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Natural wonders, as well as world-class art, abound in Taos

Rio Grande Gorge, looking north from the Taos Gorge Bridge, is a must-see feature of northern New Mexico. (Journal)
Rio Grande Gorge, looking north from the Taos Gorge Bridge, is a must-see feature of northern New Mexico. (Journal)
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What one person regards as sacred another may look upon as pedestrian.

Whatever a person’s definition, here are Taos sites to check out.

Rio Grande Gorge, 11 miles northwest of Taos on U.S. 64, offers a panoramic and breathtaking view from the overlook, 650 feet above the Rio Grande. A must-see feature of northern New Mexico.

Taos Pueblo. This designated World Heritage Site is the oldest continually inhabited community in the U.S. Handmade arts and crafts and baked goods are sold by people from their home shops.

Gov. Bent House and Museum.

Charles Bent had been governor about a year when he was scalped in 1847 by Native Americans and Hispanics who resented that New Mexico had been declared an American territory. The house and museum is the site of the melee. The museum houses some of Bent’s personal items as well as period pieces. There is also a hole in the wall where Bent’s family broke through to a neighbor’s home to escape the siege.

Kit Carson Home and Museum.

The properties consist of the original three-room, 21-viga home of Kit Carson and his wife and a structure known as the Romero House. Few items of Carson remain, but the house has been authentically restored and furnished in accurate period detail.

Harwood Museum of Art.

Founded in 1923, the Harwood is the second oldest art museum in the state. Included in its collections are retablos (paintings on wood) donated by Mabel Dodge Luhan, sculptures by Patrociño Barela and works by founding members of the Taos Society of Artists as well as more modern pieces. The Harwood is among the earliest examples of the pueblo revival style, and its principal exhibition building is a major work in adobe by architect John Gaw Meem.

Millicent Rogers Museum.

Houses one of the most distinguished collections of Native American silver and turquoise jewelry and Navajo and Rio Grande weavings. Also on display are Hispanic religious and domestic arts, pottery, paintings, photography and graphics.

Ernest Blumenschein Home and Museum. This handsome adobe built in 1797 was purchased in 1919 by one of the co-founders of the Taos Society of Artists. Family antiques are on display as are assorted works by Taos Society artists.

La Hacienda de los Martinez. One of the few remaining northern New Mexico style Spanish Colonial “Great Houses.” The fortress-like building, built in 1804, has massive adobe walls.

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