Taos truly epitomizes our State’s motto.
The Land of Enchantment starts here.
Drawn to our majestic landscape that encompasses both the Sange de Christo mountains and the Rio Grande Gorge, visitors are also drawn to our world-class ski resort, World Heritage Site (Taos Pueblo), along with one of the most photographed, iconic churches (St Francis de Asis) in the nation.
If you are planning a quick trip this early spring, to ski perhaps, and don’t think you’ll have time to include seeing a few sights, I’ve put together a short itinerary that will ensure you truly experience Taos, without missing a beat on the slopes!
Take a little self-guided tour ranging from historical to epicurean to discover Taos’ fascinating past and vibrant present.
Ride the Green Line to Taos Plaza and head to the La Fonda Hotel for a viewing of D.H. Lawrence’s erotic (Forbidden Art), paintings made during the time he lived in Taos. The author of Lady Chatterley’s Lover was a controversial figure in his time, but from our jaded point of view, both his art and the literature (though still great) seems tame in comparison.
From there, cross the plaza and go to the old Courthouse which now houses several shops and galleries, but is still worth the visit. The ghosts of the past are heavy in the atmosphere, so soak it all in before continuing on your way.
The Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe church in Taos was built as a Franciscan mission outpost (of San Geronimo Parish at the Taos Pueblo), in 1802
Padre Antonio José Martínez served the parish church beginning in August 1826 as the first non-Franciscan priest. By 1833 it was commonly known as the “Padre Martinez church” before becoming a parish church under the patronage of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It was the first Our Lady of Guadalupe church in the United States.
Martinez served the parish until 1857, he lived (across the street), in a house on the corner of what is now, Padre Martinez Lane. In the early 1900s, the old parish building was demolished and a new church was built on the same site. That church was destroyed in a fire in 1961
A third church was built adjacent to the site of the former churches later that year. It still serves the community and delights the town’s residents and visitors alike, with its pealing bells.
Time to take a stroll down Ledoux Street for a walk back in time. Two of Taos’ best museums are situated on this charming lane; one a window to the town’s past, the other, a doorway to our future.
Ledoux Street is lined with shops, galleries, and studios besides the Blumenschein and Harwood Museums, and exemplifies our reputation as an Art Colony; a street where artists have lived and worked continuously for the last century.
After Ledoux, head back to the Plaza and stroll through Juan Largo Lane through the John Dunn Shops to Bent Street. The heart of Taos’ famed shopping district, the street is also home to the Governor Bent Museum, the historic home of Governor Charles Bent who served as the first United States territorial governor of New Mexico.
A former trader who owned a number of wagon trains on the Santa Fe Trail and trading posts in Santa Fe and Taos, in 1846 Charles Bent was appointed Governor of the territory of New Mexico.
During the Mexican–American War, an Anglo-American government rule was a culture shock to the Native Americans who had lived here for centuries and had come to finally coexist with the Spanish Colonists after possession by Mexico.
Protesting the American possession of the territory, an angry mob descended on his home in January 1847 and killed Governor Bent who was survived by his wife and children, all of whom managed to escape through a hole in the adobe wall to the neighboring home.
You’ll be ready for Happy Hour after this excursion, and luckily you won’t have far to go!
For culinary aficionados, Lambert’s of Taos’Treehouse Bar on one end of Bent Street is just the ticket, and just a short walk up Bent Street, the historic Taos Inn (where the Taos Society of Artists was founded), beckons with its world-famous Margaritas and award-winning green chile. Take your pick, either way, you will not be disappointed!
For more information (and transportation), please visit Taos.org and the Blue Bus site linked below.
All images stock files