6 Warm-Weather Ways to Experience Taos
Photo: Getty Images.
Taos is a hidden gem located in the northern section of the Land of Enchantment. An ancient, eclectic town with a bohemian sensibility and majestic mountain vistas, Taos is a treasure chest of history, art and indigenous culture. Whether you’re an outdoor sportsman, a quiet museum-goer or an architecture buff, there are reasons galore to make this stunning southwest location your summer travel destination.
Taos Mesa Brewing Company
Get your trip off to the right start with a visit to this eco-friendly brewery founded in 2012 by four dudes from distinct professional backgrounds. The design alone is reason enough to visit; part airplane hangar, part solar greenhouse, it features modern details and reclaimed materials throughout. To complement its extensive selection of draft beers, the pub fare menu boasts cleverly named burgers such as the Plain Jane and the Conspiracy Burger as well as Tex-Mex Frito Pie. Enjoy live entertainment in the outdoor amphitheater or admire the spectacular view of the Sangre de Cristo mountains from the patio. taosmesabrewing.com
Open daily, this community serves as an educational and experiential destination for those interested in living off-the-grid. The sci-fi exteriors and whimsical interiors of these homes prove that sustainability can still be stylish. Take a tour to ogle the architecture of both owner-built and expert-designed Earthships and talk to residents about water harvesting, food production, and alternative energy sources. Want to test an Earthship out for yourself? Rent one of the fully furnished homes for a night. earthship.com
A National Historic Landmark, these thousand-year-old adobe dwellings are a testament to the endurance of the Pueblo Indian people. Residents of the village live without running water or electricity in keeping with ancient life ways. Tour guides will fill you in on the local history and artisans will have their wares available for purchase. Be sure to confirm the Pueblo is open on your desired date (tribal rituals may affect the schedule) and abide by photography regulations and rules of etiquette. taospueblo.com
The Harwood Museum of Art
The Harwood houses Taos’ most vibrant collection of art related to the culture of northern New Mexico, and its upcoming exhibit “Mabel Dodge Luhan & Company: American Moderns and the West” is a must-see. Dodge Luhan was as wild a woman as one could be in the early 1900s; the wealthy heiress married four times, ultimately to full-blooded Pueblo Indian Tony Luhan, who bird-dogged her from her American painter husband. At the Taos estate that she and Tony erected (now a historic inn), Dodge Luhan hosted a slew of artists and writers including Ansel Adams, Georgia O’Keeffe, and D.H. Lawrence. This exhibition, which runs from May 22 to Sept. 11, includes work from the artists Dodge Luhan revered as well as pieces from Native and Hispanic artists. harwoodmuseum.org
White Water Rafting
Far Flung Adventures leads rafting trips from April to September for every ability level, from first-timers to adrenaline junkies. Experienced guides navigate the Rio Grande or the Rio Chama and just might share some historical background on the area during the journey. Choose from day trips or overnight excursions; you can even combine your rafting experience with other passions: rock climbing, music, gourmet food, or yoga. farflung.com
For those who prefer their water warm and relaxing, Taos offers two free locations for swimsuit-optional hot springs. Black Rock Hot Springs has two mud-and-rock-bottom pools on the west bank of the Rio Grande; because of its accessibility, expect company. If you’re looking for more privacy, head to the opposite bank of the Rio Grande and down Tune Road. A brief hike on dirt and rock path will take you to Stagecoach (also known as Manby) Hot Springs, where you’ll find two sand-and-rock-bottom pools. Temperatures for both locations are around 97 degrees Fahrenheit. newmexico.org