20 Best Things to Do in Taos

20 Best Things to Do in Taos

The city of art and beauty- Taos is a masterpiece in the heart of New Mexico. Also known as the City of Gold by the Spanish- Taos captivates the hearts of tourists.

A place so rich in culture and heritage- Taos is quite appealing to the human eyes. Let us have a look at the top 15 things to do in Taos!

Visit the world heritage site: Taos Pueblo

Taos Pueblo
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We are going to get started with the trip by taking you all to the most attractive place in Taos, New Mexico. Taos Pueblo is not only a fascinating historic landmark in all of New Mexico, but it also happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Did you know Native Americans are still living here? Yes, and they have been doing so for the past 1000 years. The buildings you see round date back to the period 1000 and 1450 A.D. The place is almost like walking and thriving history.

The Spanish explorers imagined this was the real city of gold when they came across the flourishing valley of Taos. The community exists across a space of 95,000-acres and has 4500 living members who are thriving there still now.

They make their livelihood by creating different types of crafts. You can check out their hand-made jewelry too.

Take a walk around Taos Historic District

Taos Historic District
Elisa.rolle, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you want to have a real taste of what Taos is, you need to go and take a look around Taos Historic District. This is the part of the city that is crowded and lively. It has all the flavors any city of New Mexico should have.

The heart of Taos Historic District- Taos Plaza is just a lovely place that draws all of the tourists.
All these were built almost 300 years ago, and to this date- they are doing quite well.

It doesn’t matter if you are hungry or are looking for buying some souvenirs- when in Taos and you are looking for something- Taos Historic District is the place you come to.

Looking for some gifts at an affordable rate? There are a lot of boutiques lined up on both sides of the street here. Moreover, the Taos Plaza contains some of the best restaurants in the city.

There are always a lot of converts or live music playing in the corners of street ll throughout summer. And, you can actively take part in these. If you notice the buildings around you- you shall see a lot of them have the architectural style of the ancient Spanish Colonial Style.

Look out for the views at Rio Grande Gorge

Rio Grande Bridge
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The Rio Grande Bridge is what makes the Rio Grande Gorge more beautiful. You will understand when you are looking at the bridge for there is no way you can realize how deep the gorge is until you see the bridge floating above it at the magnificent height of 650 feet.

The river did leave a great mark on the grand plains which were volcanic too! If you drive along US Route 64, you will find the parking lot of this spot. And, keeping your car- you shall be blessed with some of the very best views of the steel bridge along with the deep gorge.

Did you know this happens to be the most gorgeous bridge made of steel in the entire country? The beauty of this bridge is breath-taking for it feels like there is no end or beginning of this bridge.

It just floats there at a majestic height above the river!

Check out the art at Taos Art Museum

The Taos Art Museum is located in the house of a significant artist! Yes, Nicolai Fechin was one of the most important artists of Taos who came to New Mexico from Russia.

It is in the Fechin house that Taos Art Museum was later built. The building is beautiful for it has Spanish and Native American styles to it. There is an impressive program known as the Taos Society of Artists.

The local talents of these artists are really attractive. You can see a lot of their works in the museum. But, the main attractions have to be the real paintings of Fechin which are breath-taking.

Visit the Kit Carson Museum

Kit Carson Museum
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Kit Carson was one of the earliest settlers in the urban society of modern Taos. if you want to know more about the early settlements that happened in Taos, this is the place. The Kit Carson Museum also tells you in detail about the history of Taos.

This legendary historic home was built back in the era of the 19th century. But, Carson had to buy it somewhere around 1843. This house served as the home of the Carson family.

You can also call this house something that was the cultural or the main center of Taos for many years.

Also, it has a location quite close to the historic center, so you can drop in here after you are done checking out the plaza.

Pay a visit to the Millicent Rogers Museum

Millicent Rogers Museum
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Now, when we are talking about the Millicent Rogers Museum, you should pay attention for there are a lot of things here that are the most interesting.

Are you aware of the internationally known American artist Maria Martinez? Yes, her pottery was world-famous. Most of her works have been donated to the Millicent Rogers Museum by her family. These works portray the cultural impact of the region.

However, there is something else that attracts people. Millicent Rogers- the fashionista after whom the museum has been named- donated something to the museum that people come to look at from all over the world. And, that happens to be her most valuable- turquoise jewelry collection.

Although these are the objects that are most favored by people- you come across some art pieces that uplift the Hispanic art culture and are thousands of years old too.

See the Hacienda de Los Martinez

Building at Hacienda de Los Martinez
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The Hacienda de Los Martinez is a haven for great architecture. You are going to find native American homes as well as Spanish Colonial-style buildings here.

The Hacienda de Los Martinez used to be the homestead of the great Martinez family of Taos.
It was built more than 200 years ago and was a very important pillar when it came to Spanish trading systems.

You can still see the house standing strong with 21 rooms ready to be seen by tourists. There is even a museum that shows some of the old trade routes that were used and the different systems.

Pay your respects at the San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church

San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church
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The San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church is one of the most respected churches in all of Taos. This is the only church that comes to mind for it is one of the oldest too.

Also, the architecture is grand having some specs from the colonial-style. All of that makes the church grander than it is already.

The San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church was built for the common community as they needed a place to show their faith and believe in something.

You can see the white crosses standing straight at the entrance of the church. There is also a cemetery that is joined with the church.

Explore the Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway

Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway
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Are you willing to take a break from the historic sightseeing? We might have a nice and pleasant surprise just for you. Here in Taos, some scenic spots will take your breath away.

If you are here for a weekend- we recommend you take a drive to the stunning  Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway.

If you are on your way to see the legendary Gorge Bridge, then a small detour will bring you to the  Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway. Arroyo Seco, Arroyo Hondo, San Cristobal, and D. H. Lawrence’s ranch are some of the most beautiful places that are located along this drive.

