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Taos is worth the road trip.

New Mexico may beckon in the winter with its, ahem, challenging skiing, but summertime is an even cooler experience. You?ll find us roaming the Sangre de Cristo Mountains this month as we road trip it to Taos.

What to do Check out the annual Fiestas de Taos celebration (this Friday through Sunday). Marking the city?s dual celebration of the feasts of St. Anne and St. James, the event features music and dance performances and parades on Taos Plaza; it culminates with the naming of the Fiestas queen. The children?s parade is an especially adorable highlight.

What to eat Graham?s Grille has steadily won raves for its eclectic menu (think tamale pie and green chile cioppino) and laid-back vibe. Eat on the quaint patio adjacent to the restaurant, and you?ll be rewarded with a steady diet of people-watching. For heartier fare, try the mango green chile cheese enchiladas ($13.50), a subtly spicy entrée with a tropical kick.

Where to stay El Monte Sagrado is tucked away from the town?s main thoroughfare yet just a short walk from Taos Plaza. With its lush, manicured landscape full of waterfalls and ponds, it?s a luxurious oasis within the desert. (Room rates start at $197 per night.)

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