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Nearby Beautiful Historical Hikes

by Susan Orth

At 7,000 feet Santa Fe is the highest capital city in the United States and due to its high-altitude location at the tail-end of the Rocky Mountains, the City Different basks in 320 days of sunshine, vivid blue skies and some of the purest air in the country. Surrounded by 1.5 million acres of national forest and other public lands, locals and visitors alike have a lifetime of exploration at their doorsteps.


One breath-taking, nearby short hike is within Bandelier National Monument, which is about a 45-minute drive from downtown Santa Fe.  The two-mile loop trail to the Tsankawi Ruins is a foot-carved pathway that takes you atop a mesa and through the largely unexcavated village that is the ancestral home to the Tewa-speaking Pueblo people, descendants of the Chaco Canyon Anasazi.


Besides affording sweeping views of the Rio Grande Valley, Jemez Mountains, and the Sangre de Cristos, the walk also gives you an opportunity to explore small caves, scramble up ladders, and generally imagine what life atop the mesa must have been like during the 16th century. These are some of the best Pueblo ruins around, so don’t miss them if you want to know for about the area’s history.


City Different Realty serves Los Alamos and White Rock also and if you come to the Santa Fe area, please drop us a line or stop by the office.  We would love to go to work for you!


Click here to go to the Bandelier National Monument website.


 PhotographTsankawi petroglyphs, Wikipedia


New Mexico Wildlife Center

by Susan Orth

New Mexico ranks number 45 in U.S. population density and that means there is lots of wildlife!  Santa Feans deeply care about preserving and restoring wildlife and one of the many outstanding organizations doing such work is the New Mexico Wildlife Center (NMWC)  located in nearby Espanola.

NMWC works year-round to conserve and restore native wildlife and their habitats through education, public awareness, strategic partnerships and wildlife rehabilitation.  NMWC is like the Medicaid for Wildlife that receives up to 1,000 injured or orphaned wild animals a year from around the state.  The hospital side of NMWC is the only permitted wildlife hospital in New Mexico and they are the happy recipients of mule deer from Chama, Mississippi kites from Carlsbad, Mexican spotted owls from Deming, mountain lions from Abiquiu and on and on.

Over 75 volunteers (and more gladly accepted!) operate like a tag team for injured wildlife from around the state. When a volunteer in Silver City receives a Harris’s Hawk with a broken wing, they deliver it directly or from city-to-city until it arrives the next day to NMWC’s hospital.

The hawk will be radiographed, hydrated and if necessary have surgery to repair the wing.  While the bird is receiving medication or requires confinement and close supervision, it remains in the hospital. When the time is right, it is transferred outdoors to one of the many “mews” where it can really begin its rehabilitation. Special diets will be devised by staff knowledgeable in wildlife nutrition. An exercise regime may be in order or, if it is a juvenile, it may be placed with an adult of its species to “learn the ropes.”

When the hawk is well enough and staff has tested it to make sure it can navigate its native environment and capture food, NMWC devises a plan for release. This plan will take into consideration: the health of the bird, its normal habitat, its origin, whether or not it migrates, if it is an adult, does it already have a mate in its original territory, what the weather is likely to be at the time of release, what time of day should the animal be released, what are the likely predators for this animal and what is the carrying capacity for this species in the release zone. Finally, a release is executed. It is a wonderful event!

As a non-profit organization, New Mexico Wildlife Center is dependent upon volunteers.  One such volunteer is City Different’s own Bonnie McGowan who has volunteered for years at NMWC on a weekly basis.  Please consider visiting Santa Fe and the New Mexico Wildlife Center. Volunteer needs include cleaning mews and enclosures, feeding the animals, special projects, transporting wildlife, website maintenance, weekend docent, grounds and facilities projects, office assistance, educators/educator handlers, and fundraising/public outreach events.


New Mexico Outdoor Tours

by Susan Orth

Spring is springing here in Santa Fe!  It’s a wonderful time to visit and especially get outdoors in the perfect spring Santa Fe weather!  Check out this guided tour by a local company Outspire Hiking and Snowshoeing  Here is a description of one of their “special” tours:


Some places are just so special they deserve their own category.  Bandelier National Monuments’ archaeological areas, Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks Monument and it's fantastic volcanic past, Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu with its sandstone mesas made famous by Georgia O'Keeffe, and the forested plateaus of the Pecos Wilderness fall into this category for us.  All our tours are hikes, but the ones to these places can be milder (or wilder).

As a professional guide service, Outspire Hiking and Snowshoeing is approved and permitted by the USDA-Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Park Service. We are an equal opportunity service provider. Come hiking with Outspire--because sometimes the best inspiration comes from being outside!

