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You’ll Love Yuletide in Taos

If you haven’t heard by now, Taos does things differently than most other places. And one of our proudest traditions is our month-long holiday celebration known as Yuletide in Taos. Yuletide is the entire holiday season that includes every unique New Mexico tradition you have and haven’t heard of.

They say Yuletide begins each year on Thanksgiving, but Taoseños feel the holiday season spirit when Taos Folk pops up at Stables Art Gallery on November 18. Taos Folk is all things festive in classic Taos fashion, including local handmade goods from jewelry to candles.

The festivities officially ramp up for the 36th Annual Yuletide Tree Lighting in Taos Plaza on December 2. Mayor Maestas will flip the lights on with the entire Taos community and celebrate December in northern New Mexico.

While the entire month is an experience unlike any other, the most magical holiday event is on the holiday itself. The Christmas Eve Procession at Taos Pueblo features large bonfires and countless farolitos to light up the parade in a spiritual event of heritage and community. On Christmas Day, the ancient ceremonial Taos Pueblo Deer or Matachinas Dance honors the depths of winter. But sorry, no cameras or phones are allowed. Perfect to experience this ceremony with your own two eyes in the moment.

Yuletide in Taos wraps up with the New Year’s Eve Torchlight Parade and Fireworks. Watch skiers glide down Taos Ski Valley holding torches under the starry skies while fireworks illuminate the brightness and joy another Yuletide brought to our community. But don’t just read it from us! See Yuletide in Taos for yourself this holiday season.

Wake Up, Up and Away

One of the most captivating human spectacles Taos has to offer is back this weekend! The 39th Annual Taos Mountain Balloon Rally is back this year for three dawns in October. Each morning after dawn from Friday, October 28 to Sunday October 30, hot air balloons will light up the colorful desert sky. This event, repeated every year since 1983, is enjoyed by Taoseños and travelers from far and wide.

On Friday, the initial “Mini-Ascension” will commence at 8am, followed by tether rides for the kids a few minutes later. From 5pm to 9pm, we’ll have a Meet & Greet with the pilots and sponsors. While New Mexico is famous for its sprawling hot air balloon spectacles, the Taos Rally is a more intimate event, with 35-50 crews invited each year.

On Saturday is the first Mass Ascension launch, where all the crews take off and dot the skies for nearly an hour and a half. Taos is out and about all day, with “Balloomenshine” capping off the day’s festivities around 5:30pm. Because the Rally happens each year on the last weekend of October, every Saturday, the kids come around and “basket or treat” at each balloon.

To finish a memorable weekend strong, one last Mass Ascension takes flight around 7:45am on Sunday. Closing Ceremonies thank everyone for coming out to the TMBRA field on Albright Street behind the Taos County Court House. We hope you plan on stopping by and burning the ignition on both ends this weekend from dawn til dusk. You can’t miss it. Just look up.

Taos Wine & Beer Tour

The magic of Taos has always been what its people can create from the land around them. And if you are an inquisitive nomad who loves to sample the local beverages from each stop on your travels, the people and resources of Taos have a lot to offer.

Vivác Winery
35-minute drive from El Pueblo

Vivác is a Spanish term meaning “high-altitude refuge.” Sourcing all their grapes from New Mexico and using the most advanced winemaking tactics and equipment, a Vivác winery tour is not only technically interesting, it was also included in HGTV’s “Top 22 Most Beautiful Wineries Across the USA.” The tasting room is open 7 days a week, and don’t be surprised to walk into a happy hour special or live music at any time.

La Chiripada Winery
40-minute drive from El Pueblo Lodge

Northern New Mexico’s oldest winery, La Chiripada has been producing up to 20 varieties of wine for more than 35 years. Meaning “a stroke of luck,” La Chiripada offers complete tastings from 11am – 5pm Monday through Saturday and 12pm – 5pm on Sundays.

Black Mesa Winery
40-minute drive from El Pueblo Lodge

Black Mesa Winery has been making wine for 30 years with nothing but purely New Mexico grapes. All the wines are bottled and cellared on property, and you can reserve a spot in their Tasting Room by calling 24 hours in advance of preferably a weekday.

