Gifts that say ‘New Mexico’
By Scott Gerdes
Your time in Taos has been spent on the mountain, around the Plaza or maybe even in a spa.
But it’s time to go and you want to take a piece of the mythical, vivid and spiritual Southwest with you. How do you know what gift(s) to buy yourself or
someone else? The following shops have your memories of Taos in hand with unique, individualistic curios and artistic gifts to soothe your soul — or to put
a little Southwestern soul into someone else’s world — until you return to Taos once again. And if you’re looking for paintings, sculptures and even more pottery,
there are many outstanding galleries. To help in that quest, pick up a Gallery Guide found on racks in hotels, restaurants and other
establishments all around town.
Arroyo Seco Mercantile
10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily
500 State Road 150, Arroyo Seco
facebook.com/secomerc or secomerc.com
Housed in a landmark building built in 1895 in the small 200-year-old village on the road to Taos Ski Valley, the “Mercantile” is one of those shops that you can spend a lot of time looking around in. For sale are antiques, old pawn jewelry, souvenirs and “unusual finds.” The wide selection of goods even includes household, hardware and religious items, artwork, candles and candy.
11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily through the end of January, then closed Monday. Open 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
121 Kit Carson Road
(575) 758-9407, bryansgallery.com
Housed in a brick and mortar building on historic Kit Carson Road, just steps from Taos Plaza, since 1982 Bryan’s Gallery has been showcasing quality artistry of the Southwest and Eight Northern Pueblos. They have a fine selection of estate and contemporary paintings, sculpture, pottery, jewelry, baskets and rugs. Bryan’s is known for offering some of the finest rare examples of Southwestern American Indian arts and crafts with pieces from about 75 local artists — including about a dozen local jewelry artists. Bryan’s really has a little bit of everything.
Camino Real Gallery
9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily
724 Paseo del Pueblo Norte
One look at the Mexican-style furniture and metal art outside this shop gives you a good idea of the plethora of items inside where you’ll find all things for home decor with that Mexico and Southwest vibe. There is a large selection of rustic Mexican furniture and some Southwestern pieces made with locally harvested wood. Give yourself time to look around the large inventory.
Camino Real Imports
9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. daily
1305 Paseo del Pueblo Norte
(575) 758-7999, facebook.com/caminorealtaosnm/
Talavera dishes, metal yard art, planters, wall hangings, copper sinks, hand-blown glassware, purses, ponchos, custom furniture, chimeneas, tin and ceramic gifts — family-owned Camino Real Imports has everything that is “Hecho en Mexico.” Items are also imported from Latin America. Be ready to spend some time perusing, this is a big space. There is something for everyone at this cultural gift store.
Casa Cristal Pottery
9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily
1306 Paseo del Pueblo Norte
(575) 758-1530, casacristalpottery.com
Southwest decor to the nth degree, family-owned Casa Cristal Pottery offers a large selection of talavera, hand-painted Mexican and Navajo pottery, chimeneas, ristras, tin mirrors, tin light switch covers, Zapotec Indian rugs, ceramic outdoor suns, Mexican glassware and Southwest-style jewelry. Their specialty is rustic Mexican furniture. No made in China here.
Casa del Sol
9 a.m.-6 p.m. daily
1638 Paseo del Pueblo Norte
(575) 758-7496, facebook.com/casadelsoltaos/
Family owned and operated, there is a piece of the Southwest around every corner, on every shelf. From ceramics hand-painted by patriarch Rafael Diaz to outdoor planters, decorative wooden ladders and tin switch plates, Casa del Sol is a lot Mexico and a lot New Mexico.
Country Furnishings of Taos Decor & Gifts
10 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Mon.-Sat., closed Sunday
534 Paseo del Pueblo Norte
(575) 758-4633, cftaos.com
A fixture in town, Country Furnishings of Taos has been located in an old adobe building on Paseo del Pueblo Norte since its inception in 1986. A great place to browse — the merchandise is colorful, innovative and fun. Find such gems as artwork made from repurposed materials, jewelry and paintings created by local artists, fun decorative pillows, aromatic candles, cookbooks, cards and a great variety of gift items all presented in a whimsical, artistic, eclectic atmosphere.
10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily
120-C Bent Street
(575) 758-4437, johndunnshops.com
This colorful store in the historic John Dunn Shops leans toward Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) items with intricately made alters and folk art featuring skeletons, angels and devils.You can also find religious-themed art, prints, Mexican masks, tinworks, turquoise jewelry, beaded art and even psychedelic-painted animals.
10:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily
107-B Bent Street
(575) 758-3377, facebook.com/dwellingstaos
More than a place to pick up a souvenir, this diverse Taos shop offers a large selection of unusual Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) items; milagros and retablos; folk art masks; architectural salvage; and American Indian glass Christmas ornaments. There is not enough room here to adequately list all of the primitives and oddities.
El Rincón Trading Post
3-10 p.m., daily
114 Kit Carson Road
Taos was once an important trade center. The first official trading post in town was El Rincón (The Corner), which opened more than 100 years ago. On the site that was once one of the most popular gathering spots in Taos, you will find a museum and gift shop.
11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat.; 1-5:30 p.m. Sunday or by appointment
108 Teresina Lane
(575) 758-8826, kimosabetaos.com
If historic, old pawn and vintage items are what your heart desires, Kimosabe is another stop you need to make. Located in an 1860’s adobe along a charming brick-lined alley just off the northwest corner of Taos Plaza, the shop exudes the charm of old Taos. Sophisticated eyes will note the selection of old pawn Navajo and pueblo jewelry among other historic American Indian and Western art, artifacts and memorabilia.
Made in New Mexico
10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily
(575) 758-7709, madeinnewmexico.com
Variety is the key word here. Salsa, refrigerator magnets, sage and T-shirts are all in the same place. Since 2005, Made in New Mexico has been the “Official Home of Real New Mexico Products,” where you can find all of the very best things the Land of Enchantment has to offer. Located in Historic Taos Plaza, you will also find classic New Mexican gifts like chile ristras and wreaths, piñon coffee, turquoise jewelry, clothing, Southwestern decor and much more. With great reverence for authenticity, everything the shop carries is made exclusively by artisans, craftspeople and micro-businesses that call New Mexico home.
11 a.m.-5 p.m. daily
1405 Paseo del Pueblo Norte, El Prado
(781) 248-0166, magpietaos.com
Part art gallery, part crafts, some of Taos’ most versatile and talented artisans are beautifully displayed here. All told, since its opening in 2014, warm-and-welcoming owner Georgia Gersh has grown magpie’s collection to more than 60 artists. Magpie is located on the northern end of Taos in the beautiful Overland Ranch Complex.
Millicent Rogers Museum
10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tues-Sun., Nov. 1 through March 31. The museum is closed Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Easter Sunday.
1504 Millicent Rogers Road
(575) 758-2462, millicentrogers.org
For more than 30 years, the Millicent Rogers Museum Store has been selling authentic contemporary and vintage American Indian and Hispanic art and other gifts. Most items are purchased directly from the artists and their authenticity is guaranteed.
Taos Mountain Candles
10 a.m.-6 p.m., Mon.-Sun.
(575) 758-2009, taosmountaincandles.com
For all things Southwest from candles to jewelry to home decor to Taos T-shirts and a little bit of everything in between, a mainstay in town is Taos Mountain Candles on the west side of Taos Plaza. This is a souvenir super store.
120 Veterans Highway
(575) 758-1028, taospueblo.com
Each shop showcases authentic, handcrafted arts and crafts. Many of the artists are on-site and have direct interaction with visitors — a rare and unique aspect of the shopping experience at Taos Pueblo. Plus, a high number of the shops are family owned and operated. “Each piece of handmade pottery and jewelry, every sculpture, every painting and photograph tell of the history and culture of this special place the Red Willow people call home,” wrote local art writer and Two Graces Gallery owner Robert Cafazzo. Be aware that for tradition purposes, the Pueblo will be closed to the public from March to April. If you do go, please remember that there are certain buildings and areas designated as closed to visitors. Similarly, do not enter residences unless they are also marked as businesses. Please respect these restrictions and the privacy of Pueblo residents. To make sure Taos Pueblo is open, call (575) 758-1028.
Taos Tin Works
Call for hours
1204-D Paseo del Pueblo Norte
(575) 758-9724, taostinworks.com
Artist Marion Moore has been perfecting her “mad metal skills” in tin and copper for nearly 30 years. Her most common creations are light sconces, pendants, mirror frames and retablos. Her work was featured in an exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum and her “Río Grande Jeweled Cross” was a centerpiece on QVC Home Shopping network. All of the fine tin and copper works are made in her studio behind the storefront.
Taos Trading Company
10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily
The best way to describe this Taos Plaza landmark is to say it’s a soda counter with knick-knacks. Lots and lots of souvenirs, especially for kids. The exterior and interior are reminiscent of an old-fashioned dime store.