What to do in Las Cruces, NM

Activities, attractions and tours
Las Cruces featuring landscape views, farmland and mountains

Las Cruces Attractions

Set on the shifting sands of the Chihuahuan Desert, Las Cruces offers countless opportunities to explore the arid terrain and discover the culture of the Southwest. The City of Crosses boasts a world-class university, plenty of museums, and a year-round, daily farmer's market. History buffs and cowboy aficionados can visit Old Mesilla Village to learn all about the area's Wild West days, when Las Cruces was frequented by the likes of Billy the Kid, Pat Garrett, and Pancho Villa. You can also find a lot of outdoorsy things to do thanks to the city's proximity to Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, Dripping Springs Natural Area, and Soledad Canyon. And don't forget to try some authentic New Mexico culinary treats—packed with Hatch green chilies, New Mexico’s signature pepper.

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What to do in Las Cruces

Free Things to Do in Las Cruces

Vacationing on a shoestring budget in Las Cruces? Spend time instead of money on great experiences.

Las Cruces Museum of Fine Arts and Culture - Wander around and study the captivating exhibits and well-curated collections at this popular museum.

New Mexico State University - If you want to explore the history of the area through its landmarks, jot this one down on your itinerary.

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.

Surrounding Area

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.

Things to Do in Las Cruces with Kids

There are loads of fun activities to do with your kids in and near Las Cruces. Keep everyone entertained with our family friendly experiences.


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