Blue Heron Brewing Co.
35-minute drive from El Pueblo Lodge

Blue Heron Brewery, located right on Hwy 68, offers a wide variety of beers, from porters to pilsners. Started by a Northern New Mexico family, Blue Heron’s taproom welcomes any and all visitors to pour a pint, grab a 6-pack to-go, and even get a bite to eat.

Taos Mesa Brewing
Right in town, only a 2-min drive from El Pueblo Lodge

Staff Favorite! This brewpub location features fresh brews and artisan cuisine including wood-fired pizza. The Taos Tap Room welcomes new friends and imparts an understanding of the authentic southwestern vibe.

Red River Brewery
45- min drive from El Pueblo Lodge

Another Staff Favorite! Red River Brewery features 12 beers on tap with one additional tap always reserved for our house-made root beer. Their bartenders whip up specialty cocktails using our own Vodka, Rum, Gin, and Agave Spirit distilled from raw ingredients in-house.

Live the Wildlife

While the people of New Mexico have been here for thousands of years, they were not the first. That distinction belongs to the dizzying array of plants and animals found in and around Taos. New Mexico’s size, terrain and climate make it one of the most biologically diverse states in the country. In fact, over 4,500 different species of plants and animals call our man-made state border home.

Several life zones, including the alpine tundra, coniferous forests, woodlands, grasslands, and desert transition to and from each other. And that diverse ecosystem is especially apparent in the north. Drought-resistant plants like Russian Thistle–AKA tumbleweeds–and Prickly Pear cactus can be found south of Taos. To the north of Taos, hearty trees like Douglas fir and Juniper surround the landscape. Plants and trees make up over three quarters of the biological diversity in the state.

But the other quarter does not lack excitement, either. New Mexico features elk, deer, antelope, rabbits, squirrels, foxes, wolves, coyotes, mountain lions and bobcats (yes, there is a difference). The state animal is the black bear, native to the mountains of northern New Mexico.

And that’s not even mentioning the most diverse landscape in the state: the Rio Grande Valley. Making its way from the southern border to the north, the Rio Grande Valley is home to three turtle species, nine lizard species, 13 snake species and more than 60 mammal species. The valley features over 200 species of birds that use it as a home or mating grounds every year.

Now knowing the wealth of biological diversity in northern New Mexico specifically, you can understand why Taos was such coveted land since the beginning. Thanks to conservation and environmental efforts, most of these species have remained in their original environments, cohabitating with us at El Pueblo Lodge. Whatever reason it is you travel, keep an eye out for our wild neighbors. As you’ve read, we have quite a few of them.

Get Your Last Ski Licks In

Optimism is in the air around Taos. The coldest weather seems to be behind us. The pandemic, while still the foremost threat and safety issue at hand, is losing steam. There’s a lot to look forward to in the coming months regarding travel in Northern New Mexico.

But that doesn’t mean everything we’re leaving behind is negative. And it also doesn’t mean it’s too late to capitalize on it either. We’re talking about getting your last licks in on the ski resorts around El Pueblo.

Taos Ski Valley

110 trails ranging from beginner to intermediate over 205 skiable acres makes Taos Ski Valley the premier spot to get your last skiing of the season in. April 4 is your last day to ski for the season, so book your trip soon. There’s room at El Pueblo for that weekend!

Angel Fire

Angel Fire reeled in plenty of snow this year to provide a base that will last as long as you need. With a peak elevation of 10,667 feet, this is among the highest skiing you can do in the state. But you have to act fast, as closing day is Sunday, March 21.

Red River

Northeast of El Pueblo is Red River Ski Area, where both professionals and families come from around the country to rave about. Soaking in over 300 days of sunshine a year, it’s guaranteed to be beautiful as you get your last runs in before the gates close on Sunday, March 21.

