Santa Fe has been our home for quite some time. Wendy has been here for over forty years, and, and I have lived here my whole life. Because of this, we have a tight bond with our home city. However, this doesn’t stop us from enjoying the rest of the state. In fact, Santa Fe is a perfect home base to explore the rest of New Mexico’s wonders. Particularly for repeat visitors, we love to encourage that you branch out from the city to see what else New Mexico has to offer. The first place that we love to recommend is Taos. Taos is an hour and a half North of Santa Fe, and can make for a great day trip, or to stay for a few nights. Its rich history is beautifully preserved because of its small size and remote location. Like Santa Fe, it provides an entirely unique experience that will give you the feeling that you have been transported to a different time and place that is totally separate from the rest of the the world.
The original Taos Pueblo is ranked among the Taj Mahal, the Great Pyramids, and The Grand Canyon as one of the world’s most significant historical landmarks. It is the northernmost pueblo in New Mexico, and it has been inhabited for over one-thousand years. Though it is impossible to know for certain, it is very likely that the Taos Pueblo is the oldest consistently inhabited area in all of North America. Visiting the area makes this fact obvious, as no one would ever want to leave a place with such grand natural beauty!
As is the case with almost every settlement in the Southwest, Taos has been the site of many conflicts between various native cultures and Spanish conquistadors. Early Spanish settlers were welcomed, however due to conflicts over belief and resources, tensions began to rise. Several small revolts preceded the larger Pueblo Revolt in 1680, and even after the wider conflict had come to a close, many of Taos’ native inhabitants continued to offer resistance to Spanish settlers. In the 1770’s Comanches began to raid Taos, and they maintained a strong presence there until the end of that decade when the governor of New Mexico at the time forced them out.
After Taos was established as a territory of the United States, it became a popular destination for many artists. Around the turn of the century, painters became attracted to the lore of the Native American culture and made many attempts at documenting and preserving it. Many of these original artist’s studios are preserved to this day, and they are a must-see for any art fan who is exploring Taos. There are also quite a few museums that showcase Taos’ rich artistic history. Harwood Museum of Art, Taos Art Museum, Millicent Rogers Museum, also showcase much of the native artwork from Native Americans who have inhabited Taos. Taos also offers quite a few performing arts centers. The Taos Center for the Arts is a fantastic venue for all kinds of performances and is a truly unique setting for a concert. The Harwood Museum of Art also hosts many performances and lectures.
My personal favorite aspect of Taos is its natural beauty, and there is no shortage of activities that will allow you to take in this splendor. Rafting on the Rio Grande, hiking, llama trekking mountain biking, skiing, and fishing are among the abundant activities that you can partake in during a visit to Taos. This is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in one of the world’s true natural treasures. Taos is natural New Mexico at its best, and there is simply no better way to lose yourself in the natural world.