See also: 26 Ways to Explore Santa Fe
To explore more Indian arts and culture, take a day trip just an hour and a half from downtown Santa Fe to Taos Pueblo, the oldest continually inhabited settlement in the United States. The adobe buildings that make up this village date back to the Crusades and are still regularly maintained with fresh layers of straw and mud.
The Tiwa-speaking people can trace their families’ residence for generations, and though some live in modern houses back in town, many live here full time, hosting tribal celebrations throughout the year. There’s no electricity or plumbing—the river flowing through the pueblo is their source of drinking water—though most of the entry ladders have been rendered decorative thanks to the modern addition of doorways.
Taos artisans sell a wide variety of handmade crafts out of their living rooms, from corn necklaces and deerskin drums to mica-dotted pottery and alabaster and cedarwood pipes, plus some tasty cider and brick-oven frybread. The tour guides pull no punches regarding the contentious history between their people and the US government: the ruins of the original church, destroyed by the US Army in 1847, are now a cemetery. In a country where architecture’s considered antique after just a few decades, it’s breathtaking to find such a deep connection to history.
120 Veterans Highway, Taos