Taos Is for WritersGUEST BLOGGERS, QUIRKY PLACES, USA MAINLAND, WRITING — By Deonne Kahler on May 1, 2012 at 01:01
By guest blogger Deonne Kahler. Feature photo Copyright © Brian Williams. Story photos Copyright © Deonne Kahler except where credited otherwise.
WRITERS AND ARTISTS have been hanging out in Taos, New Mexico, seemingly forever. D.H. Lawrence, Willa Cather, R.C. Gorman, Georgia O’Keeffe, John Nichols, Dennis Hopper—even Julia Roberts has a house here.
It’s no wonder. The small-town vibe, how individuality and creativity are practically a residency requirement, and the sheer beauty of the place (frequently overheard visitor comment: “Why isn’t the sky this blue where I live?”) make Taos the perfect place to get your artsy juices flowing.
If you’re a writer planning a visit, here are some places to check out:
Go see Rick at Brodsky Books—tell him I sent you—and browse his collection of used literary delights. (Last I checked he also had a great collection of current indie magazines.)
If you want new books, check out Moby Dickens in the John Dunn shops on Bent Street, with its two floors and comfy chairs for browsing.
Cafés and Wi-Fi
On the south side of town, Wired? is where to go if you need quiet space. There’s free Wi-Fi with purchase, a silent section for serious workers, plus a sweet garden if clean Taos air would help your process.
On the north side don’t miss Elevation, with its free Wi-Fi, outstanding coffee, and friendly staff.
Smack in the center of town, Taos Plaza has free Wi-Fi and more: shopping, restaurants and cafés, and benches where you can watch the world go by. If you visit during the summer, don’t miss the free music (rock to mariachi to country) at Taos Plaza Live! every Thursday night from 6 – 8 p.m.
Cheap clothing and accessories
Unless you’re Stephen King you’re a writer on a budget, but hey – you still want to look good. Rethreads has stylish, high-quality used men and women’s clothing for not much money, with everything from weekend to office-wear.
The University of New Mexico’s Taos Summer Writers’ Conference offers classes to all levels of writers, from basic craft to master classes. (I’ve studied there twice and can attest to the outstanding faculty and variety of choices.) Take either the week-long class or weekend intensive, but whatever you choose, you’re sure to learn plenty.
If you’re not afraid of heights, don’t miss the 600-foot views from the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. Watch the river flow below, the big Taos sky above, and prepare to feel part of something as old as time.
It doesn’t get much more inspiring than Taos Pueblo, a living, breathing Native-American homestead for more than 1,000 years. You can take a guided tour or wander the grounds on your own, but make sure to check the website or call first—the Pueblo closes a few times a year for religious and community reasons.
Mabel Dodge Luhan House has history and drama with famous visitors including Lawrence, Cather, and O’Keeffe, as well as Ansel Adams and others. You can stay in one of the rustically charming rooms, or take a free guided tour and soak up the creative energy that still permeates the grounds.
Taos Ski Valley has gorgeous vistas and exceptional hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing. But if exercising at 9,000 feet is a bit much, at least make the drive up. A lively village with restaurants, shops, and a spa will reward you at the top.
I’m not encouraging bad habits, but wouldn’t a margarita taste especially good after a long day of writing or sightseeing? Even if you’d prefer a drink of the non-alcoholic variety, these are my favorite spots for a beverage:
The Historic Taos Inn has free music seven nights a week, the best margarita in town, and great people-watching. It’s not called “The Living Room of Taos” for nothing—this is where locals hang out. And let it all hang out.
Okay, I lied. The other best margarita in town is at Sabroso, made with fresh-squeezed lime juice. Plus there’s free live music Sunday and Wednesday nights, and perhaps the most romantic bar in town with a fireplace, soft lighting, and leather sofas.
Come see us! You’ll leave feeling refreshed and inspired—or the drink is on me.
See underneath Deonne’s bio for a list of the links included in this article.
Deonne Kahler is a writer, photographer, road tripper, and mom to Sam the Wonder Pup. Check out her website, JournalsAndNotepads.com, for fun and inexpensive journals, notepads, and sticky notes. She blogs at GoneScamping.com about her travels with Sadie, her 13’ Scamp trailer, and at LifeOnTheHighWire.com, where she helps people live creative, independent, hugely satisfying lives.
DEONNE’S TAOS RECOMMENDATIONS