There's Always Something Different to Do in Santa Fe

by Susan Orth

Santa Fe certainly lives up to its motto as “the city different”, especially in it’s events.  If you’re in the mood to do something different this month, then check out these upcoming events in Santa Fe!

Tue-Sun 8am-5pm
Location: New Mexico History Museum

If cigar box art is your thing, then visit the New Mexico History Museum for this unique art exhibit that showcases artwork created during the golden age of cigar art labels from the 1880s to the early 20th century.

Feb 7 - Feb 28 | Daily 9am-8pm
Location: Sorrel Sky Gallery

This one man show features jewelry designer and silversmith Lawrence Baca.  It runs through Valentine’s season to Feb 28.  There’s also an artist’s reception from 5-7pm.

Daily 9am-4:30pm
Location: Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa

This celebration combines the 3 elements of healthy living: hiking, meditation, and Yoga. You’ll be hiking through sacred lands and practice yoga, followed by lunch and meditation in a limestone art cave.

There’s always something different to do in Santa Fe.  Join us every week on our blog for more great ideas and reasons to buy a home in Santa Fe.

Rodeo de Santa Fe logoIt's rodeo time again in Santa Fe! The Rodeo de Santa Fe begins today and runs though Saturday. As a PRCA sanctioned event it draws almost 600 PRCA contestants. This is not your Ma and Pa rodeo, either. You can expect to see several well-known cowboys and cowgirls, including World Champions Taos Muncy, Trevor Brazile and JW Harris.

This year's rodeo queen is Alexandria (Alex) Layne Tapia. Alex is the 22 year old daughter of Toni Tapia and the late Michael J. Tapia Sr. She was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is currently a Crimson Scholar at New Mexico State University majoring in both Government and History.

Rodeo de Santa Fe is fun for the entire family--a carnival midway, food concessions, mutton bustin' and more can all be found.

Individual tickets start at $10.00 and up to $27.00 (prices include parking). Rodeo grounds are located at 3237 Rodeo Road, Santa Fe, NM.

For more information call (505) 471-4300.

Santa Fe City Tours

by Susan Orth

A small city with strong ties to contemporary art and great entertainment, Santa Fe is the cultural heart of New Mexico. History buffs will revel in the city’s colorful and significant past. Foodies will savor the rich cornucopia of flavors and culinary traditions that abound. Families will find plenty to do together, and couples will be hard-pressed to find a more romantic location in the Southwest. The question is not what is there to do and see in Santa Fe; it’s how to fit all you can do and see into a day!

One of the very best ways to explore what Santa Fe has to offer is to take advantage of one of the many tours that are available. The kinds of tours you can experience are as unique and varied as the different aspects of the Santa Fe way of life.

There are a number of walking tours that reveal the hot spots and hidden gems of the city, all while giving you a little exercise. The City Different: A Walking Tour of Santa Fe, for example, is a tour de force of fun and information, led by local historian, Stefanie Beninato. Historic Walks of Santa Fe are guaranteed to introduce you to the very best that Santa Fe has to offer in terms of historical sites and attractions. You will be led by professional historians and art experts, and get a glimpse into the past through historical reenactments by professional actors.

For those who want to tour the city while sitting back and relaxing, consider one of Santa Fe’s several open-air tram tours. The Loretto Line Tour Company, for example, is Santa Fe’s oldest. Its eight-mile loop takes you through many of Santa Fe’s must-see places, including the art district of Canyon Road, the Santa Fe Museum Hill area, the historic Santa Fe Plaza, and the Palace of the Governors.

All aboard! Explore Santa Fe on the Santa Fe Southern Railroad for a truly unique touring experience. Train rides are available year-round, with special-event tours happening throughout the year. With unrivaled views of the impressive Galisteo Basin Overlook, these train tours are a one-of-a-kind experience that will change the way you think about train rides.

No matter which tour you choose, you will surely learn something new about Santa Fe and have a lot of fun in the process.

Ski Santa Fe

by Susan Orth

The state of New Mexico is the fifth largest state in the United States, spanning more than 121,589 total square miles, a massive chunk of land comparable in size to the entire country of Poland.

It also happens to be the sixth least densely populated state, home to only 17.16 inhabitants per square mile. That’s less than the cornfield-laden plains of Nebraska, and the vast agricultural expanses that make up North and South Dakota.

