Nestled against the backdrop of the Sangre De Cristo mountain range, Taos, the town in northern New Mexico's high desert reflects serenity at its best. Prominent for being one of America's bona side Art colonies, it is also in high regard for its world-class skiing and snowboarding, historic landmarks, thriving art, and culture, hiking beautiful trails, prominent peaks stretching across conifers and alpine meadows, Taos is known as "Soul of The Southwest". While the list is long of its rewarding nature, the following reasons are prime for visiting it.

THETRAVEL VIDEO OF THE DAY

Visiting Taos Pueblo & Its Ancient Civilizations

This Native American Site is a world heritage site by UNESCO and it is recognized as a multi-storied home made entirely of adobe. This staggering architecture is deemed to be built five centuries ago. It was in high glory when the Spanish conquered it across 1540 as their belief to find one of the "Seven Cities of Gold".

The peculiar adobe homes over here share a common wall but no connecting doorways and the entrance can be accessed with ladders. The outside surfaces of these houses are replaced with thin layers of mud and the roof is supported by vigas - large timbers from the mountain forests.

This place has captivated artists and photographers since 1920 due to the artist colony formed in nearby Taos and its natural glory. Around 4500 people are estimated to stay in Taos Pueblo where locals sell arts and crafts around the plaza. It is open for visitors most of the year although closes every spring for eight weekends for ceremonial purposes.

The entrance fee is around 16$ per person and it is open from 8 Am to 4 pm for visitors. Artist renderings must have prior approval and no photos of tribal members without permission should be taken.

Taos Pueblo Ceremonies

Religious ceremonies of Taos Pueblo depict the tradition and heart of this place. There are an array of dances such as Turtle Dance, Deer or Buffalo Dance, Matachina dance are similar to ritual performances of Native Americans where dancers wear deer hide capes or preserved buffalo heads. Also, there are feast days such as San Antonio Feast Day, San Juan Feast Day, Santiago Feast Day, and many more where they celebrate it by traditional dances, cultural activities, food, art, and crafts.

Visit The 200-Year-Old San Francisco de Asis Church

Over 200 years, this church still remains intact and beckons artful depictions of rustic architecture. Built by the Franciscan father, this church remained an inspiration for artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams in the 20th century for its adobe contours and sculptural buttresses. It is exemplary of Spanish colonial architecture.

The mysterious 18th-century oil painting, " The Shadow of The Cross By Henri Ault" is still preserved in a controlled environment and can be seen with a fee of 3$ per person. The painting used to mysteriously glow when lights went dark in the church. Apart from this, the annual project of mudding the church to maintain its adobe state still takes place by the parishioners and volunteers called "The Enjarre".

Related: New Paltz Is Home To The Oldest Inhabited Street In The U.S.

Seeking Out The Scenic Rio Grande Gorge Bridge

One remarkable example of engineering is Rio Grande Gorge Bridge which offers a phenomenal view. Regarded as Most Beautiful Steel Bridge by the American Institute of Steel Construction, it has a stunning walking trail along the rim of the gorge. For its extraordinary architecture, it has also appeared in movies such as Terminator Salvation, Wild Hogs, and White Sands. This 1280 feet long and 36 feet wide bridge is 600 feet high.

Stop By Taos Plaza For Culture & Shopping

With a string of quaint buildings basking in their colonial style along with Mission Revival Houses, this plaza has a lovely and laidback style. Settled over 400 years ago, this plaza is brimming with shops, galleries, and cultural events. Hotel La Fonda de Taos has been a part of Taos Plaza since a long time. The event of Fiestas De Santa Ana y Santiago is hosted during the final week of July celebrating the Hispanic heritage of Taos.

Attractions Near Taos Plaza

Even though the place is itself quite a rewarding experience, there are many attractions nearby Taos Plaza making it a fulfilling experience. There are Historic Taos Trolley Tours, Aspen Gallery, Charles Collins Gallery, and Geraint Smith Photography.

Taos Ski Valley Is The Perfect Wintertime Destination

In the secluded mountain range of Sangre De Cristo, Taos Ski Valley resort is the biggest in New Mexico. Heaven for skiers, be it beginners, intermediate or advanced, its snow-coated slopes from Kachina peak makes it gravitating for everyone.

Surely, a place for adventure junkies as it does have an ice rink, ski shops, and ski school. Not only this, the cozy chalets, restaurants, bars set against the mesmerizing scenery give it a different vibe altogether.

The resort boasts some of the best lodging options such as 'The Blake', Alpine Village Suites, Snakedance Condominiums, Alpine Village suites, and many more.

Related : Statistically: 20 Most Dangerous Ski Resorts In The World (No Family Should Consider)

A Bonus Taos Stop: Millicent Rogers Museum

Founded in 1956, this museum exudes the art, culture, history of the southwest of the states and beholds the collection of 7000 objects and artworks. It is named after the fashionista Millicent Rogers who was an ardent collector of Native American jewelry and rugs. The Museum was built in her honor by her youngest son.

From ceramics things, paintings, jewelry, textiles, figurines, pottery this place offers fascinating depth about Native American and Hispanic arts. Indeed an experience of diverse communities that lived in the Southwest for generations.

Next: 10 Small Towns In America That Should Be On Your Travel Bucket List