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'''Taos''' [http://www.taoschamber.com] is a town in [[New Mexico]] in the [[United States]], about a two hours' drive from [[Santa Fe (New Mexico)|Santa Fe]]. It is noted for its art colony, skiing, and Taos Pueblo, a photogenic American Indian community that is open to visitors under controlled conditions. These attractions have made it a popular travel destination in recent years.
First things first: "Taos" rhymes with "house" or "mouse," as pronounced in
The town of Taos itself is one of several places with "Taos" in their name, all part of the region and contributors to its attractiveness but differing in just what the attractions are. '''Ranchos de Taos''' is a small village south of Taos proper that is notable for a spectacularly scenic and much-photographed church. '''Taos Pueblo''' is just north of town, an ancient American Indian community (and [[UNESCO World Heritage List | UNESCO World Heritage Site]]) in a particularly beautiful setting. '''Taos Ski Valley''', also known as Twining, is about 20 miles (30 km) north of town in the [[Sangre de Cristo Mountains]]. Finally, the '''Taos Box''' is a section of the nearby Rio Grande known for its superb whitewater. Before setting out for an attraction, know exactly which Taos you're visiting; attractions outside Taos proper but in Ranchos de Taos, Taos Pueblo or Taos Ski Valley are covered below with those for the town, while more distant attractions are under '''Get out'''.
There is limited Greyhound service to Santa Fe and to points in southern Colorado. The Town of Taos operates the Chili Line local bus system including ski season service to Taos Ski Valley. Faust Transportation (575-758-3410) provides local taxi, regional and airport shuttle, and charter bus service to the North Central NM area.
[[Image:Taos Fechin House.jpg|thumb|300px|Fechin House and Museum at the Fechin Institute]]
* The main plaza in Taos is a great place for people-watching. Pull up a bench and watch the world go by. The Taos Chamber of Commerce presents Taos Plaza Live every Thursday evening. Details at www.taosplazalive.com.
* A number of the houses near the plaza that belonged to founders of the art colony or other significant personages have been turned into museums and galleries.
** '''Blumenschein Home & Museum''', on Ledoux Street a few blocks southwest of the plaza, ''1 575'' 758-0505. Daily, 9AM-5PM. The former home of Ernest L. Blumenschein, who became captivated by the scenery in Taos when he and a friend were traveling through and a wagon accident forced them to stay in Taos. Blumenschein told other artists of the beautiful scenery and returned to Taos, where he helped create the Taos Art Colony. $5
* '''Taos Pueblo''' [http://www.taospueblo.com/] is a [[UNESCO World Heritage List | UNESCO World Heritage Site]] owing to its history, culture, and beauty. The pueblo is open to visitors daily (fee) from 8 a.m. until 4:30, although it closes occasionally for religious ceremonies, including an extended closure in early spring, usually around Easter. There is an additional fee for photography, etc. You can drive to the pueblo if you don't mind the frustration of navigating through downtown Taos traffic, but Taos Trolley Tours visits it on one of their regular tours and may be a less aggravating way of getting there. Note that there's now a casino at the pueblo, if you go for that sort of thing; this one is notable for being entirely non-smoking.
*Ski. '''Taos Ski Valley''' [http://www.skitaos.org/] is a major downhill ski locale, usually with the best snow in New Mexico if not the entire Southwest. The slopes usually open on Thanksgiving weekend and close in early April, although early season snow can be sparse and spring conditions slushy. This is a challenging hill, and beginners may feel more comfortable on one of the nearby areas listed under "Get out," but the expert skier can have a fantastic time here. One caution: there is Nordic (cross-country) skiing up-valley from the downhill area, but the valley is prone to avalanches, and Nordic skiers have died there. If the locals warn you against skiing (downhill or Nordic) outside the safe areas due to avalanche hazard, take them seriously.
** '''Native Sons Adventures''', ''+1 800'' 753-7559, [http://www.nativesonsadventures.com/]
: Most trips on the Rio Grande take a full day, with some outfitters offering overnight outings that extend beyond the Taos Box. Pickup/dropoff, gear selection, etc., all vary according to the outfitter and trip; contact the outfitter directly to make arrangements. Reservations are a "must" for most trips.
*<do name="Enchanted Circle Self Guided Drive Tour" alt="" address="" directions="" phone="" url="" hours="" price="" lat="" long="">Many visitors to Taos drive the Enchanted Circle. From Taos, drive North on NM 522 to Questa. Then East to Red River, Eagle Nest, and Angel Fire. Then West on US 64 back to Taos. That is the short version. The most visited site on that tour is the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire. An
* Ski lessons are available at Taos Ski Valley.
