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Wide view of Santa Fe, NM

Safe, Affordable Suburbs in Santa Fe

Moving to Santa Fe? Located on the southern edge of the Rocky Mountains, New Mexico’s capital city offers affordable housing, great schools, and fantastic outdoor recreation. If you’re looking to settle down in the Santa Fe area, check out these five safe, affordable Santa Fe suburbs!

Agua Fria

  • Home Price: $195,500 median purchase price; $722 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 66% of New Mexico cities
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Looking to settle down somewhere close to Downtown Santa Fe? Agua Fria offers affordable new construction homes and great schools like Ramirez Thomas Elementary School, Capital High School, and Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences within 15 minutes of the city center. This Santa Fe suburb’s cultural pride abounds through historical architecture and artistic murals on street walls. Combined with an abundance of Pueblo Revival, Adobe, and Spanish-style homes, this suburb’s tight-knit community offers a great representation of what it’s like to live in New Mexico.

Things to Do in Agua Fria

Work your way through interactive, eclectic art installations at Meow Wolf. Have a family picnic or go for a jog at Romero Park. Spend a day rafting in New Mexico and learning more about the region’s natural and cultural history at Kokopelli Rafting Adventures. Shop ‘til you drop—from local merchants to national brands—at Santa Fe Place Mall. Savor some of the best New Mexican food in Santa Fe, like the Green Chile Chops or Chile Relleno Plate, at Tortilla Flats. Try Huevos Rancheros, Steak & Eggs, and other Southwest breakfast dishes at Plaza Cafe Southside. Sip a Cinnamon Honey Latte, Tribe’s House Chai, or Banana Strawberry Smoothie at Tribes Coffeehouse. Or relax with an Agua Fria Pilsner or 2920 IPA on the patio at Second Street Brewery.

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La Cienega

  • Home Price: $243,100 median purchase price; $1,205 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 72% of New Mexico cities
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Due to its proximity to Santa Fe Regional Airport, La Cienega has become a popular place to live in Santa Fe for those who travel frequently. I-25 is also nearby, giving residents quick access to plenty of fun things to do in Santa Fe—from attending community events at Santa Fe Plaza to exploring the stunning Sangre de Cristo Mountain range. While the fun surrounding La Cienega is a plus, the suburb’s own picturesque views and laid-back lifestyle make it a great place to settle down. La Cienega also offers access to excellent Santa Fe schools, like Turquoise Trail Charter School and The Academy for Technology & The Classics, along with tons of outdoor recreation at nearby Santa Fe National Forest. These aspects, paired with the area’s gorgeous New Mexico home styles—such as Pueblo Revival and Adobe—make La Cienega a great option for those looking for safe, affordable suburbs in Santa Fe.

Things to Do in La Cienega

Learn more New Mexico history, attend the annual Santa Fe Wine Festival, or dance to medieval music at the Santa Fe Renaissance Faire at El Rancho de las Golondrinas. Hike and explore the Spanish-Colonial-era figures at La Cieneguilla Petroglyphs. Go fishing and get in touch with nature at Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve. Practice your putting and challenge yourself to an 18-hole game at Santa Fe Country Club. Try handmade Apple Brandy during a tour and tasting experience at Santa Fe Spirits. Split a delicious plate of Flautas De Pollo, Fajitas De Combinadas, or 4 Tacos Al Pastor with friends at Chapin & Mex Restaurant. Enjoy a nice dinner of Pan Seared Salmon en Mole Verde, Ojo Fish Tacos, or Stacked Enchiladas at Blue Heron Restaurant. Or dig into traditional Mexican food in Santa Fe, like a Chicharron Burrito or Pork Tamale Red at El Parasol.

Los Alamos

  • Home Price: $277,700 median purchase price; $933 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 94% of New Mexico cities
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Thinking of living in Los Alamos? This safe New Mexico area offers a rich culture, historic towns, and charming Southwestern and Spanish Revival homes at affordable rates. With highly-rated schools like Aspen Elementary, Los Alamos Middle School, and Los Alamos High School, parents won’t have a problem finding one that suits their kids. Given the abundance of things to do in Los Alamos—including its proximity to several national parks, hiking trails, and museums—it’s no surprise that Los Alamos County came in first on the recent list of the top 500 Healthiest Communities. These attributes combined with a low crime rate and unparalleled views of the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo Mountains, help make Los Alamos one of the best suburbs in Santa Fe for families.

