Pecos National Historical Park – I-25 Exit 299 (25 miles north from Santa Fe) features a Spanish Mission and Pueblo Indian ruins. It is an ideal park to learn about the interaction of the Pecos Pueblo Indians, the Spanish settlers and the Franciscan priests. Later with the development of the Santa Fe Trail trade, Anglo traders who passed through the area would often observe and in some cases write in their journal accounts about the deteriorating Pecos Ruins. Stop by the Visitor Center to see a short, informative film as well as exhibits, and then follow the 1-1/4 mile self-guided trail that goes through the ruins of the Pueblo and the Church.
Kozlowski's Ranch - I-25 Exit 299 Just south of the main entrance to Pecos National Historical Park is the site of Kozlowski's Ranch and Stage Station, which was a tavern and watering stop along the Santa Fe Trail. Some of the original walls are incorporated into a newer building which served as the headquarters of Greer Garson's Forked Lightning Ranch. There is a DAR marker near the corner of the porch.
Pigeon’s Ranch Referred to as “Glorieta Battlefield” and often described as the Gettysburg of the West due to a battle waged there in March 28, 1862. Only 3 adobe rooms remain of the 23 room complex located near New Mexico SR 50.
The Santa Fe Plaza (a registered National Historic Landmark since May 1961)
The plaza marks the end of the 1,000 mile Santa Fe Trail. It is one of the oldest historic sites in America dating back to 1610.
In the early days of the Santa Fe trade, Missouri merchants unloaded and sold their wares in the open air. Custom negotiations were carried out in the plaza. But soon they began to rent space for stores in the surrounding adobe buildings. Today, it remains the social and commercial center of Santa Fe.
The Palace of the Governors in Santa Fe is one of the oldest public buildings in the United States. It dates from the Spanish Colonial period and was erected in 1610. The first governors of the frontier of “New Spain” were responsible to the Viceroy of Mexico, representing the King of Spain.
In 1609, the Viceroy appointed Don Pedro de Peralta to found a new Capital site more centrally located than San Gabriel, the Capital site established by Don Juan de Oñate. It took more than a year for Peralta, his soldiers, Franciscan Priests, and Indian men and women to make the arduous journey from Zacatecas, Mexico to what became Santa Fe, New Mexico. Peralta relocated the San Gabriel settlers to Santa Fe and began laying out the Villa according to the plans for a Spanish town. Building materials in the high plateau desert were scarce especially wood. Adobe was used for the Palace walls, making small windows and dirt floors. Peralta’s government headquarters faced the plaza with the Palace of the Governors being the main structure. A new Governor was appointed in 1614 and Don Pedro de Peralta returned to Mexico.
La Fonda on the Santa Fe Plaza 100 East San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, NM
This historic hostelry was entirely rebuilt in 1920. It was know as the Inn at the End of the Trail. The hotel was host to many of the Santa Fe Trail travelers and traders. Its fame extended all the way back to Missouri. Today, this full service hotel features specialty shops, historic photographs, comfortable rooms and La Plazuela restaurant.
San Miguel Mission located at 401 Old Santa Fe Trail - The simple earth-hue adobe mission is the oldest church in Santa Fe and one of the oldest in the United States. San Miguel Mission was built by the Tlaxcalan Indians of Mexico, who came to New Mexico as servants of the Spanish between 1640-1680. It was subsequently destroyed during the Pueblo Revolt and rebuilt in 1710. All the trade caravans coming from the eastern United States passed by San Miguel Mission on their way to the Santa Fe Plaza.
El Rancho de las Golindrinas – I-25 Exit 276 - Just fifteen miles south of Santa Fe is El Rancho de las Golindrinas ("The Ranch of the Swallows"), a living history museum dedicated to the heritage and culture of Spanish New Mexico. It includes original buildings from the early 1800's. Volunteers dress in period costumes to recreate many aspects of life during the era when New Mexico was under the rule of Spain and Mexico. El Rancho de las Golindrinas also served as the first paraje (stop) for traders and travelers going south to Mexico on El Camino Real de la Tierra Adentro (The Royal Road of the Interior).