9+ Unique Things to Do in Taos Explained

Submerge into the warm embrace of Taos Hot Springs; will its hidden whispers reveal the town's ancient secrets? Dive in...
Date Published
March 8, 2024

Table of Contents

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Ever wonder what it's like to walk into a painting? Yeah, Taos isn’t your basic cityscape—it’s a masterpiece of sceneries, sensations, and sky-high peaks that look like they've been ripped right out of a canvas. Taos, New Mexico, is where the desert meets the divine, where each earthy ridge whispers tales older than your grandma's sourdough starter. And guess what? It's packed with so many history-soaked, adrenaline-pumping, taste bud-tingling things to do—you'll need extra pages on your itinerary.

From the steamy reprieve of hot springs near Taos, to chomping on the most authentic local cuisine Taos has to offer, this place is a banquet of experiences. Strap on those boots for some skiing in Taos Ski Valley, then dust off your camera to capture the avant-garde soul of art galleries in Taos. If you're thinking, "Okay, but show me something old-school," well, the Taos Pueblo tours will transport you through time. And for a visual feast, nothing tops a Taos scenic drive—it's like the Earth's own highlight reel. Taos is the treasure chest, and I'm handing you the key. Ready to explore?

Unearth the Serenity of Taos Hot Springs

Picture this: you're winding down a serene path, the air tingles with a hint of pine, and there it is - a natural spa without the spa price tag. Yep, Taos hot springs are like cracking open a geothermal treasure chest, and man, does it feel good to soak your weary bones in those steamy, mineral-rich waters!

These hot springs near Taos, each one more inviting than the last, are not just puddles to sit in—they're liquid relaxation for your soul. Listen, whether you are a couple looking for a ‘just-us’ getaway or a family needing some much-deserved chill time, these springs are nature’s way of saying, "Relax, I got you!”

Now, say your shoulders are knotted tighter than a pretzel from all that adventuring or screen-staring. That's where Mother Nature’s hot tubs come into play. Some are just a hop and a skip away from the city, making it super easy to go from shopping to soaking in no time.

Spending an hour or two should be more than enough to feel recharged, but hey, who's stopping you from a full-day mellow marathon? With a few scattered close to each other, it's the perfect excuse to spring hop and sample different vibes and views.

The crowd? Oh, get ready to mingle with free spirits and nature lovers of all ages. People come from all over to dip into this magic, and trust me, there’s nothing like sharing a knowing smile with a stranger as you both say, without words, “This is the life.”

And once you've reached that blissful state where you're not sure if you've turned into a noodle, take a slow stroll back. Let the starlit sky of Taos remind you that yeah, you're still on Earth, though your Zen levels might argue otherwise.

Alright, cozy up in your favorite fluffy towel and let the spirit of the hot springs linger on your skin a little longer. Go on, let Taos warm not just your body but also your heart!

Indulge in the Flavors of Local Taos Cuisine

Imagine strolling through an enchanting Southwestern town as the aroma of authentic dishes beckons your taste buds. Welcome to the heart of Taos cuisine, where every bite feels like a fiesta on your palate!

Local cuisine in Taos? Oh, it isn't just food; it's a love language! From farm-to-table experiences to the fiery zest of chilies, you'll get more than a meal here—you're in for a culinary adventure. So what's cooking? Everything from blue corn enchiladas to earthy bison burgers, and let's not forget the sinful sweetness of a traditional sopapilla drizzled with local honey.

Let's paint a picture: you're at a cozy Taos café, the spices are dancing in the air, and you’ve got a plate of carne adovada that’s been simmering to perfection. Your fork dives in, and oh, that slow-cooked pork with red chili sauce is like a warm hug from a Southwestern grandma. But wait, there's more than just spice-laden dishes. Have you tried the trout? Fresh from the Rio Grande, seasoned, and cooked to crispy perfection; it's a true taste of Taos' natural bounty.

Here's the scoop for families: many eateries offer kid-friendly options without skimping on flavor (because every kiddo deserves a munchable introduction to local culture). And if you've got a taste for the daring, some distinct dishes will have your taste buds somersaulting with delight. You won't just eat in Taos; you'll savor.

So, whether you're solo or with your favorite humans, let Taos cuisine carve out a delicious chunk of your schedule. Spend a couple of hours or an entire evening! Each restaurant serves up its own slice of the local scene. One thing’s for sure, by the time you finish, you'll be adding recipes to your "must-try-at-home" list. Expect to leave with a full stomach and an even fuller heart.

Pro tip? Wash it all down with a swig of locally brewed beer or a glass of New Mexico's finest wine. Why? Because you're not just in Taos, you're experiencing Taos—and every sip should be as memorable as every sight and sound. Enjoy every moment of flavor exploration! Cheers to your culinary travels, my friend!

