Things to Do in Taos, New Mexico

Unveiling the Hidden Gems: Top Things to Do in Taos, NM

Welcome to Taos, New Mexico – a unique destination offering a fantastic experience.

Nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos is a place that’s rich in history, culture, and natural beauty. Plenty of things to do in Taos will keep visitors busy and entertained for days.

One of the most popular attractions in Taos is the Taos Pueblo, a UNESCO World Heritage site inhabited by the Pueblo people for over 1,000 years.

Visitors can tour the village, watch traditional dances, and shop for authentic Native American arts and crafts.

The Pueblo also offers a glimpse into the fascinating history of the region, as it has played a significant role in the cultural and spiritual life of the Native American people.

Things to Do in Taos, New Mexico

For those interested in outdoor activities, Taos offers a plethora of options. Hiking, fishing, skiing, and snowboarding are just a few of the activities visitors can enjoy.

Taos Ski Valley, located just 19 miles north of Taos, is a popular spot for skiing and snowboarding, offering over 1,200 acres of skiable terrain.

The Rio Grande Gorge is also a must-see for those looking to experience the natural beauty of Taos. The gorge, over 800 feet deep, offers breathtaking views and plenty of opportunities for hiking and exploring.

But Taos is not just about history and outdoor activities. It’s also a vibrant art community home to many talented artists and galleries.

The Taos Art Museum and the Harwood Museum of Art are just two places visitors can go to see some of the incredible works of art created by local artists. From traditional Native American art to contemporary pieces, there’s something for everyone in Taos.

You should stop by the Taos Historic Museum if you’re looking for history. The museum has 21 rooms and two courtyards highlighting the city’s history before it became a US Territory.

In addition, plenty of exhibits on local artists, events, and craft demonstrations exist.

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Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

If you plan a trip to Taos, New Mexico, you may consider visiting the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.

Located about 10 miles west of Taos, this is the tenth-highest bridge in the United States. In addition, it is the second-highest bridge to pass over the Rio Grande River.

The gorge is between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the Carson National Forest. This area is full of dramatic rock formations. You can explore the area by driving or hiking.

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

The Rio Grande Gorge Visitor Center is a great place to visit while in Taos. There, you can find books, souvenirs, and offline maps. In addition, some local vendors set up tables to sell items.

You can walk over the Rio Grande Bridge for a fantastic view of the gorge. There are several gravel parking lots near the bridge.

Taos Pueblo

Taos Pueblo is an ancestral Native American community in Taos, New Mexico, USA.

It is a world heritage site and one of North America’s oldest continuously occupied communities. The site is owned and operated by the Native community.

Taos Pueblo was once a region’s center of trade and cultural exchange. A large harvest fair was held each year, and traders from many miles away came to sell their products.

Taos Pueblo
Taos Pueblo

In the early 1800s, Taos was home to famous mountain men such as Kit Carson, Smith Simpson, and Ceran St. Vrain.

During the Mexican-American War, the US Army invaded and destroyed the mission, but later the church was rebuilt.

However, the church priests were not accustomed to the Taos lifestyle and were reluctant to return.

Today, Pueblo is occupied by the Taos tribal council. It is located near the Rio Grande. Many of the buildings in Pueblo are made of sun-dried mud brick.

Taos Pueblo is a popular tourist attraction. Visitors can visit daily for a small fee.

As a tribal community, Pueblo retains its traditional layout and uses sacred ceremonies to preserve its culture.

San Geromimo Chapel (Church), Taos Pueblo, New Mexico
San Geromimo Chapel (Church), Taos Pueblo, New Mexico

Pueblo has two main clusters of buildings. One is for the general living area, and the other is for cooking and storage.

Initially, the Pueblo had no windows or doors. Therefore, each room in the house has a different purpose.

Taos Pueblo was declared a World Heritage Site in 1992. It has also been designated as a National Historic Landmark.

Taos Plaza

Taos Plaza is a historic heart of town home to many galleries and shops. You can also find many restaurants, hotels, and accommodations. This is a great place to stop for lunch or a quick look around.

Founded in the late eighteenth century, the plaza is still a unique and welcoming place. It has a laid-back, open feel and a lot of arresting architecture.

In addition, the plaza is filled with shops selling leather goods, handmade tribal pottery, and jewelry.

Taos Plaza
Taos Plaza

Many artists have drawn inspiration from the town, and Taos has long been an artists’ colony.

Taos is the home of the Taos Society of Artists, and there are plenty of museums to see if you’re interested in learning more about the local art scene.

San Francisco de Asís Catholic Mission Church

The historic San Francisco de Asís Catholic Mission Church in Taos, New Mexico, is a landmark of the area.

It is a traditional adobe structure that has stood the test of time. This church has become the muse of many artists and photographers.

Ansel Adams, Georgia O’Keeffe, and other famous artists have made the church a part of their art. In addition, the church is a well-preserved example of Spanish colonial architecture.

San Francisco de Asis Church, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico
San Francisco de Asis Church, Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico

The church is open to visitors year-round. During this time, visitors can enjoy uplifting services. They can also explore the art galleries on the plaza.

The church’s interior features beautiful oil paintings, twin bell towers, a choir loft, and adobe bricks.

The San Francisco de Asís church is a muse for many artists and photographers.

The building is one of the most photographed churches in the United States. Many of these images have been reproduced in print, as well.

San Francisco de Asis Church, Ranchos de Taos
San Francisco de Asis Church, Ranchos de Taos

Located at 60 St Francis Plaza in Ranchos de Taos, the mission church was built in the mid-18th century.

This building was once the center of a small agricultural community of Spanish, Mexican, and Indian residents.

Kit Carson Home & Museum

The Kit Carson Home & Museum is a museum devoted to the life of a famous American frontiersman.

Located in Taos, New Mexico, the museum contains artifacts and a historical overview of the life of Kit Carson.

Kit Carson lived in Taos from 1843 until he died in 1868. He was a well-known mountain man, Indian agent, and military leader. During his lifetime, he made a profound impact on the American West.

The Kit Carson Home and Museum Taos
The Kit Carson Home and Museum Taos

His home, a small four-room adobe structure, is now a historic house museum.

Visitors can take an interpretive tour of the home, view the original photographs and other family possessions, and purchase gifts.

The Kit Carson Home & Museum is a short walk east of Taos Plaza. There is a bookstore, a gift shop, and a 20-minute video presentation.

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