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10 Must-See Attractions in Taos, New Mexico
April 26, 2023
Taos, located in northern New Mexico, is a charming town known for its rich history, culture, and beautiful natural surroundings. It has been a hub for artists, writers, and creative thinkers since the early 20th century and continues to inspire and attract visitors worldwide.
Countless must-see attractions, from the Taos Pueblo to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, make Taos an unforgettable destination. Whether you’re a history buff, art lover, outdoor enthusiast, or simply seeking a unique and memorable experience, Taos has something for everyone.
The Taos Pueblo is one of North America’s oldest continuously inhabited communities, dating back over 1,000 years. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a remarkable testament to the Puebloan people who have lived there for generations. The pueblo consists of multi-story adobe buildings, some of which were built as early as the 14th century and still serve as homes for the Taos community today.
The Taos Pueblo’s architecture is breathtaking, with its thick adobe walls and earthen roofs blending seamlessly into the surrounding landscape. Visitors can take guided tours of the pueblo, explore the maze-like alleys and hidden courtyards, and even purchase handcrafted jewelry, pottery, and other traditional items from the local artisans.
The Taos Pueblo is not just a historical site but a thriving community where the Taos people continue to live, work, and carry on their traditions. The pueblo is a central part of Taos’s identity and is deeply important to the local community. A visit to Taos would not be complete without experiencing the unique beauty and cultural significance of the Taos Pueblo.
Taos Plaza, located in the heart of the town, is a historic and vibrant gathering place that has been a center of activity for over 300 years. The plaza has been a hub for trade, commerce, and social gatherings since its establishment in 1615. It was also a central location during the Taos Revolt of 1847, which resulted in the execution of Governor Charles Bent.
Today, the plaza is a bustling hub of activity with numerous shops, galleries, and restaurants surrounding it. Visitors can find an array of local handicrafts, from pottery and jewelry to textiles and paintings. Local eateries offer everything from traditional New Mexican cuisine to fusion cuisine.
The plaza is also popular for community events, such as concerts, festivals, and markets. It is beautifully lit up during the holiday season with festive lights and decorations.
Visiting Taos Plaza is a great way to experience the rich history and culture of the town while also enjoying its modern-day amenities. It is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting Taos.
Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Taos, New Mexico. It was completed in 1965 and spans the Rio Grande Gorge, over 600 feet deep and 50 miles long. The bridge has been featured in several movies and TV shows and is a popular spot for photographers and visitors.
One of the main draws of the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is the stunning views of the gorge and the surrounding landscape. Visitors can walk across the bridge and take in the breathtaking vistas of the deep canyon and the winding river below. The bridge is also a popular spot for stargazing and enjoying sunsets.
Several outdoor activities near the bridge include hiking, rock climbing, and river rafting. The nearby Rio Grande del Norte National Monument offers miles of hiking trails and stunning views of the surrounding area. Visitors can also take a guided rafting trip down the Rio Grande and experience the thrill of the rapids.
The Kit Carson Home and Museum is a historic site located in the heart of Taos that provides visitors with a glimpse into the life of one of the town’s most famous residents. Kit Carson was a legendary frontiersman and explorer who played a significant role in the expansion of the American West during the mid-19th century.
The museum exhibits Carson’s life and career, including his experiences as a trapper, scout, and military commander. Visitors can also explore the adobe home where Carson lived with his family and see artifacts, including his rifles, pistols, and other personal items.
The Kit Carson Home is a prime example of traditional Southwestern architecture, with thick adobe walls, viga and latilla ceilings, and a central courtyard. The home has been beautifully preserved and restored, giving visitors a glimpse into the daily life of a prominent figure from Taos’s past.
Kit Carson is an important figure in Taos’s history, and his contributions to the town and the American West are still celebrated today. The Kit Carson Home and Museum is a must-see in Taos for its historical significance and beautiful architecture.
Taos Art Museum
The Taos Art Museum is located in the historic adobe mansion of Nicolai Fechin, a Russian artist who lived and worked in Taos in the early 20th century. The museum is home to an impressive collection of paintings, drawings, and sculptures from artists who have lived and worked in Taos over the past century, including Fechin himself.
The artwork on display at the Taos Art Museum represents a diverse range of styles and mediums, from the traditional southwestern landscapes of Georgia O’Keeffe to the bold, abstract paintings of Agnes Martin. Visitors to the museum can also explore Fechin’s former studio, which has been preserved as a tribute to the artist and his unique style.
