Taos has a gamut of nightlife — dance floors included. The first order of business when pulling into town is to get a copy of The Taos News. Or read it online at taosnews.com. The Taos News comes out every Thursday and has its own entertainment and arts section called Tempo. In the back pages of Tempo, you will find a comprehensive, day-by-day listing of the events and entertainment happening around town for the upcoming week.
There is music for just about every toe-tapper from country to mariachi to rock. And keep an eye out for a nationally known performer — you never know when someone famous might take a Taos stage for an impromptu jam session such as Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan, who surprised and delighted the crowd at The Historic Taos Inn last February.
Now, as for dancing, while it doesn’t have the largest dance floor, The Alley Cantina is a local, late-night hot spot known for its lively and social atmosphere. Live music provided by the best of Taos and touring bands goes on nearly every night. The music typically starts between 9 and 10 p.m. The Alley normally has a cover charge. Housed in what is thought to be the oldest building in Taos, The Alley is just steps from Historic Taos Plaza. Check the schedule online at alleycantina.com or call (575) 758-2121.
Also in the heart of town, during the summer is “Taos Plaza Live” every Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. The gazebo on the Historic Taos Plaza hosts live acts as locals take off their shoes and enjoy some free fun. Opening night is May 25 and continues through Aug. 31. Note that there will be no Taos Plaza Live on July 20 due to the Fiestas de Taos celebration. For more information, check online at taoschamber.com or call (575) 751-8800.
North of town is the KTAOS Solar Center, right off the “Old Blinking Light” intersection on State Highway 150 on the way to Taos Ski Valley; just look for the solar panels. One of the most unique places in Taos, KTAOS is home to two radio stations: award-winning KTAOS Solar Radio 101.9 and LUNA 103.7. On site is a 400-person capacity year-round live music venue that showcases world-class live music, including past performances from Los Lonely Boys and Angelique Kidjou, as well as community events. The Solar Center boasts the largest dance floor in Northern New Mexico. Outside, the huge lawn and pavilion provide some of the area’s best views of Taos Mountain (aka Pueblo Peak). For the summer lineup, visit ktao.com for details or call (575) 758-5826.
Also on the north end of town on the way to the Río Grande Gorge on ABC Mesa Road off U.S. Highway 64 is Taos Mesa Brewing (TMB), also known as “the mothership.” Local and national performers grace the indoor and two outdoor stages — including an amphitheater — with plenty of room to shake, rattle and roll most nights of the week. True to its name, TMB brews its own beer. TMB takes pride in their indoor “acoustic purity.” TMB’s web site at taosmesabrewing.com will give you the summer schedule lowdown. You can also call them at (575) 758-1900.
On the south side of town on the main drag at 1508 Paseo del Pueblo Sur is the Cantina at the Sagebrush Inn. At this Taos mainstay, you can dance to live music at least four nights a week. On any given night, let your body move to rock, country, oldies, swing, blues, acoustic and Spanish music. Check the dates and performers online at sagebrushinn.com or call (575) 758-2254.
Directly across the road from the historic Ranchos Church sits the legendary Old Martina’s Hall, 4140 U.S. Highway 68. The newly restored historic dance hall, complete with state-of-the-art sound equipment, accommodates many a dancer from country two-steppers to tango lovers. Live music is typically scheduled every Friday and Saturday night and may have a $10 cover charge. Check online at oldmartinashall.com or call (575) 758-3003.