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Some believe Taos literally vibrates on a different frequency. Many residents and visitors here claim to hear the Taos Hum — a low buzzing sound that science can’t explain. The ethereal anomaly is a fitting mystery for an artsy town that shows love for all things mystical. This eclectic outpost is marked by classic adobe architecture, a thriving community of artists, and a penchant for relaxation — hot springs, spas, and wellness treatments abound — set against the backdrop of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the candy-colored New Mexico desert.
You could easily spend a whole vacation soaking in the bohemian atmosphere and exploring the city’s many museums and galleries, but it would be a mistake to ignore the call of the surrounding wilderness. Vertiginous peaks tempt skiers to the Taos Ski Valley, hikers strike out across nearby plains, and the staggeringly deep Rio Grande Gorge — carved by the eponymous river that snakes between its sides — humbles onlookers.
Taos Regional Airport (TSM) is the closest, at less than 10 miles, but accepts charter flights from only a few U.S. cities. A limited number of airlines fly into Santa Fe Regional Airport (SAF), about 80 miles from Taos. You’ll find many more flight options at Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ), 135 miles south. If you fly into Albuquerque, consider taking the High Road, a 105-mile scenic drive, for your 2.5-hour commute to Taos. The municipal Blue Bus makes stops throughout Taos and rideshares also serve the city, but a rental car will be your most flexible option for sightseeing.
Taos boasts more than 300 days of sunshine a year, making it a year-round resort locale. Thanks to its high elevation, though, nights cool off considerably, even in the summer. Winters are cold, and snow draws visitors who spend their days on the slopes at Taos Ski Valley. Due to the generally pleasant weather, there are always outdoor events to be found, including art, wine, and food festivals. In July the city celebrates Fiestas de Taos, three days of cultural programming that include dancing, parades, and musical performances in historic Taos Plaza. On the last full weekend in October, Taos hosts a smaller version of Albuquerque’s renowned International Balloon Festival: the more intimate Taos Mountain Balloon Rally, which sends dozens of hot air balloons skyward.
There’s no shortage of cultural institutions here, and you can spend a day or several reveling in their unique collections. The Millicent Rogers Museum, which maintains 15 galleries, is focused on the artworks of New Mexico’s Indigenous cultures, and textiles, pottery, baskets, and jewelry can be found in this vast collection of more than 7,000 objects. The Harwood Museum of Art showcases historical and contemporary New Mexico artists. The Blumenschein Home and Museum still looks much the way it did when the co-founder of the legendary Taos Arts Colony lived there more than 60 years ago.
The Taos Pueblo is a Native American community and collection of traditionally constructed adobe buildings that has been continuously inhabited for more than 1,000 years. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the grounds include underground ceremonial chambers, the ruins of a 17th-century church, and multistory adobe structures made of packed earth and timber. Guided tours are offered year round.
For a stomach-fluttering thrill, head to this 1,280-foot-long bridge that sits 650 feet above the Rio Grande — one of the highest in the United States. You can drive across this bridge, but pedestrian sidewalks also allow you to slow down and drink in the view. You might even see some bighorn sheep lounging on the nearby cliffs.