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Taos, New Mexico

What to do: Head to Moby Dickens, the town's pre-eminent independent bookstore, where owner and D.H. Lawrence expert Arthur Bachrach presides over a separate room of rare and out-of-print books (Tel. 505-758-3050). A couple miles north of town is the Taos Pueblo, an adobe dwelling that is hundreds of years old and which looks much the same as Mr. Lawrence found it when he arrived as a guest of writer Mabel Dodge Luhan (then Mabel Dodge Sterne) in 1922 (Tel. 505-758-1028). Surrounded by the 1.5 million-acre Carson National Forest and peaks that exceed 13,000 feet, Taos has bountiful opportunities for outdoor adventure. Two moderate hikes offering loops through pinon and juniper can be found east of town near the El Nogal picnic area.

Where to eat: Michael's Kitchen is a no-nonsense eatery with generous portions and eye-popping pastries. The blueberry doughnuts are delicious (Tel. 505-758-4178). Doc Martin's at the venerable Taos Inn offers a gracious but casual setting and an exceptional wine list. Try the pepper-crusted buffalo strip steak and one of the many hearty cabernets (Tel. 505-758-2233). Joseph's Table at the Hotel La Fonda de Taos provides a more magical -- if pricier -- setting, with its butterfly-stenciled walls and curtained booths. Chef Joseph Wrede features a European-inspired menu but buys most of his products from local farmers (Tel. 505-751-4512).

Where to stay: The rambling Mabel Dodge Luhan House sits at the end of a quiet road a 10-minute walk from the main plaza. The third-story solarium has striking views. On the way upstairs, notice the bathtub room with windows on three sides painted by Mr. Lawrence (Rooms from $95, Tel. 505-751-9686). Perhaps the town's most iconic building, the Taos Inn is made up of several houses dating from the 1800s, one of which exists today as the bustling Adobe Bar (Rooms from $75 depending on the season, Tel. 505-758-2233). On the plaza sits the more refined but also historic Hotel La Fonda de Taos. Here you can view Mr. Lawrence's famous so-called forbidden-art paintings, banned in London in 1929 for obscenity (Rooms from $119 depending on the season, Tel. 505-758-2211).

Write to Thaddeus Herrick at thaddeus.herrick@wsj.com.