Thursday, December 3, 2015
Route 66-Santa Fe
When Route 66 was planned in 1926 it went through Santa Fe. Everything was fine until 1927 when New Mexico Governor A. T. Hannett lost the re-election. He blamed the politicians in the capital city of Santa Fe and vowed to get even with them. He started a road project that would cut straight across New Mexico from Santa Rosa to Albuquerque and completely bypass Santa Fe. By 1937 the new route, NM 6, was paved and approved to become part of Route 66. A straight, less mountainous route makes sense but Santa Fe is much too pretty and interesting to skip so if you have time take the old alignment to Santa Fe.
We spent a week visiting a good friend (thanks Laura!) in Santa Fe and didn’t go to the city at all so I’m reposting from previous visits.
Museum of International Folk Art – visited in 2011
The main exhibit area in this museum houses the collection of one man, Alexander Girard, an architect and designer. He and his wife donated their folk art collection with the stipulation that the exhibits be displayed in spaces designed by Girard. Houses, people, animals and plants made of clay, wood and other materials have been gathered together to make entire village scenes.
Most of the museum is very accessible. There are a few exhibit cases that are a little high.
Parking for RVs is available in the overflow lot located across the street from the museum. Part of the lot is gravel so park near the edge. After crossing the street there is a bit of a hill in the main lot. If you have a van or car, there’s plenty of handicapped parking in the main lot. An elevator accesses the plaza where the folk art museum is located. The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art and the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture are also located in the plaza.
Museum of Indian Arts & Culture – visited in 2011
This museum has an amazing collection of artifacts, many of them over 1,000 years old and in very good condition. As you progress through the museum, the stories of the Indian tribes of New Mexico are told by tribe members through short videos and written accounts. The temporary exhibits include contemporary art and exhibits of artwork from other native cultures.
The museum is all accessible. There’s a ramp leading into the exhibits and then a small elevator that requires a key to operate so you must wait for the museum personnel to come help with it.
Parking information is the same as for the Museum of International Folk Art.
New Mexico History Museum – visited in 2013
This is an excellent museum, newly opened in 2009. The admission ticket is also good for the Palace of the Governors but we spent so much time in the museum that we missed visiting the Palace. If you’re planning on spending several days in Santa Fe buy a four day pass – $20.00 to visit four museums, the Museum of International Folk Art, the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture, the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Palace of the Governors/New Mexico History Museum
Everything in the museum is accessible. Most of the sidewalks and curb cuts around Santa Fe Plaza are in good condition but once you get a few blocks away the situation deteriorates. Sidewalks are narrow, tilted and rough. Many shops have a step at the entrance. Curb cuts are steep and uneven. Wheelchair users will need to have help.
Parking around the plaza is very limited. RVs may park a few blocks south east in the lot on the corner of Alameda Street and Cathedral Place. The parking fee is high – $20.00 for a RV- but that’s for 24 hours and if your RV is self contained you can stay overnight, something almost unheard of in a city. Free parking is available at the government offices where Paseo De Peralta turns west. The spaces are short so weekends, when the buildings are closed, may be best for RV parking. Parking
State Capitol Building Art Collection – visited in 2013
Almost 600 pieces of art work, all by New Mexico artists, are displayed along the hallways, lobbies, rotunda and in the governor’s office. Even the seating in the lobbies are works of art. All the art is contemporary and covers a wide range of mediums. And it’s free to visit!
Everything is accessible but the carpeting is plush and it can be tiring to push through the entire building.
A small parking lot for visitors is located off of Paseo De Peralta. Small RVs and vans will fit. A few long RV parking spaces are located across from the Capitol in the visitor center parking lot.
This is a just a small sampling of the attractions in Santa Fe. Check the city’s website for more – link.