Arroyo Seco: One Street Is Enough
Towns don’t get much smaller than Arroyo Seco, New Mexico. The village can be found nine miles outside Taos and is home to fewer than 1500 people. Tucked into the base of Taos Mountain, it has a homespun, eco-friendly feel and is packed with artists and outdoorsy folk. The main ‘drag’ is maybe two blocks long, if you’re being generous. That said, there’s plenty packed into those blocks.
Stroll into the mercantile, which dates back to 1895. There you can find anything from jewelry to handmade soap, lace, or bultos (wooden sculptures of saints or religious figures, which are traditional in New Mexico).
Galleries selling jewelry, pottery and art line the street. Many have fun sculptures out front – we spotted a ‘snake’ formed from square pipes.
If you’re looking for heartier fare, head to Taos Cow. This café proudly promotes the ‘rBGH-free, all-natural super premium ice cream’ that is responsible for putting the eatery on the map. I ordered the Chocolate Rio Grande, a chocolate ice cream studded with chocolate chips and piñon nuts. The latter is a type of regional pine nut, which is highly prized because an abundant harvest only occurs every seven years.
The piñon nuts lent a smoky flavor to the ice cream. After the first bite or two, the Chocolate Rio Grande seemed tasty, with a higher ice content than usual, but otherwise unexceptional. However, something strange happened: the more I ate, the more I craved! Usually, I find the reverse is true.
Arroyo Seco is an adorable place to spend an afternoon. Just ask Julia Roberts – she has a ranch nearby.
- The best time of year to visit Arroyo Seco is early fall.
- The mercantile is located at 488 State Road 150. Scott Carlson Pottery is on State Road 150. Sol can be found at 591 Hondo Seco Road. The address for Taos Cow is at 485 Highway 150. Dogs are not welcome.
Two paws. Not as dog friendly as many small towns. We had to be cautious about where we ate and what we saw.
What is your favorite small town in the Southwest?