Opportunities for holiday fun never end in Taos, New Mexico. The clean air and stunning landscapes lend themselves to adventure. In spring, summer and fall enjoy sightseeing, cycling, hiking, fishing and horseback riding as well as more exotic activities such as rafting, llama trekking, and hot air ballooning. In winter, go skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling and ice fishing. Here are the top places to look for a Taos vacation rental as you plan your getaway.

1. Taos Center

old country courthouse
Source: Flickr / cmh2315fl

Renowned as an artist’s colony, the town of Taos has three major art museums and over 80 art galleries. Step out from your vacation rental and explore the many preserved buildings in its downtown historic district, which provide a fascinating look at the town’s colorful past. Numerous annual festivals such as the Fiestas de Taos and the Taos Fall Arts Festival allow you to join in its cultural traditions. When you’re hungry, sample some delicious Mexican food at one of its many quality restaurants.

2. Ranchos de Taos

brown church
Source: Flickr / shankar gallery Richard Lazzara

Located approximately four miles southwest of Taos, vacation rentals in Ranchos de Taos are surrounded by the historical ambiance. Visit the Ranchos de Taos Plaza, a historical district comprised of 21 buildings, including San Francisco de Assisi Mission Church, designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark. Ranchos de Taos marks one end of the famous High Road to Taos, which initiates north of Santa Fe, winds through the scenic Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and culminates at the mission church.

3. Arroyo Seco

water reservoir
Source: Flickr / USMARINE0311

From any vacation rental site in Arroyo Seco, enjoy a stunning view of the nearby Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Situated 10 miles north of Taos, this iconic village offers a relaxing alternative to big city stress. Stroll the main street with its generous sprays of flamboyant foliage, and peruse the art galleries, which offer pottery, sculpture, and paintings from local artists. When you’re hungry, find out why the local chefs are renowned for their cooking.

4. El Prado

adobe structure
Source: Flickr / mnchilemom

Vacation rentals in the northern Taos suburb of El Prado lie within walking distance from Taos Pueblo, an inhabited ancient pueblo dwelling that is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The centerpiece of the pueblo is a large multistoried adobe structure comprised of many separate living units without connecting doorways. Pueblo artisans offer traditional pottery and silver jewelry. Time your visit to attend one of the numerous feast days, festivals and dances open to the public.

5. Taos Ski Valley

little boy playing in the snow
Source: Flickr / Josh Grenier

Located 17 miles northeast of the town of Taos in the heart of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, vacation rentals in Taos Ski Valley offer opportunities for exciting activities all year long. During the summer, hike the picturesque mountain trails, go mountain biking, explore the wilderness on a llama trek, and take spectacular rides to view the scenery from the chairlifts. In winter, try the many ski runs, explore the slopes on snowshoes, and take the kids snow tubing. When you’re weary, head for one of the quality restaurants and feast on the food prepared by expert chefs.

6. Red River

village houses during winter
Source: Flickr / Dave Hensley

Situated in the Carson National Forest northeast of Taos, vacation rentals in the resort town of Red River are surrounded by the scenic beauty of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Red River is renowned for its trout fishing. Other summer recreational opportunities include hiking, mountain biking, rafting and horseback riding. During the winter, the vast expanse of backcountry near Red River offers countless opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Red River has numerous annual events, including the Winter Carnival, Marti Gras in the Mountains, Aspencade Arts and Crafts Fair, Red River Fishing Derby, and the Red River Songwriter’s Festival.

7. Questa

roadside river
Source: Flickr / Deb Nystrom

Vacation rentals in Questa lie 25 miles north of the town of Taos at the base of the Taos Mountains. The historic village of Questa is known for its stunning hiking trails into the Rio Grande Gorge and along Cabresto Lake. It lies adjacent to the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, an area of rugged peaks and rushing rivers. The rivers and lakes in the area are ideal for rafting, canoeing, and fishing.

8. Angel Fire

man on the snow
Source: Flickr / Chase Cheviron

Situated 21 miles east of Taos, the resort town of Angel Fire lies in the scenic Moreno Valley at an elevation of just over 8,000 feet. The cool summer weather is perfect to take advantage of its world-class mountain biking park as well as other activities such as hiking, horseback riding, and fishing. Angel Fire also has an acclaimed high elevation 18-hole golf course that is surrounded by gorgeous mountain vistas. In the winter, Angel Fire offers multiple skiing, snowboarding, and tubing run to suit every level. Its annual Music From Angel Fire festival draws world-class musicians from all over the world.

9. Ojo Caliente

trees beside the river in fall
Source: Flickr / John Nixon

Located west of the town of Taos, the village of Ojo Caliente is renowned for its natural hot springs of geothermal mineral waters. Relax and treat yourself to a soothing soak in the warm refreshing waters. Other local activities include hiking and bird watching. For the adventurous, the area also offers mountain climbing, white water rafting, llama trekking and hot air ballooning.