Time Out in Taos, New Mexico
We rolled the Airstream into Taos in early October totally worn out after a crazy summer of travel. We had planned to stay for a week or two to rest up, regroup and visit Shoam's mom, who just moved there, but we quickly fell in love with the landscape, the friendly folks at our RV park and the food and we wound up staying for a little over two months for a much needed break from route planning and driving.
After all those days steeping ourselves in the trails, history and, of course, green chile of this Northern New Mexico town, we think it’s one that should be on every traveler’s list. With 4 seasons of fun in the outdoors, 360 degree mountain views, culture, art, beautiful architecture and delicious food there’s truly something for everyone here.
We’ve already made plans to return at the end of the summer after this year’s adventures in Arizona, Utah and Colorado. Keep reading for our Taos Travel Guide, including our favorite places to stuff your faces, and where to stay (for RV'ers as well as those without wheels). For the hikers out there we also have a dedicated post on our 5 favorite trails in the area.
Taos, NM Travel Guide
Where to Eat: 6 Places to stuff your faces
Taos Mesa Brewing
The major beer game in town with two locations, both of which are worth a visit. The downtown taproom serves up amazing wood fired pizzas with ingredients like fresh ricotta, grilled lemon and hot honey, and they have the best gluten free crust we’ve ever tasted.
The Mothership is Northwest of town, heading towards the Rio Grande Gorge, with an earthship-inspired outdoor stage and stellar views. It’s a perfect stop if you’re heading out to the gorge or hiking Manby Hot Springs.
The Burger Stand
When in New Mexico, you eat green chile. When at The Burger Stand, you order the Green Chile Burger. You probably also want a side of truffle fries with house-made Guajillo chili sauce. Grab a stool and a local brew, and you’ve got yourself an afternoon.
Tucked right off the plaza, this little coffee, breakfast, lunch and ice cream spot is our pick for anyone who needs an office outpost for the day. Get your work on and sample one of the simple sandwiches that are elevated with house-made ingredients like pickled apples or fig spread.
On the North side of town, Medley offers a great happy hour at the bar with $5 drinks and eats ranging from crispy brussels sprouts and fried chicken sliders to a grilled avocado salad.
Just down the road from Medley, Common Fire exudes a cozy, cool mix of New Mexico traditional and modern with a menu that spans comfort foods like mac n’ cheese to Asian-inspired dishes like coconut curry.
What to Do: Window Shopping & Thrifting
Since we live in less than 200 square feet, we generally shop with our eyes, not our wallets, but an afternoon cruising Bent Street’s shops is a fun way to pass an afternoon.
This flawlessly curated women’s boutique is right on the main drag. Thankfully tiny closets saved me from any major temptation, but as designers, we love checking out patterns, color and textiles.
Op Cit Books
My perfect bookshop is cozy, with floors that creak and shelves that are stocked with new picks and old favorites, and this place is all of those things. I could easily waste half a day in here.
Filled with fabrics, ribbons, and handmade scarves, wraps and bags, this is the spot to go for the textile-obsessed. Conveniently places across the street from a yarn shop for the knitters out there.
Our favorite consignment/vintage shop in town, in addition to clothes you can also score used skis and outdoor equipment on the cheap here.
A massive consignment shop with everything from dishes and furniture to art and clothes, the pricing is a little all over the place, but the sheer size makes it worth a comb through for the junkers out there.
Where to Stay: Airbnb & Hotels
If you’re going to stay in Taos, you might as well experience some of the local architecture you won’t find in other places, like off-grid earthships, geodesic domes and adobes. Even though we had our Airstream with us, we were pretty tempted to spend a few nights in an earthship ourselves. We put together a list of our favorite homes for rent and if you’re not on Airbnb yet, you can get a $40 credit for your first stay.
There’s a million choices near the plaza, and The Taos Inn is a cute option near town with beautiful adobe architecture and a nice little bar with live music most nights.
If you’re coming in to ski, the Snow Mansion is a hostel just a few miles out from the valley in the cute little town of Arroyo Secco that won’t set you back the big bucks.
Want a taste of Airstream life? Hotel Luna Mystica offers up several superbly styled trailers about 15 minutes from town. Bonus - walk to the Mothership for a drink and wake up to the Mesa views every morning.
Where to Stay: RV Parking
RV Parks & Resorts
Taos Valley RV Park is where we parked, and it's our pick for longer stays for its central location and monthly pricing ($600-$650). About 10 minutes South of town, it’s got decently spaced sites, high-desert landscaping with mountain views and a nice trail for walking your pup.
In the Northwest part of town, heading out to the Gorge, Monte Bello RV Park is a good pick if you want to be closer to skiing. There’s not much in the way of landscaping, but it’s clean and the views are pretty.
State Parks, National Forest and BLM Campgrounds
North of Taos, the Carson National Forest has several forested campgrounds near Red River that are open seasonally from May to October, and we’ll definitely be hitting these up next time we come through town. Cell signal fluctuates, but is probably boostable out here.
South of town, the Orilla Verde recreation area has several BLM campgrounds scattered by the river. All of them would be great for vans or tent camping, and the first couple are accessible to mid-sized rigs. Unlike open BLM, these are hosted with official spots, but at $7 a night they’re super reasonable. There’s no cell signal out here so be prepared to be off grid.
Thirty-five miles east of town, Eagle Nest Lake State Park would be a great summer spot. There’s not a ton of services around, but if you want peace and quiet with pretty scenery and kayaking or fishing access, it’d be a great stay for a few days.
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This is a new format for us with more of a travel guide feel vs. a travelogue of our time. We'd love to know what you think, and if you'd like to see more of this kind of post with recommendations on what to do in an area, or if you like something more personal and story driven. Leave us a comment here or over on Instagram and let us know!