Sipapu

Open through April 4, Sipapu is your best bet to get in the last adrenaline rushes of the ski season. With a peak elevation of 9,255 feet and a vertical drop of 1,055 feet, the mountain has something for both beginners and seasoned thrill-seekers.

El Pueblo has rooms available for every weekend through the last lift rides on April 4. Get rid of your cabin fever and take a last-minute weekend vacation out to Taos as the weather gradually gets more and more comfortable. We’re all about adventure and impulsivity every day of the year.

📷: Paul Sableman

In The Eyes of Instagram

The reason we advocate not having a compass in Taos, New Mexico is because there’s awe and wonder in every direction. Chances are you’ve made your way here, not for the chance to run into a celebrity, but the chance to see something naturally inspiring.

That’s why you should follow these accounts that give you that New Mexico adventure and picturesque landscapes every day, no matter where you are at the moment. And as always, follow us first @elpueblolodge

@taos
This first page is just a taste of what you’ll find in each of the accounts we’ll feature. Other-wordly sunsets, real-time blizzards and Taos culture that’s been shared for generations.

Snow In Taos
Sunset Moonrise
A Slice of Heaven

@newmexicotrue
Featuring some of the most pristine photography you’ll ever find of New Mexico, this page tags each photographer so you can get caught down your own rabbit hole of New Mexico experiences.

A Sight for Sore Eyes
Long Walk on the Beach
Dreaming of Skiing

@taoschic
A very well-curated Instagram page, this influencer owns her own New Mexico travel company, so she’s guaranteed to show you the best the state has to offer. Maybe she’s even your next trip planner to Taos.

Snow blanketing Taos Mesa
Pitter Patters
No Place Like Home

@heritageinspirations
Branded as New Mexico’s Premier Travel Company, this page is run by @taoschic above and gives a New Mexico tourist, past or future, the yearning to try and capture the same experiences she does.

Romantic New Mexico Excursion
Duke City E-Bike
Indigenous Peoples’ Day

@visittaos
The official Visit Taos Instagram page, most of their content is sourced from local and tourist photographers documenting their individual experiences through breathtaking images and lenses.

Taos Makers
Rio Grande Gorge
Taos Sign

@nmhikergirl
One of New Mexico’s most influential influencers, this page takes you hiking through every forest trail and canyon run from the hiker’s point of view. There are few better ways to see yourself in a New Mexico hiker’s boots.

Scary Outdoor Story
Scary Outdoor Story 2
Scary Outdoor Story 3

@newmexiconomad
Featuring a blend of local photographers and the best videography you’ll find on this list, this page also provides stories and history nuggets in some of the captions, adding a unique element to its posts.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Fall Confusion on the Bosque
Kiowa National Grassland

@newmexi.co
This page has no shortage of gorgeous landscape shots, all sourced from local and tourist photographers on their New Mexico adventures. Even without a plan to visit, these posts will undoubtedly brighten your feed.

Zozobra
Las Cruces, New Mexico
Jemez

@onlyinnewmexico
Also sourcing its images from a variety of other pages, this is one of many New Mexico traveler pages that you can use to find a myriad of influencers and photographers from all over the world.

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument
New Mexico Reflection
Wild Horses

Browse Taos

We’ve always been comfortable being challenged and exploring uncharted territory in Taos. But this past spring and summer has definitely been the most challenging adventure of all. Sometimes, we’ll admit, we wish we had a compass to get us through it.

With tourism halted and emergency public health mandates announced, the year of 2020 will be considered the lost year that everyone remembers in Taos’ very long history. We love travelers and encourage them to “live like a local” amongst us. So, while many visitors’ trips were thwarted this year, there are always opportunities to get a little taste of Taos.

Taos’ downtown plaza and shopping opportunities bring people from all over the country and world to browse and take home some of the most intriguing Southwestern boutique artistry and products. From award-winning jewelry to one-of-a-kind handmade artwear, Taos’ businesses have taken to online markets to provide you what you’ve been missing this year.

Browse the most local Taos accessories and products found nowhere else in the world below:

Artemisia Taos

Stylish and colorful artwear alongside bold accessories that no one else can say they have.

