Take A Trip To Taos: A BUST Travel Guide

by Paige Davidson

When I was a kid, my family would load up in the station wagon and drive to northern New Mexico, where my dad would make us roll down the windows to smell the desert air. Back then I rolled my eyes, but now that’s exactly what I do during my yearly pilgrimage to northern New Mexico to unwind and soak up artistic inspiration. A trip to Taos, and the surrounding area, is the perfect way to tune out the world and reconnect with the land and yourself. This part of the state’s got sweeping vistas and laid-back vibes, plus hikes galore, delicious bites and drinks, and more art than you can manage.

Paige Davidson living her best Taos life 


Start with a sunrise hike in the Rio Grande Gorge, where you can often see hot air balloons passing overhead. (I take my painting supplies with me ’cause the scenery is phenomenal.) If, like me, you prefer to keep your feet on the ground, the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge also offers thrilling views down into the expanse. After working up an appetite, head to Manzanita Market for an organic, locally sourced breakfast. This little gem, with its brightly whitewashed interior, is a local hangout ideal for people-watching. Menu favorites include breakfast tacos and blue corn pancakes. Their little market includes special handmade gifts and books from local makers.

Agnes Martin Gallery at The Harwood Museum 


Before you arrive in Taos, schedule a portrait appointment with local artist Nicole Katzman of Taos Tintype. She uses wet plate collodion photography to create heirloom tintype photographs and her studio is just across the street from Manzanita Market. Then head to the Harwood Museum. There you can visit the Agnes Martin Gallery, which features seven of the famed abstract expressionist’s paintings (the peach tree in the garden marks the spot where her ashes were spread). Look for the work of the Taos Society of Artists, too. Another interesting stop is the Taos Pueblo, a living Native American community for more than a thousand years featuring beautiful adobe buildings.

Taos Tintype portrait of Davidson 
Hotel Luna Mystica 


For dinner, the chile rellenos at Doc Martin’s are a must—blue-corn-beer-battered Anaheim chiles stuffed with cheese and topped with goat cheese crema and pepitas. Pair them with the chile-infused El Chupa Cabra margarita. Or enjoy the sweeping mountain views from the large patio of Medley, a restaurant with a laid-back atmosphere serving dishes like lamb chops with golden raisin gastrique and ahi tuna tostadas. Taos offers a ton of funky little places to lay your head, like Hotel Luna Mystica, a vintage trailer hotel on the starlit Taos Mesa, or the Sagebrush Inn, with its “artist loft” room that Georgia O’Keeffe lived in for a time.

Doc Martin’s chile rellenos 

Treasure Hunting in Taos:

Two Graces: A bookstore/curio store/gallery with quirky vintage finds and wonderful books including an excellent selection of used art tomes at great prices.

Coyote Moon: This shop has a vibrant collection of block prints and jewelry, Mexican folk art, and the work of many Pueblo, Zuni, and Navajo artists. 

MoMo Taos: Locally handcrafted jewelry and vintage Native American pieces make this beautiful art gallery worth a visit.

The Rio Chama in Abiquiu


People have flocked to Ojo for the town’s legendary therapeutic geothermal pools for ages. The Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa is one of America’s oldest spas, where a day pass lets you soak in a variety of mineral-rich pools and enjoy the eucalyptus steam room, Himalayan salt sauna, cliffside views, and plentiful sunflowers. Just behind the hot springs is a trailhead with access to miles of high desert land for hiking and biking. Their Artesian Restaurant offers food made with fresh produce from their enormous garden, and the rocking chairs that line the historic hotel’s porch are perfect for enjoying a glass of wine and a book.


Abiquiu is the little village southwest of Taos where Georgia O’Keeffe eventually made her home, which you can tour. But before you do that, grab a foil-wrapped green chili breakfast burrito at Bode’s General Store, then drive 15 miles or so west to Ghost Ranch, an absolutely wondrous place with hiking trails through a storied landscape where dinosaurs, Native Americans, cattle rustlers, dude ranchers, artists, and movie casts have all roamed. I like to walk the labyrinth or sit with my watercolor set and watch the bunnies hop by. They offer sunset horseback rides and sketching tours in areas not open to the public as well as creative workshops from pottery to hat or jewelry making. 

Then visit the Georgia O’Keeffe Home and Studio, a pueblo-style adobe hacienda with enviable views, a modern aesthetic, and an elaborate garden. For dinner, order a large supreme pizza at the unassuming Mamacita’s Pizzeria, where Mamacita will serve you with her no-nonsense personality—I promise the pizza is worth it. Grab a beer from the divey Los Caminos Bar two doors down while you wait.

Ghost Ranch

Top Photo: Ghost Ranch Labyrinth


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Founded in 1993, BUST is the inclusive feminist lifestyle trailblazer offering a unique mix of humor, female-focused entertainment, uncensored personal stories, and candid reporting that tells the truth about women’s lives.

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