Bozeman vs. Santa Fe

What you oughta know. 

Founded in 1607, Santa Fe is the oldest capital city in the United States. It's a high-desert town one hour north of Albuquerque, and it boasts sunshine, mountains, good food, and plenty of outdoor fun. But can it measure up to Bozeman? Vamanos.

Things were pretty quiet in dusty Santa Fe until the 1980s, when half of Hollywood decided to move there. Today, the list of Santa Fe's celebrity residents is a mile long. Granted, Bozeman has its share of A-listers too, but when the home listings start including phrases like "There are a fair number of celebrities who have homes in the area" as a selling point, it's time to find another place to live.

Edge: Bozeman

In 1958, Santa Fe adopted a zoning code requiring all buildings to conform to a Spanish-Pueblo style of architecture, which explains why even places named "New York Deli" are swathed in stucco and carved wooden vigas. We're all for keeping your town from looking like crap, and we're still not sure why you should be able to paint any building purple, but we'll take quirkiness over a sea of tan stucco any day.

Edge: Bozeman

You've seen the post-modern cowboys, the pointillist trout, and the impressionist horses in the homes of your transplant friends in Bozeman. But take a walk through many of Santa Fe's galleries and things are just as depressing. There's the pastel desert-sunset landscape, the stoic Native American, and the king of them all: Coyote howling at moon. It explains why we drink so much during art walks.

Edge: Tie

Santa Fe's got chile, Bozeman's got the huckleberry. Granted, green chile is much better on a hamburger than huckleberries are, but there is virtually no chance of being mauled by a thousand-pound wild animal while picking chile. Huckleberries require much bigger balls.

Edge: Bozeman

Montana's minimum wage just went up to $6.55, but it's still way below the $9.50 they're netting in the City Different. Then again, the median home price inside the Santa Fe city limits is $371,000—oh wait, that's only $40,000 more than Bozeman. I guess we’d better go to college.

Edge: Santa Fe

Outside, the granddaddy of all contemporary outdoor magazines—and, incidentally, the inspiration for the one you’re holding in your hands right now—keeps its editorial offices in Santa Fe. Despite the Maxim-like cover shots of half-naked outdoor celebrities and the fact that the publisher reportedly lives in a 20,000-square-foot house, it’s still a decent rag. But can this corporate behemoth best Outside Bozeman, the spirited underdog of the independent publishing world? Did they think of the Carhartt Thong (Spring 2007)? Do their readers take How Far Will You Go pics all over the world? Does their publisher drive a 1986 Subaru? Enough said.

Edge: Tie

Bozeman: 3
Santa Fe: 2

Hasta la vista, Santa Fe. The staff of Outside Bozeman includes two long-time residents of the Land of Enchantment, and we can safely say: You're a great place to visit, but we wouldn't wanna live there (again).