Don't let its tiny size fool you. In typical Taos County fashion, the Spanish land-grant community of Arroyo Seco packs an impressive share of dining and shopping options onto just a short stretch of State Road 150 heading toward Taos Ski Valley – you can't miss this gem as you drive right through it on your way to up to the slopes. As the locals say, "un poquito de todo" – Arroyo Secco has a little bit of everything.
The galleries and boutiques are a stone's throw from each other. Pottery, photography, contemporary and folk art to women's fashions, ornaments, Pendleton blankets, antiques and unique gifts, it's all there and more in "Seco."
Walking can crank up one's appetite – an easy fix in Seco. Just set your sights on ice cream legend Taos Cow (Bon Appétit magazine named it one of the top 10 ice cream shops in America), green chile guru Abe's Cantina and Cocina, the part convenience store and part organic deli Sol Food Market & Café, exquisite farm-to-table dining at ACEQ (aceqrestaurant.com) and another fine dining option with live music in a 150-year-old adobe that is Sabroso Restaurant and Bar (sabrosotaos.com).
The village offers lodging accommodations as well, including the quirky downtown hostel the SnowMansion (snowmansion.com). The more-than-70-year-old classic adobe lodge has six large rooms that open into the common area. Rental teepees are a common sight on the hostel's grounds from May to October. With a pool table and plenty of toys, boredom is not an issue. There’s also a number of vacation home rentals in the area and bed-and-breakfast establishments, such as Adobe and Stars (taosadobe.com) and Cottonwood Inn (facebook.com/Cottonwood-Inn-Bed-and-Breakfast).
In December, the colorful and eclectic retail shop called the Arroyo Seco Mercantile hosts a wonderful Christmas party complete with the best Santa for miles around, delicious cookies and homemade hot cider. It is a favorite event of the children (and the adults) of the surrounding towns.
On a historical note, Arroyo Seco's Church of the Holy Trinity dates back to 1834. It is built of adobe with heavy vigas and corbels and an altar where an original bulto – a three-dimensional sacred sculpture, which represents the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit – is still revered.
For more information about Arroyo Seco, go online to visitseco.com.