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September 2018
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Senior Spectrum Publications

Simply Smart Travel
by Jeff Orenstein and Virginia Orenstein
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Taos, New Mexico Arts, History and Scenery

Jeff Orenstein
Jeff Orenstein

Taos is a gem. This beautiful town is located at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, astride the deepest part of the spectacular Rio Grande Gorge. It enjoys more than 300 days of annual sunshine, breathtaking scenery and abundant wild life. Moreover, it is a haven for white-water rafters, skiers, photographers, mountain bikers and smart tourists galore. That alone makes the New Mexico town a magnet for Simply Smart Travelers seeking a great travel experience. But there is more.

Despite it being a bit off the beaten path, generations of artists and nature seekers have found a trip to Taos so rewarding that many decided to settle there. Today, it is justly renowned as an art center.

Chock full of art galleries, museums and good restaurants, it has been home or a temporary residence to renowned artists for over a century. Drawing people like Georgia O’Keefe, Ansel Adams and their peers, the clear air, the remarkable light and the gorgeous natural vistas and the many picturesque buildings have contributed to Taos’s reputation as a significant art colony.

Jeff Orenstein
Jeff Orenstein

The Spanish colonial influence can also be felt and mixes with the New Mexico western ethos in the area’s architecture, food and shopping. The town has a thriving music scene and many restaurants serving an eclectic cuisine that is heavily influenced by the New Mexico.

Nearby, the UNESCO World Heritage Site Taos Pueblo, continuously inhabited for over a millennium, offers guided tours that offer insights into native American life as well as beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.

Put it all together and today’s Taos is a multicultural, multilingual experience that attracts throngs of tourists and is a magnet for those seeking art and nature.

Before You Go, Check out:

Jeff Orenstein
Jeff Orenstein

Getting There:

Taos can be reached by highway, with regional connections to air or train terminals.

Jeff Orenstein
Jeff Orenstein

Must-Sees/ Dos for A Short Trip:

Jeff Orenstein
Jeff Orenstein

If You Have Several Days, Some Best Options Are:

Ginny O’s Tips For Dressing:

This is the West, so casual dress suitable for seasonal activities fits in well. Resort casual is fine for restaurants and museums. Bring a bathing suit and water-compatible shoes for the hot springs.

This Destination At A Glance:

Over 50 Advantage: Art, shopping and good food at readily at hand on every turn in Taos. A leisurely pace is just right for the Taos visitor.

Mobility Level: Low to moderate. Some hills but the area is walkable and handicap accessible.

When To Go: Summer or winter. With sunshine year-round, abundant snow in the nearby mountains and beautiful summer weather and activities, Taos’s high season is May through September, but winter draws throngs of skiers and outdoor adventurers.

Where To Stay: The Historic Taos inn is a good choice. Many hotels and B&B’s are in the area as well.

Special Travel Interests: New Mexico art and cuisine, native American culture, art museums and photography

Jeffrey Orenstein, Ph.D. and Virginia Orenstein are travel writers from Sarasota, Florida. Their Simply Smart Travel column appears in newspapers and magazines in eight states. Contact them at