Top 3 Unusual Santa Fe Attractions

It is no secret that Santa Fe is home to many popular and mainstream attractions. While these well-known places attract large crowds year-round, there are also many attractions that are off the beaten path. We’ve included 3 of our favorite unusual Santa Fe attractions to visit while staying in your vacation rental.

Top 3 Unusual Santa Fe Attractions

La Cieneguilla Petroglyph Site

The La Cieneguilla site is a short hike off the Paseo Real and is home to one of the largest collections of Native rock art (called glyphs) in the American West. Bird figures are a common theme, accounting for almost a third of the glyphs, and some of the panels are thought to go back to the Archaic Period.

There’s a healthy mix of modern glyphs as well, but most of the images are Pueblo and date to between the 13th and 17th centuries. The area is overseen by the Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, and a 1991 archeological survey recorded over 4,400 images within less than a mile. The site is a short trail hike from the highway has some roadside parking.

Haiku Pathway

The Haiku Pathway was created by artist Christy Hengst and poet Miriam Sagan, who serves as the project’s poetry curator. From mountains to student life, the mix of poems describes the site’s surroundings, including a mix of whimsy, reflection, and humor.

Hengst chose to make the stones from clay and to hand-stamp the text into the clay stones. She has stated that she chose clay rather than carved stone or cement because “It’s softer and it has a slightly more natural or ephemeral feeling. We thought the pieces would look like mushrooms here.” The clay stones dot the path giving visitors a chance to walk slowly through the installation, taking in each verse. Located in Santa Fe Community College, the Haiku Pathway the courtyard is never locked and is open to the public.

109 East Palace

When you need to be dropped off at a top-secret research facility that does not exist, what address do you give the driver? For two decades, that address was 109 East Palace in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Located a few blocks from Santa Fe’s city center, the unremarkable building served as the first stop for Richard Feynman, Enrico Fermi, Robert Oppenheimer, and innumerable other scientists working on the top-secret Manhattan Project in nearby Los Alamos. Dozens of scientists, technicians, and other workers would arrive each day to be ferried up to “the Hill” where work on the atomic bomb (and possibly other secret science projects) actually took place.

The building at 109 East Palace ceased being a receiving station for Los Alamos in 1963, but a plaque in the back of the gallery now occupying the space commemorates the building’s history. This attraction makes a great stop while exploring the downtown area or many of the nearby restaurants.