Gifts, Clothing, and Jewelry
Gussy yourself up in Western trappings from Horse Feathers (109-B Kit Carson Rd., 575/758-7457, 10:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. daily), where you can pick up a full cowpoke getup, from ten-gallon hat to jingling spurs. The big money is in the room full of vintage cowboy boots, but you can find less expensive, eclectic gift items, such as giant belt buckles or campfire cookbooks from 1900.
El Rincón Trading Post (114 Kit Carson Rd., 575/758-9188, 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Tues.–Sun.) is crammed with stuff, some of it perhaps dating to 1909, when Ralph Meyers established his Mission Shop trading post. Today the trove is managed by his daughter, who has put aside many of the best pieces in an informal “museum,” but there are still plenty of one-of-a-kind belts and other jewelry, as well as beads and baubles from elsewhere in the world.
And if you want more of this odd browsing, make sure you get out to Arroyo Seco Mercantile.
FX/18 (103-C Bent St., 575/758-8590, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Thurs.–Tues., noon–5 p.m. Wed.) has a small but excellent selection of stuff you didn’t know you needed, from groovy housewares to nifty stationery. But it doesn’t forget it’s in Taos—the selection of contemporary Southwest-style jewelry is some of the coolest you’ll see anywhere.
Outside Taos are a number of sheep ranches, and La Lana Wools (136-C Paseo del Pueblo Norte, 575/758-9631, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. daily) shows off many of their products, from skeins of richly colored yarn (knitters will swoon) through to handwoven cloaks.
If you’re not lucky enough to be staying in a hotel that uses Desert Blends (130 Bent St., 575/737-0770, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri., 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Sat. and Sun.) products as amenities, stop in here to stock up on locally crafted sage shampoo and red-clay face mask, for instance.
If you’re overloaded on New Mexican knickknacks, head to Wabi-Sabi (216-A Paseo del Pueblo Norte, 575/758-7801, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 11 a.m.–5 p.m. Sun.), which transcends the roadrunner paperweight with simple and beautiful Japanese (or Japanese-inspired) items for around the home. From gleaming shell knives to rough stoneware, it’s all functional yet beautiful, and the store as a whole is a wonderful place to relax.
Less soothing, but a whole lot of fun, Taos Drums (3956 Hwy. 68, 575/758-9844, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Mon.–Fri.) is a giant shop and factory dedicated to making [Taos Pueblo–style percussion instruments, from thin hand drums to great booming ones made of hollow logs. Trying out the wares is encouraged—it’s a good place to bring the kids. The shop is on the west side of the highway five miles south of the plaza (two miles south of the traffic light in Ranchos de Taos).
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition