Odds Are You’ll End Up In Taos Plaza
So what’s in the plaza and what’s near by that you don’t want to miss? You’ll find some great shopping, good eats and a casual afternoon when you start your day in Taos Plaza.
In 1796 63 families received the Don Fernando de Taos Land Grant from the King of Spain, establishing the Taos Plaza and the surrounding community.
The Don Fernando de Taos settlement began the growth of the Taos we know today, with homes being built in a fortress-like pattern. The enclosure became a safe haven for merchants during trading and livestock at night.
The current plaza structures are rebuilt versions of the older buildings, many destroyed by fire over the years. Today, this collection of buildings primarily from the 1930s serves as a tourist attraction and is one of the primary meeting places in Taos during festivals and for summer concerts.
This shop used to be on Kit Carson Road, and is one of the best spots to shop for jewelry, pottery and fetishes by local artists. I’ve purchased silver accessories by artists Tammy Dobos, Anderson Kee (Taos Pueblo), Tommy Singer and Calvin Begay from Mesa’s Edge over the past fifteen years and always had a great experience. The owner, Alain Pinto is extremely knowledgeable about the artists whose work they carry from silver to fetishes.
The Taos Nambe shop carries a wide variety of Nambe products. Named for a Native American pueblo in the heart of New Mexico`s Sangre de Cristo mountains, the extensive line of products traces its history back to 1951. In 1951, a Los Alamos metallurgist discovered a durable new aluminum alloy, which turned out to be lightweight, nonporous and fantastic at retaining both heat and cold. He called it nambe. The products you see on the shelves of this Toas shop are made by a small group of Santa Fe craftsmen using sand molds. Because a bowl or platter is broken away from its sand mold, and as a result, used only once, no two pieces are exactly alike.
This is a very friendly shop that helps you select products based on what works for Taos. They stock and will choose for you the best hiking boots for getting up Wheeler Peak, the best camping gear for high altitude climates and the right shorts and water shoes for rafting the Rio Grande. They know the local area, the conditions of trails, ski areas, local camping spots and the best sports for mountain biking. Even if you don’t need something, Taos Mountain Outfitters is a great stop to get some local insights before hitting the trails, mountains or walk about town.
Every vacation spot has one, the quintessential tourist shop. If you’re competing to win the office’s “best worst tourist tchotchke” this is you place! You’ll find everything from shot glasses to grilling aprons. It’s worth the walk-around when you’re in the plaza. Who knows, you may find something you say is for the office and it never leaves home!
Housed inside the Taos Community-Centers Coop, Smoke Signals is owned and Operated by Taos Pueblo Native Dean “Little Lake” Johnson. In the shop you’ll find “Little Lake” peace pipes, Kachina Dolls, Dreamcatchers, small Clay Pipes and Medicine Bags. Created by one of Taos’s best artists, you’ll find something that fits your budget and provides a lifetime of memories.
Jackie’s Trading Post (aka Old Taos Traders)
Taos Togs & Taos Adobe
Six Hands Hat Company
Part of the North Plaza, cross .
Ron Larimore Studio & Gallery
Mary Stratton Wax Artist Studio & Gallery
Taos Mountain Candles
If you’re into candles this is your jam. Local silver jewelry and relaxed clothing make this a nice shopping spot to find something extra special for yourself or someone else.
Taos Mercantile Company
OK – so there are two shop son the plaza with tourist goodies! But . . . you will find a super comfy Baha pullover that is so warm you won’t need a jacket on a fall night. They cover the spectrum jewelry and clothes to fun touristy stuff that includes t-shirts, shot glasses, name license plates and UFO mugs.
The Village Shop
The owner retired in 2019 and closed the shop, but great news, a lot of the inventory ended up at Jackie’s Trading Post on the Plaza. If you’re looking for pottery try Jackie’s and for silver jewelry including bracelets and squash blossom necklaces, try Larry Martinez Jeweler (the owner’s cousin) on the South side of town.
CENTER OF THE PLAZA
Taos Live At The Gazebo
During the summer you’ll find festivals and music at the gazebo. Beginning May 30th or so, each Thursday night from 6PM – 7PM you’ll find free entertainment! Live bands fill Historic Taos Plaza with music, fun and family entertainment. Check Tempo! for who’s playing and the theme.
Taos Live At The Gazebo