WANDER & EXPLORE // Taos, New Mexico

December 3, 2014

There is nothing more refreshing and fun than a trip somewhere! Whether traveling solo, with girlfriends, or your boo – close to home or far – a getaway is sometimes just what you need to recharge your soul and be inspired.

In this series, we pick a spot that is special to us or special to someone special we know and get the inside scoop on where to spend your time while visiting.

Taos_new_mexcio_jalune_7THE PLACE:

 

Taos, New Mexico is about an hour away from Sante Fe, nestled in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. I had always pictured Taos as a small desert town, but it is in fact is situated where the mountains meet the desert at an elevation of 5,716 feet – it even has its own ski resort. The town gets its name from the Taos Pueblo, a Native American village and dwelling that has been occupied for over 1,000 years. Taos is rich in Native American culture and in the early 1900s drew artists to the area for its history and landscape. It become an artist colony that continues to grow through present day. From the art galleries to the mountains, this small town has the perfect range of activities for a quick weekend getaway.

 

WHERE TO GET A CUP OF COFFEE:

 

Coffee Cats is hidden in a an alley away from the busy Taos plaza making it the perfect cafe to duck into for an afternoon pickup.

Also, the Taos Diner had hands down the best breakfast and decent diner coffee to go with!

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WHERE TO SLEEP:

 

We lucked out in an amazing VRBO casita that was close enough to walk to town from.

Taos is also known for their earthships, off the grid dwellings made from natural and recycled materials. There are some earthships available to stay in that are farther from the town center.

There are also many campgrounds in the surrounding the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the Taos Valley.

 

WHERE TO GET LOST:

 

There are several great hikes nearby:

Italianos Canyon trail is a steep trail, but one of the most scenic as you climb up through aspen groves and small open meadows.

The Wild Rivers Recreation Area also has trails that surround the area of where the Rio Grande and Red River meet.

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ETC:

Natural Hot Springs – Just 40 minutes outside Taos, the Ojo Caliente hot springs were discovered in 1500’s by the Spanish and have been used for healing ever since. You can use the pools for a day rate, or if you are feeling fancy, you can book a room and spa packages as well.

 

Taos pueblo – As mentioned before, the Taos pueblo is a village that has been continuously lived in for over 1,000 years. You can take a quick tour for some history and then wander around the grounds where you will find little shops and cafes run by the Red Willow people. Be sure to look for Carpio’s shop, Water Crow, and ask him about his time hanging out in the desert with Dennis Hopper and Neil Young.

 

The Love Apple – One of the best restaurants we tried in Taos, not the common New Mexican cuisine of pesole and green chili which is easily found at most restaurants (and is delicious!), but a farm to table menu that changes with the season and is located in an old mission church.

 

The Great Sand Dunes – If you have an extra couple hours, the trip to the dunes in the southwest corner of Colorado is worth it. The dunes are over 750 feet high and cover 19,000 acres, so they are not your standard beach dune you may have encounter before. They formed from sediment from the Rio Grande and winds that helped blow the sand from miles away. The dunes look surreal next to the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range, where there are trails, alpine lakes, and camping as well. If you do go, make sure to stop at the visitor’s center where you can rent sand boards!

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