Traverse the Trails of Taos Ski Valley

Imagine yourself whooshing down a snowy incline, the crisp mountain air nipping at your cheeks while the world around you is a blur of white and adrenaline. That's what skiing in Taos Ski Valley is all about. It's a place where beginners can find their legs and experts can challenge their skills. This isn't just a ski spot; it's a snow-covered paradise where each trail tells a story, and every turn is a new adventure waiting to unfold.

You, my friend, are perfectly poised to leave your mark on the powdery trails of this legendary valley. Picture this: over a hundred trails, just waiting for your skis to carve them up. It doesn't matter if you're a lone wolf seeking the thrill of the slopes or a family looking to bond over snowball fights – Taos Ski Valley is a mecca for snow lovers of all stripes.

Now, how long should you stay? Listen, you could try to hit the slopes for just a day, but why sell yourself short? Give yourself a few days to truly savor the mountain majesty. Find serenity atop a lift before zooming down to the base where hot cocoa and roaring fireplaces await.

And here's a pro tip: nestled among the peaks and pines are trails that suit every mood. Heading here for a date? The swoosh of skis against snow beats any dinner and movie combo. Bringing the little ones? Family-friendly zones make sure that their giggles are the soundtrack to your day.

What's nearby, you ask? When your legs need a break, you're close enough to amble back to the lodge or swing by charming local spots for a hearty meal that’ll fuel your next run.

Remember, this place isn't just about testing your limits. It's about breathing in that pure mountain air and feeling alive. Get ready to make memories on the mountain – the views are epic, the vibes are friendly, and each run is more than just a descent; it's a moment that'll stick with you long after you've left the powder behind.

Capture the Beauty in Taos Art Galleries

Let's talk galleries, art lovers! In Taos, you're not just visiting some run-of-the-mill space filled with pretty pictures. Oh, no. Here, art galleries are practically sacred spaces where the vibrant soul of the Southwest leaps off the canvas and grabs you by the heartstrings.

First off, think colors that pop like a fiesta in your eyes. Taos art galleries are dripping with paintings, sculptures, and textiles that shout 'New Mexico'! It's a cornucopia of traditional and contemporary art that locals and travelers adore. Each gallery has its own flavor. So if you're into landscapes that whisper secrets of the desert, or modern abstracts that make you go, "Huh, I feel that," Taos has you covered.

And the best part? These art havens dot the town, so you're never more than a stone's throw from the next visual feast. Walk through venues like the Harwood Museum of Art where the history of Taos art pulses through the room. Pro tip: dedicate a good part of your day for gallery hopping. This isn't a time to rush; let each piece tell you its story.

You might ask, "Well, who will enjoy these galleries?" Picture this place as a magnet for the curious and the creative. If you're a couple looking for inspiration, or even a solo traveler hungry for a visual banquet, you're in the right spot.

Taos art galleries? They're not just places to look at art - they're experiences waiting to inspire awe and maybe, just maybe, a bit of that Taos magic will follow you home.

Discover the Vibrance of Taos Pueblo

Imagine stepping out of your world and into a vivid canvas of culture that's been thrumming with life for over a thousand years. That's Taos Pueblo, a place where every adobe brick seems to whisper stories of the past.

Taos Pueblo is an experience that's equally enchanting for solo explorers, history buffs, and families looking for that blend of education and awe. Set aside at least half a day to meander through the pueblo, because you'll want to soak in every detail, from the pueblo's multistoried adobe buildings to the smiling faces of locals selling traditional handicrafts. If you're all about capturing moments, you've hit the jackpot because this place has that ‘no filter needed’ kind of beauty at every turn.

The luminous blue skies play backdrop to the fiery red-brown of the pueblo's ancient structures, a true emblem of resilience and continuity.

So, what makes Taos Pueblo such a standout gem beyond its picture-perfect sights? Well, buckle up, buttercup! It's not only an incredibly preserved piece of Native American history but also a living community—a rarity that's been functioning for over a millennium. That's right; families here have called this place home for countless generations.

When you join one of the taos pueblo tours, you're not just walking through history, you’re living it alongside the locals who continue to honor their traditions. Go ahead, chat with the artisans, taste their culinary creations, and let the pulse of their music resonate with your spirit.

Just bear in mind, this isn't your conventional tourist attraction; it's a sacred ground oozing with cultural significance, so a heart full of respect and an eagerness to learn will make your visit here oh-so-memorable. And while you're enveloping yourself in this cultural mosaic, don't forget to respect the 'no photos' areas; some mysteries are best kept untold.