Things to Do in Los Alamos

Walk with friends at one of many Los Alamos’ hiking trails, like East Park Trailhead or Kwage Mesa Trails. Explore the demonstration gardens, learn about flora and fauna, and have fun in the nature play area at family-friendly Los Alamos Nature Center. Soak in views of the spectacular Jemez Mountains on a bike ride or go skiing during the winter season at Pajarito Mountain Ski Area. Practice your swing at one of the oldest golf courses in New Mexico, Los Alamos County Golf Course. Start the day with freshly made baked goods like Cinnamon Roll Bread, Dulce de Leche Twist Bread, or Very Berry Coffee Cake at Minnie Bakery. Enjoy a mouthwatering plate of Tacos Alambre, Brooklyn’s Best Reuben, or Bistro Sizzling Fajitas at one of the many great places to eat in Los Alamos, Blue Window Bistro. Fill your belly with Beurre Blanc Grilled Salmon, Pan-Roasted Pork Tenderloin, or Gnocchi Gorgonzola at Cottonwood on the Greens. Or eat a New Mexico Green Chile Philly Cheesesteak, Shrimp Pasta Primavera, or All American Burger at Pajarito Brewpub and Grill.

Pojoaque

  • Home Price: $123,600 median purchase price; $812 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 64% of New Mexico cities
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

If you want to live away from bustling city life but still have quick access to Downtown Santa Fe, check out the historic suburb of Pojoaque! Home to Poeh Cultural Center, the Pojoaque community is dedicated to preserving the Tewa language and other long-standing traditions—making it a great spot to learn about Native American cultures. With excellent schools in the Pojoaque Valley School District, large houses on spacious plots, and plenty of restaurants in Pojoaque that showcase incredible New Mexican cuisine, this suburb of Santa Fe is an ideal place for people of all lifestyles looking for beautiful views and a relaxing place to settle down.

Things to Do in Pojoaque

Run around the track or take a fitness class at Pojoaque Wellness Center. Hit the slots, go bowling, or catch live entertainment at Cities of Gold Casino. Spend the day hiking, swimming, fishing, or all three at Nambe Falls & Lake Recreation Area. Admire outdoor sculptures, learn about Pueblo history, or attend the annual Pathways Indigenous Art Festival in Santa Fe at Poeh Cultural Center. Play a round of golf, visit the world-class spa, or enjoy a cocktail at Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino. Try the Huevos Rancheros or Breakfast Burrito for brunch at Roadrunner Cafe. Indulge in the mouthwatering Carne Adovada, Grilled Chicken Pojoaque Style, or Stuffed Sopaipillas at Sopaipilla Factory Restaurant. Or treat yourself to a scrumptious Cheese Calzone, Fire Eater Pizza, or Barbeque Pizza at Pizza 9.

White Rock

Tan Adobe-style home in Santa Fe. Photo by Instagram user @sarasacra.

Photo via @sarasacra

  • Home Price: $272,700 median purchase price; $1,116 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 77% of New Mexico cities
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

Considering living in White Rock? Not only is White Rock a safe place to live in Santa Fe, but it’s full of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Sitting along the Rio Grande, this Santa Fe suburb neighbors the Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve, offering plenty of things to explore close to home! White Rock residents have access to top-rated schools like Pinon Elementary and Chamisa Elementary, and can choose from a variety of housing options—from Mid-Century Modern ranches to Adobe-style homes.

Things to Do in White Rock

Play a game of sand volleyball or have a picnic at Rover Park. Soak in breathtaking mountain views or play with your dog at White Rock Overlook Park. Grab a friend and sign up for a mosaic, stained art, or clay art class at Little Studio on the Mesa. Go for a hike with friends or the kids on the Red Dot Trail—or take the Blue Dot Trail to the Rio Grande. Spend quality time with your family while improving your health and well-being at Yogi With Me. Try the Hot Pig + Fig Sandwich, The Big Cow Burger, or the Pig Mac at Pig + Fig Cafe. Devour the Carne Asada Burrito Plate, Ground Beef Tostadas, or Supreme Quesadillas at El Rigoberto’s Taco Shop, one of the best Mexican food places in White Rock. Or wind down by sipping a glass of Farmhouse Brown, Oat Stout, or Tripel at one of the best breweries in Santa Fe, Piedra Blanca Brewing.

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About Mike Beutler

Mike Beutler is a writer and digital content specialist who transitioned to self storage in 2020 after several years in the airline industry. His travels cultivated a passion for exploring cities across the U.S. and abroad and inspired him to learn more about practical insights for urban living. With 14 moves under his belt, both locally and cross-country, he also has a passion for minimalism and organization, and sharing tips to help others make any space feel like home while staying organized.