5 Reasons Why Taos, NM Is a Cool Summer Destination

While many consider Taos, New Mexico, to be a popular wintertime destination, summer is an enchanting time of year, too. So why not make a plan to break free from the humidity, and escape to what’s appropriately known as the Soul of the Southwest for cool-ish temperatures and spellbinding adventures? 

Well, if you need more convincing than that, here are the five reasons why Taos, New Mexico, is a cool summer destination. 

1. World-class hiking.

taos nm is a cool summer destination

If you’re an outdoor adventure-loving family, you’re in luck. Set upon the high desert mesa of Northern New Mexico and placed squarely at the feet of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos is home to family-friendly hiking trails. With both incredible views and generous terrain, even those with little legs in your travel crew can tag along!

  • Bull of the Woods Trail: This 1.7-mile journey is accessible from the Taos Ski Valley parking lot and takes you to the breathtaking Bull of the Woods pasture. If you have tired kiddos, this is a great place to soak in the view and turn back before it gets steep.  
  • Carson National Forest to Hike the Williams Lake Trail: Arguably, the most popular for families, Williams Lake Trail offers the perfect combo for you to pack some grub and be on your way to the natural lake for a picnic. And with Carson National Forest as your backdrop the whole way, outdoor enthusiasts will love exploring this prime example of pristine American wilderness with year-round recreational activities such as fishing, camping, and hiking.
  • Taos Valley Overlook Trails: Elevation too much? No problem. Venture to lower terrain on the public Taos Valley Overlook Trails, offering plenty of options that fall into the “Easy” trail category. 

2. Live music & festivals.

taos nm is a cool summer destination

Can you think of a better way to immerse yourself in the culture than by kicking back to the sounds of local musicians and fun festivals? We can’t either. And this town won’t disappoint while you’re in town to relax this summer. 

  • Town of Taos Plaza: Come out to enjoy free music every Thursday night during the summer months. Bring your chairs or spread out a blanket. Then, lean back and relax!  
  • KTAOS Solar Center: This nationally-recognized live music venue houses not only two of the region’s most popular radio stations but also a full-service bar and restaurant called The Station Bar. Its year-round, climate-controlled pavilion, dance floor (largest in northern New Mexico), and live music makes this venue the perfect place to land for a fun family outing! 
  • Taos Pueblo Pow Wow: Should you happen to be visiting in mid-July, you won’t want to miss the Taos Pueblo Pow Wow. This memorable, awe-inspiring, three-day event is where members of Indian tribes throughout the country gather in Taos to compete in traditional dance competitions. Crafts booths and food vendors ring the pow wow circle so you can fuel up and find some handmade pieces to take back home. Children 10 and under get in for free! 

3. Unique, yet unforgettable experiences. 

taos nm is a cool summer destination

With the name of “The Land of Enchantment,” how can you not expect it to be unique? Taos is otherworldly, magical, and exciting. And there’s no place like it. If you’re up for it, and we hope you are, there are some unforgettable adventures to be had here. 

  • Soar in the sky in a hot air balloon: See the sights from above with Pueblo Balloon Company or Eske’s Paradise Balloons. While it can be a pricey investment, especially if you’re traveling with kids in tow, making room in your vacation budget for this unforgettable experience (thanks to the savings you’ll rack up with a suite stay—more on that in a minute) will prove to be worthwhile.
  • Take a llama to lunch: Yes, this is another opportunity that will require you to fork over some of your hard-earned cash. But it’s a high-quality wilderness experience with Wild Earth Llama Adventures you won’t find anywhere else because you’ll be hiking with llamas! 
    • Note: this is ideal if you have older kids in your travel crew because children must be able to hike approximately 5 miles, sometimes in steep and rugged terrain, at altitudes above 7,000′. 
  • Embark on a ghost tour. Given that the town of Taos is rich in culture and history, it’s surely not without its spirits and stories. Go through the streets and alleyways of paranormal Taos Plaza with Ghosts of Taos to encounter a different side of this destination. 

4. Art and architecture. 

Did you know that Taos is regarded as one of America’s top artist colonies? Numerous art museums and a wide range of galleries ensure the best in local paintings, jewelry, and traditional crafts are always on display. And not only that but given that the town has a history dating back to the 1500s, there’s plenty of Pueblo architecture to set your sights on.

  • Tour Taos Pueblo: this living Native American community located at the base of the beautiful Sangre de Cristo Mountain range is buzzing with culture dating back more than 1,000 years. 
  • Go on a Gallery Walk: Between the weavings, paintings, and sculptures of local artists, there are more than a hundred galleries in this town. So, while that would undoubtedly take a while for you to admire the work of every single artist, we recommend you start on Kit Carson Road to step into historical adobe buildings that house, you guessed it, one-of-a-kind galleries and stores. 
  • Explore the Ranchos Church: Considered the icon of Northern New Mexico, the all-adobe San Francisco de Asis Church, known as Ranchos Church, is an inspiration to many onlookers. In fact, artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams, and Paul Strand have crafted works of the sanctuary, making it even more famous.

5. Local tastes. 

Following all of your outdoor activities, you’re sure to work up an appetite! The good news is, there are plenty of flavorful local options to satisfy any palate. Here are some favorites:

  • Adobe Bar: Considered the “Living Room of Taos,” venture here to grab a bite of simple, yet local foods from New Mexico—from fry bread to queso fundido, blue corn chicken enchiladas, tacos, and more. And, of course, wash it all down with a world-class Cowboy Buddha margarita!
  • Rolling Still Spirits – The Lounge: Looking to sip on the spirit of Taos? Head downtown to The Lounge by Rolling Still Spirits for carefully crafted cocktails and small plates filled with flavor thanks to locally-sourced ingredients.
  • Michael’s Kitchen Restaurant & Bakery: When you need to satisfy the sweet tooth of those in your travel crew, this is the spot to go for the best desserts, ranging from brownies to danishes, cookies, donuts, and more. Or, if you need another lunch or dinner option, try the Green Chile Stew here as green chiles are a popular ingredient in Taos!

READ MORE: 5 Mountain Towns With Summer Fun Your Family Won’t Want to Miss

Where should you stay? 

taos nm is a cool summer destination

There’s no doubt about it. Wyndham Taos will be the perfect home away from home! Here’s why we think you’ll love staying here:

  • This resort sits on the grounds of artist Nicolai Fechin’s famed estate!
  • If you’re a nature lover, you’ll especially enjoy the nearby Wheeler Peak Wilderness Area, complete with hiking trails.
  • Have kids in tow? They’ll appreciate the two seasonal pools, one of them specially designed for them!
  • Take your pick from spacious and affordable studio and one-bedroom suite options, complete with a mini kitchen and plenty of home comforts. 

Convinced that Taos has all the adventures your outdoor-loving travel tribe need this summer? Well, what are you waiting for? Let our team help you book your stress-free family vacay and send you off to find your happy place in Taos! 

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