Aurora Photos / Alamy
Stephanie Pearson
July 31, 2014

Outdoor markets are the reason Santa Fe feels more like it belongs in Europe or Latin America than the U.S. If I want green chile fresh off the roaster, I ride my bike to the Farmer’s Market in the Railyard every Tuesday or Saturday. If I want a piece of Cuban folk art, I save up until the International Folk Art Market opens in July.  If I need an elegant birthday present, I buy sterling silver jewelry from the vendors sitting under the Palace of the Governor portal on the north side of the Plaza. Or if I have no idea what I want, I can start at the Plaza, wind my way up and down Canyon Road, drift over to the Guadeloupe District, and wind up in the Railyard and Sanbusco Center. By the end of the day, I’ll be broke, but happy. If you value hand-grown and handmade like me, be prepared to spend money in Santa Fe.

Santa Fe Farmer’s Market

What’s not to love about more than 100 small farms coming together to offer fresh, organic, delicious food? Buy lettuce and carrots from the Succulent Garden, juicy tomatoes from Big Tomatoe, and roasted green chile from Matt Romero. Then stop off at the Farmer’s Market Café for Aroma Coffee and a green-chile-and-bacon breakfast burrito or white chocolate lemon ganache donut, and take it outside to listen to live music.

International Folk Art Market

Shop the planet in one place during this three-day outdoor market held every July on Museum Hill. With more than 150 vendors from 60 countries, you’ll walk away with priceless treasures like woven, naturally dyed Baoulé textiles from the Ivory Coast or a hand-painted Ukranian egg. This is an annual event to mark on your calendar.

Santa Fe Indian Market

The largest Native American market in the world, more than 1,000 artists descend on Santa Fe every August to sell and exhibit their jewelry, paintings, weavings, and traditional art. Some artists sell out to aggressive collectors within minutes, so be sure to attend the Sneak Preview at the Santa Fe Convention Center the Friday night before market opens.

Traditional Spanish Market

The Spaniards have lived in Santa Fe for more than four centuries. Every July more than 350 artists, some of whom are descendants of the Spanish families who settled in New Mexico long before it became a state, sell their artistry on the Plaza. This is the place to buy a handcrafted retablo, santo, or intricate tinwork.

Palace of the Governor’s Vendor Program

For more than a half century, Native American artists have been selling beadwork, jewelry, leatherwork, weavings, carvings, drums, and pottery from under the portal on the north end of the Plaza. With more than 850 authorized vendors, artists travel to the portal from 47 communities throughout New Mexico and sit through every kind of weather imaginable to sell their beautiful items.

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