Taos, New Mexico: The Perfect Vacation Place

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Growing up, my favorite places in the whole wide world were pretty much in my own backyard: the historical section of Fredericksburg, Virginia; the awesome cherry blossoms and delicatessens in Washington, D.C., and my grandparent’s apartment in Newark, New Jersey. My tastes have broadened a bit. Currently I’m living in fabulous Rome, Italy and I’ve been fortunate to live in a variety of beautiful places and have traveled extensively, but I’m often asked, where is the perfect place to go for vacation? There’s only one response: Taos, New Mexico.

If you like art, history, skiing, green chilies, and hot springs, head for Taos. This magical community is home to more than 20 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, including Taos Pueblo with its 1000 years of tradition, one of America’s oldest continuously inhabited communities, and a World Heritage site.

I can’t tell you how many times I have thought about writing about Taos in this column but just could not decide exactly when to do it. Should I feature it in the winter for its skiing, or during the spring for its art festivals, or during the summer for the music scene? Taos Pueblo is one of the most inspiring places on earth with incredible festivals and celebrations. In winter (January) there’s The Buffalo Dance; in spring (May) is the Santa Cruz Feast Day; July is the Annual Taos Pueblo Pow-Wow; and September is San Geronimo Day and much more. What makes these so very special is that every event is held for the community, not as entertainment for tourists. These are customs and traditional dances that allow public spectators. It is an honor to see these dances and applause is inappropriate.

Finally I decided to just tell you all about it because if you haven’t been to Taos, anytime is a great time to go. I lived there for four months as a writing fellow at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation. I had my own beautiful little bungalow and my neighbors were a composer from New York City and a poet and pianist from Hungary.  If you are a writer, artist, photographer or composer, perhaps you’d like to apply for a fellowship .

 Valdez estate rental - Tree House in Summer

If you simply want to visit, there are a multitude of housing options from treehouse rentals to totally off the grid, very green accommodations. There’s the Fairytale Tree Cottage on the Rio Honda Estates, a 13.5-acre working alpaca farm. Llama trekking is a great way to explore the area mountains. Taos Ski Valley’s rugged beauty provides excellent winter and spring skiing. I don’t ski but I love driving up the mountain and visiting there.

There’s the home and museum of Georgia O’Keeffe along with a multitude of galleries, unique shops, and spa treatments. One of my favorite places to visit is Earthship. The biotecture community is called “radically sustainable” and I have never seen anything else like it anywhere. Lama Foundation, founded in 1967, is a spiritual community that attracts people from all around the world and you can stay there or visit.

Most of all, Taos is a place to totally relax and enjoy. I love the many double rainbows and sunbows along with the fajitas and tacos at Orlando’s along with the green chile beer at Eske’s Bar. Have a great time and be sure to tell me all about it.

Image result for taos rainbows


  • Sheryl Kayne is a writer, editor, educator, and motivational speaker. She is the author of travel guidebooks. Immersion Travel USA: The Best & Most Meaningful Volunteering, Living & Learning Excursions was awarded The Society of American Travel Writers Foundation’s Lowell Thomas Travel Journalism Award for Best Travel Guidebook 2009 and Volunteer Vacations Across America was named on Amazon’s list of best new travel books 2010. Kayne travels extensively and works and volunteers where she visits. She was the writer-in-residence at the Everglades National Park, Homestead, Fla. and a writing fellow at the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, N.M. She has appeared on NPR, CNN, CBN, ABC Weekend Evening News, Lifetime Television Network, and MTV, among others. Visit Sheryl at: www.sherylkayne.com/

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