For all you adventurers, cultural connoisseurs, and intrepid families, Taos Pueblo is a feast for the senses and a toast to time-honored traditions. It's a snapshot of a past that's very much alive in the present, where every corner whispers a new secret. See, feel, listen—and leave transformed.

Embark on an Enchanted Circle Scenic Drive

Oh, you're looking for a road trip worth your Instagram feed? The Enchanted Circle Scenic Drive around Taos is where you want to hit the gas. Your eyes (and camera) are in for a treat with the breathtaking mountain vistas, charming small towns, and a full course of nature's beauty—aka, the scenic cherry on your New Mexico sundae.

This 84-mile loop whisks you around Wheeler Peak, New Mexico's highest point, and trust me, the views are taller than a skyscraper standing on a giant's shoulders. You wanna pack a picnic? There are spots that’ll make your cheese and crackers taste like a five-star meal, just because of the view.

Start in Taos, buckle up, and roll down your windows as you pass through the Moreno Valley. Take a pit stop in Angel Fire if adrenaline's your middle name—zip lines and mountain biking in the summer, skiing in the winter, they've got it all. Eagle Nest with its shimmering lake is the perfect spot for a serene selfie session. Red River screams mountain charm and if you're there during a festival, you might as well dance in the streets.

Now, who's this drive perfect for? If you're into landscapes that make your heart beat like a drum solo, you're in for a jolt of joy. Families, couples, solo wanderers—anyone with a pulse and a love for the good ol' outdoors will fall head over hiking boots for the Enchanted Circle.

Allocate a full day if you can; there's no rush on the scenic route. Each turn offers a new angle of splendor, so take your time—you’re not on a treadmill here, you're in nature's art gallery.

And here's a pro tip: Visit during the fall. The foliage turns into a kaleidoscope of colors that would make a rainbow jealous. This drive isn’t just a way to get from A to B; it’s the journey and the destination all wrapped up with a bow. So what are you waiting for? Start that sweet ride and let the Circle enchant you.

Relish Taos Plaza’s Unique Charm

Picture this: you're standing in the heart of Taos, surrounded by vibrant adobe storefronts as local musicians fill the air with melodies. Yup, that's Taos Plaza for you, a bustling center teeming with culture and history.

When you explore Taos Plaza, you're not just walking through a picturesque square, you're stepping into a story that dates back centuries. It's a hub for artists, foodies, and people-watchers. Whether you're solo or with family, there's a slice of charm here for everyone.

Stroll along the streets, and you'll encounter an eclectic mix of galleries, boutiques, and, oh, the dining options! You can take your taste buds on a joy ride without ever leaving the plaza. The smell of fresh southwestern flavors wafts through the air, promising to satiate your hunger for adventure and good food alike.

Set aside a couple of hours to soak in the plaza's vibe. It's a treasure trove for unique souvenirs and local handcrafted jewelry. And if you happen to be here during a festival or a live concert, you're in for a treat. The plaza transforms into a pulsing heart of cultural festivities.

Here's the kicker – Taos Plaza is not just for those craving the arts or an enchanting evening under the stars. It's also a crossroads of history; tales whisper through the alleys about its past inhabitants and their trade, making it a magnet for history buffs too.

So, make sure you add Taos Plaza to your must-visit spots. Where history collides with modern-day charm, it's a place that works its magic on tourists and locals alike. Whether you're out for an adrenaline rush or a chill day, Taos Plaza welcomes you with open arms—and incredible sights.

Encounter the Legacy of Taos Historical Sites

Taos is not just a pretty face with its mountain vistas and artsy vibes—it's a place where history is so deep, you'll need to lace up your time-travel boots! One of the best ways to dive into the past? Hit up those taos historical sites.

First, ever heard of the Taos Pueblo? You better have, because it's only a UNESCO World Heritage site, folks! Yes, this living Native American community has been around for a millennium, and you can tour it. It's like being able to stroll through the pages of a history book that's so alive, it's breathing—and crafting incredible traditional art right in front of your eyes!

Then, make your move to the Governor Charles Bent House. This isn't your average old building; it's where the whole New Mexico territory drama went down back in 1847. Bet you can almost feel the old Wild West tension in the air, right? Put your history detective hat on because every corner tells a different tale.

And when it comes to the crowd—history buffs, you're obviously going to geek out. But guess what, families and even your little tykes will catch the history bug because these sites are not only educational, they're totally Instagrammable.

Want some action? Hailed as a pivotal spot in the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, Taos Plaza will pull you into its unique charm. You might spend a couple of hours here, maybe more if the local events hook you. And they often do, with that vibrant local flavor hitting just right.

