Few places in America combine the best of all worlds without making much noise about it. Taos is the place to visit if you want a heady mixture of history, art, nature, and the best of Southern cuisine. For international and domestic American tourists who want to experience a synthetic culture come alive against a picturesque backdrop, there’s no better location than Taos. Once you go through the list of 10 must-do things in Taos, New Mexico, you will be raring to book your tickets and head to this gem of a Southern town.
1. Visit the Inger Jirby Art Gallery & Guesthouses
Although she was born in Sweden, Inger Jirby found her artistic haven in Taos. Get ready to be mesmerized by a dramatic dance of colors that will remind you of Van Gogh and Matisse. And when you see the equally colorful guesthouses, you will have reasons to extend your stay.
2. Check Out the Famous Taos Restaurants
The cuisine of this quaint and welcoming town reflects all its past and present influences. If you are in the mood for coffee and pastries and some delightful interiors, head to Cici’s Bean. If authentic New Mexican cuisine is what you have in mind – and it should be – La Cueva Café is ready with some authentic Southern offerings, including the all-important agave wine margaritas. Stella’s Italian Restaurant will surprise you with their zesty, Southwestern twists on classic trattorias. The ultra-chic The Love Apple, housed in a 19th-century Catholic church, is an ideal way to end your day with organic home-cooked food.
3. Soak up the Southern Culture at Taos Plaza
Go back in time at the historic Taos Plaza, a cultural landmark that encompasses several blocks. A guided historical tour through this charming town center is recommended for everything from live music concerts to boutique galleries to local craft shops.
4. Tour the Harwood Museum of Art
It’s the second oldest art museum in New Mexico. The Harwood Museum of Art has a stunning collection of original Hispanic artworks and visual arts from the Taos Society of Artists, the Taos Moderns, and other contemporary artists.
5. Stroll Down Ledoux Street
Murals, museums, galleries, and gardens. Ledoux Street is a living, breathing celebration of art. Don’t be surprised if you encounter artists who are midway through their next piece.
6. Stop by the Kit Carson Home and Museum
An homage to frontiersman and explorer Kit Carson, the Museum, built in Spanish colonial-style architecture, is a throwback to an era that still makes its presence felt in Taos.
7. Discover Taos Pueblo
How historically significant is Taos, you ask? The Taos Pueblo, an ancient settlement of the Native American Pueblo tribe, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Around 4,500 people still live in the area, adhering to their age-old traditions.
8. Visit the San Francisco de Asís Mission Church
The nerve center of the 18th-century agrarian communities that populated Taos, the church is a magnificent icon of the New Mexico Spanish architecture that the town is famous for. The twin bell towers and the adobe wall are just a couple of the design attributes that make the church different.
9. Take Home a Bit of Taos
Camino Real Gallery is a must-visit on many tourists’ itineraries for its eclectic collection of Southwest-style furniture, chile ristras, tin mirrors, Talavera earthenware, pottery, and much more. You are bound to find something that will always remind you of Taos.
10. Walk Across the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
Make sure your phone is in full charge as its camera is about to get active. Ten miles from Taos is this ‘High Bridge’ that offers stunning panoramic views of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. While there, gently haggle with vendors for a Cholla Cactus Cross, studded with New Mexico’s state gem, the turquoise.