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Best things to do in Taos

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Where in the world: USA  /  New Mexico  /  Taos County  /  Taos

Top 15 things to do in Taos

1. San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church, Ranchos De Taos

San Francisco de Asís Mission Church is a historic and architecturally significant building on the main plaza of Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico. Originally the center of a small Mexican and Indian 18th Century agricultural community. Built between 1772 and 1816 replacing an earlier church in that location. New Mexico was then part of the Vice-Royalty of New Spain. It is a fine example of a New Mexico Spanish Colonial Church, and is a popular subject for artists. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1970.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church:

2. Taos Pueblo

Taos Pueblo represents the ancient tribe of the Taos people. It is one of the oldest continuously inhabited places in the United States. This World Heritage Site is internationally recognized for its multi-storied residential pueblos and the residents' private lifestyle. The tribe welcomes visitors in its public places, but asks visitors to respect its culture. For example, do not take photos of the tribal residents and inside the San Geronimo Chapel. Shops and businesses open to the public are clearly marked with signs. The stream that runs through the village is the community's sole source of drinking water, so do not enter the water.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including Taos Pueblo:

3. High Road to Taos

Take a drive along High Road to Taos, the scenic byway between Santa Fe and Taos, for a beautiful tour of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and historic villages. If you're interested in natural wonders, stop along the way to enjoy views of forests, mountains, and high desert. The road also winds through Pueblo Indian and Spanish Land Grant villages, where you can explore remnants of Old Spain and visit galleries. As you wander the villages, take in the scenery, talk to the locals, purchase authentic crafts, or pop into a restaurant for a bite to eat. On the way back, you might try the Low Road, which goes along the Rio Grande River.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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4. Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

The steel bridge stretching across the Rio Grande Gorge, known as Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, is the seventh-highest bridge in the United States. This bridge has been featured in several motion pictures, including "Natural Born Killers" and "Terminator Salvation." Capture sweeping images on your camera, and get a close-up look at the gorge from the ideal vantage point of this bridge. If you have any last-minute shopping to do, several nearby vendors cater to visitors.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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Tours including Rio Grande Gorge Bridge:

5. Millicent Rogers Museum

Enjoy the diverse works at Millicent Rogers Museum, one of the first cultural institutions in New Mexico to exhibit a large collection of Hispanic art. Millicent Rogers and her mother, Mary Rogers, were avid collectors of New Mexican artwork, and their collections provided the foundation for the museum. Explore the galleries filled with Native American and Hispanic artifacts, such as textiles, pottery, jewelry, and photographs. See the large collection of Zuni and Hopi kachina dolls, which represent generous spirits that supported hunters and the well-being of the people who made them. Works of the Taos Pueblo people also grace the gallery walls, paying homage to a local community of artists. Enjoy a self-guided tour, but keep your camera off; photography is not allowed.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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6. Taos Plaza

Once a Spanish fortified plaza, Taos Plaza is a collection of businesses and residents in adobe buildings in the Taos Downtown Historic District, which the Hotel La Fonda de Taos dominates. The lobby of the hotel houses a collection of D.H. Lawrence paintings, and hand-painted murals adorn the walls of the hotel restaurant. Both the Taos and the Harwood art museums are located within the plaza's mud walls, as well as a handful of historical homes. Many of the shops and restaurants celebrate New Mexican culture with locally inspired foods and handcrafted souvenirs.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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7. Balloon Rides

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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9. Kit Carson Home & Museum

Once home to the famous cowboy, Kit Carson Home & Museum now hosts artifacts, antique firearms, and photos from Kit Carson's life. This National Historic Landmark housed the Carson family from 1843 to 1867, and today it preserves and educate visitors on the old way of life. Check out the adobe baking stove and drying rack, and admire Carson's belongings, including a U.S. Army sabre and scabbard, a Masonic hat, and a replica of a .50 caliber Hawkins rifle. In the beginning of the tour, be sure to watch the 20-minute video about the cowboy, and learn more by picking up reading material from the gift shop.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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10. Enchanted Circle Drive

Loop around Wheeler Peak on Enchanted Circle Drive and take in all the natural wonders that alter the landscape along the way. The route covers 133.6 km (83 mi) over mountains and through forests. You can explore an ancient Native American village at Taos or take part in outdoor activities around every bend, including balloon rides, mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, and skiing. If you have time, consider straying off the main road to catch sights like the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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11. Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu

Ghost Ranch is a 21,000-acre (85 km2) retreat and education center located close to the village of Abiquiú in Rio Arriba County in north central New Mexico, United States. It was the home and studio of Georgia O'Keeffe, as well as the subject of many of her paintings.

