The author McKenna Mobley smiling for a photo in Taos Plaza with colorful flowers on her background, one of the best things to do in Taos New Mexico

31 Best Things to Do in Taos (in 2023)

With an abundance of fun & unique things to do in Taos, it’s impossible not to visit this town of adobe buildings when in New Mexico. Taos’ architecture has a major Indigenous and Spanish influence which contributes to the artistic spirit of the town.

As the location of my parent’s honeymoon, I grew up taking extended vacations to Taos, the place that set my parent’s love ablaze. Taos is one of my favorite places to visit in New Mexico and I’m here to help you discover the must-see and must-do activities in town.

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31 Things to Do in Taos, New Mexico

Taos Pueblo

Explore one of the oldest continuously-inhabited communities in New Mexico.

Adobe structures under the clear blue sky on a village in Taos Pueblo

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 758-1028 | Website | Hours: Thursday-Monday 9 am-4 pm, Closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays | Entrance: $16, adults, $14, students with ID, Free children 10 and under | 👉 Browse Taos Tours on Viator

Taos Pueblo indigenous village is the iconic image of Taos. Puebloan people have occupied the Taos Pueblo for over a thousand years, making this establishment one of the oldest continuously inhabited communities in the country.

Tour the ancient Taos Pueblo to learn more about living Native American communities in the U.S. I recommend visiting the Taos Pueblo during a special event like Turtle Dances or San Geronimo Feast Day.

Taos Art Museum

Take photos of Spanish-style art and handcrafted furniture.

The Taos Art Museum building from the outside
(photo: Mary Elise Photography / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 758-2690 | Website | Hours: 12 pm-4 pm daily, Closed Mondays | Entrance: $10, adults, $9, seniors & military, $6, students

Located in the Fechin House in the heart of the historic district, the Taos Art Museum embodies a collaboration of Spanish-style architecture and a rustic cabin atmosphere.

The historic adobe walls and handcrafted wooden furniture of the Taos Art Museum are only half of the buzz at this great museum. Local Taos artwork and a peaceful museum garden also welcome visitors to experience the artistic mastery of the Taos Art Museum.

Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

Hold on tight as you cross a bridge 600 feet over the Rio Grande river.

View of the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in Taos

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 758-8851 | Website | Hours: 24 hours | Entrance: Free

Known by locals as “Gorge Bridge,” the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is one of the most photographed sites in Taos. This high bridge looms 600 feet over the Rio Grande Gorge and prompts daring visitors to peer over its steel rails at the jagged cliffs and river below.

I recommend taking the scenic walking trail from the parking lot that follows the rim of the gorge for some of the best views for photos.

Taos Ski Valley

Shred down black diamond slopes.

Aerial view of the Taos Ski Valley

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (888) 262-8398 | Website | Hours: 9 am-4 pm in season | Entrance: $155, adult, $110, youth 7-17

Should you find yourself in Taos during the winter months, a visit to Taos Ski Valley is in order. Shred down slopes in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range at this old mining town turned ski resort.

With acres of open national forest land, Taos Ski Valley is a snow playground. Besides skiing, visitors can also enjoy some fine dining, go shopping at the ski valley village, or enjoy a massage at a wellness center.

Taos Plaza

Shop from local boutiques or photograph the scenic adobe buildings of the plaza.

The author smiling for a photo in Taos Plaza with colorful flowers on her background
In front of a boutique in the plaza

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 758-8234 | Website | Hours: 24 hours | Entrance: Free

Get to know Taos on a personal level by exploring its main plaza area, one of the best things to do in Taos. Satisfy all your souvenir needs in the Taos Plaza or simply relax on a park bench and take in the buzz of the adobe area around you.

Locals gather for live music at this central Taos location and visitors mingle with the residents at the weekly plaza farmers market. The Taos plaza is the best place to experience centuries of living culture and rich New Mexico history.  

🛎️ Need a Hotel?  Adobe and Pines Inn Bed and Breakfast is one of my favorite boutiques. For other suggestions, see my full guide to where to stay in Taos.

Millicent Rogers Museum

Get acquainted with Southwestern art through this privately-donated collection.

The Millicent Rogers Museum signage at the entrance
(photo: Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 758-2462 | Website | Hours: 10 am-5 pm daily, Closed Wednesdays | Entrance: $15, adults, Free under 12

Experience the multicultural collections at the Millicent Rogers Museum in El Prado, New Mexico. Millicent Rogers was the heir of a wealthy oil family and left behind an impressive art, weaving, and jewelry collection following her passing.

