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Santa Fe, New Mexico (Route 66)

Early History: Santa Fe is one of the oldest cities in the United States, with a rich history that predates European colonization. The area was inhabited by various Native American groups, including the Pueblo people. The city’s original name in the Tewa language is “Ogha Po’oge,” which means “White Shell Water Place.”

Spanish Colonial Era: In 1610, Spanish colonists established Santa Fe as the capital of the Spanish “Kingdom of New Mexico.” It became a major trading center along the historic Santa Fe Trail, a trade route connecting Missouri to Santa Fe. The trail facilitated the exchange of goods between the United States and Mexico, and it played a crucial role in the development of the American West.

Route 66, the iconic highway established in 1926, also played a role in Santa Fe’s history. The original alignment of Route 66 included the “Santa Fe Loop,” which brought the highway through the city. This connection allowed travelers to experience the unique blend of Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo cultures that Santa Fe offered.

Route 66 Attractions in Santa Fe, New Mexico

  1. La Bajada Hill: This steep hill was a challenging section of the Santa Fe Loop, requiring cautious driving due to its grade. It provided stunning views of the surrounding landscape.
  2. Cerrillos: A small town along the Santa Fe Loop, Cerrillos had a mining history and is known for its adobe buildings and Southwestern charm.
  3. Santa Fe Plaza and Adobe Architecture: Exploring the historic Santa Fe Plaza and its surrounding adobe-style architecture can provide insights into the region’s rich history.
  4. Hotel St. Francis once Hotel De Vargas
  5. Cafe Pasqual’s once K.C. Waffle House
  6. Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, dedicated to the famous American painter.
  7. San Miguel Mission built in 1610 
  8. Loretto Chapel which houses the Miraculous Staircase




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