Two Days in Taos New Mexico – Best Things to Do & See (By A Travel Expert)

Looking to spend Two Days in Taos, New Mexico? Want to know more about the best things to do and see during your stay?

We recently spent two days in Taos (pronounced ‘Tause’ like house). During our stay, we were able to experience the blend of the culture, history, and natural beauty.

Taos New Mexico offers a blend of history, culture and natural beauty.

In this guide, we will provide a practical itinerary to help you make the most of your short stay in Taos. Whether you’re interested in exploring historic adobe structures, experiencing the local art scene, embarking on outdoor adventures, or simply relaxing, Taos caters to many interests.

An example of native American art - the Last Supper.

Get ready to uncover the charm of this New Mexican gem, without missing out on any of its must-see things to do.

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Where to Stay Two Days in Taos

For this trip, we wanted to stay close to the town center, Taos Plaza. We like to walk to the shops, galleries, and restaurants (without always taking the car).  Taos offers a range of accommodations from bed-and-breakfast inns to modern hotels

We wanted more of the southwestern charm, so we opted for the Casa Benavides Inn.  It was in a terrific location, had free parking and provided a delicious breakfast each morning. 

When staying two days in Taos, the Casa Benavides Inn has a beautiful courtyard with fountain and fireplace.

Each room was unique with a variety of Southwestern art and furnishings. The courtyard, with a fountain and fireplace, was a perfect place to relax. 

My Travel Resources

These are places that I use when planning a trip:

📍Flights:  WayAway
📍Hotel Bookings: Booking.com
📍Vacation Rentals: VRBO
📍Rental Cars: DiscoverCars.com
📍Tours: Viator, Get Your Guide, and Go City
📍Travel Insurance: VisitorsCoverage

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Two Days in Taos – Things to Do & See Itinerary

DAY 1

We started our day with a visit to the Kit Carson Museum, which is a 1-minute walk from our bed and breakfast, Casa Benavides.

Kit Carson Museum

A visit to the Kit Carson Museum offers a glimpse into the life of one of the American West’s legendary figures.  The museum was the home of the famous frontiersman. It showcases a collection of artifacts, memorabilia and exhibits that shed light on Kit Carson’s adventurous life as a trapper, scout, and guide. 

This is the home of Kit Carson who was a famous frontiersman in the southwest.

The museum tour starts with a 20-minute video on the life of Kit Carson. I found the video to be very helpful in understanding who he was.  We proceeded into the Spanish Colonial-style home built in 1825.  It was small but had some interesting furnishings and artifacts. 

Kit Carson was the founder of the Mason Bent Lodge in Taos.

Kit Carson was a Freemason, and the museum manager is happy to shed more light on Kit’s connection with the organization.

➡️ Open Tuesday to Saturday 11:00am to 4:00pm, Sunday 12:00pm to 4pm / Cost: $10.00 adult, $8.00 seniors, $7.00 veterans, students, and groups


Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

From downtown Taos, we drove to the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge which is 10 miles northwest of the town.  This is a steel arch bridge which is the second highest bridge on the U.S. Highway System.  The bridge stands 650 feet above the Rio Grande River.

The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge is made of steel and is the 2nd highest bridge in the US Highway System.

The best way to see the bridge is to drive west across the bridge and go to the visitors parking lot.  The lot has picnic tables, restrooms and vendors selling local ware.

We were able to view the structure of the bridge from the parking lot.  Then, we walked across the bridge.  The views of the river and the landscape were breathtaking, and the walk was considered thrilling for some but terrifying for me.

The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge stands 650 feet about the river.

I realized that I have height issues.  So, I held onto dear life (and my husband) when looking down into the gorge.  The bridge also rattles when vehicles pass by which added to the thrill.


Millicent Rogers Museum

On the way back into downtown Taos, we stopped to visit the Millicent Rogers Museum.  This museum houses a collection of Native American art, jewelry, textiles, and pottery. 

Additionally, the museum showcases the personal collection of Millicent Rogers who is known for her appreciation of Native American art.  Depending on your interest in museums, you can spend up to 2 hours exploring the exhibits.  Well worth a visit in a beautiful and tranquil setting.