Ghost Ranch is also known for a remarkable concentration of fossils, most notably that of the theropod dinosaur Coelophysis, of which it has been estimated that nearly a thousand individuals have been preserved in a quarry at Ghost Ranch.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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12. Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Spa, Ojo Caliente

Find serenity at Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Spa while rejuvenating mind, body, and soul. Choose from four natural springs and many private pools to soak in, lay down for a restorative massage, or release the toxins from your skin in the mud area. There are also activities outside of the spa realm such as yoga, hiking, biking, and bird-watching. After your soothing day of tranquility, try some of the locally grown items at the spa’s restaurant--a meal here comes highly recommended.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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13. El Santuario de Chimayo, Chimayo

Designated an important Catholic pilgrimage site by The Official Catholic Directory, El Santuario de Chimayo, features a 200-year-old church with a history that includes legends of miraculous occurrences. The "holy dirt" from the church is believed to have healing powers. See the 18 m (60 ft) tall church with carved wooden 19th century doors and look for a 1.8 m (6 ft) tall crucifix of Christ. About 30,000 people from across the globe visit the site every year--some of them walking long distances with the hope of receiving a blessing or fulfilling a vow.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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14. Enchanted Circle Pottery

Kevin DeKeuster was born in Racine, Wisconsin. He attended Milton College in Milton Wisconsin on football scholarship.

It was there that he received his B.F.A. in ceramics. JoAnne DeKeuster grew up near the small town of Waumandee, Wisconsin. She received a B.A. in Art Education from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire. After marrying the couple moved to Arizona, and continued their study of art at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff Arizona, receiving a Masters degree in ceramics. Coursework at Northern Arizona University included travel and study in Japan. After completion of their masters degrees at Northern AZ University, Jo and Kevin continued to spend summers in Flagstaff. They began working for the University as kiln assistants and eventually each taught the summer Noborigama Wood Fire class. Their work is greatly influenced by the wood-fired kilns located in Flagstaff and Japan. All of the couples ceramic artwork is fired with wood.

Although Kevin enjoys creating functional and utilitarian objects, he also creatives sculptural vessels. Starting his artwork pieces on the potters wheel he then pulls and tugs at the clay, pushing the forms to their limits.

Kevin taught at Eastern Arizona College for over twenty years, developing a strong ceramics program. His work has been exhibited throughout the United States in a variety of juried and invitational shows including the 2006 International Wood-Fired Invitational. Kevin’s work also appears in the book titled “500 Pitchers”.

Jo enjoys working with contrasting textures on her hand built, white-stoneware pieces. As she constructs her pieces her focus is on form, design, and composition. Jo then turns her artwork over to the kiln, allowing the flames and ash to enhance the creation.

In 2006 she was asked to speak and exhibit her work at the International Wood-fired Conference. Recent awards include, “Best of Show Pottery” Taos Invites Taos, “Best of Show Pottery” Taos Open, and “Best of Show” Celebration of Clay Santa Fe. Her work was included in the New Mexico Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts, “Originals 2007" exhibition. Jo’s work also appears in the book “500 Plates and Platters”. Her work appears in the book “500 Plates and Platters”. Jo was recently notified that she and her work will be included in a new book titled “Wood-fired Ceramics-100 Contemporary Artists.

Enchanted Circle Pottery was selected as the best art gallery/studio in New Mexico 2011 by Media world. You can view the clip about them that aired on the discovery channel.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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15. Wild Rivers Recreation Area

Wild Rivers Recreation Area is located in north central New Mexico within the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. Two rivers that run through the park, the Rio Grande and Red River are National Wild and Scenic Rivers. NM 378 that traverses the recreation area is designated a New Mexico Scenic Byway. Recreational opportunities include whitewater rafting, hiking, biking, fishing and camping.

Suggested duration: 2 hours
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