I Learned My Geography from Musicals – Santa Fe, New Mexico

In elementary school, my music teacher was amazing and taught us the 7 continents song AND the 50 states song.  I felt fully prepared for junior high.  I learned all my states in alphabetical order because of her.  It sounds lame…and I suppose it is, but not everyone can do it! Those M’s get tricky.  Now, there is also a 50 states and their capitals song.  Unfortunately, I learned them the old fashioned way: by staring at a sheet of paper and memorizing until my head hurt.  We took the 50 states and capitals test every week until we got 100%, and they are forever engrained in my brain.  One capital that stuck out in my head most- made famous to me by the original 1996 Broadway RENT cast – was – Santa Fe.  After some Googling, apparently Bon Jovi, Newsies, and Beirut have songs titled Santa Fe as well, but I like RENT better so I’ll go with that reference.

The entire song essentially talks about leaving the Big Apple, because apparently anything after New York would be a “pleasure cruise”, and rebuilding a life in Santa Fe.  I always thought, what the heck could be out there in New Mexico that is better than the big city?  On our road trip, we found out.

Absolutely nothing.

Okay, I guess it’s a pretty cool city, but we didn’t really get more than 24 hours to explore it.  It is the oldest capital in the States, and one of the oldest cities.  It is also a crossroads of three distinct cultures: Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo which contributes to its uniqueness as well.

At the beginning of the year, I wrote about the 10 most romantic cities in the US.  Apparently, Santa Fe is one of them.  It has beautiful landscapes, a relaxing vibe, and plenty of culture.  There were also some pretty cool eateries and beautiful architecture.

Mac & Cheese with Chicken Tenders

We found this cute motel after reading some great reviews.

There was an enormous craft warehouse nearby.

The downtown plaza has the beautiful Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi.


Santa Fe monument marking the end of the Santa Fe trail.

The view of the Central Plaza from the rooftop Brewery.

One of the many adobe homes.

During our short stay, we spent most of our time downtown.  They have plenty of artisan craft areas where natives sell their artwork or hand-made jewelry.  They also have Canyon road with local cafes and hipster shops.  Although some of the adobe homes were absolutely beautiful, I wish we would have had time to make a short trip to see the Pueblos Blancos a few hours away.  Hopefully, we will see them next time we drive through “The City Different”.

Next stop on the road trip: Grand Canyon, South Rim.

You might also enjoy:

10 Most Romantic Cities in the USA
Living the Indiana Jones within: Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico

One thought on “I Learned My Geography from Musicals – Santa Fe, New Mexico

  1. I’m desperately trying to learn the 50 states song too! (except I think the one I’m learning is not the alphabetical one – it seems to be in random order!) Am failing spectacularly at the moment!

    It doesn’t help that I live in Asia and have yet to visit the States so I have no geographical context whatsoever except what I see on maps!

    So you’re really lucky that you got to learn it in school! You’ll probably never forget it now!

    – Sarah P

    p.s. LOVE the name travelgasm! It’s totally entering my vocabulary from now on!

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