Saturday, July 18, 2015

Taos - Day 2 of "Must See Attractions"

TripAdvisor lists over 70 attractions to see in the Taos area. In recommending "Day Trips" it is my intention to make recommendations of attractions that are on the same route so you can save time and have less driving and fewer problems finding your way around. I quickly learned that what I intended was not an easy task.

WARNING:  If you do all that is planned for "Day 2" in Taos, you will have a very full day. Take your camera!!!!!

If you choose to leave the RV Resort at 9 AM or later I recommend that you make your first stop at Enchanted Circle Pottery which is a little over six miles west of the Angel Fire RV Resort on US Hwy 64. As noted earlier in the June 19, 2015 PUPPY PATHS post, "Enchanted Circle Pottery" has been voted the "Best Art Gallery in New Mexico" for their wood-fired pottery and sculpture. As you head toward Taos it will be on your right. Plan to spend a minimum of 30-45 minutes with Kevin and Jo. If possible, they will be glad to take you on a tour and share with you the entire process of their skilled craft.

Taos - Day 2's First Attraction:  Enchanted Circle Pottery

Enchanted Circle Pottery
Kevin & Jo DeKeuster, Owners
26871 East US Hwy 64
Taos, NM  87571
(575) 737-9640

Continue west for fourteen more miles on US Hwy 64 and your next attraction, the Kit Carson Home and Museum, will also be on your right as you come into Taos. As you come into Taos there will be a four way stop at about mile 20 of your journey. There is limited metered parking so you may want to park at the free public parking lot that is on your left 2/10 mi. before the Kit Carson Home and Museum. The lot is about 1/10 mi. from the four-way stop. 

I usually drive by the Kit Carson Home to the stop light at NM 68 & US 64. I turn right and go a couple of blocks on US 64 and there will be free on the street parking on both sides of the street. I then walk back to the Kit Carson home and visit the shops going and coming. The Taos Plaza and all its stores is across the street from the stop light. There is a lot to see and do.

Taos - Day 2's Second Attraction:  The Kit Carson Home & Museum

The Kit Carson Home & Museum
113 Kit Carson Road/US Hwy 64
Taos, NM
(575) 758-4945

You enter the Kit Carson Home & Museum through the courtyard which is to the right of the flagpole between the two buildings shown above.

The Kit Carson Home & Museum has a twenty minute film on Kit Carson produced by the History Channel. Allow enough time to watch this excellent film.

Edward Wallace brings Jim Beckwourth to life!!

Evin, our RVing friend Sherry and I were in luck this weekend. Edward Wallace, a professional actor, as a part of the Kit Carson Home & Museum's Summer Lecture Series, presented an entertaining, educational and historically accurate portrayal of one our forgotten heroes, James Pierson Beckwourth. 

Born a slave, Jim Beckwourth went on to found Pueblo, Colorado, trap beaver with contemporaries Kit Carson and Jim Bridger, and discover a pass over the Sierra Madre Mountains, which helped open the way for immigrants traveling to California. His other exploits include owning a hotel in Santa Fe, running a trading post in Taos, and becoming Chief of the Mountain Crows.

When you finish your visit to the Kit Carson Home & Museum take enough time to visit some of the shops and galleries on Kit Carson Road. You are only a block away from the Taos Plaza. Since you are parked, take in all the art that Taos has to offer. 

Below is the  "Must See" Best of Taos "Living Light Gallery" of award winning photographer, Lenny Foster. His gallery is just a few doors down from the Kit Carson Home before you get to the stop light at NM 68 and where US 64 West turns right.

Lenny Foster's Living Light Gallery
107 Kit Carson Road
Taos, NM 87571
(575) 737-9150

Don't leave Lenny's Living Light Gallery without seeing his spider web & white horse photo or his study of "Healing Hands"!!

Copper Moon Gallery
Diana Miller. Owner
105 Kit Carson Road
Taos, NM  87571
(575) 758-8833

The above painting is by Artist Jim Keffer who is from Oklahoma. He worked for many years in a Firestone factory making tires, all the time struggling with a life-long urge and drive to paint. In the 1970's Keffer visited an art museum for the first time and bought a book on the French colorist Pierre Bonnard. If you look up Bonnard's still life paintings there is one with apples and one with fruit that has a very similar use of color as seen in the above painting by Keffer. He learned well from one of the masters.

My photo does not do justice to his painting. Diana's gallery is well worth visiting, as is Lenny Foster's. They just happen to be next door to one another just a few steps west of the Kit Carson Home & Museum. Take time to treat yourself to a visual experience.

Taos - Day 2's Third Attraction:  San Francisco de Asis Mission Church & Ranchos de Taos Shops & Restaurants

San Francisco de Asis Mission Church

The church was built between 1772 and 1816. It is located on the plaza in Ranchos de Taos which is about four miles south of Taos on NM Hwy 68 or Paseo del Pueblo Sur.

