We’ve compiled the best of the best in Taos - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. La Hacienda de los Martínez

    One of the most impressive surviving Spanish Colonial houses in the Southwest, the Hacienda was built between 1804 and 1820 on the west bank of the Rio Pueblo and served as a community refuge during Comanche and Apache raids. Its thick walls, which have few windows, surround two central courtyards. Don Antonio Severino Martínez was a farmer and trader; his hacienda was the final stop along El Camino Real (the Royal Road), the trade route the Spanish established between Mexico City and New Mexico. The restored period rooms here contain textiles, spiritual art, and fine handcrafted pieces from the early 19th century. Be sure to stop in the gift shop, which features many renowned Taos artists, books on the region, and more. Visit in June for the hacienda's American mountain man event, or in September for their well-loved trading fair.

    708 Hacienda Way, Taos, New Mexico, 87571, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $10
  • 2. Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

    It's a dizzying experience to see the Rio Grande 650 feet underfoot, where it flows at the bottom of an immense, steep rock canyon. In summer the reddish rocks dotted with green scrub contrast brilliantly with the blue sky, where you might see a hawk lazily floating in circles. The bridge is one of the highest suspension bridges in the country. Hold on to your camera and eyeglasses when looking down. Many days just after daybreak, hot-air balloons fly above and even inside the gorge. There's a campground with picnic shelters and basic restrooms on the west side of the bridge.

    U.S. 64, Taos, New Mexico, 87529, USA
  • 3. San Francisco de Asís Church

    A National Historic Landmark, this is a beloved destination among the faithful, as well as for artists, photographers, and architectural buffs. The active Catholic church regularly celebrates Mass, contains numerous Hispanic religious artifacts, and is open to the public for visiting. Be sure to show respect for house of worship norms. The building's shape is a surprise with rounded, sculpted buttresses. Construction began in 1772 and today its mud-and-straw adobe walls are replastered by hand every year in an annual event. The "Ranchos Church" with its massive earthen walls and undulating lines is an awe-inspiring sight that Georgia O’Keeffe painted and Ansel Adams photographed many times. Group tours provided by the church historian can be scheduled in advance. The famous Shadow of the Cross painting is preserved in a nearby building and is also worth seeing.

    60 St. Francis Pl., Taos, New Mexico, 87557, USA
  • 4. Taos Pueblo

    For nearly 1,000 years, the mud-and-straw adobe walls of Taos Pueblo have sheltered Tiwa-speaking Native Americans. A United Nations World Heritage Site, the multistory Pueblo is the largest of its kind. The pueblo's main buildings, a north house and a south house, are separated by the Rio Pueblo de Taos, a river that originates high in the mountains at the sacred Blue Lake, the primary source of Taos Pueblo’s drinking and irrigation water. These two structures are believed to have been built between 1000 and 1450. The mica-flecked adobe walls are maintained by continuously refinishing them with new plaster and clay washes. Some walls are several feet thick in places. The roofs of each of the five-story structures are supported by large timbers, or vigas, hauled down from the mountain forests, with smaller pieces of pine or aspen latillas placed between the vigas. To finish the roof, it is packed full of dirt. Taos Pueblo has retained 95,000 acres of its original homeland. Forty-eight thousand acres of this was won back from the U.S. government through Taos Pueblo’s historic legal fight for the return of Blue Lake. Tribal custom allows no electricity or running water in the two houses of the ancient Pueblo, where varying members (roughly 150) of Taos Pueblo live full-time. An additional 1,900 or so live in homes outside of the ancient pueblo. The pueblo also has schools, cemeteries, a health center, farms and fields, buffalo pastures, powwow grounds, and many religious dwellings including traditional kivas and the Catholic Church of San Geronimo. Although the population is predominantly Catholic, the people of Taos Pueblo also maintain their original religious traditions. The public is invited to certain ceremonial and social dances held throughout the year: highlights include the Feast of Santa Cruz (May 3); Taos Pueblo Pow Wow (mid-July); Santiago and Santa Ana Feast Days (July 25 and 26); San Geronimo Days (September 29 and 30); Procession of the Virgin Mary (December 24); and Deer Dance or Matachines Dance (December 25). While you're at the pueblo, respect all rules and customs, which are posted prominently. There are some restrictions on personal photography. Guided tours are available daily and are the best way to start your visit. Tours are led Taos Pueblo community members and provide insight into both the history and present-day life of the Pueblo.