The museum highlights Native American, Hispanic, and Anglo art from the Southwest. In addition, the museum sports an impressive pottery collection with over 1,000 pieces from the prehistoric to the present periods.

Sangre de Cristo Mountains

Hike through rolling hills or ascend the jagged peaks of this mountain range.

View at the Sangre de Cristo Mountains

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 24 hours | Entrance: Free

Some of the best hiking trails in the Taos and greater Santa Fe areas are in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Most of the state’s highest peaks are here and eager hikers can choose either long, challenging trails or stick to more moderate routes.

Some top hikes here include the 5.6-mile Devisadero Peak, the 3.3-mile Traders Trail, and the 14.5-mile Ojitos Canyon Trail. Exploring the rolling foothills and jagged peaks of this mountain range is the best way to experience Taos from a unique angle. 

Taos Mesa Brewing

Try a locally-crafted brew and experience the unique flavors of Taos.

View of people around a fireplace in Taos Mesa Brewing
People by the brewery outdoors fireplace (photo: rawaccess / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 758-1900 | Website | Hours: 12 pm-9 pm daily, Closed Wednesdays | Entrance: Free

Get to know some local Taos flavors with a trip to Taos Mesa Brewing. Located in the heart of the downtown Historic District, this brewery features not only delicious hops but also artisan cuisine like wood-fired pizza – a dynamic brewery duo.

Stop by the Tap Room after exploring downtown Taos or pay a visit to the “Mothership,” the Taos Mesa Brewing location perched high above the town with stunning mountain views, a premium concert venue, and the best sunset viewing spot in town.

Black Rock Hot Springs

Unwind with a soak in a natural hot spring after a long day of hiking or traveling.

The author soaking at the Black Rock Hot Springs

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 24 hours | Entrance: Free

There’s nothing like unwinding in a hot spring after a long day of hiking in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains or spending all day on your feet shopping downtown. Soak in one of the best hot springs in New Mexico, the Black Rock Hot Springs, for ultimate relaxation the next time you’re in Taos.

Hike a short, 0.3-mile trail along the Rio Grande to arrive at this ultimate leisure spot. There are only two natural pools at Black Rock Hot Springs, so you will want to get there early if you’re not keen on sharing with a stranger. 

👉 Pro Tip: The John Dunn Bridge is currently closed for construction. From Highway 64, cross over the Gorge Bridge and park at the top, 1 mile from the trailhead. 

Harwood Museum

Enjoy the art collections of the second-oldest art museum in the state.

Dried roses hanging outside the Harwood Museum
Dried roses I found hanging right outside of the museum

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 758-9826 | Website | Hours: 11 am-5 pm daily, Closed Mondays & Tuesday | Entrance: $10, adults, $8, seniors & students

The 1923 Harwood Museum of Art is the second oldest art museum in New Mexico. The variety of showcased art includes Hispanic works as well as local Taos artworks. 

Immerse yourself in the artistic culture of Taos, inspired by the local cultures and traditions of the indigenous area. Current art on display at the Harwood Museum of Art includes Outriders: Legacy of the Black Cowboy, William Herbert “Buck” Dunton: A Mainer Goes West, and Harwood Museum of Art Centennial.

Hacienda de Los Martinez

Learn more about the early lives of frontiersmen at this living museum.

View at the Hacienda de Los Martinez in Taos

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 758-1000 | Website | Hours: 10 am-5 pm Monday-Saturday, 12 pm-5 pm Sundays | Entrance: $10, adults, $8, seniors, $5, children

Built during the Spanish colonial era, the Hacienda de Los Martinez is now a historic living museum on the bank of the Rio Pueblo de Taos. The 1804 adobe building resembles a fortress and was once used as an epicenter for trade among the Spanish.

Visit the hacienda today for a glimpse into American frontier life of the early 1800s. I recommend visiting during a scheduled demonstration to learn more about the traditional arts and cultures of the region.

Taos Valley Hiking

Hike or snowshoe on the backside of the ski area.

A man hiking at the Taos Valley
Expect several creek crossings when hiking in Taos Valley

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 24 hours | Entrance: Free

Not only is Taos Valley the ideal place to bomb down some powdered slopes, but it’s also a prime location for summer hiking and winter snowshoeing.

