Taos, New Mexico
Catch a sunset, the light is amazing. Order something with green chili and and don't miss exploring (it won't take you long) Arroyo Seco!
- More about your oliver guide: Cynthia Pillsbury
- Trip type: Adult, Mountains
- Activity level: moderate
- Ideal length of trip: 2-3 days is great length of stay to get a sense of this small artsy town with a very south of the border vibe.
to & from
We drove to Taos from Colorado (4 hour drive). Taos airport only services private/charter airlines, however shuttles are available from Santa Fe (165 miles) and Albuquerque (155 miles) airports. If you plan to ski, you should have a car. However, you do not need a car once you are in the town of Taos.
Where to Stay
Taos has a lot of small boutique hotels right in the town center. I would suggest staying in those vs. a VRBO. The outskirts of town are not quite as (or at all) charming as the historic part of town.
We stayed at the El Monte Sagrado – which felt like the nicest hotel in Taos. A short 5 minute walk to the town center. The grounds are quiet and private. We stayed in a small casita which was charming. There is a spa and indoor pool but both were closed because of COVID.
The Historic Taos Inn is right in the center of town. The infamous bar, Doc Martin is known for their nachos and margaritas!
Casa Benavides great location and seems authentic and nice.
The Blake– If you would prefer to stay at the base of the Taos Ski Resort (about a 30 minute drive from town of Taos) this is where I would stay. However, I would recommend staying in Taos.
Where to Eat and Drink
Unfortunately New Mexico was under very strict COVID guidelines with regard to restaurants, but we did manage to find delicious food, just sadly didn’t get to experience the atmosphere of sitting in the restaurants.
Orlandos– Family owned business, friendly service and delicious, authentic Mexican food. They have a lovely patio with a wood burning fire pit.
Manzanita Market- This is the sister (bfast/lunch spot) restaurant of The Love Apple, so we were very excited to try the food here knowing that the beloved The Love Apple was temporarily closed. It did not disappoint. The setting is charming and has a very cool local vibe, with a whole wall dedicated to made in NM food and wellness products. The turkey and fig spread sandwich was amazing!
The Love Apple– We were so sad to not be able to dine in this lovely restored church, turned restaurant. Locals and visitors alike rave about the food and atmosphere.
Aceq Restaurant– Located in Arroyo Seco, which is a tiny, very cool town on the way to the Ski Resort. Sophisticated and delicious menu. We loved the vegetarian options as well as the ribs and shrimp. Great flavors and vibe, if only we could have eaten inside!
Torribios- Super casual, roadside tacos (recommended by a friend who is a Taos regular).
What to Do
If you go in the winter, plan to ski at the Taos Resort for a day. It’s an easy drive and the views and beauty of the mountain are lovely, and you’ll be surprised at how good the snow is! If you go in the summer, I imagine hiking would be a fun activity. Shopping, eating and touring museums and art galleries will take up the balance of your time.
Millicent Rogers Museum– Philanthropist and southwest art/jewelry enthusiast has an incredible collection of turquoise jewelry, art and Native American and Mexican crafts housed in a charming adobe home. Worth a visit. Hit it on your way back to town of Taos after skiing!
Harwood Museum- Sadly it was closed due to COVID, but came highly recommended
Bryans Gallery– Wonderful collection of New Mexican and SW artists in a variety of methods (paint, sculpture, pottery, jewelry) with a range of price points.
Momo– Very special collection of clothes, leather goods, jewelry and art from all over the world with a special emphasis on New Mexico. Owner and jeweler, Moriah Stanton is a local and has a sophisticated sensibility.
People of the Valley– Cool aesthetic, mainly vintage clothes, cowboy boots and table top goodies (books, candles…) Lovely atmosphere!
Taos has a very dream catcher-vibe. It’s casual, yet sophisticated and quirky. The locals are friendly and excited to share this little gem of a town with you. You really feel as if you are in Mexico or Europe, not in the US.
What to Pack
Cowboy hat, boots, jeans… repeat! Taos is very casual. It does get chilly at night so make sure to bring warm clothes.