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Outdoors

Top Rated Attractions in Santa Fe

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Santa Fe Downs

In the past, the historic Santa Fe Downs was a race track for thoroughbred horses, but closed in 1997. It is now an ideal location for summer concerts, and is now primarily used for outdoor music performances and events. The Santa Fe Music Fest is also held here.

Santa Fe National Forest

Enshrouded in a tracery of mighty mountain peaks, the mystical Sante Fe National Forest consumes millions of acres of rangeland. A true outdoor paradise, the forest is greatly framed by soaring structures like the Truchas Peak and Jemez Mountains which shelter fantastic formations birthed by natural hot water springs. Some notable sites within the forest are the San Pedro Parks, the Dome Wilderness, the Chama River Canyon Wilderness and the Pecos Wilderness, which is a hiking wonderland. The park is also interspersed with winding, crisscrossing streams, and is the ground from where an array of rivers originate. Swathes of golden aspen adorn the park's uplands from spring through autumn, while the park transforms into a frozen heaven come winter. Santa Fe National Forest is also a massive shelter of delightful wildlife like deer, bears, turkeys and elks.

Pecos National Historical Park

Pecos National Historical Park is a scenic expanse dotted with a number of historical gems. Spanning close to 6,671 acres (2,700 hectares), its nucleus lies at ruins of Pecos Pueblo, an ancient trading center with roots dating back to 1100 CE. Replete with mud structures that range from a church to long-forgotten, close to five story-high homes of nearly 2,000 Puebloans, this site is a fascinating walk down history. The Glorieta Pass Battlefield, Forked Lightning Ranch, and the Old Santa Fe Trail are the park's much recent features that can be traced back to the 19th Century. A National monument, a National Historic Site, and a National Historic Landmark, the place's archaic charm is testimony to the prestigious designations conferred upon it.

Randall Davey Audubon Center & Sanctuary

In 1847, the United States Army built a sawmill here to provide lumber for the construction of Fort Marcy. The sawmill was later converted to a home, which is open for tours. The Audubon Society purchased the property and turned it into a wildlife preserve. Hiking trails are available to search out native plants and animals. If you walk quietly and keep on the lookout, aside from the numerous species of birds, you just might catch a glimpse of a deer, bear or mountain lion.

Cross Of The Martyrs

During the 1680 Pueblo Revolt, 21 Franciscan Friars died in the fight between the natives and the Spanish. A single white cross sits on a terraced hill overlooking Santa Fe to honor those holy men. The path leading up to the cross is paved and has handrails. Plaques describing the surrounding sights dot the pathways. Come for a quiet walk during a spectacular sunset; the vista is breathtaking.

Santa Fe Botanical Garden

Museum Hill's Santa Fe Botanical Garden celebrates the rich plant life and stunning biodiversity of the region. Established in the year 2013 it occupies a sprawling area of 14 acres (5.66 hectares) and is laid to the designs of noted landscape artist W. Gary Smith. The whole facility belongs to a wetland region and welcomes nature lovers to study indigenous as well as foreign species of plants. A number of interactive programs and events acquaint visitors about the various species on display at the arboretum.

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