Beginner hikers frequent the West Rim Trail that starts from the Rio Grande Gorge Visitor Center, intermediate hikers can be found on the Gavilan Canyon trails accessed from Highway 150, and daring backpackers travel to Taos to summit Wheeler Peak, the highest mountain in New Mexico.

Williams Lake

Relax at a high alpine lake before you take on the looming Wheeler Peak.

Scenic view at the Williams Lake

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 24 hours | Entrance: Free

Pack a lunch picnic, lace up your hiking boots, and head on over to Williams Lake, an alpine lake on the outskirts of Taos, New Mexico in the Wheeler Peak Wilderness.

You’ll encounter only a few other hikers at the serene Williams Lake, one of the best reasons to spend an afternoon there. This moderate 4.2-mile Carson National Forest hike climbs 1,030 feet in the Taos Ski Valley and offers 360-degree views the whole way.

👉 My Favorite Gear: This hike is accessible even in the winter months, but does require snow shoes. I take these trusty MSR Snowshoes everywhere, the best on the market.

Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway

Take a drive down the most beautiful route in northern New Mexico.

View from Enchanted Circle Scenic Byway under the blue sky

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 24 hours | Entrance: Free

Experience beautiful Taos without even leaving your car. This 84-mile highway is one of the best things to do in Taos for incredible views of the valley.

The route starts from Taos Plaza and follows several highways to loop around the thick Taos forests, past snow-capped peaks, and through wide open country. 

This is the most popular tour in Taos and drives by popular attractions like the D.H. Lawrence Memorial and the Taos Artesanos de Questa, where local woodworkers, painters, and other artists showcase their work.

🚗 Need a Car? Discover Cars is one of the most reliable and affordable car rental companies out of New Mexico.

Wild Rivers Recreation Area

Camp right on the Rio Grande.

A bridge from afar at the Wild Rivers Recreation Area

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 586-1150 | Website | Hours: 24 hours | Entrance: $3 per vehicle per day

Enjoy the Rio Grande and the Red River as you lounge in the Wild Rivers Recreation Area within the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. Take photos of an 800-foot-deep canyon sliced by the Rio Grande in Taos, New Mexico.

Camping, hiking, and wildlife spotting are among the top activities to do in this area. Experience a slower pace of life among the 500-year-old ancient pinon and juniper forests of the Wild Rivers Recreation Area.

🏕️ Love Camping? Check out our guide to the best campsites in New Mexico.

Taos Ale House

Pair your local brew with a mouthwatering, gourmet burger.

A glass of beer and a burger on a table in Taos Ale House
The Ale House is known for their brewery burgers

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 240-6963 | Website | Hours: 11 am-9 pm Monday-Thursday, | Entrance: Free

Enjoy evening entertainment at the Taos Ale House. Settling down with a gourmet burger, a house-brewed craft beer, and live music at the ale house is one of the best things to do in Taos at nighttime.

The Taos Ale House is no ordinary brewery. Each burger is made-to-order with house-made condiments and french fries tossed in parmesan and truffle butter. Treat yourself to a gourmet date night at the ale house for a spectacular night on the town. 

Blumenschein Home & Museum

Browse through more local Taos art.

The Blumenschein Home & Museum from the outside
The museum is adobe like other Taos buildings

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 758-0505 | Website | Hours: 10 am-4 pm Monday-Saturday, 12 pm-4 pm Sundays | Entrance: $10, adults, $8, seniors, $5, children

The Blumenschein Home & Museum is a national historic landmark in Taos, New Mexico that was founded by the Taos Society of Artists once the artist and homeowner, Ernest L. Blumenschein passed away.

The home museum houses a large collection of the Blumenschein family’s art as well as other famous Taos art and even European pieces. This iconic museum is in the heart of downtown and is the perfect afternoon activity to do after a local Taos lunch.

Carson National Forest

Hike or fish in New Mexico’s largest national forest.

View of the Carson National Forest signage

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 24 hours | Entrance: Free

Carson National Forest is home to some of the most popular hiking trails in Taos, New Mexico including the 13,167-foot Wheeler Peak, the tallest in the state. There’s no shortage of hiking trails in the 1.5-million-acre national forest, one of the best physical things to do in Taos.

