TAOS, NM — Taos, New Mexico continues to make national headlines for its beauty and exotic appeal, this time by Smithsonian Magazine who has recognized Taos as the #2 “Best Small Town in America” out of 20 other small U.S. towns. Smithsonian’s May issue hypes Taos’ outdoor activities, artistic draw, ancient history, and culture as key reasons for its choice.
Smithsonian based their choices for best towns by analyzing which towns, with a population of 25,000 or less, had high concentrations of museums, historic sites, botanic gardens, resident orchestras, art galleries, and other cultural assets otherwise found in big cities.
The findings, compiled by geographic information systems company Esri, were designed to point out small towns where travelers could experience “enlightened good times in an unhurried, charming setting (where) … you expect to be inspired when you go there.”
The Smithsonian article pointed out Taos’ high and low roads along the Rio Grande that make for a beautiful drive, and a brief background on Taos’ fascinating history.
The article said of Taos: “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.”
Smithsonian rated Great Barrington, Mass. as their top pick with other towns following Taos’ lead including (in order of ranking): Red Bank, N.J.; Mill Valley, Calif.; Gig Harbor, Wash.; Durango, Colo.; Butler, Pa.; Marfa, Texas; Naples, Fla.; Staunton, Va.; Brattleboro, Vt.; Princeton, N.J.; Brunswick, Maine; Siloam Springs, Ark.; Menomonie, Wis.; Key West, Fla.; Laguna Beach, Calif.; Ashland, Ore.; Beckley City, W. Va.; and Oxford, Miss.
Taos’ appeal has spilled over into national headlines recently, earning top designations over hundreds of other travel destinations in the country. Recent accolades include: Forbes Magazine, one of America’s “Prettiest Towns;” CNN Travel included Taos as a destination worthy of “Getting Away, Celebrity Style;” Fox News’ “Best American Historical Towns You Never Heard of;” National Geographic named Taos as “One of the World’s Best Ski Towns;” and Travel and Leisure named Taos one of “America’s Best Spring Drives.”
To read the full Smithsonian Magazine article visit: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/The-20-Best-Small-Towns-in-America.html.
Smithsonian Magazine features cultural stories including travel, fine and performing arts, history, science and more. Smithsonian has a readership of more than 2 million per month, not including its online website at smithsonianmag.com.
For more information about Taos including lodging specials, events, history, and more visit www.taos.org