The nation’s oldest capital city, Santa Fe, New Mexico, is famous for its stunning natural beauty and the depth and breadth of its deep roots in art and culture, evidenced in the community’s world-class museums. Nestled next to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the heart of New Mexico, Santa Fe is accessible off Interstate 25, just one hour north of Albuquerque. A legendary trade center for centuries, the city boasts 5 Star accommodations, extensive galleries, sumptuous cuisine, and colorful markets.

Four state museums provide the best of New Mexico’s art, history and culture. Start at the New Mexico Museum of Art on the historic Santa Fe Plaza for an immersion into An American Modernism, featuring early 20th century artists who found their distinctive voices in New Mexico to define art for the modern age. (Running through February 21.)

Across the street, stroll among Native American artisans selling their pottery and jewelry in front of the 17th century Palace of the Governors, then venture into the New Mexico History Museum for Painting the Divine: Images of Mary in the New World (through March 13). Featuring works from Spain’s three colonial capitals, Peru, Mexico, and New Mexico, masterpieces reveal how faith sustained Spanish colonists in harsh and remote frontiers—and how their religious art evolved.

On nearby Museum Hill, experience the passionate, fiery, and sensual history and culture of flamenco dance and music at the Museum of International Folk Art with Flamenco: From Spain to New Mexico (through September 2016), the most comprehensive exhibition celebrating this living tradition as an art form.

Also on the Hill, step into Oblique Views: Archaeology, Photography and Time at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture (through May 2017). The exhibit pairs photographs of the Southwest’s most significant archaeological sites taken by Charles Lindbergh in the 1920s with images of those same landscapes taken by Adriel Heisey in 2007 and 2008.

If you can, tour outside of Santa Fe to explore history where it happened at New Mexico’s eight historic sites, featuring the dwellings of the pre-Puebloan people, El Camino Real, Civil War posts, and Billy the Kid and Lincoln County wars.

The New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs offers the CulturePass www.newmexicoculture.org for admission into each of the state’s 15 museums and historic sites. The CulturePass is your gateway to New Mexico’s extraordinary cultural bounty.

Make Santa Fe and New Mexico your destination location for art and culture in 2016.