Not surprisingly, access to this cultural mecca — and its proximity to glorious outdoor pursuits — comes at a price: the median home price is $370,000. While the cost of living doesn’t surpass the national average, it’s right on par with it — not exactly a bargain destination. Still, Santa Fe is home to retirement communities, as well as a number of private housing developments.
Tucked into the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Santa Fe also offers outdoors lovers the chance to explore the trails of Santa Fe National Forest, or the opportunity to ski in nearby Taos, while enjoying jaw-dropping scenery.
Con: Housing costs are on the rise
Best For: Arts lovers
Cost of Living: On par with national average
Median Home Cost: $370,000
Top State Income Tax: 4.9%
Crime Rate: 20% higher than national average
Culture lovers can spend hours poring over the arts and artifacts at museums such as the New Mexico Museum of Art, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum and the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. Nearby day trips also provide memorable experiences, like exploring the ancient Indian cliff dwellings at Bandelier National Monument or the quirky shops and galleries in the former ghost towns of Madrid and Cerrillos.
The crime rate in Santa Fe is significantly higher than the national average, still, locals attest that it’s easy to avoid trouble areas. Retirees with heart or lung conditions should be aware that Santa Fe’s altitude is around 7,200 feet, which can make breathing difficult.