* The '''Taos School of Music''' [http://www.taosschoolofmusic.com/index.php] is a well-regarded summer program for the aspiring (age 18 and up) professional musician. The focus is on chamber music, with a very favorable student/faculty ratio and performance opportunities. A concert series involving significant chamber ensembles is part of the program. Admission into the program is highly competitive.
A tip: Many restaurants in Taos double as art galleries/outlets. You won't find any of the really good stuff there (unless it's art gallery first, restaurant second), but the prices on the workaday material are competitive with the galleries, and you'll have both a more interesting dining experience and an opportunity to browse or even buy the art without feeling guilty about not going for the big-ticket items. In the following, "Budget" restaurants have entrees up to about $10 (exclusive of drinks, desserts and tips), "Mid-range" between $10 and $25, and "Splurge" greater than $25. There are many more restaurants in Taos than shown here, some of them quite good; add your favorite.
*'''Michael's Kitchen''', 304C Paseo del Pueblo Norte, ''+1 575'' 758-4178. A long-time local favorite, casual and busy. Great for breakfast, which is served all day. The New Mexican lunches are variable. Also has a nice bakery. Hours seem to vary; currently (October 2007) open 7 days 7AM-2:30PM, but closed on major holidays.
*'''Taos Pizza Outback''', 712 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, ''+1 575'' 758-3112. M-F 11AM-9PM, Sa-Su 11AM-10PM. Locals are divided about this pizzeria, some proclaiming it the best pizza in town, others sniffing that it doesn't serve "New York style" pizzas. ''Chacun à son gout''.
*'''Bent St. Deli & Cafe''', ''+1 575'' 758-5787. Creative cuisine heated patio dining breakfast, lunch, dinner. "European-style," beautiful patio dining and yes, it rocks. Excellent menu selections, wonderful sandwiches, accommodating and gracious waitstaff. Licensed, with a good selection of beers. A local favorite, popular with visitors and regulars alike. Great for people-watching. On the pricey side of "budget".
*'''Antonio's''', 4167 SR 68 (''in Ranchos de Taos''), ''+1 575'' 758-9889, [http://www.antoniosoftaos.com]. M-Sa 11AM-2PM, 5PM-9PM. Combines well with a trip to see the church in Ranchos de Taos (see above under "See"). The menu combines "New Mexican" with "old" Mexican.
*'''Dragonfly Cafe and Bakery''', 402 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, ''+1 575'' 737-5859, [http://www.dragonflytaos.com]. Eclectic menu, with a fine Saturday/Sunday brunch that would be outstanding but for the road noise (most tables are outdoors and Paseo del Pueblo is incredibly busy on weekends). If you can stand the racket, give it a try. 7AM-3PM daily; dinner (hours appear to vary) F-Su.
*'''Ginza''', 321 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, ''+1 575'' 758-7645. Chinese and Japanese, with an extensive sushi selection. Locals consider this the best of a generally mediocre bunch of Oriental restaurants. Lunch buffet M-F 11:30AM-2PM; regular menu MF 11:30AM-9PM, Sa-Su 5PM-9PM.
* <eat name="Guadalajara Grill" alt="" address= "1384 Paseo del Pueblo Sur and 822 Paseo del Pueblo Norte" directions="south and north of downtown, respectively" phone="+1 575 751-0063 and +1 575 737-0816" url="" hours="lunch and dinner seven days" price="$7-20 for dinner"> Order at the counter, which will give you an uncomfortable feeling that you're about to consume fast food, but the meal brought to your table will dispel any such concerns. Mexican/New Mexican, with some excellent seafood dishes; the ''Camaron a la Diabla'' (shrimp in a very spicy red sauce) is recommended.</eat>
*'''Orlando's New Mexican Cafe''', 1114 Don Juan Valdez Lane, ''+1 575'' 751-1450. Lunch 10:30AM-3PM, dinner 5PM-9PM, both 7 days. Locals disagree on where in town you can get the best standard New Mexican cuisine, but this one is always in the discussion. North of the center of town, and not a convenient walk from the Plaza.
*'''Pizanos''', 23 Highway 150 ''(Taos Ski Valley Road next to KTAOS)'', ''+1 575'' 776-1050, [http://www.taospizza.com]. Serves New York style pizza, pasta, sandwiches, appetizers, such as Blue Corn Calamari and Fish & Chips, and delicious salads. Open for lunch and dinner 7 days. Beautiful views from the patio!
Many of the better restaurants in Taos decline to give "closing" hours for dinner, opting instead to stop serving when they feel like it. Practically speaking, "closing" usually works out to something like 9PM M-Th, 9:30 or 10 on Fridays and Saturdays. If you're anticipating a late dinner, it's
*'''Doc Martin's''', 125 Paseo del Pueblo Norte ''(at the Historic Taos Inn, see below)'', +1 ''
*'''Lambert's of Taos''', 309 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, ''+1 575'' 758-1009. An old standby with mainly American cuisine. 7 days, dinner only (5:30PM until "closing," with cocktails starting at 5); reservations suggested.
