Taos, New Mexico

Best Places to Retire in New Mexico


Taos (population about 5,000) is located in the northern part of the state near the foothills of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. The community is 6,950 feet above sea level which accounts for its moderate climate. It is on Route 64, where it is joined by Route 68 from the south and Route 522 from the north. Taos is the county seat for Taos County which has a population of just over 30,000. Fifty percent of its land is federally controlled. http://www.taosgov.com/

With more than 1,000 years of history, Taos is an area with great natural beauty and is filled with the heritage from its ancient cultures. The town of Taos dates back to 1540. Today it is a very diverse community with a blending of Native Americans, Hispanics, and “new American” people. The spirit of the old southwest is very much in evidence. The most obvious examples are the adobe architecture, traditional celebrations and festivals, and its crafts. The visual and performing arts also play an important role. Artists began coming to the Taos area as early as the 1880s and today it has a large and active arts community. It is an area of remarkable natural beauty and a timeless, comfortable culture.

Historic Taos Plaza is the heart of community activities from live entertainment to festivals and cultural events. It is a place where the community gathers. Tourism is a very important part of the local economy and you will find many small businesses that cater to this trade, including over 25 galleries. There are many specialty shops and over a dozen restaurants and bed and breakfast establishments. Angel Fire Mountain Theatre offers live theater productions as well as educational opportunities throughout the year.

Arts & Culture

Taos has over two-dozen art galleries with a wide variety of works, including fine art pieces. http://southwestarttour.com/index.php?loc=Taos

Angel Fire Mountain Theatre offers live theater productions and educational events throughout the year. http://www.angelfiretheatre.org/

The Blumenschein Home & Museum is a memorial to American artists Ernest Blumenschein and Bert Phillips. The two men were instrumental in establishing the Taos Society of Artists which was established to promote Taos and the art of the American West. http://www.taoshistoricmuseums.com/blumenschein.html

Kit Carson Home and Museum contains a portion of the original home and many exhibits and artifacts. Trapper, explorer, military officer and frontier legend Kit Carson is buried at nearby Kit Carson Cemetery. http://www.kitcarsonhome.com/

Harwood Museum of Art features paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture and photography by local and regional artists. http://www.taosmuseums.org/harwood.php

The Taos Art Museum is in the home and studio of Russian-born Nicholai Fechin. It features his hand-carved furnishings and art as well as works by over 50 Taos-area artists. http://www.taosartmuseum.org/

The Millicent Rogers Museum exhibits historic and contemporary Native American, Hispanic and Euro American arts and crafts of northern New Mexico. The works are from her once-private collection. http://millicentrogers.org/


There are a surprising number of outdoor activities in the Taos area. They include fly fishing, hiking, rock climbing, camping, birding, site seeing, horseback riding, alpine or cross-country skiing, whitewater rafting or raft trips, and more.

Taos Ski Valley Resort is the premier alpine ski area in the region, located at 9,200 feet above sea level. It features full facilities including a top ranked ski school. http://www.skitaos.org/.

There are a number of other ski areas within easy driving distance. There are two golf courses in the area: Taos Golf Course and Country Club — http://www.golfersweb.com/taos.htm, and El Valle Escondido Mountain Links Golf Course, which is in the community of El Valle Escondido. Enchanted Forest is a full-service cross country ski area three miles east of Red River in the Carson National Forest. http://enchantedforestxc.com/

Kit Carson Park, just north of the center of the community, is a 19-acre site that includes a 3/4 mile walking and jogging track, courts for tennis and basketball, and three baseball fields. Open areas are suitable for soccer and other sports. There are also picnic and barbecue areas throughout the park.

Carson National Forest at Taos is one of five national forests in the state. It consists of 1.5 million acres with beautiful mountain scenery. Elevations rise from 6,000 feet to 13,161 feet at Wheeler Peak. The park offers fishing, hunting, camping, and hiking in the summer months, and there is skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling in the winter. http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/carson/


University of New Mexico’s Taos Campus (main campus is in Albuquerque) offers two-year programs that includes seven associate of arts degrees, three associate degrees in applied science, and ten vocational certificate programs. http://taos.unm.edu/

Senior Programs

Amalia Senior Center, 105 Albright Street, Taos (505) 586-0071
Taos Pueblo Senior Center, 195 Rio Lucero Road, Taos (505) 758-7502


Holy Cross Hospital is a non-profit, 42-bed acute care hospital serving Taos County. http://www.taoshospital.org/


Taos Regional Airport serves Taos and Taos County. Owned by the town of Taos, it has a 5,798 foot paved runway and is six miles from Taos. http://taosairport.org/

Albuquerque International Sun Airport is a leading regional airport about 130 miles from Taos. http://www.cabq.gov/airport/


Taos has a semi-arid climate with abundant sunshine. Average temperatures during July, which is the hottest month, are a high of 87 degrees and low of 50 degrees. The averages for January are a high of 40 degrees and low of 10 degrees. Taos has an average annual snowfall of 35 inches, while the Taos Ski Valley Resort has 321 inches of snow. http://www.weatherunderground.com/cgi-bin/findweather/


The Taos News — http://www.taosnews.com/

Property Taxes

Taos County Treasurer’s Office — http://www.taoscounty.org/index.aspx?nid=93

State Taxes


Chamber of Commerce


State Aging Agency



Questa – 24 miles
Red River – 36 miles
Costilla – 41 miles
Amalia – 49 miles
Pilar – 16 miles
Penasco – 25 miles
Taos Pueblo – 3 miles
Santa Fe – 68 miles
Albuquerque – 131 miles
Colorado Springs, 218 miles
Denver – 300 miles
Las Cruces – 352 miles

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