Nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of northern New Mexico, Taos is a town that offers a unique blend of culture, history, and natural beauty. From its historic adobe buildings to its stunning landscapes, Taos has something for everyone. In this article, we’ll explore some of the best things to do in Taos, New Mexico.
Taos is a small town with a big personality. Its rich history dates back over a thousand years to the ancient Puebloans who first settled the area. Today, Taos is a vibrant community that celebrates its cultural heritage while embracing the modern world. Visitors to Taos will find a variety of activities to enjoy, from outdoor adventures to art galleries and museums.
Visit the Taos Pueblo
The Taos Pueblo is a must-see for anyone visiting Taos. This ancient village has been continuously inhabited for over a thousand years, making it one of the oldest communities in the United States. Visitors can tour the pueblo and learn about the customs and traditions of the Taos Pueblo people. The pueblo is also home to the San Geronimo Chapel, a beautiful adobe church that dates back to the 18th century.
Explore the Rio Grande Gorge
The Rio Grande Gorge is a stunning natural wonder that is not to be missed. This 50-mile long canyon is over 800 feet deep in some places and offers breathtaking views of the Rio Grande River. Visitors can hike along the rim of the gorge or take a scenic drive along the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, which spans the canyon and offers panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
Go Skiing or Snowboarding at Taos Ski Valley
Taos Ski Valley is a world-class ski resort that offers some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the Southwest. With over 1,200 acres of skiable terrain and an average annual snowfall of over 300 inches, Taos Ski Valley is a winter wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts. The resort also offers a variety of amenities, including restaurants, shops, and lodging.
Visit the Taos Art Museum
The Taos Art Museum is a must-visit for art lovers. The museum is housed in the historic Nicolai Fechin House, a beautiful adobe building that was once the home of the Russian artist Nicolai Fechin. The museum features a collection of works by Fechin, as well as other artists who have been inspired by the beauty of Taos.
Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride
For a truly unique perspective on Taos and the surrounding landscape, consider taking a hot air balloon ride. Several companies offer balloon rides in the area, allowing visitors to soar above the Rio Grande Gorge and take in the stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
Hike the Wheeler Peak Wilderness
The Wheeler Peak Wilderness is a 19,000-acre wilderness area that is home to some of the most beautiful hiking trails in New Mexico. The area is named for Wheeler Peak, the highest point in the state, which can be reached via a challenging 16-mile hike. Visitors can also explore other trails in the area, which offer a variety of difficulty levels and scenic vistas.
Visit the Millicent Rogers Museum
The Millicent Rogers Museum is a fascinating museum that celebrates the art and culture of the Southwest. The museum is named for Millicent Rogers, a fashion icon and patron of the arts who made her home in Taos in the 1940s. The museum features a collection of Southwestern art, as well as artifacts from the Native American and Hispanic cultures of the region.
Go Whitewater Rafting on the Rio Grande
For thrill-seekers, whitewater rafting on the Rio Grande is a must-do activity. Several companies offer guided rafting trips on the Rio Grande, which range from gentle floats to adrenaline-pumping rapids. Visitors can choose from half-day or full-day trips, depending on their level of experience and adventurousness.
Take a Scenic Drive on the Enchanted Circle
The Enchanted Circle is a scenic drive that takes visitors through some of the most beautiful landscapes in northern New Mexico. The 83-mile loop passes through the towns of Taos, Angel Fire, Eagle Nest, and Red River, and offers stunning views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the Rio Grande Gorge, and other natural wonders.
FAQs about Taos, New Mexico
What are the top attractions in Taos?
Taos offers a range of attractions, including the historic Taos Pueblo, Taos Plaza, the Hotel La Fonda, and the stunning Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
What outdoor activities can I enjoy in Taos?
Visitors can engage in various outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, fly fishing, horseback riding, hot air ballooning, llama trekking, and mountain biking.
Are there any cultural experiences in Taos?
Taos is home to a vibrant art scene, including the Taos Art Museum, Millicent Rogers Museum, and numerous art galleries showcasing local and contemporary artists.
What are some significant historical sites in Taos?
Historical sites include the Taos Downtown Historic District, Taos Pueblo, Kit Carson House, and the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church.
How is the climate in Taos?
Taos has a warm-summer humid continental climate with extreme diurnal temperature variations. Summers can be hot during the day but cool off considerably at night. Winters offer opportunities for skiing and other snow activities.
What are the must-visit historical sites in Taos?
Taos Pueblo, Kit Carson House, and San Francisco de Asis Mission Church are must-visit historical sites that offer insight into the area’s rich cultural heritage.
How can I experience the local art scene in Taos?
You can explore the vibrant art scene by visiting the Taos Art Museum, Millicent Rogers Museum, and various art galleries showcasing a diverse range of artworks.
What outdoor activities are popular in Taos?
Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy activities such as hiking in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, skiing at Taos Ski Valley, and exploring the Rio Grande Gorge.
Are there any annual events or festivals in Taos?
The Fiestas de Taos is an annual community celebration honoring the feast of the two patron saints of Taos, Santa Ana and Santiago. The event features parades, musical performances, and cultural activities.
What are some scenic spots for nature lovers in Taos?
Nature lovers can explore the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, Wheeler Peak, and nearby hot springs for breathtaking natural scenery and outdoor adventures.
Taos, New Mexico is a destination that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or outdoor adventure, you’ll find plenty to do in this charming town. From visiting the ancient Taos Pueblo to skiing at Taos Ski Valley, hiking the Wheeler Peak Wilderness, or taking a hot air balloon ride, there’s no shortage of activities to enjoy. So pack your bags and head to Taos for an unforgettable vacation.