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Things To Do When Moving to a New State: Your Guide to Settling in Santa Fe

Things To Do When Moving to a New State: Your Guide to Settling in Santa Fe

Moving to a new state can be both exciting and challenging. Santa Fe, New Mexico, known as the City Different, offers a unique blend of rich history, vibrant culture, and breathtaking landscapes. To ensure a smooth transition and enjoy your new life in Santa Fe, it's essential to follow a series of steps before, during, and after your move. This guide provides comprehensive advice on what to do when relocating to this enchanting city.

1. Research Your New Home

Understand the Local Culture and History

Santa Fe is steeped in history and cultural diversity. Before you move, take the time to learn about the city’s background, including its Native American heritage, Spanish colonial influence, and artistic legacy. This will help you appreciate the unique environment and integrate more easily into the community.

Explore Neighborhoods

Santa Fe has various neighborhoods, each with its own character and amenities. Some popular areas include:

  • Historic Eastside: Known for its charming adobe homes and proximity to downtown attractions.
  • South Capitol: A mix of historic and contemporary homes with a strong sense of community.
  • Railyard District: A vibrant area with trendy shops, art galleries, and cultural events.
Research these neighborhoods to find one that fits your lifestyle and preferences.

2. Plan Your Move

Hire a Reputable Moving Company

A successful move starts with choosing a reliable moving company. Get quotes from several movers, read reviews, and check their credentials. A reputable company will handle your belongings with care and make the moving process less stressful.

Create a Moving Checklist

Organize your move by creating a detailed checklist. Include tasks such as:

  • Packing and labeling boxes
  • Canceling or transferring utilities
  • Updating your address with the post office and other important institutions
  • Arranging for pet transportation if needed

3. Settle Into Your New Home

Unpack and Arrange Your Space

Once you arrive in Santa Fe, start unpacking and setting up your new home. Focus on essential areas first, such as the kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom. Take your time to arrange your space in a way that feels comfortable and reflects your style.

Get to Know Your Neighbors

Building relationships with your neighbors is crucial for feeling at home in a new place. Introduce yourself, attend neighborhood events, and join local groups to start forming connections. Santa Fe’s friendly and welcoming community will make this process enjoyable.

4. Explore Santa Fe

Visit Local Attractions

Santa Fe is filled with unique attractions that highlight its rich cultural heritage. Make sure to visit:

  • The Plaza: The heart of Santa Fe, surrounded by historic buildings, shops, and restaurants.
  • Canyon Road: A famous street lined with art galleries showcasing local and international artists.
  • Museum Hill: Home to several museums, including the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture and the Museum of International Folk Art.

Enjoy the Outdoors

Santa Fe’s natural beauty offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. Explore hiking trails, such as those in the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains, or visit the Santa Fe Botanical Garden to appreciate the region’s flora.

5. Get Involved in the Community

Attend Local Events

Santa Fe hosts numerous events throughout the year, celebrating its diverse culture and artistic spirit. Participate in events like:

  • Santa Fe Indian Market: A renowned annual event showcasing Native American art and culture.
  • International Folk Art Market: Featuring artists from around the world.
  • Santa Fe Opera: Enjoy world-class performances in a stunning outdoor setting.

Join Clubs and Organizations

Getting involved in local clubs and organizations is a great way to meet people and become part of the community. Whether you’re interested in hiking, art, or volunteer work, there are plenty of groups to join.

6. Take Care of Practical Matters

Register Your Vehicle and Update Your Driver’s License

As a new resident, you’ll need to register your vehicle and obtain a New Mexico driver’s license. Visit the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) website for information on required documents and procedures.

Set Up Utilities and Services

Ensure you have all necessary utilities and services set up in your new home. This includes:

  • Electricity and gas: Contact PNM or New Mexico Gas Company.
  • Water: Check with the City of Santa Fe Water Division.
  • Trash and recycling: Arrange services through the City of Santa Fe Environmental Services Division.
  • Internet and cable: Providers such as Xfinity, CenturyLink, and Comcast offer services in the area.

Find Healthcare Providers

Establishing healthcare providers is essential for your well-being. Research local doctors, dentists, and specialists, and set up appointments to transfer your medical records. Santa Fe has several reputable medical facilities, including Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center.

7. Discover Local Dining and Shopping

Sample Santa Fe’s Cuisine

Santa Fe’s culinary scene is a delightful blend of traditional New Mexican flavors and contemporary cuisine. Be sure to try local favorites such as green chile stew, enchiladas, and sopapillas. Some popular dining spots include:

  • The Shed: Known for its delicious New Mexican dishes.
  • Cafe Pasqual’s: A vibrant spot offering organic and locally sourced meals.
  • Geronimo: An upscale restaurant located in a historic adobe building.

Shop Local

Support local businesses by shopping at Santa Fe’s unique boutiques and markets. The Santa Fe Farmers’ Market, located in the Railyard District, is a great place to find fresh produce, artisanal goods, and local crafts.

8. Embrace the Arts

Visit Art Galleries and Studios

Santa Fe is renowned for its thriving arts scene. Spend time exploring the numerous art galleries and studios, especially along Canyon Road. You’ll find a wide range of art styles, from traditional Native American crafts to contemporary pieces.

Participate in Art Workshops

Engage with the local art community by participating in workshops and classes. Many local artists and institutions offer opportunities to learn new skills and express your creativity.

9. Educate Yourself and Your Family

Research Local Schools

If you have children, researching local schools is a top priority. Santa Fe offers a variety of educational options, including public, private, and charter schools. Some well-regarded schools in the area include Santa Fe Preparatory School and Desert Academy.

Consider Continuing Education

For those interested in continuing their education, Santa Fe Community College and St. John’s College offer a range of courses and programs.

10. Embrace the Santa Fe Lifestyle

Adopt a Slower Pace

One of the most appealing aspects of living in Santa Fe is its relaxed and laid-back lifestyle. Embrace the slower pace, take time to enjoy the beauty around you, and immerse yourself in the local culture.

Stay Active and Healthy

With its abundance of outdoor activities and wellness options, Santa Fe is an excellent place to stay active and healthy. Join a yoga class, hike the local trails, or take advantage of the city’s numerous parks and recreational facilities.


Moving to Santa Fe is an exciting opportunity to experience a unique and vibrant city. By following these steps, you can ensure a smooth transition and start enjoying everything Santa Fe has to offer. From exploring local attractions to getting involved in the community, there’s no shortage of ways to make Santa Fe feel like home. Embrace the City Different, and you’ll soon discover why so many people fall in love with this enchanting place.

Work with Robyn Tyra, Your Santa Fe Real Estate Expert

Ready to make your move to Santa Fe? Partner with Robyn Tyra, a trusted Santa Fe real estate expert, to find your dream home in this enchanting city. With her in-depth knowledge of the local market and dedication to personalized service, Robyn will guide you through every step of the home-buying process. Visit Robyn Tyra's website to start your journey to owning a piece of Santa Fe's unique charm today!

Work With Robyn

I have spent my career in Northern New Mexico in the real estate industry with over thirty five years in both real estate sales and title insurance. My commitment to you is to make the real estate process of buying and selling as seamless as possible through active communication and listening. We will work together every step of the way to reach your real estate goals.