Tearing yourself away from Santa Fe will be hard, but there’s nothing like the natural beauty of Taos. Take the scenic route, called the High Road to Taos, to peep mesas (aka: flat-topped mountains) interspersed with wide open plains, along with plenty of lookout spots that are perfect for impromptu photo shoots. It feels a little wilder and a little freer here—maybe it’s the altitude or maybe it’s the attitude—either way, go right ahead and lose yourself in this outdoor wonderland. This is when you’ll be glad you packed an extra tunic-length sweater (preferably a slouchy one that looks good over athleisure leggings) since Taos’ high elevation means it gets cold enough here for skiing in the wintertime. Start off on the right foot with a quick breakfast at Elevation Coffee, where you can get an expertly crafted café Americano or a cappuccino with gorgeous foam art in the most low-key of settings. After that, you’ll want to get active with the Rio Grande at your doorstep and hiking galore; it’s like playing a real-life version of pick-your-own-adventure. Try booking a trip down the Taos Box, a famous white-water rafting passage, with Los Rios River Runners. This outfit is well-staffed with experienced guides who’ll get you through the rapids with maximum exhilaration and minimum drama. Plan to bring along a one-piece bathing suit if you’re visiting in the spring, summer or early fall. You’ll be able to top it off with a wetsuit if it’s chilly or wear it as-is if it’s warm out that day. Afterwards, take a stroll to get your land legs back (that’s a thing, right?) around historic Taos Plaza. This is the place to pick up Southwestern specialties like braided belts and bracelets at Taos Leather Cordón y Cuero, a fine leather workshop and boutique, or quirky knick-knacks at FX18, a funky favorite known for its imminently giftable wares. Plan to bed down at the historic Taos Inn, affectionately referred to as the living room of Taos by residents for its chill demeanor and central location. Once you’ve settled in and freshened up, wow those taste buds with a dinner full of local organic ingredients at The Love Apple, possibly the most charming restaurant in town; it’s situated in an adobe-walled former chapel—cue the swoons. If the weather’s good, ask to sit outside in the courtyard where you can smell the fresh air and the delicious scents wafting out of the kitchen at the same time. Once your tank has been refilled, make your way back to the Taos Inn’s famed Adobe Bar. Here’s where you can catch some live music, drink potent margaritas (theirs are known to be the best in town) and possibly participate in a line dance or two. Remember that things wind down on the earlier side here too, and even the popular Adobe Bar is shuttered by 10pm. However, there’s a little secret we’d like to let you in on: it’s called the freaking cosmos, people. The best way to stargaze is to drive out to the mesa, near-ish to Taos Mesa Brewing’s mothership brewpub, which is practically in the middle of nowhere. If you distance yourself far enough away from the lights, you’ll be able to see a mind-boggling display of stars in the midnight sky…and out here, the only “last call” is morning light.