Daytrip to Taos, New Mexico

From Santa Fe, a daytrip to Taos is well worth the effort for the mountain views alone. Taos is a 1.5 hour drive from Santa Fe with the last hour taking you up and down a windy 2 lane road. Once you hit the crest, the beautiful mountain scenery appears with Taos at the base.


We stopped on the side of the road for some photos on the way into town. So pretty!

Daytrip to Taos

Food is always my first priority, lunch was standard but interesting at The Gorge Bar and Grill. I had roasted tomato soup and a spicy green chile grilled cheese that was perfect for a crisp, windy New Mexico day.

Taos green chile grilled cheese

New Mexico does the town main square concept really well. All of the cities we have visited (Santa Fe, Taos, and Albuquerque) have had a fun, main town square- the plaza.

Daytrip to Taos main plaza shopping

The main plaza in Taos has some great antique shops, t-shirt and souvenirs, art stores, and restaurants. Adobe buildings and character make for a good way to spend a few hours.

Daytrip to Taos Main Plaza

From the plaza Mom and I did a little walking tour and saw many highly recommended art museums (mostly of Native American/Southwest Art). We ventured into one of them which was Harwood Museum of Art.

Daytrip to Taos Harwood Museum

The $8 entrance fee was worth it. This piece spoke to me with it’s creepy vibe.

Daytrip to Taos Harwood Museum of Art Death Cart

Taos is widely known as an artist’s community it makes sense all the art galleries here and well as the home of Kit Carson (which is not much to look at) and the Rio Grande Gorge. The weather really turned bad the moment we decided to drive out to the gorge to cross the big, scary Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. When you are driving across this you don’t necessarily want 60 mile per hour winds and sideways rain.

Daytrip to Taos Rio Grande Gorge Bridge span

The Millicent Rogers Art Museum was on the way and wasn’t closing for 30 minutes so we stopped in an peeked in the gift shop as we waited for the storm to mostly pass. No photos as I left all electronics in the car as to not get soaked in the storm.

Millicent Rogers was an oil heiress, dated Clark Gable and was a fashion icon of the times. She also adored art and amassed quite the amazing collection on display here in Taos where she lived for much of her adult life.

Daytrip to Taos Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

Eventually the weather let up and I went walking on the bridge to get some pictures. Mom was too chicken. It was still quite windy so I was too scared to walk all the way across the bridge. You’d better believe I was holding onto my camera for dear life.

Daytrip to Taos Rio Grande Gorge

An impressive canyon which I’m sure was more photogenic in the middle of the bridge. Too bad people, it was terrifying!

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Dinner was the best burger I have had in a while. At the New Mexican chain of 5 Star Burgers, I had an amazing bison burger while Mom had the Old-Timer burger (haha! That is really what it was called). My happy hour local beer was cheaper than her Diet Coke. I love happy hours and burgers!

Taos 5 star bison burger

Overall, a daytrip to Taos is well worth the drive. Spend one night and really get the most it has to offer, spend two nights if you are really into art.

Reader question: Are you scared of heights or bridges? Or maybe just one or two really crazy ones?


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4 Responses

  1. Connie Reed says:

    I’ve been to Santa Fe, which my husband and I both loved, but not to Taos. It looks like a great side trip and will keep it in mind the next time we’re in that area.

  2. Ruth says:

    Taos looks like my kind of town. I love small places with an unique character. To answer your question, yes, I am afraid of heights. I close my eyes when we are driving a tall bridge.

  3. What a fun town… anyplace with good Mexican food is good with me. I’m pretty good with heights, but sometimes it can bother me if something feels wonky.

  4. Dean says:

    I loved my short visit to Albuquerque and Santa Fe but didn’t have time for Taos. I definitely will go back for a longer visit one day. Thanks for reminding me.

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