Santa Fe Retirement

Simply breathing here
improves your
quality of your life.

If we have to age, we night as well do it in a place that supports healthy living. To begin with, the air in Santa Fe is a great antioxidant. Simply breathing here improves your quality of your life. Men’s Health and Organic Style, among many other magazines, have ranked Santa Fe “one of the healthiest cities and best places to live”. Get a cardio workout by riding your bike to the ski area or becoming a member at the numerous public and private health clubs around town. The Dale Ball Trails wind around the periphery of Santa Fe--one of the most popular among locals is Atalaya Trail above St. John’s College. The latest addition to the system is the La Piedra Connector trail which connects to the Winsor Trail System and the greater Santa Fe National Forest.

The Santa Fe River Park and Trail follows the river (yes, the stream bed that meanders down Upper Canyon Rd, Alameda and Agua Fria is the Santa Fe River- welcome to the high desert) and connects walkers and bicyclists from Patrick Smith Park to the new Camino Real Park at the river’s intersection with NM 599.The river banks have been restored for water conservation, wildlife and to make the river accessible to water deprived desert dwellers by way of parks and picnic grounds. Southwest of Santa Fe, in La Cieneguilla, there is a trail system to explore the petroglyphs and rock outcroppings of the Caja Del Rio. In neighboring La Cienega, you can stroll the grounds of El Rancho de las Golondrinas, the restored ranch on the Camino Real, now a living history museum with seasonal festivals- a good place to reflect as you step back into the early19th century. Yoga centers, healers and massage therapists are here in great numbers to tune you up as you transition from weekend warrior to daily athlete—now that you have the your priorities clearly defined.

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Santa Fe’s three college campuses offer public programs to keep your body and mind in shape. The Shellaberger tennis center at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, boasts an outside facility along with six state of the art indoor courts. The art programs at the SFUAD, often in collaboration with the Santa Fe Art Institute which shares the campus, host exhibitions with international guest speakers and events that are open to the public. At Santa Fe Community College local luminaries teach courses as diverse and artistic as the community, including a great Spanish program. Sign up for a fitness class that comes with carte blanche use of the pool and gym. The Santa Fe Photographic Workshops have year round classes and brings top photographers into the city making it a leading center for photographic arts. Or maybe you want to learn how to make empanadas- check out the Santa Fe Culinary Academy for a list of courses.

It’s not all art and healing – relocating to Santa Fe will challenge your brain with lectures at the Santa Fe Institute. Physicists from Los Alamos National Laboratories present lectures on everything from climate change to fractals. The Lannan Foundation, ‘dedicated to cultural freedom, diversity and creativity’, hosts a brilliant series of literary readings and interviews at the Lensic – Santa Fe’s performing arts center, which locals look forward to each winter. Get your ticket; they’re cheaper than a matinee so students, teachers, retirees, and ordinary folks-- everybody can attend.

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Drawing niche communities together are a few events that, by the looks of their popularity, speak to the traditional land based roots of the region and the ingenious creative spirit that sprung from them - The Farmer’s Market and Fiesta. Ranchers, organic farmers, beekeepers, herbalists and flower gardeners converge at the year-round Farmer’s Market Pavillion in the Railyard on Saturday mornings (also on Tuesdays during peak season). It’s growing every year and credited with renewing the sustainable farming and ranching traditions of northern New Mexico. ‘Agua es vida’, water is life in the high desert and with development running wild in the west, Santa Fe’s Farmers Market is helping Santa Feans remember what they value about their hometown and how they can support it.

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Fiesta (Las Fiestas de Santa Fe) is a week of festivities and parades which have evolved from a religious celebration in 1712, commemorating the peaceful re-conquest of the capitol following the Pueblo Revolt in 1680. The Fiesta parade re-enacts the heraldry of the re-conquest, with the reigning king and queen of Fiesta in royal splendor. In contrast, Desfile de los Ninos, the pet parade,  cats, dogs and even a few llamas promenade around the Plaza in costume, accompanied by high school bands. The finale of the week is the Hysterical-Historical parade, where Santa Fe satirizes itself with a zany array of ‘floats’.  Throughout the weeklong revelry, businesses close early, and there’s music, food and dancing on the Plaza. A highlight of Fiesta is the burning of “Old Man Gloom’ Zozobra, a ritual borrowed from Mexico and introduced into the festivities in the 1920s.

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We love Fiesta as much for its ushering in of Fall as for its revelry and tradition. Visitors return home. Residents exhale from the summer season and retire to the comforts of its hometown atmosphere. For those of us lucky enough to call Santa Fe home, we celebrate our good fortune with the aroma of roasting green chiles and the first dusting of snow on the mountain. When Alan Arkin was asked why he lives in New Mexico he put it simply: “New Mexico is my home. I have no idea why. It’s where I belong. I love everything about it. You can’t get sopaipillas anywhere else.” Welcome Home and Viva Santa Fe!