Getting Oriented

Taos is small and resolutely rustic, but for the prosaic stretch of chain motels and strip malls that greet you as you approach from the south. Persevere to the central plaza, and you'll find several pedestrian-friendly blocks of galleries, shops, restaurants, and art museums. Easygoing Taoseños are a welcoming lot, and if you ever lose your orientation you'll find locals happy to point you where you need to go. It's difficult to reach Taos without a car, and you'll need one to reach those attractions and businesses outside the village center (the Rio Grande Gorge, Millicent Rogers Museum, and the area's best skiing and hiking). The narrow, historic streets near the plaza can be choked with traffic in the peak summer and winter seasons, especially on weekends—ask locals about the several shortcuts for avoiding traffic jams, and try walking when exploring the blocks around the plaza.

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