Thursday, June 15, 2017

100 things to do in Taos before you die. 100 Things to do in Taos Before You Kick the Bucket. 100 Ideas of How To Taos!

Taos Blue Mountain accepts you (or not)

1. Visit the Old Taos County Courthouse Mural room (upstairs). The fresco murals here    
            were painted in 1934 by some of Taos Best artists of the day. 121 North Plaza, Taos
          *Hot Tip: At the back of the courthouse building on the first floor are the Old Jails, get   
            yourself locked up.

2. See Petroglyphs.
          *Hot Tip: Easiest visit for finding petroglyphs is at Pilar. Walk up the hill towards and  
            around the cemetery. It’s all just on the hill above the red roofed Church.

3. Take an Art class, there are assemblage classes, pottery classes, photo workshops   
            (google it or ask at a local art gallery).

4. Buy art, enjoy what you see, purchase a work of art that you can ‘live’ with and can’t     
            live without.

5. Taos Wool Festival, first weekend of October in Kit Carson Park.

6. Couse-Sharp Historic Site open house first Saturday of each month (June-October) or  
             book a private tour through the summer. 575-751-0369

7. Visit the D.H. Lawrence Ranch the only home that Lawrence ever owned. (mostly  
             open to the public Thursday-Saturday 10-2)

8. San Francisco de Asis Church (see the back of the most photographed Church west of  
             the Mississippi) and one of Georgia O’Keeffe’s favorite muses. Visiting Hours mostly  
             9-4 daily, Mass on Sunday at 8AM & 10AM in Ranchos de Taos
The Iconic San Francisco de Asis Church in Ranchos de Taos

9. Enjarre, The first ten days of June, or more. Each year St. Francis Church gets a new 
            coat of Mud and Straw (adobe). Join in and help alongside parishioners and other  
            visitors. Ranchos de Taos

10. Midnight Mass at San Francisco de Asis Christmas Eve
              (starts around 11PM). Ranchos de Taos

11. Taos Pueblo, visit and tour this National Treasure World Heritage Site.
             *Hot Tip: Enjoy lunch at Mary Esther Winters Adobe Cafe inside the Pueblo near the 
               Church. daily 8-4:30

12. Christmas Eve at Taos Pueblo, stand by some of the largest bonfires you’ll ever see, 
              (and the hottest) visit neighbors, friends and strangers. *Hot Tip: Wear a Washable
              winter jacket, it gets smokey. Begins around 4PM

13. Deer Dance, at Taos Pueblo Christmas Day. Begins around 3PM 
              (no photography please).

14. Spend an evening at the annual Taos Pueblo Pow Wow. (second weekend of July) 
              *Hot Tip: Join in with the dancers in an informal ‘Round Dance’ everyone is 
                welcome to participate, you won’t be able to stop smiling.

15. Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, walk across the bridge or walk the trail from the western 
               parking area along the rim. 
              *Hot Tip: Listen for the Taos Hum.

16. See the Penitente Morada and walk the stations of the cross, take Las Cruces Lane 
              off Kit Carson Road to Penitente Lane which dead ends to a parking area, walk over
              the bridge to the Morada, walk the Right of Way Lane to follow the 14 Stations of the 
             *Hot Tip: That large Black Cross on the back side of the Morada is another Georgia  
               O’Keeffe icon.
Mabel's Morada

17. Tour the Mabel Dodge Luhan home, rich in the history of Modern Art visitors to 
              Taos (call and ask about docent tours). Morada lane off Kit Carson Road.

18. Attend a Public Meeting, learn what is going on in Taos! 
              Check the Town of Taos website for what, where & when. 

19. Soak at Manby Hot Spring in Arroyo Hondo. 

20. Soak at Black Rock Hot Spring in Arroyo Hondo.

21. Soak at Ponce de Leon Hot Spring in Llano Quemado

22. Go to Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, this is a built up resort with various types of   
              mineral springs. 
             *Hot Tip: Take a hike to the Mica Mine.
Crow Teepee at the Sharp-Couse Historic Site

23. Take a Ghost Tour (oh, those tunnels!), book a tour of the Taos Ghosts and  
               apparitions with Melody Romancito. 

