Santa Fe Vacation: What to Pack and Wear
Tips from a local about what to pack (and wear) for your next Santa Fe Vacation. Comprehensive packing lists for all four seasons.
What to Pack for Santa Fe in Summer
If I was going to recommend a specific season to visit beautiful Santa Fe, I'd say plan your trip for summer time. Santa Fe may be thought of as a desert town but it's location at 7000 feet above sea level, means that this town won't get unbearably hot most summer days. In fact, it's usually a comfortable 80 degrees during the summer and there's no humidity.
Night time: Keep in mind that the desert gets cold at night time. It can go from being close to 90 degrees during the day to 50's at night. If you're planning on wearing a sun dress out to dinner and want to walk around the plaza after, make sure you bring along a heavy cardigan to layer up. In fact, that's my one piece of advice for all four seasons: layer up!
Dining out: Santa Fe is definitely a tourist town (especially during the summer) so the dress code at most restaurants is pretty casual. You can likely go from sight seeing during the day in your sneakers and shorts and still be seated at most eateries around the plaza. But Santa Fe is not just a tourist town, we have some of the best fine dining in the Southwest here. For some of the classier restaurants, make sure you pack at least one nice outfit.
Hiking: This town is also known for having some amazing day hikes. So make sure you pack at least one or two hiking outfits. For summer, I recommend shorts and a moisture wicking top. For foot gear, you can wear sneakers but you may be more comfortable in a good pair of hiking boots. And don't forget a hat! The sun is more intense at 7000 feet so you'll need either a baseball cap or a wide brim hiking hat. Lastly, make sure you pack plenty of sun screen and apply liberally.
Swimsuits: Most of the hotels in town have a swimming pool open at least seasonally and some have hot tubs open year round. After a hot day exploring down town or hiking, you'll likely want to jump into crystal cool water so make sure to pack at least one swim suit. There are also several hot spring options within driving distance of Santa Fe so I highly recommend packing at least a second swimsuit for a day trip to visit the springs.
Hats, Hats, and Hats: I already mentioned packing a baseball cap above in my hiking tips but I also want to mention it again here. The sun is pretty intense in Santa Fe, especially during the summer time. After a few hours wandering around the Plaza, you'll wish you had packed a good straw hat, or wide brimmed hat. So let me save you the regret: Pack at least 1 or 2 fashionable hats to wear around sight-seeing.
Here's a comprehensive list to get you started packing for your Santa Fe summer vacation:
1 or 2 hiking outfits
1 nice outfit for fine dining
2 swimsuits (for hotel pool and local hot springs)
1 pair of jeans or pants for cool nights
1 cardigan to layer up at night
2-3 pairs of shorts for day time sight seeing
2-3 tops for sightseeing
1-2 sun dresses for casual dinners
hiking boots or sneakers
sunscreen (spray and lotion)
baseball cap or wide brim hat
simple silver jewelry with a touch of turquoise
poncho or rain jacket for monsoon season
maps (there's limited cell service in some areas)
several pairs of sunglasses (the sun is bright here!)
moisturizer and lip balm (the climate is very dry here)
Keep in mind that Santa Fe gets all four seasons throughout the year so the list above is only for summer time. I'll also cover what to bring for Winter, Spring, and Fall in subsequent posts. Click below to read the packing list for each season:
Winter in Santa Fe Packing List
Spring in Santa Fe Packing List
Fall in Santa Fe Packing List