Taos is a town in northern New Mexico’s high desert, bounded by the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. It’s known for historic adobe buildings such as Taos Pueblo, a multistory adobe complex inhabited by Native Americans for centuries. A longtime artist colony, Taos also offers many galleries and museums showcasing regional artwork, including the Harwood Museum of Art and the Taos Art Museum.
A perfect day in Taos starts with a wander through the Taos Plaza. Grab a light breakfast at the coffee shop and, coffee in hand, begin your wander. The walled Plaza is home to a ton of shops, galleries, and restaurants. It was developed in the late 1700’s, so you will feel like you are stepping back in time. It is not too big, so don’t expect to spend more than an hour or two on your wander.
From there, head over to the Taos Pueblo for a tour (you cannot visit solo). The Pueblo has been continuously occupied for more than 1000 years. There is a rich culture and a deep history that you can learn about on the tour. The tour takes you through the pueblo, through the old Spanish chapel, and around the homes in the area. Many of the homes now also serve as curio shops but ones not marked as such are private. As you visit, remember that you are in a community and, while visitors are welcomed, respect the rules set forward for you.
By this time, you will have likely built up an appetite. Head to the Taos Mesa Brewery. Be sure to choose the Mothership as opposed to the Tap Room for the full experience. They have 12 beers on tap at any moment, live music quite often, and delicious food (TACOS!!). The garden space is lovely and gives you a true break from any hustle and bustle that you might need to escape from.
Ok–now, time for something off-beat (it IS New Mexico after all!). Go on a tour of the Earthenship homes near the brewery. Again, while visitors are welcomed, remember that this is a living community, so respect the boundaries that you are asked to respect. You can rent out an Earthenship for a night, but it was a bit more pricey than we wanted, but, boy would it be cool to experience! Ok–I am getting ahead of myself. What are the Earthenships? Well, they are passive solar houses that are made of both natural and upcycled materials such as earth-packed tires. They are meant to be sustainable, off-the-grid, and easy to build. They began to get popular in the 1970’s and, now, they can be found all over the world. It is worth visiting to see the movement that folks are trying to build and the actual homes that they have built!
For dinner, check out the Love Apple. Admittedly, we didn’t get to eat there. When we visited, there was this incredible storm that kicked up out of nowhere and knocked out the electricity just after we ordered our meal. The power didn’t come back on, so we had to motor on. Love Apple is still on my list! In any case, it is in a historic, teeny chapel built in 1800l and serves organic, regional food. With that little hitch in our plans, we ended up eating and drinking and listening to music at the Adobe Bar at the Taos Inn. The music was amazing and the paloma was the best I’d ever had. Plus, the bar stretches into the courtyard of the hotel which is beautiful in its own right.
Your night can end at the Historic Mill House, a lovingly converted old mill. The Mill is on the historic places register and the owner did justice to the renovation. It is picture perfect in every way, with each and every detail carefully chosen. You cannot get closer to the Plaza than here and I would challenge you to find some place as charming.