So when should you check these spots out? Any time's a good time. Just know that spring and autumn come with the killer combo of perfect weather and fewer selfie sticks being waved around.

Remember, these time capsules are not just about looking at old stuff—it's where you feel the pulse of the past, alive and kicking! So go on, take a remarkable walk through the echoes of history in Taos and come back with stories that are cooler than your social media feed currently is.

Engage with Nature on Taos Hiking Trails

Let's talk trails, folks! Imagine lacing up your boots and hitting the trails where the air is as crisp as a freshly picked apple. That's Taos for you–a hiker's paradise with jaw-dropping scenery at every turn. And why is Taos so special for hiking? Because it's like getting a backstage pass to Mother Nature's finest work!

In Taos, there's a trail for every level of energy and enthusiasm. You've got everything from gentle, meditative walks that'll have you zenning out in the great outdoors, to heart-thumping climbs that'll reward you with views that stretch out like your last online shopping spree. Oh, and let's not forget the wildlife you might bump into; let's just say, they've nailed their selfie poses.

But hey, what about specifics, right? Where do you start? If you've got a few hours to spare, check out the South Boundary Trail or maybe the Devisadero Loop Trail – each one gives you that "I'm the ruler of the world" feeling once you get to the top. It'll be like your legs just won a marathon, and your eyes can't believe the trophy view.

For the solo adventure-seekers, these trails are your jam. But hold up, families and friends, you're not left out. There are plenty of spots where you can have an impromptu picnic or a giggle-filled gabfest. And for you adrenaline junkies? Get ready to have your socks knocked clean off by some of the more challenging routes.

Remember, a day on Taos’s trails isn't just a walk. It's your story to tell, with every step painting a picture that’s nothing short of vibrant. Oh, and before you head out, grab a map and get all the deets on the hiking trails in Taos. Trust me, you'll want to soak up every moment. So go on, get your nature buzz on, and let those trails show you what they've got!

Attend the Cultural Mosaic of Taos Music Scene

Picture yourself surrounded by the rhythmic beats and soulful melodies of the Taos music scene. It isn't just music; it's a vibrant expression of culture and history. Are you ready to tap your feet and sway to some incredible live tunes? Thought so!

From folksy acoustic sets at quaint coffee houses to jazz ensembles in lively bars, Taos caters to every audiophile's dream. The music here, it's as diverse as a New Mexican tapestry, offering you a piece of every genre imaginable — think bluegrass, indie-rock, classical, you name it!

How long should you spend soaking in the tunes? Make it an evening affair! Start with dinner at a venue hosting a local band, then maybe hop to another spot or two. By the end, you'll feel like part of the community. And everyone is welcome here – it's perfect for solos, duos, and even those family bands with toddlers on tambourines.

What makes it unique? Taos music is steeped in a fusion of Native American and Hispanic influences, playing out in intimate venues where the connection with artists is as real as it gets. Oh, and those summer music festivals under the open skies – they're legendary. You're not just attending a concert; you're immersing yourself in a centuries-old tradition of musical storytelling. It's the heart and soul of Taos, and it beats strong.

So, set aside a night, maybe two, to discover this beacon of auditory bliss. Dance on the historical plaza, disappear into a real Taos fiesta, or just let the music lead the way. In the words of some legendary musician probably, "Let the good tunes roll!"

Seek Adventure with Taos Outdoor Activities

Taos isn't just a pretty face; it's the ultimate playground for those who worship at the altar of the great outdoors. If you're itching for ecstasy served up by Mother Nature, get ready to have your thrill-seeking heart singing louder than a mariachi band at a quinceañera.

Imagine a day packed with the most intoxicating outdoor adventures Taos has up its sleeve. Spoiler alert: We're talking whitewater rafting where the Rio Grande is not just grand by name but also by its wild, heart-pounding rapids. Swirl through the winding canyons and feel your pulse match the rhythm of the roaring waters!

But hey, if you prefer to keep your feet on solid ground, there's still plenty for you. Mountain biking on Taos trails is kinda like stepping into a nature-made adventure park. You find yourself zooming past sagebrush, dipping through valleys, and climbing like a mountain goat with an adrenaline kick.

Wanna mix some altitude with your adventure? Strap on your bravest smile and go rock climbing. With cliffs that dare you to conquer them, every grip and foothold is a personal victory in the vertical world. After all, the view from the top is a sweet reward for your courage.

Families, groups, solo travelers – it doesn't matter. Everyone's got a seat at the adventure table in Taos. Whether you all have a little bit of daredevil in you, or there are kiddos searching for their first outdoor adventure, Taos is generous enough to cater to all.

