Updated 19th-Century Inn on National Register of Historic Places
In 1895, physician Dr. Thomas Paul Martin bought a number of thick-walled adobe houses around a plaza in Taos, New Mexico, living in the complex and renting space to writers and artists until his death in 1936. It soon evolved into the Historic Taos Inn. After years of updates—including a vintage neon thunderbird sign and a bubbling fountain—Martin's 19th-century plaza has transformed into today's inn. "It's rare to see a hotel that has withstood the years with grace, but the Historic Taos Inn has done just that," Frommer's says of the inn, which is on both the State and National Register of Historic Places and has become an iconic structure in Taos’ historic downtown district.
The inn’s 44 individually decorated guest rooms are spread out across four buildings. Each room showcases hand-carved Mexican headboards and hand-painted trasteros. The recently built Helen's House comes outfitted with kiva fireplaces and viga-style ceilings, and antique armoires and other Spanish colonial furniture fill the older rooms in the two-story main building. In the tradition of Dr. Martin’s support of the arts, some rooms also feature paintings and other artwork by native Taos artists.
Chefs at the onsite Doc Martin’s Restaurant source meats and produce from regional farms, crafting southwestern fare such as green-chili cheeseburgers and blue-corn chicken enchiladas. More than 400 wines make up Doc Martin's wine list, but locals are drawn to the restaurant’s specialty margaritas, including the Cowboy Buddha made with Herradura Silver, Cointreau, and limes. Guests also mingle in the Adobe Bar—adjacent to Doc Martin’s—where live musicians perform native folk songs, jazz, and other genres nightly.
Taos, New Mexico: Rural Mountain Town with Thriving Art Scene and World-Class Skiing
Situated atop a 7,000-foot mesa at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, the small town of Taos—in north-central New Mexico—buzzes with artistic activity and outdoor pursuits. Downtown, historic buildings house more than 50 art galleries, restaurants, and jewelry shops. Taos’s picturesque desert landscapes have inspired many artists, including Georgia O'Keeffe and D.H. Lawrence. The Taos Art Museum celebrates the town’s creative heritage with displays of local artwork from the 20th century. The building was once the home of Russian painter and woodcarver Nicolai Fechin.
The southern Rockies’ premier ski resort, Taos Ski Valley challenges winter-sports enthusiasts with steep slopes, a peak elevation of nearly 12,500 feet, and 113 trails and bowls—half of which are designed for expert skiers and snowboarders. Once the snow melts, the nearby Wheeler Peak Wilderness lures hikers with scenic trails and ample wildlife, including golden eagles, elk, marmot, and the occasional mountain lion or black bear. You can conquer Wheeler Peak—New Mexico’s tallest mountain at 13,161 feet—on an 8-mile summit trail.
Just north of town, visitors are welcome at Taos Pueblo, an ancient Native American village and World Heritage site. For more than 1,000 years, Pueblo Indians have called these multistory adobes home. Here, you can sample wood-fired bread, witness a ceremonial buffalo dance, or purchase handcrafted wares such as turquoise and silver bracelets and woven blankets.
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