How A New Mexico City Made One Of Travel + Leisure’s Most Exclusive Lists

By Sherah Janay Ndjongo

August 2, 2023

Santa Fe, New Mexico, was voted number two on Travel + Leisure’s 2023 favorite cities category of the “World’s Best Awards” survey.

This is why Santa Fe made the top three:

“Santa Fe captured readers' hearts as a favorite destination thanks to its eclectic nature and its mass appeal. 'Santa Fe has something to offer for everyone, great food, culture, outdoor activities including skiing and world class hiking...architecture is wonderful,' one reader raved. The city’s top-notch arts scene has long been a magnet for both creators and culture mavens, the latter drawn to the galleries alone Canyon Road and in the Railyard District. Downtown, readers will find the engrossing New Mexico Museum of Art as well as the eponymous museum of renowned painter Georgia O’Keeffe, who spent her final years in Santa Fe.”

The list is compiled by the esteemed travel publication every year with the help of responses collected from dedicated readers. The purpose of the review is to examine all of the information about individual travel experiences, then factor in satisfaction with established hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas and airlines, to name a few categories, in order to determine overall rankings on the following criteria:

  • Sights/landmarks
  • Culture
  • Food
  • Friendliness
  • Shopping
  • Value
New Mexico Landscape
Photo: Getty Images

Participants were able to select from a variety of ratings, which included “excellent,” “above average,” “average,” “below average” or “poor.”

Santa Fe’s reader score was a whopping 88.47.

In 2023, approximately 165,000 Travel + Leisure enthusiasts partook in the survey. That figure is significant as the travel magazine witnessed an increase in the number of respondents — approximately 25 percent more than pre-Covid levels. All together, over 685,000 votes were cast to sound off on 8,500 distinct properties from hotels, to cities, to cruise lines.

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