The Taos Art Museum plays a vital role in the local art community, providing a space for artists to exhibit their work and preserving the rich cultural heritage of Taos. It also hosts various events and programs, including workshops, lectures, and exhibitions, celebrating Taos’s vibrant and ever-evolving art scene. For anyone interested in art or history, a visit to the Taos Art Museum is an absolute must.
Taos Ski Valley
A visit to Taos Ski Valley is a must-see for outdoor enthusiasts. Founded in the 1950s by Ernie Blake, a Swiss-German ski instructor, the ski valley has become one of the country’s premier skiing and snowboarding destinations.
The ski valley boasts over 1,200 acres of skiable terrain, with runs ranging from beginner to expert. The resort also offers ski and snowboard lessons, equipment rentals, and guided tours for all ages and abilities. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the surrounding Sangre de Cristo Mountains while experiencing some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the Southwest.
But Taos Ski Valley is not just a winter destination. In the summer, the resort transforms into a hub for outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, and fishing. The ski lifts run throughout the summer, providing access to miles of scenic trails and panoramic vistas.
Whether you’re an avid skier or snowboarder, or simply seeking a thrilling adventure in the great outdoors, Taos Ski Valley offers an unforgettable experience.
Millicent Rogers Museum
The Millicent Rogers Museum is named after its founder, Millicent Rogers, an heiress and fashion icon who made Taos her home in the 1940s. Rogers was known for her exquisite taste and appreciation of Native American art and culture, and she amassed a significant collection of jewelry, pottery, and textiles from the Southwest.
Today, the Millicent Rogers Museum houses over 7,000 artworks and artifacts, including Navajo rugs, Pueblo pottery, and Spanish colonial furniture. The museum also features a rotating exhibit program that showcases contemporary Native American art and highlights the work of emerging artists.
Visitors to the Millicent Rogers Museum can explore the fascinating history of the Southwest through the lens of Native American art and culture. The exhibits provide insight into the traditions and beliefs of the indigenous people who have lived in the region for thousands of years and highlight the enduring influence of their art on contemporary culture.
Millicent Rogers was a true champion of the arts, and her legacy lives on in the museum that bears her name. The Millicent Rogers Museum is a must-see attraction for anyone interested in the rich cultural heritage of Taos and the Southwest.
The Harwood Museum of Art is another must-see attraction for art lovers visiting Taos. Founded in 1923 as the Harwood Foundation, the museum has grown into a world-renowned institution that celebrates the rich artistic heritage of the Southwest.
The museum’s permanent collection includes over 4,000 works of art, ranging from traditional Native American pottery to contemporary paintings and sculptures. Some of the most notable pieces in the collection include works by Taos Society of Artists members and modern masters like Agnes Martin and Richard Diebenkorn.
The Harwood Museum of Art also hosts a variety of rotating exhibits and special events throughout the year, featuring established and emerging artists from the Southwest and beyond. These exhibits provide a unique perspective on the evolving art scene in Taos and offer a glimpse into the diverse range of styles and mediums embraced by contemporary artists.
As a hub for the local art community, the Harwood Museum of Art plays an essential role in preserving and promoting the rich cultural heritage of Taos. Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply seeking to explore the vibrant artistic community in Taos, visiting the Harwood Museum of Art is a must.
La Hacienda de los Martinez
La Hacienda de los Martinez is a beautifully preserved example of the Spanish Colonial architecture prevalent throughout Taos. Built-in the early 1800s, the hacienda was once the home of the influential Martinez family, who were prominent local community members.
Today, visitors to La Hacienda de los Martinez can explore the stunning adobe structure, which features a central courtyard and a variety of rooms that showcase the lifestyle and traditions of the Martinez family. The hacienda’s exhibits include antique furnishings, textiles, and artwork, providing a unique glimpse into the daily lives of Taos’ early settlers.
La Hacienda de los Martinez is also an important historical site, as it played a significant role in the development of Taos during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Martinez family was instrumental in establishing the town’s agricultural and trading industries, and their legacy is still felt throughout the community today.
Visiting La Hacienda de los Martinez is necessary for those interested in history and architecture. The Hacienda offers a fascinating glimpse into the past and provides a unique perspective on the cultural heritage of Taos.
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