As you leave the Kit Carson Home & Museum continue west for one block to the stop light and intersection of US Hwy 64 West/Kit Carson Road and NM 68/Paseo del Pueblo. Turn left on Paseo del Pueblo Sur and go approximately four miles. You will come to a stop light and the church will be on your left after you go through the light. The church is directly across the street from Old Martina's Hall which is easier to see and is on your right.

San Francisco de Asis Mission Church is one of the most photographed and painted buildings in the United States. It was a favorite subject of many famous photographers and artists including Ansel Adams and Georgia O'Keeffe.

There are several restaurants, art galleries, native jewelry and gift shops in the immediate area of the church. Take time to walk around. Ranchos de Taos, it is a great place to have lunch and shop.

68 Ranchos Plaza
Ranchos de Taos, NM
(575) 758-4101

Art, books, curios and paintings & collage by Artist/Owner Robert Cafazzo.

Levi Son Jewerly
66 St. Francis Church Plaza
Ranchos de Taos, NM
(575) 758-1668

Chimayo Trading Del Norte
1 St. Francis Church Plaza
Ranchos de Taos, NM
(575) 758-0504 

Velvet and Horns
70 St. Francis Church Plaza
Ranchos de Taos, NM
(575) 758-3335

Tucked back is the entrance to a neat shop, Velvet and Horns, that should not be missed on your visit. Marie has hand-crafted jewerly, antiques & curios, works by local artisans and rustic furnishings.

Annie Coe, Artist



Ranchos Plaza Grill
8 Ranchos Plaza
Ranchos De Taos, MM
(575) 758-5788

Evin, our friend Sherry and I ate lunch at Ranchos Plaza Grill and it was outstanding. We really enjoyed our meals. Some of the best New Mexican fare that I have eaten in the Southwest. It is a locals favorite and really does the business!! When we were there a line started to form a little before the restaurant reopened at 5 PM. It is that popular.

Old Martina's Hall
4140 NM Hwy 68
Ranchos de Taos, NM
Closed Tuesdays
(575) 758-3003

Directly across the street from the church is Old Martina's Hall. Originally named Old Martinez Hall, it dates back to 1769 and is part of Ranchos de Taos Plaza and was part of the fortress that surrounded it. It was recently remodeled and now serves as a fine restaurant and entertainment hall. 

One of the best cheese burgers we have tried to date in the Southwest!!

Great Ruben!!

Key lime cheese cake!!
As shown below, the desserts are works of art!!

Evin and I have had the blueberry/strawberry tart and the key lime cheese cakes desserts so far. Both were wonderful!!!!! The desserts are baked in house at Old Martina's Hall. We plan to go back soon for breakfast or lunch or dinner. OR ALL THREE!!

Check the Old Martina's Hall website, for menu, business hours, special musical events and dates of art exhibits.

Taos - Day 2's Fourth Attraction:  La Hacienda del los Martinez

La Hacienda del los Martinez
708 Hacienda Way (off of Lower Ranchitos Road)
Taos, NM  87571
(575) 758-1000

When you leave Ranchos de Taos go back north on NM Hwy 68 for fifty yards or so toward Taos to the stop light and turn left on NM State Road 240. Follow the directional signs for La Hacienda del los Martinez. It is four miles to the entrance which will be on your left.

Hacienda de los Martinez, along with the E. L. Blumenschein Home & Museum, is part of Taos Historic Museums. A saver card for a reduced admission price to each attraction is available. Call the above number or check for hours, prices and general information.  

When you leave Hacienda de los Martinez you turn left on NM Hwy 240/Lower Ranchitos to return to Taos and our next attractions, the Blumenschein Museum and the Harwood Museum of Art. The museums are off NM Hwy 240 on Ledoux Street but it is a one way street that connects in both directions to NM Hwy 240 and runs in an east to west direction. There is a small parking lot for the Harwood Museum that you can enter off NM Hwy 240/Ranchitos. It is approximately two miles from Hacienda de los Martinez to the entrance to the parking lot which will be on your right.

The Harwood Museum of Art
238 Ledoux Street, Taos, NM
(575) 758-9826

If you have any appreciation for art at all, then you are in for a real treat at the Harwood Museum of Art. For us, it was two hours well spent. Check their website for current hours and special exhibits.

There was beauty outside as well as inside The Harwood Museum of Art!!

Above is the view you will have coming down Ledoux Street. The Harwood Museum of Art parking lot will be on your right.

Last, but not least is the Blumenschein Home and Museum as seen below...

E.L. Blumenshein Home and Museum
222 Ledoux Street
Taos, NM  87571
(575) 758-0505

The Ernest L. Blumenschein Home and Museum celebrates the lives and art of Ernest L. Blumenschein, Mary Shepherd Greene Blumenschein, and their daughter Helen. It also commemorates the formation of the Taos Society of Artists and the establishment of Taos as a world-renowned art colony.

Today, the entire home is furnished with the Blumenscheins' original belongings. Room were arranged by Helen to be much as they had been when the family was living there.

A very full day with lots to see!!!!


  1. Lovely. The church is so clean and simple. Beautiful grounds.

    1. I agree with you Debbie. I have added some black & white photos to go along with the color photos of the church.