If you’re ready for a jam packed day, there is so much to see on a day trip to Taos. We happened to be staying in Sante Fe and used that as our base for other day trips, (like our day trip to Bandelier National Monument), but you could easily do this day trip from Taos itself. Allow yourself the entire day for this trip…there is lots to see!
The Hi Road
You can easily get between Taos and Sante Fe via the freeway, but there is something special about the leisurely and scenic hi- road. You will find yourself winding through small quaint little towns, some with some history and some with little art galleries. And of course, the views!
Our first stop was Santuario de Chimayo. This holy place that many believe holds a miracle associated with a crucifixion and possesses curative powers. Two chapels, built in 1816 and 1857, are part of a yearly Easter pilgrimage site. It was started by U.S. soldiers as part of the Bataan Death March and is continued today by thousands.
Going to Taos?? Take the scenic Hi- road. Click To Tweet
As we continued onward, we were welcomed with the view of Trucha Peaks. In June, you can still see snow in the mountains.
Side note: I purposely left the wires in the corner of this photo. This was a “drive by shooting”, meaning I take pictures while my husband is driving. If we pulled over for every photo I wanted to take, we would never get to where we are going. 😆
The Town of Taos
Unlike many ski towns, the town of Taos and the ski resorts are not next to each other. The town is located in the valley and is easy to get around. Taos reminded me of Sedona, Arizona with its artsy vibe and good eats. Everywhere you look, there is an art gallery and restaurant. So, what do you do when you are hungry and there are 100 different choices for food? You ask a local, of course. When we asked one of the owners of a shop where to go, he said The Gorge Bar and Grill.
This place has something for everyone and did not disappoint. I’m a sucker for a good club sandwich so I passed on having a salad and went all out for their Club. As you can see, the portions are plenty and the looks do not lie. We were fortunate enough to sit outside on their balcony which overlooks the Historic Plaza. Check out their website to make reservations.
Just Outside of Taos
After leaving Taos, we drove a short distance to the Rio Grande Gorge. Water coming straight from Colorado sweeps under this amazing bridge. Coming from Taos, drive across the bridge to the other side to park. You can walk back to the bridge to look down from it or you can park on the left-hand side of the road in the rest area and walk a short distance to get this view. There is a lot less people with this option and it is a get chance to use the clean bathrooms. If you like geology, this is an excellent stop. You can read about the geology here, by Linda Thompson.
After leaving the picnic area and getting back onto the road, we were welcomed by this flock of Big Horn sheep. I had never seen wild ones before so it made for a fun surprise, especially seeing how easily they could jump right over the fence. I probably could have taken better pictures had it not been for the one tourist that started walking toward them. Please, don’t be that tourist. They are wild animals and you end up ruining it for everyone. Plus, you look dumb.
Not too far from the gorge is an interesting group of homes within the Earthship Biotecture. I had never heard of these types of houses before visiting this place. They are a group of private homes and nightly rental homes. Apparently, these types of houses exist all over the world. They are highly sustainable and use recycled materials such as bottles and cans to build. They also provide electricity, potable water, contained sewage treatment and sustainable food production. Truly amazing! We passed on the tour because of timing but the visitor center taught us so much about the whole process.
On our way back on the 285, we stopped off at Ojo Caliente, a resort and hot springs. I really wish we had done some planning and brought our suits because this place looks amazing. They have many different types of pools and the resort looks very nice. I could easily see making this place a separate weekend vacation spot. Girls trip anyone??
The last stop on our trip was Gabriel’s. Again, this place was recommended by a local. Just on the outskirts of Sante Fe, this lovely place offers wonderful Southwestern cuisine. Again, we were happy with our meal, especially the tableside guacamole. Be sure to make reservations because as big as it was, it was packed. Which is always a good sign, right? The only thing I was not impressed with was the tortilla soup. I admit I am used to Mexican tortilla soup which is more creamy resembling enchilada sauce. This soup was like actual broth soup and tasted nothing like what I am used to. Other than that, we left with full bellies and happy with our first tasting of sopapillas.
Day trip to Taos?? This is a map of our stops. Click To Tweet
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