Las Cruces, New Mexico has some great options for both indoor and outdoor activities and attractions that are well worth a day out around town. This great town plenty of rich cultures, fine architecture, and other great attractions for everyone to visit. Whether you’re a full-time student, lifelong local, or tourist, you’ll love the wide list of activities and attractions Las Cruces has to offer.
We at the Flats at Ridgeview know how difficult it can be to plan out the perfect day around Las Cruces, so we did some research for you. We came up with a list of the top things to do in the area so that tourists and locals can experience a different side of New Mexico. The following is our list of the best things to do in Las Cruces, NM:
Visit Dripping Springs Natural Area
15000 Dripping Springs Rd, Las Cruces, NM 88011
Located within the Organ Mountains, the Dripping Springs Natural Area is a top destination for fikers and adventurers. The area’s rocky peaks, narrow canyons, and open woodlands makes visiting the Natural Area one of the most thrilling things to do in Las Cruces. Apart from having some of the best nature trails, the area also features great wildlife viewing opportunities, including opportunities to spot the famous golden eagle and other beautiful creatures that inhabit the area. The Dripping Springs Natural Area is just one of those places everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime.
Visit Young Park
850 S Walnut St, Las Cruces, NM 88001
Young Park is the most popular community park in the city of Las Cruces. The park is known for hosting some of the most popular community events throughout the year and has awesome amenities. Young Park features benches, shelters, tables, a duck pond, playgrounds, and paved trails for everyone to enjoy. If you ask us, Young Park is also the best park in town to enjoy some exercise or a family barbecue during the weekend.
Visit the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum
4100 Dripping Springs Rd, Las Cruces, NM 88011
Another one of the best things to do in Las Cruces is learning about New Mexico’s farming history. The New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum features both indoor and outdoor displays that highlight many centuries of farming and ranching in New Mexico. Visitors can discover permanent and seasonal exhibits that include tools, fine art, and memorabilia from different eras of New Mexico’s history. Some of the more popular things to do at the museum include an animal barn, a blacksmith shop, a greenhouse, and a beef barn.
Visit the Museum of Nature & Science
411 N Downtown Mall, Las Cruces, NM 88001
If you’re a history enthusiast, then visiting the Museum of Nature and Science is the perfect thing for you to do in Las Cruces. The museum focuses on both the earth around us and the stars above to share knowledge and understanding with Las Cruces. The museum features three permanent exhibits called the Permian Trackways, Desert Life, and Light & Space. Of course, each exhibit focuses on a different category that catch plenty of attention on their own.
First, you have the Permian Trackways exhibit, which highlights fossil trackways from the Permian Period. Then there’s the Desert Life exhibit, which features interesting facts and the different habitats of the Chihuahuan Desert. Finally, there’s the Light & Space exhibit. The exhibit features a model of the solar system, telescopes, images of space, and interesting start exhibits.
Visit the White Sands Missile Range Museum
Wsmr P Rt 1, White Sands Missile Range, NM 88002
Just around a 30-minute drive west from downtown Las Cruces is the White Sands Missile Range Museum. Visiting the museum is easily one of the best things to do in Las Cruces because of its amazing exhibits. There’s an interesting missile park just outside the museum that displays a variety of missiles tested at White Sands. Some of the most historical bombs including the Pershing II and Patriot can be seen at the museum for free. It’s a very interesting place to visit and learn about American history and a bit more about military practices.
Visit the Zuhl Museum
775 College Dr, Las Cruces, NM 88003
The Zuhl Museum is a part of New Mexico State University. The museum is home to the Zuhl Collection which contains over 1,800 different types of petrified wood, fossils, and minerals. Each piece has its own story to tell and contributes to the amazing geological beauty behind the state of New Mexico and the rest of the world. Some of the items in the collection are millions of years old and may even contain fossils of extinct and ancient animals. Visiting the museum is a great thing to do in Las Cruces if you want to enjoy something relaxing in the university area.
Enjoy the Corralitos Trail Rides
4100 Dripping Springs Rd, Las Cruces, NM 88011
Head over to Corralitos Ranch if you’re looking for something new type of experience in Las Cruces. The ranch features 1000 square miles of desert, canyons, and hills to explore on horseback. Some of the popular attractions around the ranch include old ranch houses, forts and settlements, Indian rock art, and abandoned mines.
Don’t worry, every horse ride is safe and can last up to 2 hours in length. The ranch also caters to riders with different skill levels ranging from beginners to lifelong experts. The destinations border Butterfield’s route from Picacho Peak, through the Rough & Ready Hills and Magdalena Gap, below the Ambush Point of Massacre Peak, so you know the views are always worth it.
Visit the Rio Grande Theatre
211 Main St, Las Cruces, NM 88001
The Rio Grande Theatre is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for some clean nightly entertainment in Las Cruces. The theatre features plenty of classic films, concessions, and special performances including live music and acts. This classical theatre is a great place to check out regional artists that love to put on some great musical performances and showcase their best artistic skills for the public. Just make sure you’re up to date with the latest on the Rio Grande Theatre event schedule and you won’t miss out on a thing.
Visit the Black Box Theatre
430 N Main St, Las Cruces, NM 88001
Another great thing to do in Las Cruces is enjoying a performance at the Black Box Theatre. The Black Box Theatre features nontraditional theatre acts including performance art, improvisation, and puppet theatre. Although the acts are nontraditional, it adds on to the uniqueness of the theatre, which offers Las Cruces an interesting form of entertainment to witness. The theatre has done a great job of focusing on artists, playwrights, and bringing stories to life causing it to bring in plenty of visitors year after year.
Visit Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park
5000 Calle Del Norte, Las Cruces, NM 88005
The Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park is located near Las Cruces and the historic Mesilla. The park features plenty of beautiful hiking trails, nature areas, access to water, and great bird watching areas. It’s one of the best places in Las Cruces to get in touch with nature and enjoy a day out in the open.
South of Las Cruces, NM
The village of Mesilla is located south of Las Cruces. This old town is popular for the stories of it being haunted by miners and historical figures that lived and died in the area. Of course, the only way to confirm the rumors is by checking the place out yourself. Mesilla is also known for being the town in which Billy the Kid was put on trial.
Today, Mesilla has plenty of small shops where you can find some great handicrafts from the region and from Mexico. Mesilla also has some great restaurants where you can find the most traditional recipes in the state of New Mexico. Overall, it’s a great place to visit the next time you have some free time to explore the Las Cruces area.