Façade of the historic adobe El Santuario de Chimayo sanctuary church, near some of the best places to stay in Taos, New Mexico

Where to Stay in Taos in 2023 (Best Areas & Places)

Hipsters, art lovers, and fans of Southwest culture all flock to the historically Indigenous town of Taos, New Mexico. The ample amount of cozy boutiques and short-term rentals in Taos can be overwhelming, but the large selection helps travelers choose the perfect accommodation when considering where to stay in Taos.

Taos is one of my personal favorite places to hang out in New Mexico. With so many unique things to do in Taos, you may want to cancel your flight home and stay a while in this mystical fortress of a town. 

I know Taos like the back of my hand and, in this article, I’ve highlighted all the best places to stay in Taos to make things easier for your vacation planning. Let’s break it down.

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Best Places to Stay in Taos

Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Taos? Here are my top picks: 

Ok, let’s do a deep dive into the best areas and neighborhoods in Taos:

4 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Taos

Vibrant blue door and window of the architectural Pueblo building

Taos is a relatively tight-knit town. Most things are organized around the central Taos Plaza or the downtown area, where most of the government buildings and tourist attractions are located.

Other surrounding neighborhoods and municipalities include Taos Ski Valley, Rancho de Taos, and Arroyo Seco sit on the outskirts of Downtown Taos. 

Downtown Taos Historic District

Exterior view of the San Francisco de Asis Mission Church with a clear blue sky in the background

👉 Best Area For Tourist Attractions | ✨ Best Downtown Taos Historic District Hotels: Hacienda Del Sol B&BTouchstone InnCasa Benavides Inn

Established in 1796 by the king of Spain, the Downtown Taos Historic District represents a bygone old Western culture. Not only is this area home to one of the oldest continually-habited communities in the U.S., Taos Pueblo, but it was also once an important trade center on the notable Santa Fe Trail.

Today, the Downtown Taos Historic District is home to a collection of low-rise adobe shops, restaurants, and cafes that are regularly frequented by New Mexico tourists. This neighborhood also sanctions the Taos Plaza, a centralized courtyard lined with tourist boutiques.

This district is the ideal place to stay for travelers who like to be near the heat of the action. Most activities in downtown Taos are within walking distance, a major component for a safe night of touring breweries and bars in historic Downtown Taos.

You will also find an adequate amount of accommodation options in this area, which range from luxury hotels to rustic cabins to Spanish-style rental homes.

🚗 Need a Car? Rent a car with Discover Cars to get around Taos at your own pace. 

Pros of Staying in Downtown Taos Historic District Neighborhood:

  • Close to the town’s main attractions
  • Affordable accommodation options are available
  • Plenty of restaurants to choose from

Cons of Staying in Downtown Taos Historic District Neighborhood:

  • There can be traffic during peak season and on the weekends
  • The town can be noisy at night
  • Restaurant wait times may be longer in this area

📚 Downtown Taos Historic District Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Tourist Attractions
Google Map

Taos Ski Valley

Aerial view of Taos Ski Valley during winter

👉 Best Area For Winter Sports | ✨ Best Taos Ski Valley Hotels: The Blake at Taos Ski ValleyAlpine Village SuitesPredock 3C

Overshadowed by neighboring Colorado ski resorts, Taos Ski Valley is one of the best places to ski or snowboard in the American Southwest. This is the ideal district to stay in if winter sports are your main prerogative while in town.

The Ski Valley is a small village that was constructed around the best ski slopes in Taos. Some accommodations are only a few minutes walk to the ski lifts, meaning you can sleep in in the morning and still be one of the first people to hit the mountain.

The Ski Valley is also agreeable during the non-winter months, when it’s less crowded and the mountains have given way to tall grass and wildflowers and the creeks are in full, snow-melt fury.

Stay in this neighborhood if you want a small but inclusive community feel while in Taos and if you’re keen on either hiking in the summer or shredding in the winter. 

Pros of Staying in Taos Ski Valley Neighborhood:

  • Right next to a famous Taos ski resort 
  • Is less crowded than the main downtown area
  • Has fewer shops and more outdoor recreation activities

Cons of Staying in Taos Ski Valley Neighborhood:

  • Accommodation can be very expensive
  • Food can add up quickly
  • There are fewer tourist attractions nearby
  • Little public transportation is available

📚 Taos Ski Valley Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Winter Sports
Google Map

Rancho de Taos

Outdoor chairs and table at the terrace garden in Ranchos de Taos valley with a green landscape view on a sunny day

👉 Best Area For Affordable Accommodation | ✨ Best Rancho de Taos Hotels: Historic Adobe HomeAdobe and Pines Inn Bed and BreakfastInn on La Loma Plaza

Just outside of the main part of town, Rancho de Taos is the best place to stay for travelers on a budget. The quaint adobe neighborhood is most known for the San Francisco de Asís Church but is also close to some of the best hikes in northern New Mexico.

Rancho de Taos is only four miles southwest of Downtown Taos and is the choice place to stay to avoid heavy weekend tourist crowds. Enjoy the quieter atmosphere and more affordable prices in this Taos district. 

Accommodation like the Adobe and Pines Inn Bed and Breakfast gives visitors a taste of what life was like in Taos during the colonial period and the Southwest-style Inn on La Loma Plaza is only a five-minute walk to Taos Plaza, which saves budgeting travelers the hassle of renting a car or needing to pay for public transportation.

