Where do we even begin?!
The rugged beauty, the friendly and eclectic locals, the vibrant history, the cozy inns… Taos, New Mexico stole our hearts. In such a way that we’re still not fully convinced it’s even real. Walking through the downtown, exploring the Pueblo, watching the snowfall… it all felt like a movie. A movie we didn’t want to end!
If you’ve ever been, you’ll know what we’re talking about. And if you haven’t yet made it to Taos, please add it to your list. Right now.
Once you get there (preferably around Christmas time), here’s what you should do:
1. STAY AT CASA GALLINA:
Have you ever stayed somewhere where you instantly felt at home? That’s Casa Gallina. Innkeeper Richard has done a phenomenal job with his rustic property - it’s that perfect mix of quaint and eclectic, and just about everywhere you turn is a photo opportunity. Spanish for “Hen House”, every morning we were greeted with fresh eggs (from the 40+ chickens they have on site - hence the name), fresh coffee, baked goods, and even a frozen chicken treat for Sally! We’d sip on our coffee, whip up some eggs, and snuggle up by our fire. Our two-story casita (we stayed in the Bantam Roost) was so perfectly cozy we were tempted to never even leave the property! It’s THAT magical. Stay at Casa Gallina. Please. And bring us with you!
2. GO IN DECEMBER:
Don’t get us wrong - we’re anxious to experience Taos in another season, but the holiday season here is something special. Thanksgiving through December is “Yuletide in Taos” - a plethora of festive and unique New Mexican traditions and events. From yuletide caroling and tree lighting ceremonies, to holiday fiestas and bonfires, it truly is the most wonderful time of the year in Taos!
We had a blast at the “Lighting of Ledoux”, where the historic street of Ledoux glows with the light of farolitos, luminarias, and bonfires. Local shops and galleries are open late, and locals and travelers alike are roasting marshmallows and swapping stories. It was beautiful.
3. VISIT THE PUEBLO:
Famous for being one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the country, the Taos Pueblo was built roughly 1,000 years ago. This historic (and tiny) village brings in tens of thousands of visitors each year, and it’s easy to see why. You feel as though you’re stepping back in time!
Built entirely out of adobe, over 100 Taos Indians still call the Pueblo home. $10 gives you access to the Pueblo, an informational walking tour (that we highly recommend), and the freedom to walk around and explore on your own. It’s incredible!
4. EAT EVERYTHING:
Ok, maybe not everything - but there’s a lot of good food in Taos! Whether you’re in the mood for something light and healthy, or you’re craving some hearty New Mexican cuisine, they’ve got it all. Here’s a few of our favorite spots:
Orlando’s: New Mexican cuisine with a twist. This is what we consider to be the best place to try red and green chile. Our favorite was red!.
Lambert’s of Taos: Head straight up the stairs to their “Treehouse Bar”, where you can grab a seat with the locals and order off their bar menu (Which we prefer!). Nothing tastes better than their Flat Iron Steak and Mediterranean Plate after a long day of sightseeing!
Taos Cow: Located in Arroyo Seco, this ice cream shop has been named one of the best in the nation - and we have to agree. Try the Mexican Chocolate!
Parcht Bottleshop + Bites: We loved this little wine shop. The people are friendly and very knowledgeable when it comes to wine, and their cheese boards are top notch.
The Love Apple: This is the perfect date night spot. They serve local and organic food in a quaint and romantic setting. We’d go back to Taos just for this spot! Make a reservation in advance - and it’s cash only, so plan accordingly!
Manzanita Market: Cute, fresh and healthy - we stopped in this cafe numerous times for a snack or a breakfast sandwich.
Chokola Bean To Bar: Small batch, organic chocolates that are not only high in quality, they’re absolutely delicious. (And they’re happy to have you sample it.) If it’s cold outside, try their drinking chocolate!
5. DRINK A LOT OF COFFEE:
If you’ve been following us for awhile, you know we love good coffee. We’re happy to report that Taos’ coffee scene is strong. Literally and figuratively. Two of our favorite spots were Coffee Apothecary (the new hip spot in town) and World Cup Cafe (where the locals hang). Try them both and let us know what you think!
There’s SO much to see in this neck of the woods. Taos is filled with galleries, museums, shops, hiking trails, etc. Some of our favorite spots were places we randomly stumbled upon when we were exploring - so we encourage you to do the same! Earthship Biotecture (solar houses that you have to see to believe), The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge (the second-highest bridge on the US Highway), Taos Mesa Brewing for a beer (the “Mothership” location is on the way to the gorge), and the Millicent Rogers Museum (filled with fascinating exhibits on the American Southwest) are just a few spots that shouldn’t be missed. We also loved walking around the neighboring town of Arroyo Seco, sprinkled with eclectic shops and cafes!
7. SLOW DOWN AND ENJOY
Life moves at a slower pace in Taos… and we love it for that. Pack a good book, take a midday nap, practice yoga, and watch the sun set over the mountains. We’re typically “on the go” people when we travel, but that wasn’t the case here. We rested. We ate. We saw a lot - but we also relaxed. We found balance in doing both.
If you’re looking for a peaceful retreat, this is your spot. We have a feeling it just might be our new yearly tradition.