Taos, New Mexico
Long one of America’s foremost, bona fide Art Colonies, Taos is also home to a world-class ski resort (Taos Ski Valley), a World Heritage Site (Taos Pueblo), one of the most photographed and iconic churches (St. Francisco de Asis), and a majestic landscape encompassing the Rocky Mountains and the Rio Grande Gorge (and its eponymous bridge). Drawn by clean air and mythical light, visitors come to New Mexico’s Soul of the Southwest to experience rich spiritual traditions, fine art, distinctive cuisine, a thriving music scene and of course, the raw, natural beauty of the landscape.
Taos is located in the north-central region of New Mexico in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It was founded in 1795 to act as a fortified plaza and trading outpost for the neighboring Native American Taos Pueblo and Hispano communities. The English name Taos drives from the native Taos language meaning “place of red willows.”
What’s New/Story Ideas:
Please reach out to Martha Pincoffs ([email protected]) for more information.
A Resilient Community
- Taos Community Displays Resiliency During COVID-19
The Taos community, like many other tourism destinations, has been hit hard by the economic impact of COVID-19. The Taos Tourism Department partnered with local small businesses to curate two locally-made gift boxes for the holiday season. The two boxes, including a Self Care Box and Culinary Box featured various local makers and helped to supplement their businesses during a slower season. The initiative will be revisited later in the year.
- Safe Tourist Destinations to Travel in 2021
NM Safe Certified trains New Mexico businesses in COVID-Safe Practices to help ensure customers, employees and families remain safe as New Mexico reopens for business and recreation. The New Mexico community and business owners could speak to the protocols implemented and how they pivoted in 2020 and what they plan to do in 2021.
- Where to Ski in 2021
Taos Ski Valley re-opened in December 2020 with safety protocols in place. Taos Ski Valley offers unwavering support to the residents of Taos through financial resources, volunteerism and collaborative leadership expertise. Passes are available on a limited basis, masks must be worn at all times. Representatives from Taos Ski Valley can share more about new protocols in place and how to enjoy the area while still being safe.
- Destination for Rich Culture and Wellness Reprieve
A mecca for natural and alternative body and soul care that ranges from yoga, tai chi and meditation to Native sweat lodges and drumming circles, Taos is a place where people have fun, stay fit, and also “find” themselves. Try a new way of taking care of yourself while you’re here. We could craft an itinerary of hidden hot springs, hikes and more for a wellness travel story.
Feed Your Soul and Your Appetite
- Trip to Chimayo
Enjoy the view from the High Road to Taos and take in the stops along the way, like Chimayoó. Chimayó’s Plaza del Cerro is the last surviving Spanish fortified plaza in the southwest. Believed to be built on sacred earth with miraculous healing powers, Santuario de Chimayó is probably the most visited church in New Mexico. Chimayó is also famous for the weavings of the Ortega and Trujillo families, and many shops contain their work, as well as fine crafts from the region. This is an off-the-beaten path excursion for those who like adventure and appreciate culture.
- Best Places to Order Takeout in Taos
From Green Chile Burgers to Buffalo Steak, all the outdoor activities around Taos result in ravenous appetites. Fortunately we have more than 50 Taos restaurants prepared to appease your hunger. Classically-trained chefs create sophisticated dishes that appeal to both eye and palate. Many chefs rely on local, organically-grown produce, offering fresh greens, herbs, tomatoes, tender green beans and baby squash. We could tell the story of Taos and its homegrown concepts, as well as share recipes from chefs throughout the area.
Drives to take:
- The High Road to Taos
The High Road travels through awe-inspiring scenery and remote mountain villages that cling to their Spanish colonial roots. Start in Ranchos de Taos, a traditional agricultural community.
- Carson National Forest
The Carson National Forest offers unlimited recreational opportunities in any season. The magnificent mountain scenery and cool summer temperatures lure vacationers to enjoy the peace and quiet, for fishing, hunting, camping, and hiking. Winter activities include skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling.
- Enchanted Circle Drive
The most popular tour in Taos, this National Forest Scenic Byway circles Wheeler Peak, the highest in New Mexico at 13,161 feet. Throughout the drive, you’ll see some of the oldest rocks in the southwest – quartz and feldspar that date back two billion years. Look for special Enchanted Circle markers to help guide the way.
- Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
Travel west on US Hwy 64 to reach the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, the second highest bridge on the U.S. Highway System. The bridge is a three-span steel continuous-deck-truss structure with a concrete-filled steel-grid deck. It was called the “bridge to nowhere” while it was being built because the funding did not exist to continue the road on the other side.
Spring / Summer:
- Taos Plaza
Taos Plaza is the Heart of Taos. This is the center of the Taos Historic District where locals gather for Taos Plaza Live concerts, May through October and visitors enjoy the shops and galleries that surround the Plaza all year long.
- San Francisco de Asis Church
Celebrating over 200 years, the historic “Ranchos Church” was built in the early 1800’s, and is the only original church which remains intact in the Taos area. San Francisco de Asis Church continues to be an integral part of the spiritual community. It has been artistically recorded by 20th Century artists, Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams, and others who were fascinated by its adobe contours and sculptural buttresses.
- Rio Grande del Norte National Monument
With over 242,555 acres of public land, the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument provides a variety of recreational activities. The unique landscape offers whitewater rafting, hunting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and more. The Taos Valley overlook provides stunning views and trails for exploring.
Fall / Winter
- Taos Fall Road Trip
Fall is one of the most beautiful times of the year in New Mexico, and Taos does not fall short when it comes to autumn adventures.
- Taos Climb
Taos: a basalt, granite conglomerate paradise in northern New Mexico… A climber’s dream. Just west of Taos, Tres Piedras (three rocks) has some of the most pristine beginner climbing terrain in the country. The sunny, sheltered Rio Grande Gorge is favorable in winter months.
- Village of Taos Ski Valley
Located at the southern end of the Rocky Mountains in the rugged Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos Ski Valley is a perfect winter destination for outdoor enthusiasts and skiers. The Euro-New Mexican influence gives the village a unique feel, and a perfect holiday destination.
EVENTS & FESTIVALS
- The Fiestas de Taos (July)
An annual community celebration in the Taos Plaza honoring the Feast of the two patron saints of Taos, Santa Ana and Santiago. The Fiestas are a celebratory tradition passed from generation to generation, a way of preserving the rich tri‐cultural way of life that has developed in Taos over the last four centuries. The celebration continues with musical and dance performances scheduled on the Plaza every hour.
- Taos Pueblo Pow Wow – (July)
The Taos Pueblo Pow Wow has been around for the past 33 years. Members of Indian Tribes throughout the country gather in Taos for the three-day event where they compete in traditional dance competitions. The Pow Wow is a time of friendship, singing, dancing, and trading goods.
- Music in the Park – (Summer)
Kit Carson Park is the perfect festival grounds as it lies in the heart of Taos, just a short walk away from restaurants, lodging, shops and local art galleries. During festival season, come experience some live entertainment right by the Taos Plaza and Historic District.
- Taos Wool Festival – (October)
The annual Taos Wool Festival brings New Mexico, Texas, and Colorado breeders and fiber artists together to celebrate the wool tradition. Learn from both traditional and contemporary fiber artistry, and enjoy the Fiber Critters Corner with live sheep, alpaca, rabbits, and more.
ARTS & CULTURE
- Native American Culture
Come experience the history of the people who have lived in this area for thousands of years. Learn how their pottery, jewelry, dances, and cuisine influenced, and continue to influence, the art and culture of the Southwest.
- Taos Pueblo
Just three miles northeast of Taos Plaza lies the Taos Pueblo, the only living Native American community designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. The multi-story adobe buildings have been continuously inhabited for over a 1,000 years.
- Taos Art Museum
The Fetchin House, home of the Taos Art Museum, is one of the many establishments in the area that provides you an authentic Taos experience through art. The museum embodies history and creativity right in the heart of the historic district, and is near other art galleries and museums.
- Harwood Museum
The twelve unique galleries in the Harwood Museum of Art tells a complete story of Taos. The Harwood displays art ranging from the Taos Society of Artists to the Taos Moderns, from Pueblo to Hispano, from traditional to cutting edge. This museum represents these diverse artistic and cultural traditions and shows you how they have influenced each other.
Please reach out to Martha Pincoffs ([email protected]) for more information.