This is the northernmost national forest in New Mexico and extends to the Colorado border, where there are cool Colorado national parks and monuments. Hiking, fishing, camping, and simply relaxing in this national forest are all great ways to get to know natural areas in Taos, New Mexico.

Kit Carson Park

Host a barbeque at the historic park or take your dog to run around.

View at the entrance of Kit Carson Park
(photo: Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 751-2001 | Website | Hours: 6 am-8 pm daily | Entrance: Free

Named for a frontiersman in the New Mexico area, Kit Carson Park is a public, grassy park in the heart of town with sports fields and kiddie playgrounds.

Facilities of the park include barbeque areas, a baseball field, a basketball court, picnic tables, a tennis court, and a walking track. Kit Carson Park is the perfect place to exercise in town, organize a group meet-up, or take the dogs to run free.

👉 Read Next: Best National Parks & Monuments in New Mexico

Santa Fe

Take a short day trip to one of the most popular New Mexico cities.

The author outside the Museum of Contemporary Native Arts in Santa Fe

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 24 hours | Entrance: Free

Only 1 ½ hours south of Taos, Santa Fe is one of the best destinations in New Mexico. With so many cool things to do in Santa Fe, visiting this artsy town is sure to be a highlight of your trip.

Pay a visit to Canyon Road, an artsy adobe district with over a hundred art galleries. Another top activity is the Indian Market held every Labor Day weekend where you can buy local handicrafts and beautiful jewelry.

Grande del Norte National Monument

Participate in one of many recreational activities, the possibilities are endless.

View at the Rio Grande River in Grande del Norte National Monument

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 751-4899 | Website | Hours: 24 hours | Entrance: $3 per vehicle per day

This huge, volcanic national monument area sits at 7,000 feet and encompasses rugged terrain with steeply-carved gorges and cliffside canyons. 

This site is also home to ancient dwellings, petroglyphs, and other archaeological sites. The Grande del Norte National Monument is one of the best places to view wildlife, go whitewater rafting, hunting, and mountain biking in Taos, New Mexico.

Couse-Sharp Historic Site

Witness how Taos locals combined art with science, history, and culture.

View of a window at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 751-0369 | Website | Hours: 1 pm-5 pm daily, Closed Sundays & Mondays | Entrance: Free

This national historic landmark is a must-see while in Taos. At this site, the homes and studios of two American-born, European-trained artists who formed the Taos Society of Artists are open to the public.

Experience the wide range of culture, history, architecture, science, and art at the Couse-Sharp Historic Site. 

Kit Carson Home

See artifacts 200 years old at an old frontiersman’s old home-turned-museum.

View of the Kit Carson Home from the outside
(photo: Photos BrianScantlebury / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 758-4945 | Website | Hours: 11 am-4 pm daily, Closed Sunday & Monday | Entrance: $10, adults, $7 students & veterans Free, children under 13

This historic house museum from 1825 is located in central Taos and invites visitors to take a sneak peek into the life of a former frontiersman, Kit Carson. 

Artifacts like Carson’s Hawken Rifle are on display at the historic house. The house and museum of the former federal agent of the Ute and Taos Pueblo Tribes is a prime display of the culture of the old American frontier.

Wheeler Peak

Put your fitness to the test on New Mexico’s highest mountain.

Scenic view at the Wheeler Peak during a hike

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 24 hours | Entrance: Free

It’s hard to miss Wheeler Peak from anywhere in town. The highest mountain in all of New Mexico is right outside of Taos, offers pristine hiking trails, and is as fun as hiking the top 14ers in Colorado.

The summit trail is accessed via the Williams Lake Trail and takes hikers on an 8.5-mile adventure in the Taos Ski Valley area, past alpine lakes, and into the deep Wheeler Peak Wilderness forest.

El Prado

Venture to the quiet side of town for fun activities.

A wooden hut a the middle of nowhere in El Prado

📍 Google Maps | Hours: 24 hours | Entrance: Free

El Prado is on the north side of town and encompasses the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge and the Millicent Rogers Museum. 

Other popular attractions in El Prado include Taos Clay Studio, Taos Mesa Brewing, and guide services for white water rafting along the Rio Grande waters. While El Prado is more visited as a day trip, there are also plenty of places to stay in El Prado.

Orilla Verde Recreation Area

Lounge on the Rio Grande.

