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Safe, Affordable Suburbs in Santa Fe

Thinking about living in Santa Fe? Located on the southern edge of the Rocky Mountains, New Mexico’s capital city offers affordable housing, a growing job market, and fantastic outdoor recreation. If you’re thinking of settling down in the Santa Fe area, here are five safe and affordable suburbs to check out!

Agua Fria

House in Santa Fe, NM. Photo by Instagram user @cbtrailswest

Photo via @cbtrailswest

  • Home Price: $195,500 median purchase price; $722 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 68% 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 Pueblo and Adobe-style new construction and great schools like Ramirez Thomas Elementary SchoolCapital High School, and Santa Fe School for the Arts & Sciences within 15 minutes of the city center. This Santa Fe suburb is ideal for people of all lifestyles, including commuting professionals, families hoping to grow, and retirees searching for a warm place to spend their golden years.

Things to Do in Agua Fria

Visit Meow Wolf, an eclectic museum with interactive art installations. Have a family picnic or go for a jog at Romero Park. Pick up artisanal chocolate and take a tour of the factory at Art of Chocolate/Cacao Santa Fe. Savor New Mexican cuisine like the Red Chile Pork Ribs or Chile Relleno Plate at Tortilla Flats. Try Huevos Rancheros, Steak & Eggs, and other Southwest breakfast dishes at Plaza Cafe Southside. Relax with an Agua Fria Pilsner or 2920 IPA on the patio at Second Street Brewery. Or sip on Creamy Caramel Lattes and eat sweet treats like Lemon Blueberry Cake at Tribes Coffee House.

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La Cienega

  • Home Price: $243,100 median purchase price; $1,205 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 70% of New Mexico cities
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

Close to the Santa Fe Regional Airport, La Cienega is one of the best Santa Fe suburbs for frequent travelers. The suburb’s location is also convenient for local commuters, as it’s only 25 minutes from Downtown Santa Fe and about 45 minutes from Albuquerque. Residents of La Cienega also have access to top-rated Santa Fe schools like Turquoise Trail Charter School and The Academy for Technology & The Classics and can find tons of outdoor recreation in nearby Santa Fe National Forest.

Things to Do in La Cienega

Learn more about the history of New Mexico and its famous residents at El Rancho de las Golondrinas. Hike and explore the Spanish-Colonial era figures at La Cienequilla Petroglyphs. Go fishing and get up close with nature at Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve. Try handmade apple brandy and tour the Santa Fe Spirits Distillery. Take a dip in a Repose Pool and get a relaxing massage at Sunrise Springs Spa Resort. Enjoy a nice dinner of Sterling Silver Filets and Ojo Fish Tacos at Blue Heron Restaurant. Or dig into traditional Mexican dishes like Chicharron Burritos and Pork Tamales at El Parasol.


Cabin in Pecos, NM. Photo by Instagram user @firestorm130

Photo via @firestorm130

  • Home Price: $160,500 median purchase price; $643 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 70% of New Mexico cities
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

While Pecos is roughly 30 minutes away from Downtown Santa Fe, there’s plenty do here—especially if you’re an avid outdoor adventurer! Surrounded by the Pecos Wilderness and the Santa Fe Mountains, local residents can take advantage of all kinds of hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and camping right in their backyard! In addition, Pecos offers a wide range of housing options, including Pueblo-style homes, log condos and cabins, and tons of available plots of land for building custom homes!

Things to Do in Pecos

Spend an afternoon fishing, hiking, or taking a guided tour at Pecos National Historical Park. Go fly fishing on the Pecos River with Santa Fe Fly Fishing School. Make your way over to Monastery Lake for a waterfront stroll or a family picnic. Hike through the mountains to Pecos Baldy Lake, a more challenging trail for seasoned hikers. Head to Casa de Herrera’s for classic Southwestern favorites like fajitas, tacos, and chalupas. Get a hearty brunch of Green Chile Chicken Enchiladas Casserole or Country Style Breakfast at local favorite Frankie’s at the Casanova. Or grab some Navajo Tacos, Frito Pies, and Menudo at Mexican spot Mayela’s Restaurant.


  • Home Price: $123,600 median purchase price; $812 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 67% of New Mexico cities
  • Perfect For: Singles, young professionals, families, retirees

If you want to live outside of the city but still be only 20 minutes from Downtown Santa Fe, check out the historic suburb of Pojoaque! With great schools in the Pojoaque Valley School District, large houses on spacious plots, and incredible New Mexican cuisine throughout the area, this Santa Fe suburb is an ideal place for people of all lifestyles! The area is also well-known for its Native American culture, which you can learn more about at the Poeh Cultural Center.

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. Make your way out to Nambe Waterfalls & Lake Recreation Area for hiking, fishing, and swimming. Play golf, visit the spa, or enjoy a cocktail at Buffalo Thunder Resort Casino. Eat comfort food like Fried Chicken and Shrimp Po’ Boys at La Mesita Eatery. Head to Sopaipilla Factory Restaurant for their famous Stuffed Sopaipillas or large portions of burritos and enchiladas. And don’t forget to try the Huevos Rancheros or Breakfast Burrito for brunch at Roadrunner Cafe.

White Rock

House in White Rock, NM. Photo by Instagram user @aec0621

Photo via @aec0621

  • Home Price: $272,700 median purchase price; $1,116 median monthly rent
  • Crime Rate: Safer than 72% of New Mexico cities
  • Perfect For: Families, retirees

White Rock is a safe, affordable suburb just outside of Santa Fe that’s full of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Not only does this suburb sit along the Rio Grande, but White Rock also neighbors the Santa Fe National Forest and Valles Caldera National Preserve, so there are plenty of things to do close by! In addition, White Rock residents can find housing options from Mid-Century Modern ranches to Adobe-style houses and have access to top-rated schools like Piñon Elementary School and Chamisa Elementary School.

Things to Do in White Rock

Play a game of sand volleyball or have a picnic at Rover Park. Take in the stunning mountain views or play with your dog at White Rock Overlook Park. Check out some good reads at the White Rock Branch Library. Go for a hike with friends or the kids on the Red Dot Trail or take the Blue Dot Trail to the Rio Grande. Try the Triple Pig Quiche or the Pig Mac at Pig + Fig Cafe. Order the Calypso or Californian Pizza while cheering on your favorite sports team at Time Out Pizzeria. Or head to JR’s BB+, a local food truck that serves up breakfast burritos, Frito pies, and other New Mexican eats.


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