countryside, the real estate becomes more impressive (and expensive) as the elevation increases. Primary subdivisions on Hyde Park Road (the road up to the Ski Valley) are: The Summit, Hyde Park Estates, and Sierra del Norte.
This area includes established close-in neighborhoods, such as Casa Solana, and further-out (although only about 10 minutes) areas with more land and expansive views, such as Puesta del Sol. The West Alameda district has many advantageous features such as proximity to downtown and many view lots. The West Alameda district extends from St. Francis west out both sides of Alameda and is bordered by the Santa Fe River on the south and by Paseo de Vista on the north
Closely nestled homes now dominate the streetscape. Many houses still retain the quaint vernacular style favored by the industrious and humble original inhabitants. Though interspersed with new homes or up-to-date renovations, the neighborhood retains much of its old character and charm. Located from Guadalupe Street west to St. Francis between Cerrillos and the Santa Fe River.
Historically, the Guadalupe neighborhood grew along the "Camino Real", the road back to Mexico and eventually to Spain. The landmark Santuario de Guadalupe was the last place travelers stopped to pray for safe passage and drink from the Agua Fria well as they embarked on the trail.
Travelers, stock and wagons gathered and supplies were unloaded here after the perilous journey from Mexico and Spain. Later the Santa Fe Trail, then the railroad, terminated in this neighborhood.
The area is expanding with renovation of a district called The Railyard district, home of the historic Santa Fe Southern Railroad, and featuring live-and-work studios, shops and galleries and a fresh new energy. The Railyard is one of Santa Fe's most vibrant up-and-coming areas.
South Capitol stretches south from the State Capitol complex west of the Old Santa Fe Trail. It goes all the way to the St. Vincent Hospital on the south and St. Francis Drive on the west.
The streetscape is reminiscent of many charming neighborhoods in towns around the country. Lots vary from 60 x 100 foot parcels up to an acre or so. The bungalows near the Capitol are more often frame construction than adobe. Renovations in the district and newer homes update the original standards of the 1940s and 50s to include some very fine homes. Also interspersed are small rental complexes and condos.
This area lies east of St. Francis and generally south of Garcia St. within the City limits. The Museum District and on further out Old Santa Fe Trail includes some of the most incredible property in the city. Lot sizes vary from about 1/2 acre to more than five, some with stunning views. Here, one finds homes of all sizes and types.
DeVargas Heights lies east of Old Pecos Trail near Zia Road. It is a mature subdivision of moderate priced ranch or pueblo style homes on lots of about 1/5 to 1/2 acre. You will find homes of about 2,000 square feet, some dated, some renovated, and some new more expensive homes.
To the west of Old Pecos Trail lies Sol y Lomas. Here lots are 1/2 to over 1 acre. There's a country feeling with pinons providing privacy from neighbors. Homes, often over twenty years old, are usually well kept, some ready for remodel, and some updated. Sizes vary from about 1,800 square feet to over 3,000.
Quail Run is a gated 9-hole golf community with exercise, meeting and restaurant facilities. A variety of town homes and single-family homes are available for part-time or full-time residents.
The Southwest is bordered on the east by St. Francis Drive and on the west by Cerrillos Road and extends south out Airport Road. It is an area of condos, town homes and single-family dwellings that is, perhaps, more like most other U.S. cities than any other area of Santa Fe. Roads on the southwest side are paved, most streets have sidewalks and most houses have garages. Most homes are still "Santa Fe Style." Many homes are new, although some are older and somewhat dated. This can translate into a good buy for a person who doesn't mind doing some cosmetic work. Major subdivisions in this area are: Villa Caballero I, II and III, Las Estancias, Pueblos del Sol, Los Milagros, Las Acequias, Vista Primera and Park Plazas.
Old Las Vegas Corridor
This area extends outside the city to the southeast along both sides of I-25, and out as far as Eldorado and the US Highway 285 junction. Most of this area lies in the foothills at the southern end of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The setting is rural and quiet. Via Old Santa Fe Trail or Old Las Vegas Highway, you are still just a few minutes to town. Driving to the more secluded sites on winding hilly side roads takes a bit longer. Lot sizes vary but may average five acres. Home prices vary considerably depending on views, terrain, and the specific neighborhood.
The Eldorado area lies about fifteen miles (or 20 minutes) southeast of the Plaza on gently rolling terrain. The Eldorado subdivision now includes about 2,200 homes. It includes a small and pleasant shopping and office complex, a library, a community recreation center, stables and protective covenants. Many lots have lovely views and native piñon and juniper vegetation.
The homes in Eldorado often include modern conveniences and a variety of pleasing styles. A number of builders are active here and values have increased steadily for existing properties.
The Eldorado area includes many other subdivisions (Alteza, Dos Griegos, Los Vaqueros, Old Road Ranch, and The Ridges), with larger lots and generally more expensive homes. Other subdivisions may offer more interesting terrain or allow horse stables. The historic villages of Lamy and Galisteo lie further to the south, each with its own charm.
North of Santa Fe
Traditional Spanish settlements grew up along the fertile streams that run from the mountains to the Rio Grande. Native American pueblos (reservations) straddle the Rio Grande and adjoin the villages to the north of Santa Fe. Tesuque (a village named after the adjacent pueblo) is just north of Santa Fe. Because of its initial affordability, it became a home to artists. Later it became popular, offering a "back to nature" lifestyle for the affluent. Los Caminitos and Vista Redondo are among the subdivisions near Tesuque on the way to the tiny villages of Chupadero and Rio En Medio. Casas de San Juan is a superb gated community adjacent to the Santa Fe Opera.
The Nambe and Pojoaque valleys lie about 15 minutes north of Santa Fe on US 285. The traditional farming villages here retain their agrarian charm, in spite of an influx of scientists from Los Alamos in the 50s and some continuing gentrification. Humble, but charming adobe farm houses adjoin verdant large estates, new homes and trailers.
Los Caminitos is a gated community of 78 large, forested lots (averaging more than 10 acres each) in the rolling foothills above Tesuque Village, bordering the Four Seasons Rancho Encantado resort on one side and Santa Fe National Forest on the other. Despite proximity to the opera and the highway to Los Alamos and Taos, Los Caminitos residents enjoy the most privacy and immediate access to nature of any substantial community close to the city of Santa Fe. Views from the 6900 to 7500 ft. elevations take in all of the surrounding mountain ranges as far away as Albuquerque and Colorado, along with dark, star-filled night skies and the lights of Los Alamos, 30 miles to the west. Association fees include road maintenance, a clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis courts and miles of hiking, biking and riding trails within a 573-acre dedicated wilderness area.
The La Cienega/Highway 14 area is south of town on either side of I-25 (La Cienega on the west, Highway 14 on the east). The terrain is high mesa and lots tend to be one-plus acres. Views are generally long and lovely, and housing varies from mobile homes, to alternative (e.g. bermed-in or strawbale) to traditional Santa Fe style. Further south along Highway 14 (45 minutes to an hour from Santa Fe) are Cerrillos and Madrid, two eclectic old mining towns offering more affordable homes and lots of atmosphere.