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If You Like
Arts and Crafts
If your idea of fun is museum going and gallery hopping, Taos has much to offer you. The creative spirit is strong here, and it's contagious. Even if you begin by just browsing, you might find that you can't go home without a certain painting or pot that captures the region's unmistakable enchantment. At galleries, you can often meet the artists themselves, or join in the flow of creative energy by participating in one of the town's many art workshops. It's easy to visit a lot of galleries in a short time; many are side by side on a few streets around Taos Plaza. Southwestern landscapes and Native American themes are ubiquitous subjects, but many galleries also show abstract and less regionalized work. Look for outstanding weaving, jewelry, tinwork, and other crafts, too.
New Mexican Cuisine
For a small town, Taos excels when it comes to authentic New Mexican fare, prepared with local chiles and homemade tortillas, but the town also draws raves for outstanding contemporary restaurants with impressive wine lists. The generally eco-conscious, progressive local population has created a demand for fresh, organic cuisine, including plenty of vegetarian options. Pan-Asian, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean flavors also greatly influence Taos menus.
The glorious landscape around Taos draws serious athletes as well as those simply up for an adventure beneath northern New Mexico's mesmerizing skies and towering mountain peaks. Cycling is popular, with rallies and races held in summer. The vast Carson National Forest encompasses thousands of acres of prime hiking and camping terrain, from strenuous alpine climbs to simpler scrambles into rocky gorges or pine-shaded glens. A good variety of rivers and lakes yield excellent trout fishing; you can arrange for outings with local expert guides. The waters also invite rafters, especially when spring runoff fills the rivers with white water. If you're really after a thrill or something different, try a hot-air balloon ride into the Rio Grande Gorge or llama trekking in the wilderness. And of course winter brings skiers from all over to the world-class slopes of Taos Ski Valley, Angel Fire, and Red River. Wherever you play outdoors, just remember the region's high altitude and sometimes extreme day-to-night temperature differences can tax and exhaust you—go easy in the beginning, and talk with local experts before setting out on any ambitious endeavors.
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