SEE Museum of Fine Arts
107 W. Palace Ave., 505/476-5072, mfasantafe.org
A state museum that features some of the best modern and contemporary art in New Mexico, as well as top-notch touring exhibits. The 1917 multi-story adobe is itself a work of art, reflecting Pueblo architecture as well as ancient Franciscan mission churches. Open Tues.-Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $7, New Mexico residents $5, 16 and under free; Fri. 5-8 p.m. free.
SEE Museum of International Folk Art
706 Camino Lejo on Museum Hill, 505/476-1200, moifa.org
World's largest collection of folk art contains colorful toys, textiles, totems, and other prized pieces from around the globe. This state museum's busy schedule includes excellent exhibits and fine educational programs. Open Tues.-Sun., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. $7, New Mexico residents $5, 16 and under free.
SEE Canyon Road
Join the throngs of serious and amateur art aficionados at the traditional Friday-evening openings hosted by galleries lining Canyon Road, the famous one-mile stretch of art from around the world. Uneven pavement and sidewalks that simply disappear make walking an exercise, so leave the heels at home.
SEE Baca Street
An emerging alternative art scene on the city's southwest side that pulses with activity. Contemporary glassblowers, Celtic jewelers, painters, and sculptors surround Box Gallery (916 Baca St., 505/989-4897), which showcases contemporary New Mexico artists. The hip eatery, Counter Culture Cafe, feeds them all.
SEE Shidoni Foundry in Tesuque
Bishop's Lodge Rd., five miles north of Santa Fe Plaza 505/988-8001, shidoni.com
A leading bronze foundry, Shidoni takes its name from a Navajo greeting. Aptly, visitors are welcomed to galleries with work by eminent artists. Bring a picnic and walk through towering works of wonder in the outdoor sculpture garden. Watching molten bronze heated to 200 degrees and poured into ceramic molds will inspire you to quit your day job and become an artiste. Call ahead for pour times.
LITERARY AND PERFORMING ARTS
SEE Lensic Performing Arts Center
211 W. San Francisco St., 505/988-7050 (ticket info) 505/988-1234, lensic.com
A 1931 vaudeville and film palace built in faux Moorish and Spanish Renaissance architectural styles and recently renovated into a high-tech venue. The Lensic hums with local and international theater, as well as music, dance, film, and literary events. Schedule and tickets available online.
SEE Santa Fe Playhouse
142 E. DeVargas St., 505/988-4262, santafeplayhouse.org
Santa Fe's historic community theater presents original and classic productions, as well as staged readings, dance performances, and more. A great venue for viewing local talent. From "pay what you wish" Sunday matinees to $20.
SEE Nicholas Potter Bookseller
211 E. Palace Ave., 505/983-5434
The city's oldest used-book shop offers a fine collection of compelling books, including fascinating titles about the Southwest.
SEE Collected Works Bookstore
208B W. San Francisco St., 505/988-4226, collectedworksbookstore.com
Santa Fe's community bookstore also hosts book signings with literary lions. Employees are impressively well read.
SEE La Cantina at La Casa Sena
125 E. Palace Ave., 505/988-9232, lacasasena.com
At this casual bar, which is part of an established Santa Fe restaurant housed in a historic hacienda, servers don theatrical finery and croon Broadway and jazz standards. The audience has a ball. Make a request and you might be serenaded as you eat nachos and nurse a margarita.
SEE The Santa Fe Opera
West side of U.S. Hwy. 84/285, seven miles north of Santa Fe 800/280-4654, 505/986-5900, santafeopera.org
Hear impeccable highbrow music in the high desert. You can't miss the 2,128-seat opera house's open-air roof, flung against the sky like a giant white ship sailing turquoise seas. Opening-night tailgaters in tuxes and gowns, or jeans and cowboy hats, have established a long-standing summer ritual in the parking lot-requiring fine linens, polished silver, and haute cuisine. Tickets from $24. Check online for schedule.