Tons of people want to visit Santa Fe and move to Santa Fe.
Ovation Travel Group declared Santa Fe the No. 3 place to travel in the world in 2022, with Napa Valley the only other U.S. city or region on a list of 22 global destinations.
Also, the Mayflower moving company determined Santa Fe had the fourth-highest percentage of inbound moves over outbound moves.
Ovation Travel Group compiled the list for Forbes, which published the article “The 22 best places to travel in 2022” on Oct. 22.
Each entry had blurbs for “why visit,” “who should go” and “don’t miss.”
“Santa Fe is one of the most historically significant cities in North America,” Forbes reported. “It’s also the highest-rated American destination on this list of the 22 best places to travel in 2022.”
“With a historic downtown, art galleries, Native American culture and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Santa Fe has much to offer any traveler,” Ovation luxury travel consultant Jessica Levy commented in the article.
Ovation recommended couples, multigenerational families and groups of friends should go to Santa Fe, and visitors should not miss the Santa Fe Opera and Bishop’s Lodge, operated by Auberge Resorts Collection.
Auberge Resorts was launched in Napa Valley in 1985 and opened a remodeled and expanded Bishop’s Lodge in July. It has another pending opening in Napa Valley at Stanley Ranch. Auberge manages 22 luxury resorts.
“I think the common thread between Napa and Santa Fe is the luxury traveler is looking for culture, art and the great outdoors,” said Mike Minchin, chief marketing officer at Auberge Resorts Collection.
Minchin said people who live on the East Coast or pretty much anywhere else marvel at not only the landscape but to be within minutes of opera, hundreds of restaurants and art galleries, hiking, hunting, horseback riding, fishing and a dozen Native pueblos.
“When you are sitting in SkyFire [the restaurant at Bishop’s Lodge] and see the sun setting and watching the mountains, that is an experience that is a very emotional and inspirational thing,” he said. “The beauty of the Santa Fe region is really unparalleled when you’re coming from somewhere else. It’s extraordinary.”
Most top tourist places are not also top living places. Santa Fe has emerged as the No. 4 U.S. metropolitan area with 74 percent of moves by the Mayflower moving company being into Santa Fe rather than relocating out of Santa Fe. Mayflower recorded transporting 817 shipments to Santa Fe and 301 shipments out of Santa Fe from July 2019 to July 2021, the period of Mayflower’s customer survey.
Santa Fe is just behind Sarasota, Fla.; Wilmington, N.C.; and Fort Myers-Cape Coral, Fla. Santa Fe is just ahead of Boise, the capital of Idaho, the state that ranks No. 1 with highest inbound percentage among states.
The Mayflower lists only include cities and states where Mayflower moved at least 800 parties over two years, and the survey only involved people moving more than 300 miles.
“Santa Fe is atmospheric in a way that gets into your bones, into your psyche,” said Elaine Ritchel, founder and lead guide at Santa Fe Art Tours. “It’s a small town with a huge presence. … I often describe living in New Mexico as being held between earth and sky. This is the setting for everything you hear about that makes Santa Fe unique: the adobe architecture, the winding streets, the incredible art scene.”
Ed Pulsifer is the hotel historian at La Fonda on the Plaza, where he has worked 10 years out of his 37 years in New Mexico’s hospitality sector. Europe has a 1,000 years of history on open display, but Pulsifer says it’s entirely different in Santa Fe.
“You are able to explore literally a thousand years of history and culture,” Pulsifer said. “Here it is a living history that still continues. It’s the same Native culture and Spanish culture as it’s been for hundreds of years. These are unique influences you don’t have anywhere else in the world. You can go to Bandelier and climb up the ladders like they did hundreds of years ago.”