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Shopping in Taos, New Mexico: My Favorite Shops

People come to the Taos area for all sorts of things…skiiing, hiking, fishing, and…shopping. Here’s the deal: people who say that shopping isn’t a sport probably just aren’t doing it right. Now I’ll confess…I’m not a mega shopper. I only like to shop in places that are super targeted to my interests or that are super unique. Well, Taos is both. So on my first trip to Taos, I was really excited to do some shopping. 

Northern New Mexico (Taos and Santa Fe specifically) is home to some of the most unique culture in the US and you’ll find things (architecture, local wares, FOOD) that will make you think you’re in a different country. Being part Native American myself, I’ve always had an appreciation for native culture, artisans, and western style in general. And there’s really nowhere in the US with a vibe like Taos and Santa Fe. 

Now, I had spent some time in Santa Fe (especially shopping), so I kind of had an idea of what to expect (even though I found Taos and Santa Fe to be a little different in terms of what they offered) and I found pretty much what I expected. I went to a LOT of shops. Some total tourist traps, some selling cookie cutter turquoise jewelry, and quite a few GEMS. 

So I’ve rounded up some of my favorite spots for shopping in Taos:

Shopping in Taos

Ampersand Old & New

This is maybe one of my favorite shops EVER. Mid Century Modern with a ranch/western twist…a mix of new and vintage finds, mostly for the home but also gifts. If I lived in the area, I would probably furnish my home out of this store. I settled for a Native designed blanket made out of recycled cotton. I will be back!

Taos Accessories

So, I have a somewhat sizable obsession with turquoise. It started when I was about 12 and spent $60 of my hard earned money (that was a LOT at the time!!) on a turquoise necklace in Santa Fe. We were on the plaza and local vendors had their wares spread out on blankets on the ground. The turquoise was green with strong black veins and 21 years later the necklace has broken but I still have the beads and rework them into bracelets, another necklace, earrings, etc. pretty often. So whenever I’m in a western area, I’ve always got my eyes peeled for a turquoise piece that “speaks to me.” Well when I walked into Taos Accessories on the Plaza, there was a ring that screamed pretty loud. And I expect in 20+ years I’ll still be wearing it. This shop was one of the best jewelry galleries that I ended up finding in Taos. Everything was authentic and made by local artisans, but it felt pretty modern and more unique than most of the stuff I saw in town. 

Las Comadres Gallery

This co-op by local women artists was the first shop I wandered into. I was drawn in by a print in the window and when I went to pay (after I’d picked up another print by the same artist), it turns out that the artist was the one working in the shop that day! She said I made her day : )

Moda

This place has a great selection of clothes and jewelry that feel cozy and mountain-y, but still modern and wearable. It was really one of the only shops I went in that had clothes that I would actually wear. I found a super cool pair of earrings here…I love when I find turquoise jewelry in more modern settings. 

Op.Cit Books

I love an independent bookstore and this one hits all the right vibes. They have a great local section, plus it feels like it’s in a converted house and I love when a bookshop has a good hodge podge of rooms. Whether you’re looking for a new novel to read or a book about the best hikes in Taos, you’ll find it here. 

Taos Blue

This was by far the best gallery I found in Taos. I expected to find a lot of shops like this in Taos (like Santa Fe), but surprisingly didn’t (I’m sure I overlooked quite a few though). It’s a nice, high end gallery (but not insanely priced) that has the full spectrum of pieces from jewelry to art to lamps to furniture. If you want something locally made that represents the culture of the area, this is the first place I would go. 

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At Home in Taos

This store is a little surprising and I’m not sure that you would 100% know you were in New Mexico, but I really loved the vibe in this store. It has a bit of everything…textiles, dishes, gifts, kids items, just a mix of everything…and it’s right off the plaza. 

Taos Mountain Outfitters

I can never pass up a good gear store. This place is pretty big and has everything you could ever need for any sort of outdoor activity in New Mexico (except skiing)…think hiking, fishing, camping, etc. (both summer and winter gear).  They had a pretty good dog section too. But I think my dog, Juniper, would probably flip if she was expected to carry a little backpack on a hike ; ) Sidenote: there is a worn leather couch in this store that I was trying to figure out if I could make them an offer on ; ) 

Mud n Flood Mountain Shop

Like Taos Mountain Outfitters, but on a smaller scale. If you’re looking for specific gear, it’s worth checking out both spots. I’m no expert, but it seemed like they also specialized in climbing gear. 

Taos and Tribe

I didn’t make it to this place (it was only open on the weekends and by appointment), but I pressed my nose up against the glass and it looks like the kind of place I would LOVE. I started following them on Instagram (they do orders via DM) and I will definitely plan to stop by next time I’m in town. Mostly clothes and jewelry. 

Kimosabe

Another spot that I didn’t discover until after closing time, their tagline is “vintage southwest” which is pretty much what I love. I’ll be back. 

Where to Park in Taos

The Taos Plaza is the most “famous” shopping area in downtown Taos, but it was mostly pretty touristy. My favorite areas were along Bent Street (and the John Dunn Shops) and Paseo del Pueblo Norte. A little tip for you before I go…take quarters! Taos is a little behind the times with technology and you won’t find digital parking meters where you can pay with your credit card via an app. They have the old fashioned kind. 

 

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