Not only the roads are beautiful- the byway is set in the backdrop of the legendary Sangre de Cristo range. All these make the road extremely picturesque.

Drive up to the El Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
Daniel Schwen, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The northern part of Taos extending to the border of Colorado- all the lands present in these regions are under the iconic El Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.

More than 250,000 acres fall under these lands. So, you can just imagine the size of this region!
Bureau of Land Management takes care of these landscapes. And, if you explore- you can come across a lot of different ecosystems. There are even grasslands and alpine ranges in this region!

Ute Mountain and Rio Grande Gorge are all present here providing the place with paralleled beauty. The Wild Rivers Recreation Area and the Orilla Verde Recreation Area are also within these lands.

Check out the Wild Rivers Recreation Area

We have talked about the Río Grande del Norte National Monument before, but now it is time to see something in that region.

The Wild Rivers Recreation Area is another one of the places from where you can get a good view of the mighty Taos gorge and bridge. And, trust us, this place offers the best ones.

You can even go camping in this canyon for there are some good spots to camp. Look around for a Backcountry Byway to have one of the best drives too. Catch the sunset at La Junta Point if you want to be mesmerized by nature.

Go skiing at Taos Ski Valley

Taos Ski Valley
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Are you visiting Taos in the winter? Worried there might not be enough fun things to do? Stop worrying right now! Taos ski Valley is among one of the bests in the world.

If you are someone who just wants to see if skiing is for them- this is the spot. The place is best for beginners and even if you are someone experienced- you are bound to love it. There are ski trails of all levels of expertise.

You can even book lodging here if you want to spend a night in the snow. Don’t know skiing? Take lessons!

Ride a hot-air balloon in Taos

 Hot-air balloon in Taos
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Hot-air ballooning is one of the top activities to do in Taos. If you want to take a look at the gorgeous views that Taos has to offer from above- you should take this chance and get up on a balloon.

Some locations are truly spectacular in Taos for the place is filled with plateaus and canyons. But, the most favorable spot has to be getting on the balloon from beside the Rio Grande Gorge.

You see clearly from up in the air. The blue skies look perfect and even the down scenery looks like a painting!

Be amazed by nature at Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Study Area

The Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Study Area is one of the most beautiful pieces of land filled with scenic beauty here. The landscape is amazing here and the Rockies have a good impact on this place too.

Initially, a part of the same ecosystem as that of the Rockies- the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Study Area is a great place to head over on a weekend and enjoy nature to its fullest.

You can also see the Lobo Peak here. There are trails of over 75 miles here where you can go hiking. The Wheeler Peak is also present here that adds more gorgeous views to the already gorgeous location.

Check out the collections of Ernest Blumenschein

Ernest Blumenschein Museum
Elisa.rolle, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Ernest Blumenschein is one of the most iconic names when it comes to the art industry in Taos. As you can see by now- Taos gave birth to many local talents, and Ernest Blumenschein is among the mighty ones.

So, we’d like to end this trip by taking you to see one of the most stunning art collections of the entire region.

Burt Phillips and Blumenschein are the two artists who are responsible for making Taos prosper in art. No-one had any idea how gorgeous Taos was for inspiration until these two told everyone about the natural beauty.

The Taos Society of Artists that we were talking about before was also a brainchild of these people.

These are the top 15 things to do in Taos. We hope you have a nice time in Taos.

Check out Earthship Biotecture

Earthship Biotecture World Headquarters
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The Earthship Biotecture world headquarters and visitor center is a rare place to visit. The idea behind this place is quite creative, innovative, and thoughtful. It is a museum that showcases sustainability through Earthships which are built in form of living quarters.  This center is a place that provides education on a range of enviromental issues including solar power and recycling. You can also book an Overnight stay to experience the Earthship first hand. You can also buy a range of educational merchandise to continue your journey of learning about environment.

Williams Lake

Williams Lake
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If you love hiking, then a trip to the Williams Lake Trail is a must-do activity in the Taos Ski Valley area. Also in the area is a quaint inn selling beer and German food, a picnic area, and many examples of the local flora like the Columbine blossom. The hike to the summit offers spectacular views of the lake, and there is a waterfall that also operates as a rest area. At almost two miles long and over 11,000 feet where the trail ends near the lake, the terrain is steep in parts but relatively short, making this route is extremely popular with hikers.

Los Rios River Runners

The Los Rio runners have been in business for over 40 years. It offers various adventure activities such as rafting and gaming on the Rio Grande river. If you are more adventurous, you can take White water rafting trips over rapid or camp in the stunning Rio Chama Canyon. You can also enjoy visitor’s feast and float trips which include rafting and dining experiences with a calmer overall experience.

Mountain Skills Rock Guides

Mountain skill draw guide provide guided trips to start your rock-climbing adventures. This is basically a climbing school which provides you with the best techniques on how to conquer any mountain. This guy did lead you to a number of locations not only in New Mexico but also abroad. The locations to teach students with the basics of mountain climbing are selected with stunning views. They also ensure that safer conditions and scenic views are available at par for all the new climbers.

Eat Burgers at Taos Ale house

The burger stand is the place where everyone goes to to catch a game.  This place is equipped with several large TV's so you don't miss the action. Beer is served along with tasty snacks. There is also a nice selection of wines so that your night out does not fall short of any experience. The burger stand is top of the class and offers both Vegetarian as well as non-vegetarian food. They also organize live music evenings to make the whole ambience more lively.

The Taos city in New Mexico is a wonder in itself. Equipped with all the adventure activities, the place is also an example of Spanish and Russian architecture. The homes of great families that are turned to museums are also very beautiful. The monuments of the city are very well managed and offers you a great experience. The place offers Good food and good vibes.