Taos Honey & Taos Bee

Both local bee hives and honey products around Taos who, of course, are here to #SaveTheBees

MOMO

Fine works of art, jewelry ceramics and more from and for discerning eyes.

Taos Mountain Outfitters

For the adventure-seekers, the wanderers and explorers, giving the people living in and visiting Taos what they need to appreciate all its wonder.

All of these shops are also open operating in downtown Taos. We at El Pueblo are also open and operating here with the most attention to detail in mind when it comes to safety and comfort for all our guests. That’s our promise to you and the lovely people of Taos. Thank you for your interest and support in 2020, the year without a compass.

Historic Women of Taos

With so much happening in the world today, we wanted to take a moment to turn your attention to something else.  If you didn’t know, March is Women’s History Month and Taos has more than its fair share of Women’s History around every turn. We’re highlighting a few women who have graced Taos’s past and elevated it to the cultural and artistic slice of heaven we know it as today.

Marjorie Eaton
An early 20th century painter, photographer and actress Marjorie Eaton broke ground for women for her modernist paintings as well as her role in the original Mary Poppins. Eaton first arrived in Taos in 1928 and is quoted saying “I realized I had found my soul when I arrived in Taos.” Her exhibit Marjorie Eaton: A Life In Pictures is on display at the Fechin House through March 29, 2020 in Taos.

Mabel Dodge Luhan
A patron of the arts and a legendary hostess, Mabel Dodge Luhan turned Taos into an “international salon,” persuading notable authors and artists like Aldous Huxley and Georgia O’Keefe to visit (and stay.) Her house is a brilliant display of history and character and is a visitor’s favorite in Taos.

Agnes Martin
A tremendously respected abstract expressionist and minimalist, Agnes Martin released some of her most coveted work while in Taos. While living in Taos from 1952-57, her work reflected an abstractionist tone, exhibited today at the Harwood Museum of Art. She returned to Taos in 1973 where she lived until passing in 2004.

Millicent Rogers (as seen in this photo above, Rogers poses with one of her numerous dachshunds in the living room of her apartment at 14 East 68th Street in New York City in December 1944)
A socialite, philanthropist, art collector, fashion icon, standard oil heiress and mother, Millicent Rogers was one of the most influential and eclectic women to ever call Taos home. Her home, known as Turtle Walk, contained over two-thousand Spanish colonial and Native American artifacts. Celebrated in Taos, she has a museum dedicated to her that is as interesting as she was.

On the Road Again

Whether you’re stopping for a night or a week, chances are you’re on the road. For those of our travelers who have a destination yet to be determined, take a cue from our road trip guide around New Mexico. All of these locations are a short day trip starting at our lovely town, Taos.

Taos

Congrats, you’re here! Known for our historic adobe buildings and beautiful views with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in the backdrop it’s hard not to fall in love with our artistic culture and adventuresome spirit. Welcome!

Sante Fe

About an hour and a half drive from Taos, and the capital of New Mexico, this town is located in the Sangre De Cristo foothills. The Georgia O’keeffe Museum is located here, featuring over 3,000 works by her. Filled with adobe landmarks all trailing back to the main Plaza, this city holds a lot of history just waiting to be explored.

Four Corners Monument

This one is a bit of a longer drive at about four hours, but how many times can you say you’ve been in four places at once? This monument not only lets it happen by being the corner to four states all at once. Stop on by to fulfill that bucket list check-off.

Albuquerque

As New Mexico’s largest city it has grown through the years and it’s only two and a half hours away. It has two distinct areas to the town contrasting one another; Old Town and the more modern Downtown. The contrast is visible from building style as well as the cityscape. Some of the fun activities to do here include the Sandia Peak Tramway which is the longest aerial tramway in the US, the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum and a rattlesnake museum.

Roswell

Aliens, flying saucers and artifacts, oh my! At four and a half hours away, Roswell has a namesake that everyone in the USA recognizes as the site of an alleged 1947 UFO crash. The International UFO Museum and Research Center is located here furthering the question we all wonder to ourselves; do aliens exist?

