Exploring the Santa Fe Railyard
We have been staying with family in New Mexico since Thanksgiving and have loved exploring the local trails and scenery. This weekend, we took a bike ride through Santa Fe, eventually ending in the Railyard - an arts and culture district near Downtown Santa Fe. Read more below about the history of the Railyard, nearby trail routes, and tips for places to visit in the area - all following the State's strict COVID guidelines.
The Railyard is an exciting arts and culture district near Downtown Santa Fe with local breweries, cafes, a large urban park, trails, plazas, museums, theaters, and the Santa Fe Farmer's Market. The bright sunny plaza is a great place to hang out outdoors on a bright sunny afternoon!
About the Railyard
The Railyard was established in the 1880s as a railyard and depot for new residents and visitors to Santa Fe - the area served as a hub for passenger and freight rail. However, throughout the mid-twentieth century, the area fell into decline. Passenger and freight transportation shifted to highways and flying leaving the railyard area empty compared to previous decades. By the 1980s, the railyard area was no longer used and had become a blighted area. The City of Santa Fe began planning for redevelopment in the area, adopting a new master plan for redevelopment in 2002. In 2008, the initial phases of the redevelopment opened and has continued to grow and attract new businesses and visitors ever since.
Today, more than one hundred years later, the City of Santa Fe is the owner of the Railyard land, home to a vibrant mix of tenants serving the diverse interests of the community, from deeply rooted non-profits such as the Farmers Market, internationally renowned arts organization SITE Santa Fe, Hispanic cultural center El Museo Cultural and cutting edge teen art center Warehouse 21, to an eclectic mix of restaurants, performance art spaces, shops, contemporary art galleries and the cutting-edge 11-screen Violet Crown Cinema. - Santa Fe Railyard Community Corporation
How to Get There & Tips
The Railyard is located south of Downtown Santa Fe and can be accessed from local neighborhood streets in the area or along Cerrillos Road and St. Michael's Drive. If you live nearby or are visiting Downtown Santa Fe, it is easiest to walk to Railyard along many of the nearby trails - see more information on nearby trails below. You can also bike or take the bus - Route 2 stops near the Railyard urban park and continues into Downtown. The Roadrunner Train stops in the area, connecting Albuquerque with Downtown Santa Fe as well. If you drive, there is public parking throughout the Railyard area on the street and in paid lots.
Trail Tips: Numerous trails connect the Railyard to Downtown Santa Fe and the surrounding neighborhoods. We were able to bike from the Arroyo Chamisos Trail, the Rail Trail, and the Acequilla Trail which were relatively flat, paved, and scenic. While the trails are great off-road options for families and recreational walking, running, and rolling, there are some unprotected crossings. Be sure to watch out for fast traveling cars at St. Michael's Drive on the Rail Trail and crossing Cerrillos Road to connect to the Acequilla Trail.
Provisions: The Railyard is full of local restaurants, coffee shops, breweries, shops and home to the Santa Fe Farmer's Market. Many of these vendors have reduced hours or limited outdoor dining/takeout options due to local COVID restrictions. However, there is lots of outdoor seating in the Railyard so grab a snack or drink to-go and enjoy it in the sunny plaza. Some of the places open now include:
Santa Fe Farmer's Market - gifts, crafts, and prepared foods - open Saturdays and Sundays
El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe Mercado - arts and antiques - open Saturdays and Sundays
La Choza - New Mexican restaurant just south of the Railyard on the trail
Tomasitas - New Mexican restaurant with some outdoor dining and to-go available
Opuntia Cafe - Health food café with extensive tea list and outdoor seating available on their balcony
Sky Coffee - Local coffee roaster with outdoor seating available facing the Railyard
Bosque Brewing Co - New Mexican based brewery with outdoor seating available
Views of the Railyard
We love exploring all over the Santa Fe. Have you traveled around New Mexico? If so, where should we head to next? Leave your ideas below.