➡️ Open Daily 10:00am to 5:00pm/ Cost: $15.00 & $18.00 for Docent-Led Tours


Where to Eat in Taos – Day 1

There are lots of places to eat in Taos that have the Southwest flavors and the New Mexican cuisine.  While walking around Taos Plaza, we had lunch at The Gorge Bar and Grill.  They have a very nice patio that overlooks the Plaza.

The Taos Plaza is the center of the Taos with shops, art galleries and restaurants surrounding the Plaza.
Taos Plaza

At the end of our touring day, we wanted something easy and relaxing, so we went to the Taos Mesa Brewery Taos Tap Room.   It is a perfect place for a beer and a wood-fired pizza.  They also make excellent cannoli for dessert!  They are open till 9pm and do not take reservations. The brewery is an easy walk from the Casa Benavides Inn.

DAY 2

After a good breakfast at Casa Benavides Inn, we started our day at Taos Pueblo.

Taos Pueblo

This is a must see when visiting Taos!  A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historic Landmark, the Taos Pueblo is an active Native American community depicting life in adobe dwellings that have been inhabited for over 1,000 years.

The Taos Pueblo has been inhabited for over 1,000 years.

The Taos Pueblo is less than a 10-minute drive from the Taos Plaza.  We arrived in the morning and had no problems parking.  The walking area in the Pueblo is dirt and gravel with uneven surfaces.  For people with mobility issues, like my dad, we were able to get a wheelchair from the Admissions Office, which made the visit a million times easier.

The best way to see the Pueblo is to take a free 30-minute docent-led tour.  Our tour started at the St. Jerome Church and the guide took us around the Pueblo explaining the history of the land and its people.

The St. Jerome Church in Taos Pueblo was built in 1850 and it was the starting point for our docent led tour.

After the tour ended, we freely roamed through the area where locally made crafts and jewelry were available for sale.

Fried Bread in Taos Pueblo

There are several places for food and beverages.  Each place offered Fried Bread, also known as “frybread”, which is a staple of the cuisine of the people of Taos Pueblo.  The tradition of making frybread has historical roots, often tied to the forced relocation and resettlement of Native American communities during the 19th century.

When the Native Americans were placed on reservations and faced limited access to their traditional foods, they had to make do with the government-issued rations, which included flour, sugar, and lard.

Fried Bread is a staple of the pueblo cuisine.

Frybread emerged as a way to make use of these basic ingredients and create a substantial and easily portable food source.  We tried it and it was pretty good!

We spent over two hours exploring and admiring the Taos Mountain in the background and the Red Willow Creek that runs through the center of the Pueblo.

The Red Willow River runs through the center of the Taos Pueblo and provides a main source of fresh water.

➡️ Open Daily 9:00am to 4:00pm/Cost: $25.00, Seniors & Students $22.00


San Francisco de Asis Catholic Mission Church

The drive from Taos Pueblo to the mission church took approximately 25 minutes.

This historic church dates to the 18th century and is an example of Pueblo-style construction. It is characterized by its massive adobe walls, mud plaster, and iconic buttresses.

Its unique silhouette and design have made it a subject of fascination for artists and photographers, most notably Georgia O’Keeffe and Ansel Adams, who captured its spiritual and architectural essence.  This church is the most photographed church in the USA.

The San Francisco de Asis Mission Church in Taos is the most photographed church in the USA.

Photography of the interior of the church is not permitted.  The focal point is the altar with the carved wooden altar screens (reredos). 

From all the photos that I had previously seen of this church, I thought it was alone in the high desert.  But it is surrounded by buildings with a parking lot behind it and a lot in front of it.  Just wanted to let you know before you visit the site.

➡️ Open to Visitors Monday to Saturday 9:00am to 4:00pm/Mass on Sunday at 8am and 10am


Santuario de Chimayo Church

About 90 minutes south of Taos is the Santuario de Chimayo Church.  It is along the scenic High Road to Taos in the high desert.  This is a pilgrimage church built in the 19th century.

The Santuario de Chimayo Church was built in the 19th century and is a pilgrimage destination.

It is known for its “Holy Dirt” found in a small well (el pocito) within a side chapel attached to the church.  The sacred soil is believed to possess the power to cure ailments and offer spiritual healing.

