Looking for a new American adventure? Leave Orlando et al to first timers this summer and spend some time in Taos, New Mexico, instead
Taos has long been regarded as an unconventional town, which has drawn and continues to attract myriad creative types, spiritual quest seekers, adventurers and history buffs, and those who thirst for a true, meaningful experience. In serendipitous fashion, many who came to Taos, like the Spanish conquistadors of the 1500’s or old west figures such as Kit Carson, came by chance but stayed by choice because they became so enchanted by it.
At the core of Taos’ history is its creative center – Taos is one of America’s original art colonies. When Bert Phillips and Ernest Blumenschein’s wagon broke down near Taos in 1898, they were so taken by Taos’ light and culture that they chose to stay there permanently. The Taos Society of Artists was born, attracting talent from throughout the world.
With a distinctive tri-cultural history that spans centuries (Anglo, Hispanic and Native American), Taos is a diverse town brimming with cultural, active, adventurous, and playful adventures that are incomparable to any other town in the world. And now, with the addition of New Mexico’s newest national monument – Rio Grande del Norte National Monument – Taos is the next journey with which to check off your “bucket list.”
Top Taos attractions
Rio Grande del Norte National monument
Designated as a national monument on March 25, 2013, the 240,000 acre Rio Grande del Norte encompasses portions of the Rio Grande Gorge and Ute Mountain near Taos, NM.
Step back into time at Taos Pueblo
Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community to be designated both a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and a National Historic Landmark. Visit www.taospueblo.com for details.
Explore historic Taos Plaza
Taos Plaza’s many colorful shops, unique galleries, museums, and award winning restaurants are situated in the historic area where the Taos Revolt of 1847 occurred. The Plaza is magical around Christmas when the streets are lined with luminarias.
Llama trek in New Mexico’s Wilderness
Voted one of the ‘Top 10 Best Tours in the U.S’ by Trip Advisor, these rescued llamas will take you on an exciting tour where you’ll learn about area ecology, wilderness survival skills and more.Visit www.llamaadventures.com.
Int’l Headquarters of Greater World Earthship Community
The Greater World Earthship Community is headquartered in Taos. Earthships are self-sustainable homes made of recycled materials. For the full low-down, visit www.earthship.com.
Raft the Taos box, followed by a traditional native American meal
White water rafting is ideal for adventure-seekers, especially along the Taos Box with class four and five rapids. Visit http://taos.org/outdoors.
San Francisco de Asis church
Voted one of the ’10 Places to Visit Before You Die’ by Yahoo!, this is the most painted church in the U.S. made famous by Georgia O’Keeffe. While you’re there, check out the mysterious ‘Shadow of the Cross’, painting by Henri Ault, which is said to glow in the dark.
World class historic museums
See the many museums that encapsulate Taos’ old west history. For US$25, visit five Taos museums: Harwood Museum of Art, Blumenschein Home and Museum, Millicent Rogers Museum, Taos Art Museum and Martinez Hacienda.
Tour Taos Ski Valley (TSV)
Named one of the top 10 ‘destinations for skiers and non-skiers’ by Reuters, TSV boasts 110 trails for summer/winter adventure. Visit skitaos.org.
Taos Eco Park
Taos Eco Park is the highest altitude FIFA 2 star certified training facility in the world, and training grounds for many international, professional, NCAA and youth sports teams. Visit www.taosecopark.com.
TAOS FAST FACT
Population: 6,532 (town) 29,979 (county)
Elevation: Town of Taos – 6,967 ft.; Taos Ski Valley – 9,250-13,161 ft. Location: Northern New Mexico, USA
Weather: Jan 40°F/10°; July 87°F/50° Annual sunshine: 300+ days Annual Precipitation: 35 inches (town); 305 inches (Taos Ski Valley)