Areas & Neighborhoods in Las Cruces
Main Street is where locals hang out, shop, and eat. Stop at the Farmers & Crafts Market of Las Cruces to browse the traditional Native American weaving, turquoise jewelry, and fresh produce. Be sure to check out the Rio Grande Theatre, a unique 2-story adobe performing arts center that hosts acts from across the world.
New Mexico State University
Wander around the campus of New Mexico's oldest university and find a few of the quirky landmarks, including the Chile Pepper Institute and the geological-themed Zuhl Museum. If you get hungry, there are plenty of places to try out the university's pepper innovations.
The Organ Mountains loom over the city and are only 14 miles (22 km) from Main Street in Las Cruces, which means that you can see the city and the desert on the same day. The Dripping Springs Natural Area is equally close and offers hiking trails with marvelous views of the mountains, wildlife, and desert plants.
What to See in Las Cruces
Las Cruces blends so many cultures together that there's something new and interesting around every corner. For example, adobe buildings are essentially made out of desert sand and clay combined with water. Mix in a bit of hay and you have a house. That’s it. This type of abode has been used for millennia, and people still live in these naturally cool—in all senses of the word—structures. There are also Spanish colonial churches, Native American handicrafts, and Mexican restaurants throughout the city. Head to the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum to learn the history of the area and experience the melting pot that is Las Cruces.
Sightseeing in Las Cruces
Las Cruces and the nearby towns are full of family-friendly things to do, such as the Museum of Nature & Science and Old Mesilla Village. This historic village features the Basilica of San Albino, which was built right around when the United States took over this area (necessitating the addition of "New" to the state's name). The town was also the place where Billy the Kid was convicted, and the village offers a glimpse into the lawless days of the Wild West. Kids—even Billys—may also enjoy seeing the Recycled Roadrunner Sculpture, a giant depiction of New Mexico's favorite speedy bird. No coyote would be able to take down this roadrunner. After you've done everything that the city has to offer, be sure to get out and wander through the desert—with a big bottle of water. Spot lazy lizards catching some sun, avoid prickly cacti, and watch as the wind blows tumbleweed across the surprisingly lively landscape.