View at the Orilla Verde Recreation Area

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 758-8851 | Website | Hours: 24 hours | Entrance: Free

Located within the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument, the Orilla Verde Recreation Area offers visitors and campers access to the river. Spend the afternoon lounging on a lazy river cove with your river raft or pay for a white water rafting tour to fully experience the severity of the rapids.

This wilderness area is also a popular spot to rock climb, search for wildlife, or camp amid paramount scenery.

La Junta Point

Hike to the best overlook in all of Taos.

Overlooking view at the La Junta Point

📍 Google Maps | Website | Hours: 24 hours | Entrance: Free

Look down at the junction of the Rio Grande and the Red River on a short hike to La Junta Point in the Rio Grande Del Norte National Monument. At only 0.3 miles roundtrip, this overlook is one of the most frequented in Taos, New Mexico.

Wind your way through pinyon-juniper trees to the best overlook of the Rio Grande in New Mexico, which is also conveniently wheelchair accessible.

San Francisco de Assisi Church

Visit the most photographed church in New Mexico.

The San Francisco de Assisi Church from the outside

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 758-2754 | Website | Hours: 9 am-4 pm daily | Entrance: Free

The historic San Francisco de Asis church is a typical stop on every Taos itinerary. The establishment was once a Mexican and Native American agricultural community in the late 1700s but now serves as a quaint church and historical Taos landmark.

This is one of New Mexico’s most photographed churches and shouldn’t be missed on your next trip.

Earthship Visitor Center

Marvel at the naturally-built architecture of this eco-friendly community.

View from the outside of the Earthship Visitor Center
(photo: Nagel Photography / Shutterstock)

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 613-4409 | Website | Hours: 9 am-3 pm daily | Entrance: $100 per hour for groups of 4 and less

The Earthship houses are quite a sight in Taos, New Mexico. These dwellings are made entirely out of natural and recycled materials and produce water, electricity, and food for their own use.

The Earthship Biotecture homes are the only of their kind in Taos and attract sustainable visitors who hope to someday live off of the land like the Earthship.

Taos Drum Co

Watch how drums are made at one of the largest music stores in town.

A handmade drum in Taos Drum Co

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (575) 758-3796 | Website | Hours: 9:30 am-5 pm Monday-Friday, 11 am-3:30 pm Saturdays, Closed Sundays | Entrance: Free

Taos Drum Co has been “sharing the spirit of drums since 1951.” Giant teepees mark the entrance of the drum company, only 5 miles south of the Taos Plaza.

This unique store offers free tours of its drum-making workshops and hosts the world’s largest collection of Indian drums. Stop by to admire the craftsmanship of the instruments on your way into town.

Llama Adventures

Go on a wild ride throughout the mountains on an unusual stock animal.

View of a llama in Taos, New Mexico

📍 Google Maps | Phone: (800) 758-5262 | Website | Hours: 8 am-6 pm daily | Entrance: $175 per day, $550 overnight trip

When you think of the Indigenous, Spanish, adobe-style town of Taos you often don’t think about riding llamas this far north of the border. Llama adventures are an up-and-coming activity to do in Taos, a fun endeavor not found in many other places in the state.

Companies like Wild Earth Llama Adventures offer day hikes and multi-day llama adventures throughout the Taos mountains. Learn all about the native flora and fauna while a pack llama carries your gear on this crazy journey.

Read Next: 47 Fun & Unique Things to Do in New Mexico

FAQs About What to Do in Taos

What are the best things to do in Taos with kids?

The Taos Pueblo, Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, and Wild Rivers Recreation Area are all perfect things to do with kids in Taos.

How do you spend a day in Taos?

Visit the Taos Pueblo first thing when you get to Taos. This is the most popular tourist destination and is a cultural landmark in the city.

What is Taos known for?

Taos is known for the famous Taos Pueblo, one of the oldest, continually inhabited communities in the Southwest, and the Taos Ski Valley with plenty of great ski runs and slopes.

What are the best things to do in Taos for couples?

The Enchanted Circle Drive, a tour of the ranchos de Taos, the Taos art colony, and visiting art museums like the Harwood Museum of Art and the Millicent Rogers Museum are the best things for couples in Taos, New Mexico.


Thanks for reading my complete guide on the best things to do in Taos! If you are eager to explore more of the great New Mexican state, check out our where to stay in Albuquerque guide to help plan your ultimate New Mexico trip.

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