Most people arrive in Taos by car, which is helpful in getting around town as public transportation is limited. The town is served by a commuter airline, but many visitors fly into Albuquerque. From there, Taos is about a 2 1/2-hour drive. (It's also about an hour from Santa Fe.)
Accommodations: As with any resort community, accommodation prices vary according to the season. Taos has a number of moderately priced chain motels (Best Western, Quality Inn, Ramada Inn and others). The newest high-end property is the El Monte Sagrado Resort, which opened this summer (rooms from $350). But the area is also known for its bed-and-breakfasts, which offer a lot of Southwest atmosphere and flavor. A sampling includes: Casa de las Chimeneas ($150-$325), Adobe & Pines Inn ($95-$195), Taos Country Inn ($115-$145) and American Artists Gallery House ($85-$195).
Food: You would expect to find a lot of Mexican and Tex-Mex food, and you do. But there is also a substantial Mediterranean presence, including both Italian and Greek. Locals flock to such places as Doc Martin's Restaurant at the Historic Taos Inn, Villa Fontana, Los Vaqueros at the Sagebrush Inn (be sure to notice the art collection), Vista Grill, the Old Blinking Light Restaurant and the Apple Tree (it used to be a bordello).
Fun: Ask locals what they do in their spare time, and most mention enjoying the outdoors. Hiking, biking, camping, fishing and golf top summer lists. Skiing and snowmobiling are popular in the winter. A couple of especially popular hiking trails are the Columbine and the William's Lake trails.
But local folks also take advantage of the abundance of art galleries and mention an afternoon at a spa as a great way to relax.
Arts and crafts fairs, festivals and other special gatherings fill up the calendar year-round.
Fall/winter activities: Here's a look at what's on tap in the next few days and months.
Annual Taos Fall Arts Festival, featuring art shows, museum and gallery openings, arts and crafts fair, etc., runs through Sept. 30.
San Geronimo Days, at Taos Pueblo, Sept 29-30.
Taos Mountain Film Festival, Oct. 3-5.
Wool Festival, at Kit Carson Park, Oct. 4-5.
19th Annual Taos Mountain Balloon Rally, Oct. 24-26.
Yuletide in Taos, celebrating holiday traditions of northern New Mexico, Nov. 21-Dec. 31.
21st Annual Yuletide Arts & Crafts Fair, Taos Convention Center, Nov. 28-30.
For more information:
Taos Chamber of Commerce: 1-877-587-8915; www.exploretaos.com
Taos Ski Valley: 1-505-776-2233; www.visitnewmexico.com
Taos Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns: 1-800-939-2215; www.taos-bandb-inns.com
Taos Pueblo: 505-758-1028; www.taospueblo.com