Life’s A Trip: 7 great Las Cruces road trips that you don’t want to miss!
One added benefit that Bob and Cheryl never expected is that Las Cruces is a perfect place to enjoy their passion for traveling and visiting new places.
In our recent reader survey we discovered that over 75 percent of our readers consider travel to be one of the hobbies they enjoy.
Unfortunately, the tough economy, the hassles of air-travel, and the cost of gas have forced many travel lovers to cut back on their excursions.
Well, there’s good news for all you travel lovers! Whether you’re looking to relocate to Las Cruces or just come for a visit, there are literally hundreds of travel destinations and places to visit within just a few hours of Las Cruces!
I don’t have the time to tell you about every unique destination New Mexico has to offer. But here of the top 7 road trips you don’t want to miss.
#1 Bird-Watching at The Bosque del Apache
Whether you’re a bird lover or not, the Bosque del Apache is a travel destination you don’t want to miss.
Located about two hours from Las Cruces, the Bosque del Apache is a National Wildlife Refuge established in 1939 as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife. Winter is an excellent time of year to visit the Bosque because you can spot many rare, migratory birds.
After you’ve toured the Bosque, make sure to stop in the Owl Café, which has been famous since 1945 for serving up green chile cheeseburgers!
#2 Chile Tasting in Hatch, NM
If you enjoy your green chile cheeseburger at The Owl Café, you’re definitely going to want to schedule a trip to Hatch, NM.
Located about 40 miles from Las Cruces, Hatch is the self-proclaimed “Chile Capital of the World”. In case the term “chile” is new to you, this type of chile refers to the spicy pepper used extensively in New Mexican cuisine, which comes in either red or green.
Born from an extension of the Santa Fe Railroad Company in 1880, Hatch, New Mexico, began as an adobe post office and a railroad flag station. Over the last century, Hatch has earned bragging rights for producing some of the best green chile in the world.
Visit Hatch on Labor Day weekend to take part in the Hatch Chile Festival where you can sample and purchase some of the best chile you’ll ever taste!
#3 Scientific Exploration at Spaceport America
While you’re in Hatch, you also might want to check out the Spaceport America. While New Mexico has been considered a Wild West Frontier for generations, it’s now part of a whole new frontier.
The next chapter in space transportation is being written right now in the State of New Mexico, at the Spaceport America.
As the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport, Spaceport America is designed with the needs of the commercial space business in mind. Unique geographic benefits, striking iconic design, and the tradition of New Mexico space leadership are coming together to create a new way to travel into space.
Located just two hours from Las Cruces, the Spaceport America is now open for tours where you can see that construction is almost complete!
#4 Winter Retreat in Ruidoso, NM
Whether you’re looking for a winter retreat or to enjoy winter sports, Ruidoso is just a two and a half hours from Las Cruces.
Ruidoso is home to Ski Apache and the Ruidoso Downs racetrack. It is the perfect place to enjoy a little snow in the winter or some cooler weather in the summer. In the fall, take a day trip up to Ruidoso to pick your own apples and purchase freshly made apple cider.
Despite its popularity and affordability as a ski destination, this resort destination has maintained a quiet, quaint atmosphere for all to enjoy.
#5 Experience History at the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
A mere three-hour drive from Las Cruces will take you deep into the heart of the Gila National Forest where you’ll find the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.
Like much of New Mexico, the Gila National Forest has a rich history. The Mogollon and Apache Indians, Spaniards, Mexicans, ranchers, prospectors and miners all made their mark and walked the trails of the Gila. Place names like Raw Meat Canyon, Tepee Canyon and Grave Canyon tell the tales of the past.
At the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument you can catch a unique glimpse of the homes and lives of the Mongollon Indians who lived there more than 700 years ago. The Mogollon Indians mysteriously disappeared and archeologists have studied these dwellings to try to find clues as to what may have happened to them.
The Cliff Dwellings Monument is a great destination for the whole family.
#6 Enjoy Art in Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe is one of the most popular designations for New Mexico travelers. Just four hours from Las Cruces, Santa Fe is a picturesque town located at the base of the Sangre de Cristo (“Blood of Christ”) Mountains. Not only is it a great place to enjoy some cool weather and a higher altitude, it’s also a famous center for all things art.
If you’re looking for artistic inspiration or just enjoy art, take a walk down Canyon Road. On Canyon Road you’ll find more than 100 art galleries and studios, unique specialty shops, world-class restaurants, and the historic adobe architecture that gives Santa Fe its legendary southwestern charm.
“I think Las Cruces and New Mexico are a wonderful resource and inspiration for art,” says Picacho Mountain resident and artists Steve Jarvis. “It really keeps you motivated. There are a lot of galleries I enjoy. I believe Santa Fe a true asset of Las Cruces. Three or four times a year we love to go up there and get inspiration at Canyon Road.”
#7 Rejuvenate in the Hot Springs at Truth or Consequences, NM
If you’re looking for some rest and relaxation, make the 75-mile drive to Truth or Consequences (also referred to as T or C), NM and stay in one of the many bed and breakfast inns.
Originally named Hot Springs, Truth or Consequences was renamed in 1951 following a challenge from a popular radio show. T or C is popular for its therapeutic hot springs, which is where it originally got its name.
T or C is a perfect destination for a short day trip, where you can enjoy a hot spring soak for as little as $4 dollars at one of the many hot spring spas. Or you can turn it into a weekend get-away at one of the rustic bed and breakfasts found there.
It’s Your Turn
These are just a few of the great destinations that make life a trip when you live in Las Cruces, NM. For more information on these and other great New Mexico travel destinations check out the following resources:
- Off the Beaten Path: New Mexico by Richard K. Harris
- Travel Guide NM – http://www.travelguidenewmexico.com/
- The New Mexico Tourism Department – http://www.newmexico.org/
Life’s a trip in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Come visit us soon to experience all there is to do and see here. Call us today at 575-523-2500 and we can assist you in scheduling your next visit.