24. Visit the historic Martinez Hacienda on State Road 240.

25. Taos Art Museum at the Fechin House. 
             *Hot Tip: Check out the beautiful studio of Nicolai Fechin behind the Gift shop.

26. Harwood Museum, support and visit this museum.
             *Hot Tip: Sit and meditate in the Agnes Martin room.

27. Delete, yes, that’s right hit the delete button on that Facebook post you made that   
              might have been taken the wrong way. Everyone in Taos communicates on FB! After   
              all what if you do kick the bucket and leave that post hanging.

28. Millicent Rogers Museum, enjoy viewing the Hispanic and Pueblo cultural material 
              on display here.
              *Hot Tip: The Maria Martinez Room is impressive.

29. Visit the Ernest Blumenschein Home and Studio. 
              *Hot Tip: The Buck Dunton Studio is here as well.

30. Herbal walk, learn about healing herbs growing all over Taos. 
              *Hot Tip: Put a couple of Mullen leaves in each of your shoes, it truly is the best   
              thing you can do for your feet.
Indian paintbrush with Taos Mountain

31. Mushroom hunting, learn about mushrooms what to pick what to avoid. *Hot Tip:  
              Chanterelles grow in abundance at over 8,000 feet closest to 10,000 feet above sea   

32. Hike to Williams Lake. What a long strange trip it is. 

33. Snowshoe or go sledding at State Forest Road 5 in the snow covered mountains of   
               our Taos Winter season.

34. Ski at Taos Ski Valley.
              *Hot Tip: Stop in at Blake 192 Restaurant for dinner and cocktails, check out their   
               art collection, honoring Taos art through the years.

35. Go River Rafting, the Rio Grande in Taos has many river rafting outfitters.

36. Trout fishing, hire a guide through a fly fishing shop or find one online.

37. Fireworks over Eagles Nest Lake, what could be better for the Fourth of July. Begins   
               at Sunset.

38. Be in a parade, the Seco Fourth of July Parade welcomes everyone to join in or just   
               watch and have fun. Begins at Noon.
              *Hot Tip: You might even be handed an ice cold popsicle!

39. Attend the world famous PASEO/Fall Arts Fall Festivals. (Paseo September 23, Fall  
              Arts Sept 22-Oct. 1, 2017)

40. Horseback riding, rent a horse, take a lesson.
Buck Dunton Painting at the Taos Art Museum at Fechin House

41. Staurolite and mineral hunting, not all rocks are created equally. 
              *Hot Tip: Book a trip to the Dixon Harding Lepidolite Mine through UNM online.   

42. Fossil Hill, at one time this was a deep sea bed. After mile marker 68 on Highway   
               518 you’ll find a parking area on the north side of the highway, hike straight back t 
               toward the hillside.

43. Pit house, visit a 400 year old home of the original settlers in Taos on State Forest   
               Land at the same stop as the Fossil Hill parking area. 
              *Hot Tip: Visit the Carson National Forest Office, ask for a smokey Bear souvenir   
               and maps.

44. Make a smudge stick, cut some sage off a bush, wrap it tightly with cotton string or   
              *Hot Tip: Leave it to dry on your car dash board.

45. Pecha Kucha, attend or sign up to be a presenter at Pecha Kucha Nights Taos (check   
               their Facebook page for updates). 

46. Have your portrait painted, find a Taos Artist to paint your portrait or even your  
               favorite pet (ask at a gallery, who paints portraits).

