The presence of trains in the Santa Fe Railyard west of downtown might give it a great name, but the city-owned redevelopment project and the surrounding walkable shopping, dining and arts district offers something for more than the railfans and transit-users among us. An 11-acre park at the corner of Cerrillos Road and St. Francis Drive is the gateway to the neighborhood, which this year is set to see both a new state museum and the opening of a new location for the New Mexico School for Arts.
Acequia Trail: Walk or ride from the north end of the Railyard to Baca Street by heading southwest from the park, then diverge into the artful underpass beneath busy St. Francis Drive to join the short, tree-lined paved trail along the traditional irrigation ditch.
De Vargas Skate Park: Multigenerational fun awaits among the bowls, ramps and other features designed for wheels whose riders dig tricks and jumps.
302 W De Vargas St.
Railyard Performance Center: African dance instruction with live drumming is a mainstay at one of the oldest institutions in the Railyard. Take off your shoes and shake free.
1611 Paseo de Peralta, 982-8309
SITE Santa Fe: Last year's grand reopening unveiled even more exhibition space for contemporary art that's hung on walls, projected on screens, situated in the middle of the floor, and in every other conceivable presentation. It's also a great venue for lectures, performances and parties. Free on Fridays, to boot.
1606 Paseo de Peralta, 989-1199
Summer Concert Series: The local Amp Concerts series, with help from a national Levitt AMP Grant (the name is a coincidence), brings even more life to the weekends with free shows from touring acts at the Railyard water tower that have us celebrating music along with monsoon rain.
Santa Fe Clay: The contemporary ceramics gallery is a one of its kind in the city, and a trackside space focuses on functional work. Plus, workshops and affordable studio space let novices in on the fun.
545 Camino de la Familia, 984-1122
Voted Best Business …
Violet Crown: Comfortable, reserved seating and a super selection of beer and food make this cinema a preferred date-night spot, family affair or singles' outing. The lobby and cafe are a standalone social scene, even sans movie.
1606 Alcaldesa St., 216-5678
Santa Fe Farmers Market: Saturday mornings (plus Tuesday mornings and Wednesday evenings in warmer months) are the hot times to find fresh food and crafted products from local growers, whether it's summer madness or offseason survivalists. Pro tip: Get here without your car for a stress-free experience.
1607 Paseo de Peralta, 983-7726
Second Street Brewery: Brewers keep the board updated with standards and seasonal specials, and the kitchen keeps the menu accessible and diverse. There are also crayons, a patio and sometimes live performances.
1607 Paseo de Peralta, 989-3278