December is a good time to visit Santa Fe — crowds are light and hotel rates are attractive. But it can be chilly and snowy since the elevation is 7,000 feet. Central Santa Fe abounds with good places to stay.

Inn of the Anasazi is a sumptuous boutique hotel just steps from the plaza, but pricey (1-505-988-3030; www.rosewood hotels.com/en/innoftheanasazi).

La Fonda, a landmark adobe inn that borders the plaza, is full of history and old-school features: an arcade of shops, two restaurants and a lobby lounge with a massive fireplace. Weekend packages can make it affordable (1-505-982-5511; www.lafondasantafe.com).

A few blocks from the plaza, Hacienda Nicholas has the homey feel and prices of a B&B (1-505-986-1431; http://hacienda nicholas.com).

Restaurant top picks include Café Pasqual's (1-505-983-9340; www.pasquals.com), the Shed (1-505-982-9030; www.sfshed.com) and Il Piatto (1-505-984-1091; ilpiatto santafe.com).

For more visitors' information, go to the Sanfe Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau at www.santafe.org.Dave Hage