In their ranks for the top 20 best small towns in the US, the Smithsonian Magazine gives props to Taos, NM, for outdoor activities and artistic draw.
Before the counterculture found it in the 1960s, before Spanish missionaries and mountain men like Kit Carson arrived, even before the building of the Taos pueblo in the 15th century, the Anasazi were here, leaving their ghosts to walk in the shadow of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. These days tourists, seekers, skiers and other outdoor enthusiasts pack the plaza of the old adobe town, dabble in its many galleries and museums, delve into history at the 1804 Spanish Colonial Martinez Hacienda and attend concerts (the Music from Angel Fire is a world-class chamber music festival). But Taos (pop. 5,700) still speaks most compellingly to writers, photographers and artists who, like Georgia O’Keeffe and D.H. Lawrence before them, come for the flash of a passing spirit and the quality of the light.