THE STORIED HISTORY OF TAOS
The Athabascan people began settling in the Taos area in 1200 AD, evident by the 1300 AD Puebloan structures and other artifacts. Cultivating a prosperous culture based on agriculture and trade.
In the late 18th century, Spanish settlers began arriving in the area and quickly began exerting influence.
These settlers built several missions and forts and began to develop their own communities by building homes like the Melson-Oldham Cabin. It’s one of the few remaining square-hewn beams homes from the early 1800s—and is now a Registered National Historic Landmark.
San Francisco de Asis, also known as the Taos Pueblo Church, is famous in Ranchos de Taos, New Mexico. Built by Spanish settlers in the 17th century, it’s one of the oldest churches in the United States—known for its unique blend of Spanish colonial architecture. Visitors will enjoy the adobe construction, intricately carved wooden doorways, and beautiful Talavera tile work. The church is also famous for its beautiful frescoes, which Indigenous American artists painted in the 18th century. Today, the Taos Pueblo Church is a National Historic Landmark and one of the most popular tourist destinations in New Mexico, attracting thousands of visitors from all over the world.
In 1915, the Taos Society of Artists was officially formed, and the area flourished as an enclave for creatives. Taos has a thriving art colony and has been a source of inspiration to artists like Georgia O’Keefe, and Ernest Blumenschein.
Taos is now a destination for travelers who are seeking something a bit different. Outdoor enthusiasts will love Taos Ski Valley’s high-altitude slopes, tree-lined pistes, and award-winning ski school. While travelers looking for a bit of culture with Southwestern hospitality will love exploring the beauty of the Rio Grande Gorge, visiting Taos Pueblo, and attending annual cultural events.
TOP THINGS TO DO IN TAOS
No visit to Taos is complete without seeing the Taos Pueblo in person. Taos Pueblo is an adobe village that has been home to the Taos Native American tribe for a millennium. It is the only living Native American pueblo with a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark designation.
It is a living, breathing World Heritage Site that’s currently populated by approximately 150 full-time residents. There’s nothing else like it in the world! Tours are offered through the visitor center.
Taos Drums features the world's largest selection of Indian drums created by artisans from Taos Pueblo. Over a year-long process, these drums are shaped from natural materials in the age-old tradition of the indigenous people. The Taos Drums showroom also has a wide range of rawhide furnishings, primitive folk art, ethnic crafts, lampshades, and jewelry. Kids will love seeing the giant teepees!
One of the most popular tourist attractions is the Taos Pueblo Pow Wow. Every year, residents and tourists alike come together to celebrate the cultural heritage of the Taos people. This Pow Wow is a vibrant and colorful event that features traditional dances and music. Visitors can also learn about the history and culture of Taos at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, which houses a museum, art gallery, library, and cultural programming. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the people of Taos.
A visit to Taos is incomplete without a drive across the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. It’s one of the highest bridges in the country! Towering 650 feet above the waters of the Rio Grande, this gorgeous steel bridge has appeared in film and TV. Visitors can peer over the side or enjoy a beautiful hike along a walking trail to the gorge's rim.