    120 Veterans Hwy., Taos, New Mexico, 87571, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $25
    View Tours and Activities
  • 5. Church of San Geronimo

    Taos Pueblo

    The Church of San Geronimo, or St. Jerome (the patron saint of Taos Pueblo), was completed in 1850 and is the fourth church to stand at Taos Pueblo. The original church, built in 1627, was destroyed in 1640 by the Pueblo people in protest of Spanish attempts to missionize them. After this, the Taos people left their village and did not return until 1660, when they were persuaded by Governor Lopez de Mendizibal to come back. The second church was then built, but it was destroyed in 1680 during the Pueblo Revolt when Pueblo Natives throughout the region united in a successful effort to force the Spanish to leave the area. A third church was begun by Spanish Franciscans after they returned to Taos twelve years later. This church, finished by 1726, stood until 1847. At that point, during the Taos Rebellion (aka Taos Revolt), U.S. soldiers attacked what they believed were the men who had killed Governor Bent and other Americans. In reality, most of these men had fled to the mountains and the people inside the church were mainly women and children. The ruins of this third church can be seen today, and have become a cemetery site to the left of the Pueblo’s public entrance. The fourth church that stands today on the Pueblo’s plaza was built in 1850. With its smooth symmetry, stepped portal, and twin bell towers, the church is a popular subject for photographers and artists.

    Taos Pueblo, Taos, New Mexico, USA
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  • 6. Earthship Visitor Center

    Now found all over the world, the unique off-grid design of an Earthship home got its start in Taos. Local architect Michael Reynolds started the movement in 1969, motivated to create affordable housing that utilized waste materials such as tires, soda cans, and beer bottles that would otherwise end up in the landfill. Reynolds fought to create and establish the Sustainable Testing Site Act in the New Mexico state legislature in 2007. Learn about this fascinating architecture and its potential at the Earthship Visitor Center. The informative, self-guided tour is highly recommended. Guided tours are available for those seeking a more in-depth understanding, as are overnight stays in an Earthship rental. There is also an Earthship Academy with online and in-person educational opportunities.

    2 Earthship Way, Taos, New Mexico, 87577, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $8
  • 7. Ranchos de Taos Plaza

    On the south end of Taos, the Ranchos de Taos Plaza is the site of the oldest Spanish village in Taos Valley. Built as a fortified settlement for protection, it was finished in the late 1770s. The famous adobe San Francisco de Asis church sits in the center of the plaza, and around its perimeter are adobe buildings that once housed the earliest Spanish settlers of the area. Some of these historic residences have been converted into shops, galleries, and restaurants that can be visited by the public. Others are returning back to the earth from which they were formed. The Ranchos Plaza lies within a larger area that was designated as a Traditional Historic Community in 2022, under the official name "Las Comunidades del Valle de los Ranchos." The area is made up of a 35-square-mile district encompassing the five historic agricultural communities of Ranchos de Taos, Talpa, La Cordillera, Los Cordovas, and Llano Quemado. This newly designated traditional historic community consists of parts of two Spanish land grants and several interconnected acequia systems. Acequia systems are made of hand-dug irrigation channels that route river water into agricultural fields, and they have been used in all five communities for centuries. However, acequia systems are not just physical irrigation ditches. They include important political and social components that dictate the intricate system of water-sharing that takes place among community members. Acequia systems are still in use today and are recognized in New Mexico law. This historic district has been utilized by many Native American communities, including Ute, Comanche, and Jicarilla Apache as well as nearby Taos and Picuris Pueblos. The Spanish who moved into the area mixed with these peoples, and their descendants are the Genízaro, the holders of unique traditions that are still alive and well in the Ranchos area today.

    Taos, New Mexico, 87557, USA

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