47. Meet an artist, drop into any Taos Gallery, chances are you’ll actually meet an artist  
Look at Art, Buy Art, Think About Art, Read About Art, Support Artists

48. Dance at Doc Martins at the Taos Inn, free music nightly, it’s the ‘Living Room of 
               Taos’ after all!

49. Write a blog, you’ve Fallen In Love with Taos, tell the world! 
              *Hot Tip: Blogger/blogspot or Wordpress are easy and free to use.

50. Take lots of photographs, just don't stand too close to the edge…

51. Taos Mountain Balloon Rally this happens about two weeks after the big   
              Albuquerque International Balloon festival. Taos Balloon fest is more intimate and 
              more fun. 

52. Attend an outdoor concert, Kit Carson Park (various weekends through the summer)   
               or Taos Plaza (Thursday evenings through the summer).

53. Attend a history lecture, the Taos County Historic Society sponsors various lectures t  
               throughout the year. 

54. Act like a tourist in Taos, wear a baseball cap and go shopping, visit stores you’ve   
               never been to before from Ranchos de Taos to Arroyo Seco!

        55. Buy a House, stay forever, why leave!

56. Take an Earthship tour, see some of the homes built with bales of straw, bottles and   
             *Hot Tip: Take an Earthship building course, save all your cans and bottles, build   
               your own home.

57. Walk the Pot Creek Loop Trail, under the trees on Highway 518 between Mile   
              Markers 66 & 67 on the north side of the highway.
Tree with a View at Pot Creek

58. Ice skate at youth & family center, skate rentals are available there. 
              *Hot Tip: Watch a Taos High School hockey game at the Youth and Family Center.

59. Take a short hike to the El Salto Waterfall. The waterfall is located at the end of the road in El Salto just past the village of Arroyo Seco.

60. Act like a local, do not wear a baseball cap and just act like you belong here, because   
               you do. 
              *Hot Tip: If anyone asks, tell them you’re friends with ‘Louis’ (it’s code, trust me).

61. Buy your produce fresh at the Farmers Markets, Saturday mornings through the 
              Summer months in Taos Plaza, Taos Pueblo Farmer’s Market, on Wednesday  
              mornings year round.
             *Hot Tip: Share your own and ask about recipes of how to cook those veggies.

62. Flea Market, Sunday mornings at the KTAO parking lot, shop for vintage curios.

63. Listen, just stop and listen to your heart.
Portrait by Seamus Mills of Robert Cafazzo

64. Play pool at El Monte Sagrado, grab a drink at the bar and go up stairs to the game  
               room for the best round of pool in Taos. This is where Dennis Hopper, Dean  
               Stockwell and friends played.
              *Hot Tip: Tell them you’re a guest of the hotel if anyone asks.

65. Swim at the John Dunn Bridge, it’s also a great place for a picnic, in Arroyo Hondo.

66. See the Red River fish hatchery (it’s actually south of Questa).

67. Bird watch, everywhere around Taos. 
              *Hot Tip: The meadow south of the San Francisco de Asis Church is part of the Taos    
               Birding Flyway.

68. See wildlife, everywhere around Taos you’ll see Big Horn Sheep, Elk, Mule Deer and  
               those pesky Prairie Dogs, watch your step…
              *Hot Tip: Go out early, the earlier closest to sunrise, the better.

69. Be a mentor, just help share your knowledge with someone.

70. Be a docent, learn everything there is to know about one of the museums or historic  
               properties and share that knowledge with visitors. 

71. Volunteer at Habitat for Humanity or any of the many Non-profit organizations 
              around Taos.
              *Hot Tip: Contact the Taos Community Foundation to ask about non-profits you can   

72. Eat a sopapilla, those powder puffs of dough are a Taos food staple.

73. Visit a winery La Chiripada is south in Dixon. 

        74. Visit Vivac winery in Dixon.

        75. Visit Black Mesa Winery in Alcalde or the tasting room in Taos.

76.Visit a brewery, pick one or two (google it).
Picnic in the Taos Sangre de Cristo Mountains