So how long should you spend in the land of adventure? Well, let's just say days can turn into weeks when you're having this much fun. The moment you finish one heart-thumping ride, you'll be begging for another go!

Make sure you pack your spirit of adventure and hit up some outdoor escapades because, in Taos, the wild calls – and trust me, you'll want to answer with a roaring 'yes!'.

Saunter Through the Lesser-Known Taos Museums

Imagine wandering through a serene, sun-kissed gallery. The scent of aged wood, a whiff of historical magic in the air, walls adorned with stories encapsulated in frames. Taos steps out of the postcard and embraces you with its lesser-known museums that whisper tales of the past with subdued eloquence.

Visiting a Taos museum isn't just a walk through time—it's an intimate date with history and culture, rarely crowded, giving you ample space to connect with each exhibit on your own terms. Perfect for solo travelers thirsty for knowledge or families wanting to slow down and soak in the essence of Taos, these museums offer something everyone can connect with. Who needs the hustle-bustle when you can have the whole place almost to yourself, right?

Now let's talk turkey—how should you navigate this quiet maze of art and history? Dedicate around 1 to 2 hours per museum, as these are not your run-of-the-mill gigantor galleries, but rather cozy nooks where art breathes alongside you. And hey, they're sprinkled throughout the town, so you’ll get to glance the local cuisine Taos is famous for, or sneak a peek at the Taos music scene potentially setting up for an evening event, as you mosey from one muse-worthy spot to another.

And what about the crowd? Let’s just say if you’re looking for a dash of thrill, you might want to hit the peaks of Taos Ski Valley, but if a tranquil tête-à-tête with the artistic soul of Taos is what tickles your fancy—these museums will feel like discovering hidden gems. Whether you're a history buff, an art aficionado, or a family looking to unearth tales of the old Southwest that aren't packed wall-to-wall with tourists, this is your scene.

Remember, "lesser-known" doesn't mean "less significant." Every canvas, every artifact, every weathered photograph has a heartbeat waiting for you to listen to its rhythm. So, take a deep breath, step into the light of these hallowed halls, and let the silent symphony of history enchant you. Embrace the unique narrative each exhibition shares and watch as Taos' heritage unfolds before your very eyes.


Things to do in Taos today?

A: If you're in Taos today, check out local galleries, take a scenic hike, or explore the historic Taos Pueblo.

Top 10 things to do in Taos, New Mexico?

A: Visit Taos Pueblo, explore Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, ski at Taos Ski Valley, and soak in Ojo Caliente. There's plenty more!

Things to do in Taos at night?

A: At night, catch live music, hit the town's breweries, or stargaze at the Dark Sky Park.

Taos Plaza?

A: Taos Plaza is the heart of town with shops, art, and events that showcase the spirit of Taos. It's a must-visit!

Things to do in Taos winter?

A: Winter in Taos? Go skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or soak in a hot spring surrounded by snow.

Things to do in Taos this weekend?

A: This weekend, attend a festival, visit museums, and enjoy the vibrant Taos arts scene. There's always something happening!

Is Taos New Mexico worth visiting?

A: Absolutely, Taos is worth visiting for its unique art, culture, history, and stunning natural beauty.

How do you spend a day in Taos New Mexico?

A: Spend a day touring Taos Pueblo, shopping at the Plaza, and topping it off with some local cuisine and a sunset hike.

Why is Taos NM famous?

A: Taos is famous for its historic Native American community, art colonies, and beautiful desert landscapes.

How long should I spend in Taos?

A: You should spend at least 2-3 days in Taos to fully enjoy its cultural sites, nature, and art scene.

Final Words

So there you have it, a whirlwind tour of Taos packed with the kind of experiences that make you want to pull out your camera—or maybe just soak it all up with your eyes. From soaking in the natural hot springs to skiing down powdery slopes, and from feasting on local cuisine to being spellbound by Taos Pueblo's history, we've covered grounds that promise to transform your trip into an epic tale.

Remember, whether it's marveling at art, taking scenic drives, grooving to live music, or embracing the area's lush nature, there's a slice of Taos for every taste and spirit. As you plan your adventure, tuck into the corners of this magical town and let the unique charm of Taos sweep you off your feet. There are plenty of things to do in Taos, each one ready to etch lasting memories into your journey. Go ahead, unleash your inner explorer and write your own enchanting story of Taos!

Meet the Author
Isabella Kai
Isabella Kai, the Instagram wordsmith, crafts tales that captivate hearts worldwide. A dedicated foodie, she whips up culinary delights and pairs them with stories that make your taste buds dance. Beyond the screen, she's on a mission to visit every artisan bakery in town.
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