Pros of Staying in Rancho de Taos Neighborhood:

  • Quieter atmosphere than other Taos neighborhoods
  • More affordable accommodations are available
  • Southwestern and old Spanish-style architecture

Cons of Staying in Rancho de Taos Neighborhood:

  • Further removed from the main Taos attractions
  • Fewer entertaining activities are available
  • There are fewer restaurants to choose from

📚 Rancho de Taos Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Affordable Accommodation
Google Map

Arroyo Seco

Panoramic view of Scott Carlson's Gallery with displayed potteries outside
(photo: Nolichuckyjake / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For Peace and Quiet | ✨ Best Arroyo Seco Hotels: Taos Goji Farm & Eco-Lodge RetreatLa CasitaA Bella Vista Cottonwood

The Arroyo Seco neighborhood lies just north of Taos Pueblo. This 200-year-old community is a part of Taos’ colonial history and remains a quiet, lesser-known Taos neighborhood.

Savor the tranquility of this quiet Taos neighborhood over a morning cup of coffee from your short-term rental like A Bella Vista, with great views of the backdropped Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Meander through the willow, cottonwood, and aspen-lined streets as you window shop for a shining piece of turquoise jewelry, or make your way to the refreshing El Rito del Arroyo Seco on a hot summer day. 

Arroyo Seco is also a prime location to stay while visiting Taos if you plan on hitting the hiking trails just outside of town. This district provides easy access to the Wheeler Peak Wilderness trails, including Wheeler Peak, the highest mountain in New Mexico.

🚐 Looking for a Tour? Book a fun Taos tour like a cooking class or rafting on the Rio Grande to explore the town with an expert. 

Pros of Staying in Arroyo Seco Neighborhood:

  • Close to hiking trails
  • More affordable than other Taos neighborhoods
  • Provides a quiet atmosphere
  • Affordable food and drinks
  • Most shops and restaurants are within walking distance

Cons of Staying in Arroyo Seco Neighborhood:

  • Farther from the downtown Taos attractions
  • Fewer entertainment options
  • Will need a car to get around the greater Taos area

📚 Arroyo Seco Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay for Peace and Quiet
Google Map

7 Tips for Staying in Taos

Get Outside

Taos is surrounded by breathtaking nature. From hiking trails to hot springs to horseback riding adventures and river rafting, there is so much more to do in Taos than just exploring the downtown area.

There are even llama adventures available in Taos. You read that right, I said llamas. Explore the backcountry of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains via an Andean camelid. The great outdoors can be accessed from any neighborhood in Taos, making it easy to breathe in the fresh air and start exercising.

Visit the Hot Springs

View of the hot spring surrounded by big rocks

Soaking in a natural thermal pool is rivaled by a few other activities in Taos. Many travelers don’t even know that a variety of hot springs exist just outside of Taos, leaving them uncrowded and preserved.

Manby Hot Springs and Black Rock Hot Springs are the two top natural springs just outside of Taos. Both springs average 97 degrees, require a short hike, and are completely submerged in nature. Visiting the hot springs in Taos will easily be one of your favorite activities in town.  

For more, see our guide to visiting hot springs in New Mexico.

Take Day Trips from Taos

If you only have one or two days in Taos then I suggest staying in town to experience all the great sites and attractions. If you have more time, however, take a day trip or two to explore the surrounding Taos area – there are some great places to visit in New Mexico, after all.

The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is less than 20 minutes outside of town and offers some of the best geologic features in the area.

The High Road to Santa Fe is another popular day trip option and is one of the coolest things to do in Santa Fe. This scenic route takes travelers past jaw-dropping landscapes to the famously artsy town of Santa Fe.

👉 Staying Overnight in Santa Fe? See our guide to staying in Santa Fe.

Take a Self-Guided Walking Tour

Signage of 'I love Taos' along the highway near the plaza

Explore the historic town of Taos at your own pace. A self-guided walking tour is the best way to discover Taos on a more intimate level.

Top walking tour sites include Taos Plaza, Hotel La Fonda de Taos, the old county courthouse, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Blumenschein House, Harwood Museum, and so much more.

Visit During the Off-Season

Taos is magical at any time of the year but you will have a better experience if you visit during the off-season winter months. It will be colder at this time but there will be far fewer crowds, a fair trade-off in my opinion.

Taos Pueblo is one of the most important sites to see while in town, so check the calendar before you arrive to make sure the ancient dwelling site is open.

FAQs About Where to Stay in Taos

What are the best neighborhoods in Taos for visitors?

The Taos Downtown Historic District is the best neighborhood for visitors. This area is the epicenter of all things tourist-related, filled with restaurants, shops, bars, and attractions.

Where do you stay to ski in Taos?

You should stay in Taos Ski Valley when you visit Taos for winter sports. You will find rustic cabins as well as grand chalets at Taos Ski Valley, both within walking distance of the ski slopes.

What is the best month to visit Taos?

The peak tourist season in Taos is in the summer months when the weather is the most agreeable. Other times of the year have their own perks as well. Winter is the coldest but least crowded, spring hosts beautiful flower blooms around town, and the fall welcomes the famous Albuquerque Balloon Festival, which can be seen from Taos.

Where should I stay in Taos with the kids?

The Taos Historic District is the best place to stay with kids in Taos. There are many kid-friendly activities around this part of town as opposed to other quiet neighborhoods.


I hope this guide gave you a pretty good idea about where to stay in Taos, New Mexico. Be sure to give our where to stay in Albuquerque guide a read before your upcoming adventure and have a fantastic trip!

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