Taos Travel Guide

Northern New Mexico|Mexico’s favorite arts town, Taos is a fascinating blend of Spanish colonialism, Native American culture and artisans of all kinds. Located between the towering Rocky Mountains and the chasm of the Rio Grande Gorge, Taos has been attracting visitors for hundreds of years. Today, this small Pueblo town of 5,000 souls is a haven for artists, outdoor junkies hitting the slopes of Taos Mountain, and tourists soaking in the unparalleled ambiance.

Like many Spanish towns in New Mexico, Taos has a central plaza located just west of the town’s main intersection. Branching off of the plaza are dozens of seemingly confused, and narrow, winding roads lined with traditional adobe houses. Most of the art galleries, caf├ęs and shops can be found on the plaza or along the roads just off of it.

The other part of Taos is the Ranchos de Taos area, a few miles south of the plaza. This newer section of town also has a number of art galleries, shops and restaurants but the atmosphere isn’t quite as charming as in the old part of town. At the spiritual heart of everything is the 1,000-year-old Taos Pueblo, traditional home of the Tiwa Native American tribe and one of the most striking structures in America. It’s easy to walk around the plaza area, where aimless wandering may reveal some wonderful surprises, but you’ll need a car to get anywhere else.

Highlights

Taos Pueblo: the most accessible of New Mexico’s 19 pueblos is truly a wonder with its organically-shaped mud walls and traditional community still living inside without electricity or running water.

Taos Art Museum: an amazing collection of works by the Taos Society of Artists provides a rare glimpse at late 19th and early 20th century life in this unique town.

San Francisco de Asis Church: this famous adobe church, which seems more a work of art than a building, has graced the canvas of many artists, including Georgia O’Keefe.

Taos historic museums: the historical home of Ernest Blumenschein and the Martinez Hacienda have been converted into museums preserving early Taos lifestyles.

Millicent Rogers Museum of Northern New Mexico: some of the finest Native American art and crafts in the southwest are housed in this small but exquisite museum.

DH Lawrence Ranch: fans of this notorious author will be interested to see the house and compound where he spent many of his years as a writer.