These two statistics might seem to have nothing to do with skiing or, more specifically, with Ski Santa Fe. However, consider New Mexico’s immense land mass and the fact that it offers a wealth of majestic, snow-capped mountains. And then consider the second stat about New Mexico’s low population density and what you get a state with terrific ski resorts but relatively few locals clamoring for chair lift lines, resort rooms and powder-filled runs.

Ski Santa Fe

Sometimes the name really does say it all: Ski Santa Fe. It is a breathtakingly beautiful and crowd-pleasingly challenging ski resort that’s a beautiful and relatively short 16-mile drive through the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range from the state’s capital city of Santa Fe.

As you are riding Ski Santa Fe’s thrilling Millennium Triple Chairlift up to its apex at 12,075 feet, swinging your skis above the blindingly white powder, you can ponder these amazing facts about Ski Santa Fe:

  • It is one of the highest ski destinations in the nation due to its base area elevation of 10,350 feet.
  • It has 1,725 vertical feet of skiing magnificence
  • It provides 77 trails, ranging from easy (20 percent) to more difficult (40 percent) to what you might call “major thrills if you know what you’re doing” (40 percent)
  • It enjoys an average snowfall in the 225-inch range
  • Its longest run gives you 3 miles of skiing bliss
  • It provides 6 lifts in addition to the aforementioned Millennium Triple Chairlift.

The mountain welcomes snow sport devotees of all shapes, sizes, skill levels and interests, such as snowboarders and cross country skiers, and offers specially designed ski gear for disabled people.

You Don’t Have to Go Home, But You Can’t Stay Here

So, what’s there to do at Ski Santa Fe once they boot you off the mountain (at 4 p.m. on the Lower Mountain and 3:45 p.m. on the Upper Mountain)? Good question.

Warm your insides as well as your outsides by wandering in to the Ski Santa Fe Base Lodge’s La Casa Café Grill and the Totemoff Bar, Grill and Lodge.

You can also get yourself some new ski apparel, gear and accessories at the Wintermill Shop. This would also be the place to pick up anything ski-related that you forgot at home or lost in some strange vortex (including cars, dryers and sock drawers). Wintermill Shop is the place to pick up gloves and mittens, jackets and vests, and a wide variety of sunglasses and goggles.

Additional New Mexico Must-Ski Destinations

Santa Fe Winter Fiesta

by Susan Orth

As if you needed another reason to fall in love with Santa Fe, N.M. - beyond its signature, beautiful red clay and adobe architecture and the golden-hued mountains and wilderness that surround New Mexico’s capital – along comes the Second Annual Santa Fe Winter Fiesta.

Have you ever read about a festival or fiesta or some similar event that promised to provide “something for everyone” only to be let down when you see the schedule and can’t find anything that looks like fun to you? Well, if you like to eat and drink (and really, who doesn’t?), or if you are a fan of music or comedy (or both), or if you love to ski, dance or stroll through farmers’ markets, you will not be let down by the cornucopia of entertainment and activities offered at the Santa Fe Winter Fiesta.

Spanning 10 consecutive days, beginning on Friday, January 27 and running through Sunday, February 5, the Santa Fe Winter Fiesta will feature a scavenger hunt amid the pine trees of Santa Fe’s hills and mountains, a big Super Bowl blowout bash, more than 20 local breweries, and music from seven incredible bands.

Those of you interested in hitting the slopes during these 10 days can take advantage of a pretty sweet deal being offered by Ski Santa Fe. Get yourself a Santa Fe Winter Fiesta Adventure Pass for only $10 and the good people at Ski Santa Fe will give you $10 off the price of lift tickets throughout the Santa Fe Winter Fiesta.

But wait, there’s more! If you purchase one of those Santa Fe Winter Fiesta Adventure Passes, you will also receive some incredible discounts on ALL Winter Fiesta events.

All of the featured shows and activities will be held at the Santa Fe Farmers Market Pavilion, which will also play host to the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market (on Sunday, Jan. 29 and Saturday, Feb. 4) and the Railyard Artisans Market (also on Sunday, Jan. 29 and Sunday, Feb. 5).

For a detailed listing of all of the bands, shows and dates, along with their corresponding show times, admission prices and special discounts, visit online at Santa or click on this link to check out the Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau’s website.

Take Advantage of Santa Fe's Great Outdoors!

by Susan Orth

Whether you are new to Santa Fe or have been a lifetime resident, you know that our city is abundant in natural beauty. Winter is a great time to get outdoors and take advantage of Santa Fe’s sunshine, expansive wilderness, and proximity to the mountains. Here are some fantastic ways to keep active this winter while taking in all the sights.