Carlsbad

A little bit longer of a drive here at about 6 hours, but definitely worth the trek. Carlsbad Caverns National Park has more than 100 caves in the Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico that hold stalactites and stalagmites throughout. Great for those interested in hiking, nature and geology.

Continental Divide

Calling all hikers, bikers, horse riders and adventurers! Going straight through New Mexico, the trail follows the Continental Divide of the Americas along the Rocky Mountains. For different hiking maps and guides click here.

So with whatever stops you may choose, we hope you find the adventure you’re looking for!

Have No Compass

While perusing our website or Instagram feed, you may have noticed the phrase “Have No Compass.” On a few occasions, we’ve been asked what that phrase means.

Well, for anyone that has ever been to Taos before, you know what a special place it really is. Our colorful community is a mecca for everything arts and culture – being a shine to Southwestern style. So many visitors unintentionally find their way to our front doors, and say “this place is so cute, do have any rooms available?” After offering them a fresh baked cookie, we chat about their travels and welcome them to Taos!

Here’s what we’ve gathered: whether they were on a simple day trip from Santa Fe or taking part in an ambitious road trip of the Southwest, there’s one thing these visitors all have in common – the unique desire for wanderlust in their lives. Those that proudly wander with no real intention and no final destination. There’s no better place than Taos to do just that.

This makes us believe that we’re a story of the wanderer, the curious traveler and the adventurer. We proudly offer accommodations to those that have no particular direction but absolutely fall in love with our charming little town.

We welcome you to switch off your GPS, tuck away that compass and explore everything Taos has to offer.

Take Flight

Just call it the wind beneath our wings: Taos Ski Valley is now offering Taos Air, an airline that will provide daily direct flights from Dallas and Austin practically straight to the slopes.

It wasn’t always quite so easy to visit this popular skiing destination. The nearest major airport is in Albuquerque, three hours away, while Santa Fe, two hours away, has few regional flights.

But on the heels of a 10-year, $300-million renovation that includes a new main chairlift (Taos’s first high-speed quad), increased snowmaking, a “gondolita” and an upgraded children’s center, Taos Air could not be taking flight at a better time. Plus, next summer the Valley is building new mountain biking trails and a via ferreta, which is a protected climbing route.

Taos has also pledged a new environmental commitment, becoming the first ski resort designated as a Certified B Corporation. This certification helps ensure Taos Ski Valley meets the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, sustainability, public transparency and legal accountability. In other words — were going green.

Tickets for the 30-passenger chartered flight start around $400, and passengers land in El Prado, just down the valley from the ski area. Flights run Thursday through Sunday (and Monday holidays), now through March.

You’ve Got the Beat This Month in Taos

During the summer months, Taos comes alive with the sound of music. From rock ’n’ roll to country, swing and more, there’s something for every music lover this month in Taos. Here are a few of our picks for can’t-miss performances:

1. Taos Plaza Live: Every Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. in Taos Plaza you can pull up a lawn chair or spread out a blanket for an evening of live music and dancing. It’s a family affair that brings locals and tourists alike to this historic plaza. And while there is no Taos Plaza Live on July 19, the community will celebrate Fiestas de Taos in the plaza July 20-22. Expect music, dance and a celebration of this community’s historic culture.

2. Taos School of Music: If classical music is more your groove, head over to the Hotel St. Bernard and Taos Community Auditorium for the Taos School of Music’s 55th season. The summer season also features concerts performed by Taos School of Music’s nearly 20 outstanding young artists in Taos and Taos Ski Valley. To learn more about Taos School of Music or order tickets, visit taosschoolofmusic.com.

3. Motet on the Mesa: On July 27-28, you’ll find Motet on the Mesa, an intimate festival that includes two days of music and Taos Mesa Brewing brews. Go for the beats, stay for the starlight camping at a vintage trailer hotel — Hotel Luna Mystica — just steps away from the festival. Click here to learn more.