*'''Stakeout Grill and Bar''', Stakeout Drive (''9 miles south of town off SR 68''), ''+1 575'' 758-2042, [http://www.stakeoutrestaurant.com]. Steak and more steak, with nice views toward the Taos Gorge, particularly at sunset. 7 days, dinner only (5PM until "closing").
*'''Adobe Bar''', 125 Paseo del Pueblo Norte ''(at the Historic Taos Inn, see below''), +1 ''
*'''Alley Cantina''' (see above under "Eat") often has country/western music and dancing.
*'''Eske's Brewpub and Eatery''', 106 Des Georges Lane (just southeast of Plaza), ''+1 575'' 758-1517, [http://www.eskesbrewpub.com]. Offers "guest beers" from other microbreweries as well as their own selection, including "Green Chile Beer". Also acceptable meals (generally "American"). Open 7 days, 11:30AM-10:30PM.
*'''Tim's Stray Dog Cantina''', Taos Ski Valley, ''+1 575'' 776-2894, [http://www.999dine.com/nm/timsstraydog/]. One of several watering holes at Taos Ski Valley, open for much of the year beyond ski season. Food is nothing to write home about, but the raucous apres-ski atmosphere persists into the rest of the year and provides a pleasant environment for relaxing after a hike into the mountains. 7 days, 11AM-9PM for lunch and dinner (Budget class); closing time for the bar seems to vary.
There are many hotels and B&Bs in this area, owing to the thriving tourist trade, and many of them are quite good yet not on this list; if you've stayed at a notable one, please add it, with comments.
*'''Don Fernando de Taos Hotel and Suites''', 1005 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, ''+1 800'' 759-2736, [http://www.donfernandodetaos.com/]. Rooms from $99. Comfortable "Taos-style" and convenient, with several restaurants nearby despite its location south of the main tourist areas. A minor down side: Access to some rooms can be exposed and slippery during periods of bad winter weather. Don't let that stop you from staying there, but if your mobility is impaired, tell the helpful staff when you make your reservations.
* '''Best Western Kachina Lodge''', 413 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, ''+1 575'' 758-2275, [http://www.kachinalodge.com/], is another satisfactory hotel in the downtown area. A tip: try to avoid rooms 283 through 286, which have problems with noise from the busy road in front of the hotel; the other rooms there are considerably quieter. How many small-town roadside hotels/motor lodges have you stayed in that have a Frederic Remington statue out front? This one does.
* '''Historic Taos Inn''', 125 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, ''+1 888'' 518-8267, [http://www.taosinn.com]. Rooms mostly from $120, and has occasional discounts. Features a 1950s-style neon sign out front; this is a very comfortable and nicely renovated hotel right in the middle of the tourist attractions, a great base camp for exploring the town. It has been rated in Travel America as one of the Top 10 Romantic Inns. The restaurant (Doc Martin's) and bar (Adobe Bar) are popular with visitors and locals alike.
* '''Hotel La Fonda''', 108 South Plaza Taos,, ''+1 575'' 758-2211, [http://www.LaFondaTaos.com]. This hotel is on the plaza and has Joseph's Table on site which provides fine dining in the heart of Taos. This boutique hotel has history, art, and beautiful suites.
*'''Indian Hills Inn, Taos Plaza''', 233 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, ''+1 575'' 758-4293, [http://www.
* Lodging at Taos Ski Valley value-per-dollar is respective to the accommodation's proximity to the ski runs, but '''Alpine Village Suites''', ''+1 575'' 576-2666, [http://www.alpine-suites.com], is right at the foot of the runs, is reasonably priced, has large and comfortable rooms, and stays open in the summer -- great staff!
* '''Taos Territorial''', 114 Padre Martinez Ln,, ''+1-877-588-8267, [http://www.taosterritorial.com]. ''Located just one block off the Taos Plaza, this historic compound has been elegantly and artistically restored as luxury vacation lodging in the center of town. The half-acre compound consists of the Taos Territorial, the Chicken Coop and the Historic Wagner A and Wagner B Casita's, hand painted by local legendary artist Jim Wagner. Rooms from $100''
* '''El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa''', 317 Kit Carson Rd, Taos, New Mexico 87571, ''+1 800'' 828-TAOS, [http://www.elmontesagrado.com/], A resort with luxurious themed suites, a spa, a restaurant & bar, meeting space, and wedding facilities.
*'''Spirits of Beauty Salon''', 223 Paseo del Pueblo, ''+1 575'' 758-1178. Haircut, $32.
*'''[[Carson National Forest]]''' offers all manner of hiking, backpacking and horseback riding opportunities. Three wilderness areas are within a short distance of Taos.