Steeped in natural beauty and a rich culture that dates back centuries, Taos is a popular destination for a weekend getaway. It's no surprise — there are so many wonderful things to see and experience here, from the rugged wilderness to the chic upscale restaurants.
We created the perfect 3-day itinerary for a Taos vacation, showcasing the best restaurants and activities this historic city has to offer. While you can’t see it all, you can definitely get a feel for what makes New Mexico so special. Have fun out there!
Where to Stay
Your lodging will define your entire weekend in Taos, so make sure to stay somewhere that epitomizes the true New Mexican experience while also catering to your own needs and personality. To truly experience the natural beauty of Taos on a new level, stay at the Hotel Luna Mystica. With a selection of chic, rustic trailers, the hotel offers a New Mexican glamping vacation. Each trailer is designed with a different theme, but they are all undeniably charming.
If it’s historic charm you’re after, settle in at the Taos Inn. This local haunt has been lighting up the town since 1936, offering cozy accommodations in a traditional adobe building and an in-room kiva fireplace to warm you up after a long day. (And don’t forget about libations, small bites, and live music in the Adobe Bar downstairs!)
A third option is a stay at El Monte Sagrado. Visit El Monte Sagrado for a luxurious experience bathed in natural beauty and tradition, the resort boasts 4-star accommodations and a renowned spa in a serene, spectacular setting.
Welcome to Taos! On your first day, throw on your walking shoes and acquaint yourself with the city. Start at a cozy coffee shop, like The Coffee Apothecary, the town’s newest java joint. Try their lavender latte, made with locally grown and house-made lavender syrup. Another option is Bearclaw Bakery & Cafe, serving up delicious freshly made pastries, hearty omelets, and soul-warming coffee in a relaxed atmosphere.
After breakfast, walk toward the plaza and let your feet guide you! From this central location, you will be able to meander through some of the town’s best art galleries, a few trendy boutiques, and lots of shops selling authentic New Mexican trinkets. If you see something that catches your fancy, do yourself a favor and stop in for a quick look — you never know what you’ll find. A few must-visit locations include Wanderer Boutique (for chic, Bohemian-style fashion), At Home in Taos (for handmade pottery and gifts), La Tierra Mineral Gallery (for gorgeous rocks and jewelry), Chokola (for bean-to-bar chocolate), and Mesa’s Edge (for turquoise jewelry).
When you need a pick-me-up, there are plenty of nearby coffee shops and cafes perfect for grabbing a quick refreshment and a sandwich to go.
If you get tired of shopping, take advantage of Taos’ natural beauty by exploring the 25-mile South Boundary Trail, located just outside of town. This trail is a popular destination for mountain bikers, but hikers can also enjoy the serene and picturesque atmosphere.
Wind down by grabbing a drink and an appetizer at the Taos Inn’s Adobe Bar. We strongly recommend the Cowboy Buddha, a strong and refreshing margarita made simply with Patron, Cointreau, and fresh-squeezed lime juice. After that head next door for an upscale dining experience at the renowned Doc Martin’s, which offers New Mexican classics with an imaginative twist.
You can’t visit a mountain town without exploring the mountains, so get ready to hit the trails on Day 2. First, fuel up with a hearty breakfast at Michael’s Kitchen, a local spot that has been serving sublime breakfast and lunch items since 1974. Aside from offering one of the best smothered breakfast burritos in town, the restaurant also boasts omelets, eggs Benedict, and other brunch favorites.
Once breakfast is over, drive up to the Taos Ski Valley. This luxe alpine resort offers some of the best snow in the Rocky Mountain Region, so during the winter the slopes and lodges fill up fast with talented adventure-seekers from all over the world. But the mountain is just as wonderful in the warmer months.
Whether you’re a mountain biker, hiker, or horseback rider, you will find so many adventures in this area, and all boasting spectacular New Mexican views. During the summer, be sure to check out the 14.7-mile Berminator Trail, where the endless berms and jumps will give gravity-seekers a thrill. (Note: The chair lift is closed during construction and occasionally logs block the trail, so check trail conditions before heading out.) Need a set of wheels? Rent your ride before you head up the mountain at the Taos Cyclery.
If you’re more of an earn-your-turns rider, check out Northside for a true taste of alpine biking! After cranking through an hour or two of gut-busting uphill riding, the spectacular views, fluttering aspens, and thrilling downhill will make the whole thing worth it.
If you’re on foot, take a leisurely hike up the trails from the base area to eventually find yourself in wide-open alpine meadows and colorful aspen groves, or embark on a bit of an adventure and try to summit Wheeler Peak (the tallest peak in New Mexico). You’ll pass the gorgeous Williams Lake on your way up, but the extra miles to bag the peak are well worth the sweat. Reward yourself with a bite and a brew from the Bavarian Lodge when you get back down.
Looking for something a bit more relaxed? Take the lift to the top and enjoy a picnic at 12,581 feet above sea level.
Once you’ve had your fill of outdoor adventuring, rest your muscles and fill up with a delicious and carefully crafted dinner at Taos’ Common Fire. Here, you’ll find a variety of gourmet flatbreads, hearty soups, and innovative appetizers. While you’re here, strike up a conversation with the owner, Andy Lynch — a friendly Taos local with a knack for adventure.
If you’re looking to extend your day, catch a live show at KTAOS Solar Center. The historic venue houses two of the state’s most respected radio stations and is a popular spot for live concerts on the weekends.
You have had a busy weekend, so now it’s time to wind down. Start your day off with a leisurely Latin- and French-inspired brunch on the patio at Gutiz and then hit up the natural hot springs. We hope you packed your swimsuit!
There are two hot springs near Taos that are well worth exploring: Black Rock Hot Springs and Stagecoach Hot Springs. Both offer an off-the-beaten-path experience, but you still might find yourself sharing the pools with savvy locals. Trek the short distance from the road down the rocky paths to the natural pools, and bask in the warm waters (which stay at a toasty 97 degrees year round). The legend of the healing power of the mineral hot springs is known far and wide, and you’ll love bathing in the waters and soaking in the natural beauty that surrounds you.
If you’re up for a drive, Ojo Caliente is located just 40 miles outside of town and offers a more luxe experience. The springs were discovered by Spanish explorers in the 1500s during an expedition for the Fountain of Youth, and Ojo Caliente remains the oldest health resort in the country. (Bonus: If you simply can’t get enough, extend your day trip and stay overnight in one of the resort rooms!)
For your final meal in Taos, make a reservation at the Love Apple. Housed in an old Catholic chapel, The Love Apple is a must-visit location for visitors looking to soak in a bit of extra culture. The owners work with local farmers and artisans to provide fresh, seasonal fare that is guaranteed to impress you.
And there you have it: all the best spots to visit during a 3-day weekend trip to Taos. While this itinerary hits some of the most popular activities, there is plenty more to discover in the Southwestern town once you start exploring!
Originally written by RootsRated for New Mexico.