Palace of Governors

To begin sightseeing in Santa Fe, start where it all began on the city's historic central Plaza, which is dominated by the adobe structure known as the Palace of the Governors, the oldest public building in the United States. The palace was built in 1610 as Spain's seat of government for what is today the American Southwest. It still bears the scars of having survived Indian revolts and occupation, and Mexican Independence; it was later occupied by Confederate forces when they attempted to take New Mexico

Fittingly, in 1909, the building was converted into the Museum of New Mexico and is now the principal of Santa Fe's four museums, preserving 400 years of the state's history from the 16th century Spanish explorations through the frontier era to modern times. Exhibits range from a stagecoach and kitchen utensils to paintings on bison hide and a state seal made from spoons, quills and tacks.

Address: 105 W Palace Avenue

Website: www.palaceofthegovernors.org

Telephone: (505) 476-5100

Opening times: Daily 10am-5pm. Closed Mondays (October through May).

Admission: $9 adults, free for children under 16. Free on Fridays 5pm-8pm.