When we went into the chapel, there were photos along the walls as well as crutches of those who have been cured by the Holy Dirt.  We entered the small room with a hole in the floor and collected our dirt – remember to bring a bag.  Pamphlets are provided explaining the prayers to recite when using the Holy Dirt.

This is the entrance to the side chapel that has the room with the Holy Dirt well.

The main church or Santuario is built in the adobe style and the interior is wooden with altar screens.  No photography is permitted inside the church.  

Next to the church is a museum with religious paintings and sculptures.  This is a good place to learn the historical significance of the discovery of the crucifix of Our Lord of Esquipulas which is why the dirt is holy.

The museum alongside the Santuario de Chimayo houses many religious paintings and artifacts.

➡️ Open to Visitors Daily 9:00am to 5:00pm/Mass on Sunday at 12pm


Where to Eat in Taos – Day 2

While we were waiting for the wedding to end when visiting San Francisco de Asis Catholic Mission Church, we walked around the plaza and had lunch at Ranchos Plaza Grill.  It has a Southwestern menu, and the guacamole and chips are very good.  They do not serve alcohol.

For a late afternoon cocktail, we went to The Alley Cantina off Taos Plaza for drinks and chips.  The Cantina is in the oldest building in Taos. The atmosphere is lively, and the bar is beautiful.

For dinner, we went to Lambert’s of Taos which is more upscale serving contemporary American cuisine.  Reservations are highly recommended, and we were able to walk to the restaurant from the Casa Benavides Inn.

Getting to Taos

Getting to Taos depends on your starting point and mode of transportation.  If flying, the nearest major airport to Taos is Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ), which is approximately 135 miles (217 kilometers) south of Taos. From there, you can rent a car and drive to Taos, which takes about 2.5 to 3 hours.

During our trip to Taos, we flew into Denver, stayed a couple of days in Colorado Springs and then drove to Taos. 

Road map from Colorado Springs to Taos New Mexico for our two days in Taos trip.

The ride was less than 4 hours and we had amazing views while driving through the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Two Days in Taos New Mexico: FAQs

The following are frequently asked questions about visiting Taos.

Is Taos NM worth visiting?

Yes, Taos is worth visiting.  Taos is an enchanting Southwestern town that has history, natural beauty, and lots of art.  There is something for everyone in Taos.

What is the best time of year to visit Taos New Mexico?

May to June and September to October are generally the best times to visit.  But we were there in August and did not have any issues with being too busy or too hot.  The days were warm, and the nights were cool.

What is Taos famous for?

Taos is famous for its rich Native American and Spanish colonial heritage, adobe architecture and vibrant art scene, as well as its nearby ski resorts.

Is Taos New Mexico walkable?

Yes, Taos is walkable.  Our Inn was near Taos Plaza, and we were able to easily walk around downtown and visit the shops and galleries.

When can you see fall colors in Taos?

The fall colors typically peak from late September to early October, making this period the ideal time to witness the beautiful transformation of the region’s foliage.

What to wear in Taos New Mexico?

During the summer, shorts, T-shirts along with a hat and sunglasses are ideal for the daytime and into the early evening.  A light sweater or jacket may be needed once the sun goes down.  In the winter, warm clothing is needed.  Dressing in layers is the best way to handle the colder days.

Final Thoughts: Two Days in Taos New Mexico – Best Things to Do & See

We had always wanted to visit Taos and finally made it happen.  During our two days in Taos, we saw all of the major sites and had some good meals along the way. Our Inn was in a perfect location, close to Taos Plaza and in walking distance to shops, galleries and restaurants.

The landscape around Taos is visually striking with the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east and the wide expanses of the high desert with scrub brushes surrounding the town.  The way the adobe style homes and buildings blend harmoniously in with the landscape contributes to the charm of Taos.

This enchanting Southwestern town, often referred to as the “Soul of the Southwest,” is a place where time seems to stand still, where the traditions of Native American and Spanish heritage converge, and where artistic expression thrives amid the arid landscapes. If you’re seeking a brief but unforgettable escape from the ordinary, spending two days in Taos promises a journey of discovery and serenity like no other.

If you would like assistance in planning your trip to Taos, New Mexico, we would be happy to help.  Please refer to our Travel Planning services for further information.