In summer, visitors can walk the historic Taos Plaza, hike nearby mountain trails, mountain bike, golf, horseback ride, take a river trip, stroll through the art galleries or take a trolley tour of this small mountain town.
But winter is equally entertaining here. Taos is a ski town with access to four ski areas. It’s 17 miles from the world-renowned Taos Ski Valley, which encompasses 1,294 acres and 13 lifts for 110 trails from beginner to extreme.
Smaller nearby ski areas include Red River Ski Area, Sipapu Ski Resort, and Angel Fire Resort ‘” all great for family skiing and lessons.
Red River Ski area starts at 8,750 feet and the top is at 10,350 feet elevation. It has 57 trails and snow is made for 85% of the terrain.
Sipapu Ski Resort prides itself on being a family-friendly ski area with three free beginner lessons. The base of the mountain is at 8,200 feet elevation and peaks at 9,255 and there are 200 skiable acres.
Angel Fire Resort has a 2,077 foot vertical drop, 7 lifts, and 74 trails. Snow is made for 52% of the mountain.
As if that’s not enough, the Taos Hockey Association hosts two tournaments each year, the Thanksgiving and the season-end Coyote Classic Tournament. Both include kids from 7 to 17, and bring nearly 1,000 players, coaches and family members to Taos for the Thanksgiving invitational, and 1,750 for the Coyote Classic.
The Taos Youth and Family Center is home to the ice rink for hockey, public skate and lessons from November to March. It also houses an indoor Junior Olympic size wimming pool with water slides, 25-foot swim lanes and diving boards. Outside there’s a skate park and a play structure for the younger sibs. In the lobby area there’s a game room and TV and party lighting for special events.
For those visitors, Taos has more than 30 lodging establishments to choose from, ranging from standard brands to exclusive vacation rentals. Here’s a small sampling:
The Sagebrush Inn is a charming, historic 100-room hotel with a restaurant, cantina and 18,000 square foot conference center. The bar often hosts local musicians and has a dance floor and patio area. Rooms start at $75 but discounts often start at $62, and all include a free made-to-order breakfast. The bar, restaurant and many rooms have fireplaces. The Inn offers internet access, a hot tub and sauna, and allows pets in some rooms. It is 3 miles from the plaza and has a grass courtyard with an outdoor pool and shady cottonwood trees. Visit sagebrushinn.com for more information.
Hotel Don Fernanco de Taos has an indoor pool, restaurant, lounge, conference/banquet facilities, and wi-fi access in the lobby. Located 2.5 miles from the plaza, the hotel offers complimentary in-town shuttle within a 3-mile radius. Designed in classic Pueblo Indian adobe style, its 124 rooms are spacious and well equipped, some with fireplace and pets are allowed in some. There is also a tennis court and live entertainment at the bar. Rates start at $75. More information at donfernandodetaos.com.
The Sun God Lodge is located next door. Its traditional Southwest-styled rooms surround a grassy lawn equipped for picnics and barbecues. The Lodge includes 45 rooms, 6 suites, and 4 kitchenettes. Décor is authentic including Taos art and handmade furniture. The rooms are a bit rustic but Fodors Travel Guides calls it the best value in Taos. The Sun God Lodge is located 1.5 miles from the plaza and rates start at $49. More info at sungodlodge.com.
Restaurants also vary from casual to upscale. Doc Martin’s at the Historic Taos Inn was called “lengendary” by Bon Appetit Magazine, and Travel & Leisure calls the adjacent Adobe Bar “The Social Center of Taos.”
Michael’s Kitchen is popular with skiers and locals, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. The bakery serves a wide variety of pastries, pies, cakes and breads. The restaurant has endured the test of time since it is more than 35 years old. It is located three blocks north of the plaza.
Tequila’s Family Mexican Restaurant on Paseo del Pueblo Sur offers traditional, authentic Mexican fare and good, fast service with good attention to the little ones.
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