We decided we would take a trip to Taos on our last day of our road trip before heading back to Nevada. There are two routes from Santa Fe to Taos. The high road is 105 miles with many small towns and scenic views. The low road is the one we took which snakes along the Rio Grande River. This was a more direct route from our hotel, and it takes about an hour without stopping. Along this route, there are a couple of small towns, a vineyard, tourist markers along the way and three casinos.

Since neither of us have ever been to Taos, we decided to just go straight there and figure out if there was anywhere, we wanted to stop on the way back. The drive is beautiful, with views of the Sangre De Cristo Mountains and the Rio Grande which is such a striking river with the rapids and force of the water. One of the things you can do while in Taos is white water rafting tours. Also, make sure you check out the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. Sometimes I am so amazed by engineering and structures that are built. And the beauty of the sacred Taos Mountain is a sight to behold.

Shopping

My goal this vacation was shopping!! We recently moved to Henderson, NV and I was looking for décor for our house and gifts for Christmas and Taos didn’t let me down with the wide variety of shops. If shopping is on your list of things to do in Taos, make sure you walk around the shops on Bent St., the John Dunn shops and Taos Plaza.

Amongst the shops on Bent St. and John Dunn St. there is a variety of restaurants and coffee shops where you’re sure to find something to satisfy your cravings. If you love chocolate, make sure to stop at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory!!

Places of Interest

Taos also has many historic sites to see if you have time. Taos Pueblo is probably the most well-known. It is about 3 miles north of the city and is one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the United States. Another place to see is the Historic Taos Plaza. It has been a center for local trade for centuries. Today a lot of the old mercantile stores house galleries, restaurants and shops. You can tour San Francisco de Asis Catholic Mission Church or go to the Kit Carson home & museum. You can also visit the Taos campus of University of New Mexico. If you enjoy something a little different, take a trip to see the Earth Ships that are northwest of Taos. It is a community of housing resembling out of this world houses that use only solar and wind power.

Galleries

My favorite artist, R.C. Gorman, is originally from Taos and there is a gallery of his paintings here in the Hotel La Fonda de Taos. If you like Native American art, you should check this out. The beautiful colors alone are what draw me to his work. There are quite a few galleries and museums throughout the town of Taos and in the plaza, Ledoux Street in particular has many. It is a very pleasant stroll around the plaza, so be sure to check out all of the great places to see here.

Taos Ski Valley

The other thing people flock to Taos for is skiing! Taos Ski Valley is a village and alpine ski resort located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. There are hotels, condos & chalets you can choose from all near the ski runs. They have ski runs for all skiers from beginner to advanced. There are plenty of restaurants here from morning coffee to lunch-time snacks and many dinner choices. There is some shopping here, but it is limited. All in all, you have plenty of choices so there is no need to go to town, if you don’t want to. Winter isn’t the only time to visit Ski Valley though. In summer you can hike trails to Williams Lake or Wheeler Peak (highest peak in New Mexico), mountain bike, rock climb or fish.

White Water Rafting

On our way back, we stopped to watch some of the white-water rafters, I would like to try this one day. It looks like so much fun. The Rio Grande River is very impressive and looks like a wonderful place to white water raft. You can also raft through the Rio Grande Gorge. There are various levels of rafting available along with a number of companies to choose from. Please be aware rafting season runs from spring to the end of fall.

Casinos

Even though we always love new casinos, we only stopped at Cities of Gold casino on the way back. But if you’re interested in casinos, there are two other casinos on the low road, Ohkay Hotel and Casino and Santa Claran Hotel and Casino. There is also the Taos Mountain Casino near Taos Pueblo

If you would like to see more of our adventures in Santa Fe and Taos click on this link:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCHd0t6kGqoLBGO9NhpaxrmQ

Conclusion

I recommend if you want to really enjoy all there is to offer in Taos that you plan to at least spend a few days. There are so many things to do whether you want to learn about history, if you want to shop or if you like outdoor activities. I was in awe of the beauty surrounding this area and if we had the time I would have stayed longer and taken the high road back to Santa Fe.

I hope this helps you plan your trip to Taos or inspires you to go on your adventure elsewhere. Find time to explore new places and enjoy! I hope you check out some of our other adventures and find somewhere that ignites your passion.

By Greg and Peggy

We are two people who love to travel, thrift and play slot machines. We love going to new places, especially if there is a casino! We just want to share our adventures with people and hope to inspire them to explore and have fun!

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