"The magic of Taos" Top 5 Page for this destination Taos by toonsarah

Taos Travel Guide: 214 reviews and 528 photos

In the Kit Carson House

Taos is sometimes seen as a mini Santa Fe, but that is to do both towns an injustice. Sure they are both arty, adobe-rich epitomes of the Southwest, but scratch the surface and they are very different.

In comparison to its larger neighbour to the south, we found Taos to be more relaxed, less self-conscious, and a little rougher around the edges. There?s a bit of a hippy vibe in the air, with crafts on display in its galleries and at the stall in the Plaza showing something of a New Age sensitivity ? scented candles, imaginative modern interpretations of traditional santos, wind-chimes and colourfully flowing clothes. With a rootsy coffee shop at its heart, this is a place in which to sit back, chill, and watch the world go by, rather than rush around ticking off the sights.

Having said that though, there are sights a-plenty. Perhaps the two most well-known and most worth the journey here are those that lie outside the town itself ? Taos Plaza to the north, and the church of San Francisco de Asis in Ranchos de Taos to the south. Meanwhile in the town you will find several museums, plenty of galleries and arty shops, an historic plaza ? lots to keep you occupied for a few days.

And when the sun goes down ... well, we found the nightlife here more to our taste than in Santa Fe. The larger town may have more great restaurants to choose from, but it was surprisingly hard there to find a bar that appealed to us, whereas in Taos there were two very different ones that each gave us a great night out ? the Adobe Bar in the historic Taos Inn, and Eske?s Brew Pub. We don?t travel in search of good bars, but to find two such welcoming spots in one town added to our impressions that Taos was one of the nicest small towns we have visited.

To read my tips in the order I recommend, please start here with our journey to Taos.

And to continue with us on our road trip through New Mexico please visit nearby Taos Pueblo with me.

Pros and Cons
  • In a nutshell:I defy anyone not to love Taos!
  • Last visit to Taos: Oct 2011
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (13)

Comments (8)

  • Aug 5, 2012 at 6:44 AM

    Well, it just didn't work out, we were just passing through to spend the weekend in the enchanted circle. I tried to stop at world cup coffee, and pulled into a parking space where a lady told us, she was reserving that spot for her art gallery, and we couldn't park there! The plaza was just too crowded, I got stressed out trying to deal with the traffic so we went somewhere away from the plaza. Oh well, next time I actually stay in Taos, walking around will be much more pleasant!!

  • balhannah's Profile Photo
    Feb 24, 2012 at 12:59 AM

    Loved this page Sarah! Wonderful Church, Kit Carson House, the gorge, the "green" housing, there is so much of interest here, thanks for sharing!

  • kenHuocj's Profile Photo
    Feb 4, 2012 at 12:07 AM

    Goodie for Tips of the week " Wednesday, December 28: The Earthship Biotecture Development, a cluster of self-sufficient "green" houses outside of Taos, New Mexico, written by toonsarah."
    i finally gotten to see your detailed insights. Very enlightening ;-)))

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2012 at 6:01 AM

    Continuing your tour of New Mexico, I continue to be very impressed with your fine photos and thoughtful texts. I had no idea that Kit Carson was a member of the Masons, in fact I don?t really know much about him even though there was also a Kit Carson house near Cimarron.

  • goodfish's Profile Photo
    Jan 24, 2012 at 5:50 AM

    LOL! Believe it not, we found them in a gravel parking area about 20 miles back. We'd stopped there to take some photos and they'd fallen out of the husband's pocket. Thank heavens he didn't lose them on the hike we did just after that. All we ended up losing was some serious time and a wee piece of our minds trying to FIND the silly things!

    Read more: "Where to ?" - goodfish's Profile

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Dec 31, 2011 at 3:40 AM

    Sarah, another gorgeous page with absolutely outstanding photos of your adventures in Taos. I must admit that Green Chilli Lager doesn't sound like my kind of beer, but as long as a taster is free I would give it a try. *winkygrin*

  • deecat's Profile Photo
    Dec 30, 2011 at 11:50 AM

    Marvelous, Sarah. Inspiring, insightful, and informative. Love the excellent photographs and clever narratives. It's always a joy to read your pages, and Taos is really a top=notch example of why your work is so well done.

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Dec 28, 2011 at 9:55 AM

    Thank you for an inspiring page, Sarah :-) I love your main photo, also because I have exactly one of these blankets here at home on my bed :-) I love the plaza and their variety of benches, especially the cute wrought iron one with the little farmer motifs inside :-) Haha, had to smile about San Francesco de Asis and asked myself where the missing s and i got lost on the way from real Assisi, and also if the Brat-wurst might feel betrayed because there is nothing "Brat" in a hot dog. But it looks delicious, as does the dishes in Taos Inn. Oh and I thought exactly this when I looked at your photos of Earthship: how much green is it when one has to drive to and back all the time. But the concept is interesting!


“I slept on the strange pillows of my wanderlust (Joni Mitchell, "Amelia")”

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