5 reasons to visit Taos, New Mexico, this summer

Taos NM
Taos, New Mexico is part-desert town, part-mountain town. Photo: Ellen Wright
When most people think of New Mexico, images of Walter White from Breaking Bad probably come to mind.

While the state has indeed embraced tourism from the popular series, there is so much to know about the enchanted land.

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Taos is about a two-and-a-half hour drive from Albuquerque, which is home to the state’s largest airport, but it’s a world away from the suburban landscape painted by Breaking Bad.

Here are five reasons to make the trek to Taos during the summer.

The Rio Grande

A photo posted by Мιℓσ (@milomonster) on

The Rio Grande harkens back to the Wild West. It snakes through New Mexico and the Rio Grande Gorge is located close to Taos.

The river offers tons of outdoor activities, including fly fishing, rafting and hiking.

New Mexico Adventures has whitewater rafting adventures in the remote canyons known as the Taos Box.

For those wanting a mellow, unguided tour, there are tons of serene river beaches you can hike to.

Keep an eye out for poison ivy, which grows along parts of the river.

Hunting for chanterelle mushrooms

Wild chantarelles can be found high in the mountains in Taos. Photo: Courtesy of Aivar Ruukel/Flickr
After the spring and summer rains, chanterelle mushrooms dot the mountains and are fun to forage for.

Be extremely careful though as eating some wild mushrooms can have disastrous consequences.

For the most up-to-date information on where your best chantarelle bet is, talk to park rangers who can likely point you in the right direction.

Even if your foraging mission is a bust, spending time in the mountain fields is one of the best ways to see Taos.

Stop for Ice Cream at the Taos Cow Ice Creamery

Having a cow over this pistachio white chocolate ice cream

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The Taos Creamery is all about southwestern flavors of organic ice cream, like Piñon Caramel or lavender.

The ice cream shop serves as one of the unofficial hubs for the Arroyo Seco and is a great place to get not just a taste of ice cream, but a taste of the local community.

It’s at the base of the Taos Ski Valley and is the perfect place to fuel up after a hot summer hike.

The creamery also serves up non-GMO lunch options.

Green chiles

green chiles
Green chiles are a flavor staple in New Mexico. Photo: Courtesy of Kartografia/Flickr
New Mexico is known for its hot peppers. Both red and green chiles grow in abundance in the state but green chiles are harder to come by outside of New Mexico.

Pretty much every local restaurant has some variant on a green chile dish, from an egg scramble topped with green chile to a burrito smothered in green chile sauce.

It’s simple enough to get your green chile fill and be sure to grab some to take home!

Admire the adobe structures

incredible sights & interesting people

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The Taos Pueblo is full of multi-story adobe structures. In between your green chile meals, be sure to enjoy the unique architecture throughout the pueblo.

The city has an ordinance stating that all buildings must be adobe-style and the result is charming.

You’ll feel transported to a time of moonshine and cowboys.

Amateur and professional photographers alike will have a ball snapping the structures.

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