77. Have a Taos picnic. 
              *Hot Tip: Pick up supplies at Koko Deli Carry-Out, Parcht, or Manzanita Market

78. Walk a Taos labyrinth.
             *Hot Tip: Adobe & Pines B&B and Mabel Dodge Luhan House have two of the best.

79. Look for deer and elk shed antlers during a walk in the forest you never know what
              you might find.

80. Eat chocolate at Chokola Bean to Bar (Taos Plaza), or Chocolate & Cashmere (Bent  

81. Eat locally made extraordinary flavors of ice cream at Manzanita Market (Taos  
              Plaza) or Taos Cow (in Arroyo Seco).

82. Bike ride, take the back roads or mountain bike.

83. Smile at a complete stranger. 

84. Try a coffee shop that isn't Starbucks, there are coffee shops everywhere in Taos, 
               just no Starbucks!

85. Lilac festival annually in May.

86. Enjoy fall colors, Autumn in Taos is when everything turns yellow. “It’s all yellow.”

87. Stand where O'Keeffe stood ask about this at the Mabel Dodge House, the DH 
               Lawrence Ranch or the Sagebrush Inn.

88. Buy a hat, purchase a proper hat (not a baseball cap). 
               *Hot Tip: Drop in at Paul’s Hat Shop, try a hat on for size.

89. Buy vintage turquoise jewelry whether you purchase a pin, necklace, bracelet or ring 
               nothing beats Vintage Native American Turquoise. 
              *Hot Tip: Bryan’s Gallery, Millicent Rogers Museum Gift Shop, Jackie’s Trading   
               Post, Two Graces or Kimosabe all have great items.
Art Assemblage Workshop at Mabel Dodge Luhan House with Seth Apter & Roxanne 

90. Drink water, do not get run down, drink more water than you think you need.

91. Instagram hashtag: #VisitTaos #NewMexicoTrue #ThisIsTaos

92. Attend an art opening. Every weekend there’s an opening at a Gallery or Museum all 
               over Taos.
               *Hot Tip: Pick up a copy of Taos News, Tempo for articles and calendar listings.

93. Take a yoga class, (google when and where).

94. Protest with the sign guy, Jeff Northrup maker of signs, Taos’ Favorite Protestor. 
               You’ll usually find him near the Smith’s Grocery store or in front of the Taos County 
               Buildings. Volunteer to hold a sign with him.

95. Visit the Historic Taos Volunteer Fire Department Art Collection, just ask a fireman 
               to show you this room full of treasures. Weekdays only, at 323 Camino de la 

         96. Ride in a balloon, book a balloon ride with any of the balloon tours.

         97. Check out historic and colorful cemeteries, they’re all over Taos.

         98. Look at all the flowers, Spring Wildflowers, Flower Gardens all over Taos or go on
                the Taos Summer Garden Tour.

         99. Pick Pinon, at the end of Summer you’ll notice cars parked along the side of the 
                road they know the best Pinon trees to pick! 

        100. Notice all the round flour mill grinding stones around Taos. Taos was once known 
                 as the breadbasket of the west until the 1920’s.
                *Hot Tip: Drive up State Road 240 from Ranchos de Taos and you’ll see the fields 
                 where wheat was grown on each side of the road.
Taos Pueblo Pow Wow Dancer

Taos has much more than this! Share your ideas or create your own Taos Bucket List, or write one for your community in another town you love. May we all do as many of these as we can and live to do them all over again. 
*Please note; this list is in no particular order, many of these suggestions of things to do are seasonal and have specific time frames. 
Some of these places do have entry fees.
If you’d like to learn more about Taos, read the stories on this blog, and book a tour with me and visit Two Graces Plaza Gallery in Ranchos de Taos.

Copyright, Robert Cafazzo 2017


  1. Great advice from the expert! I will post it and also copy for our La Loma house. Thanks for all that work!

  2. If anyone knows Taos, it's you...

  3. Thank you! Great and inspiring list to use and share!