Welcome to the Land of Enchantment! Our vivacious city is full of opportunities to see and experience our culture. As you make your way through downtown Taos, you’ll find a plethora of restaurants, art galleries, and shopping. However, throughout Taos and its surrounding areas, you’ll also find endless adventures waiting to be explored. We’ve put together a list of Taos Historical Sites that you should visit during your stay:
Just 24-miles southeast of Taos, nestled in “The Hidden Valley” of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, this peaceful village sits Rio Pueblo River banks. Picuris Pueblo offers picnicking, fishing, and some of the most stunning scenery in this area. You should consider spending an afternoon walking around the park. Be sure to bring your camera to get some shots of the beautiful Pueblo!
This Pueblo dates as far back as 1000 to 1450 A.D. Some of the homes are still inhabited without the modern conveniences of running water or electricity. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and dress in layers to ensure you stay comfortable through your visit. Prepare to be amazed in the history and culture of the Taos Indians.
San Francisco de Asis Mission Church
Located four miles south of Taos, this Spanish Colonial Catholic Church offers you the opportunity to experience our culture and religion. Completed in 1816, this church is part of an active parish which continues to serve the community with regular masses and festivals. It is open to visitors year-round, so feel free to come inside and enjoy the beauty of the architecture.
Located in the area surrounding San Francisco de Asis Church, you’ll find a favorite among Taos’ historical sites, Ranchos de Taos Plaza. The plaza has been mostly left in its original condition, unpaved and surrounded by adobe structures. It’s been featured in many movies and was a favorite place often photographed by Ansel Adams and painted by Georgia O’Keefe. Photography is encouraged in the courtyards; however, you’re asked to refrain from taking pictures inside the church.
Earthship Biotecture World Headquarters and Visitor Center
For a change of pace, visit this subdivision of solar houses constructed of up-cycled and natural materials. Off the grid, these homes utilize natural energy to sustain the lives of their residents. You can tour the community, however, keep in mind, these are private homes. The visitors center is the only building open to the public. You’re able to enjoy a self-guided tour around the community, allowing entry into one Earthship model. The visitor’s center provides a brief but informative video which you should enjoy.
D.H. Lawrence Ranch
Located 15-miles northwest of Taos, this ranch consists of 160 acres full of culture and history. Once owned by famous author D.H. Lawrence and his wife, Frieda, it was bequeathed to the University of New Mexico to preserve the novelist’s legacy. Georgia O’Keefe featured this ranch in her paintings, as well. An ancient Kiowa Indian trail runs through the property, giving you the opportunity to appreciate the history of the area. Fair warning: the ranch is only open to the public on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Be sure to check for hours, as they can be affected by the weather.
La Hacienda del los Martinez
Built in 1804, this hacienda was headquarters for an extensive homestead and ranch. Consisting of 21 rooms, the Hacienda offers insight into the rugged frontier lifestyle and its daily challenges. Bragging massive adobe walls, it gives off the appearance of a fortress and was the center trading post along the Spanish Empire’s northern boundary. Be sure to use the guide during your self-guided tour to receive informative history of the relics.
Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
During your stay in our area, you must make time to visit the second highest bridge in our Country’s highway system. At 650-feet above the Rio Grande, the bridge spans 1,280-feet. It’s been featured in many movies, including “Natural Born Killers” and “Wild Hogs”. The visitors’ center is located on the west side of the bridge. Be sure to stop, take advantage of the ample free parking, and take a walk to enjoy the spectacular views and amazing sights of the river below.
There are so many Taos historical sites in our area. We picked out a few of our favorites for this list, but you’re likely to find many more adventures as you make your way around Taos. Be sure to visit La Loma Plaza Historic District and the Leon Gaspard House, even though you’re unable to enter the private residences. Their exterior beauty is worth a short visit and a great reason to enjoy a leisurely stroll. We hope you enjoy your adventures in Taos and the Enchanted Circle ! We’ll see you back at your cabin!