Saturday, March 23, 2013

A Day in Taos

Last weekend my younger brothers and parents came up for a visit. Josh and my brother decided they wanted to go skiing in Taos on Saturday, so my parents and Jack and I spent the day exploring the town. I love Taos and was so excited to show my parents around since it was their first time there.

Taos is just a little over 2 hours from Albuquerque, so it's a great spot for a day trip or a weekend visit. The drive there is beautiful and takes you through Santa Fe, so you can incorporate a visit there too. We stopped in Santa Fe for dinner on the way back at one of our favorite spots, Rooftop Pizzeria (more on that later).

The guys drove up earlier in the morning so that they could start skiing when the lifts opened at 9:00. We took our time getting on the road, so we got there a little later. We began by driving up to the ski area, which is about 30 minutes from the town of Taos. The town is down in the valley, and has a very "New Mexican" look with adobe buildings, open land, and the beautiful desert landscape. As you drive up the mountain toward the ski area, the landscape changes dramatically. Along the windy mountain road you are surrounded with beautiful alpine scenery and a stream running along the road.

The base area of the ski resort is small compared to those of most Colorado ski resorts, but for New Mexico, it's a good size. There are a few hotels and condos, shops, and restaurants. We met the guys for lunch at Stray Dog Cantina. It's right at the base of the mountain with great views, good food, and a great drink selection. The prices are decent (especially for a ski resort). The food is primarily New Mexican style food as well as burgers, sandwiches, etc. We all enjoyed our food and I'm sure we will try it again next time we are there skiing. I think it would especially be a fun spot for grabbing a drink and food after a long day on the slopes!

After lunch on the mountain, we headed back toward town. Between Taos Ski Valley and the town of Taos is a cute little town called Arroyo Seco. It's a great place to stop for a little shopping and the best ice cream you will ever put in your mouth. Taos Cow is a fun little spot with a wonderful assortment of unique flavors of ice cream. They also serve breakfast and lunch, but I have only tried the ice cream. My parents and I all had the Cafe Ole flavor which is coffee ice cream with cinnamon and chocolate chips. Unbelievable. If this were not 2 hours away, I might eat this ice cream everyday.

After our short stop in Arroyo Seco, we continued on to Taos. It is much like Santa Fe with a main plaza surrounded by restaurants, shops, and art galleries. Although it is smaller, so it does not have quite as many options. But there is still plenty to see and do.

On our previous visit to Taos, we discovered Twirl Toy Store and Play Space. We fell in love with it, but at the time Jack was still an infant, so he couldn't enjoy it. Now that he is 2, this is the perfect spot for him. Behind the cute toy store they have built a great play space in their enclosed courtyard. It is open from 10am-6pm and is FREE!

When we are visiting new places it is always nice to find spots like this where we can let Jack play and burn some energy. He absolutely loved playing here and would have stayed all day if we let him.

This is perfect for toddlers all the way up to older elementary-aged children. There are also plenty of spots for adults to sit and visit while they watch the kids play. I noticed on their website that they have classes and special events too, so we may check that before our next trip to find out if there is something fun Jack might enjoy.

Thanks Twirl for creating such a lovely and fun spot for kids like Jack to enjoy during their time in Taos!

On our way home, we stopped in Santa Fe for dinner. My dad mentioned that pizza sounded good and we needed a place that would be kid-friendly, so we went to one of our favorites, Rooftop Pizzeria. This is a great place for delicious and unique pizzas and great views. It's also very kid-friendly, which is a little more difficult to find in Santa Fe. I split the Number 3 pizza which has Grilled Chicken, Green Chile, Cotija and Asadero Cheeses and Toasted Pinon with Alfredo Sauce on Blue Corn Crust. It was named the best pizza in New Mexico in Food Network Magazine's "50 States 50 Pizzas." This pizza was so delicious with a nice little kick of spice from the green chile, but nothing too powerful. And the blue corn crust was delicious too! I have loved every other pizza I have tried there on other visits too.

Taos Cow on Urbanspoon

Tim's Stray Dog Cantina on Urbanspoon

Rooftop Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

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