Perhaps one of the most popular winter activities in Santa Fe is skiing. Ski Santa Fe is situated in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. As Ski Santa Fe is one of the highest ski areas in the United States, seasoned pros will enjoy the challenge of a difficult run. Ski Santa Fe is also family friendly, providing ski lesson packages for adults and children alike. Take a break for lunch or end your day at one of Ski Santa Fe’s on-site restaurants. At the base of the hill, La Casa Cafe Grill boasts a large deck ideal for catching up with friends and enjoying a view of the ski runs. Wind down after a day on the hill at Totemoff Bar/Grill and Lodge and grab a drink and a burger. Totemoff’s is set closer to the top of the slopes, giving diners a different perspective of the ski runs.


Snowshoeing can be a great alternative to hitting the slopes. Outspire Hiking of Santa Fe provides private snowshoe tours for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels and abilities. No experience required! Take in Santa Fe’s beautiful scenery during a 2-3 hour guided tour through a winter wonderland, pausing for pictures and refueling with a hot beverage and snacks along the way. Outspire will supply you with a knowledgeable guide, snowshoes, poles, daypacks, water, and snacks. Dress warmly, and don’t forget your camera!


Release your inner child! Dig out your sled or be resourceful and use a trash can lid and find your nearest Santa Fe sled hill. For a thrill, try Hyde Memorial State Park’s sledding hill (hint: the park charges $5 for parking). Close by is Black Canyon Campground which has gentle hills ideal for safe sledding and playing in the snow. Big Tesque Campground is another hot spot for sledding and building snowmen. Sledding is a fun (and cheap) way to get outdoors and experience all that winter in Santa Fe has to offer.

If you’ve been considering a move to Santa Fe, but aren’t quite sure where to start; let me know!  I have years of experience with buyers and sellers in the Santa Fe area as a Santa Fe Real Estate agent, and can help you find the home that fits your needs and lifestyle.  You’ll find Santa Fe to be a refreshing and fun place to call “home.” Feel free to contact me anytime to get started in your Santa Fe home search!

I look forward to hearing from you!

Susan Orth & Isabella Luconi
Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
City Different Realty

Phone: 505-216-6535
Email: [email protected]
Santa Fe Homes
Santa Fe Real Estate Podcast

Hiking The Blue Dot Trail - Just Another Day in Santa Fe

by Susan Orth

When you live in Santa Fe, outdoor Rio Grande White Rock Canyonactivities like hiking and biking are not just something you do on a trip or something you see in a magazine advertisement. These are the everyday activities that make Santa Fe New Mexico such a fantastic place to wake up to every morning.

A couple weeks back, I hiked the Blue Dot Trail down to the Rio Grande River. I went about 800 feet down in one mile. Being that the trail is a virtual rock staircase, I made my way up…slowly.

Here are the stats of the trail:Half Way Down

    •    Distance: 1.1-mile (1.8 km) one way
    •    Elevation: 5,450 to 6,250 feet (1,910 m)
    •    Elevation Change: 800 feet (240 m)
    •    Fitness Level: Strenuous, but short
    •    Seasons: All seasons, except after heavy snow
    •    Trail Surface: Rocky and steep trail

The trailhead begins about 100 yards southwest of the overlook viewing platform. It is accessible from a small parking lot at the end of the last side road branching east off Overlook Road.

On the way to the river, you will come across a large Toreva block bench. This is basically a large piece of land that has moved downhill as a unit.

Midway through the trail, the ground you walk on actually changes from dark salt basaltic rock to light round granite stones.

As the trail nears the Rio Grande River, the trail passes a large spring seeping from rock fragments called Scree. Don't get too excited here - this water is not safe to drink. But it sure does look pretty.

This is such a gorgeous hike. You can't help but be enchanted by its timeless beauty. After all, this is the Land of Enchantment. As my two dogs Rubi and Chaco (it was Chaco's 2nd birthday) played around in the river, and I looked out at the magnificent view, I couldn't help but think how lucky I am to live in Santa Fe.

If you are considering moving to Santa Fe Real, I highly recommend exploring some of its trails.  They really bring you to the heart of Santa Fe and give you a taste of what it could be like to live here. We are experienced Santa Fe Real Estate brokers, yet still learn new things about this city everyday, each time finding something else to love.  When you're ready to buy a Santa Fe home, give us a call.


Susan Orth & Isabella Luconi
Certified Residential Specialist (CRS)
City Different Realty

Phone: 505-216-6535
Email: [email protected]
Santa Fe Homes
Santa Fe Real Estate Podcast

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 11

Contact Information

Susan Orth
City Different Realty
518 Old Santa Fe Trail #190
Santa Fe NM 87505