16 Exciting Things to Do in Las Cruces New Mexico
By M L | Updated December 5th, 2022
Whether you’re planning a vacation to Las Cruces or if you live there, there are plenty of exciting things to do in the city and surrounding areas to keep you entertained, whether with friends and family or by yourself. From artsy activities like visiting the Mesilla Valley Heritage Museum to more physical pursuits like hiking up Organ Mountain, Las Cruces has something for everybody in this list of 16 exciting things to do in Las Cruces New Mexico . Read on below to see the full list!
Bike or hike the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park
Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park is a beautiful place that was created through the dedication and hard work of thousands of volunteers. There are miles of trails for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, as well as an interpretive center with exhibits about the park’s history. Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park is also home to a popular annual event called Bike the Bosque.
Take a scenic drive down the Rio Grande
Driving down the Rio Grande is a scenic drive that takes you through the American southwest. The views of the mountains, desert and river are beautiful and will take your breath away. You can stop at any of the many historic sites along the way, like El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail or Fort Selden Historic Site.
Visit the organic farms at the La Union Corn Maze
La Union Corn Maze is the perfect place for families and friends to spend an afternoon. There are over eight acres of corn maze – the only one of its kind in the state of New Mexico. The maze features a variety of trails, including a designated area for children, so all family members can enjoy it.
Go stargazing at the Dripping Springs Natural Area
The Dripping Springs Natural Area is a relaxing, beautiful and free way to enjoy the night sky. The best time for stargazing is during the new moon phase. If you’re lucky, you’ll see the Milky Way and other stars that are usually obscured by light pollution.
Learn about space at the Very Large Array
The Very Large Array is a radio astronomy observatory located near Socorro, New Mexico. The array was constructed between 1963 and 1966 by the National Radio Astronomy Observatory and is still used for astronomical research.
It’s made up of 27 25-meter antennas that span across a distance of eight kilometers. When researching possible things to do in Las Cruces, it’s an excellent choice for those interested in science or astronomy.
Discover the history of Las Cruces at the Museum of Art
The Museum of Art is a great place to learn more about the history of Las Cruces and how the art scene has changed over time. The museum is located on San Jose Avenue, just south of the University of Texas at El Paso campus and is open from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Wednesday t
Try your hand at pottery at the Guadalupe Pottery Studio
A great place for tourists to explore and experience the culture of Las Cruces is the Guadalupe Pottery Studio. This studio offers a variety of classes for pottery enthusiasts, including both beginners and advanced levels. You can choose from a variety of projects such as coffee mugs, bowls, or plates. All supplies are provided so you don’t have to worry about making a mess at home. The classes last four hours, which means you get plenty of time to create something beautiful while enjoying your surroundings.
Sample the local cuisine at the Farmer’s Market
Did you know that the Farmer’s Market is open every Saturday morning from 8-11am? It’s a great place to get fresh produce and other local food, or just enjoy some free live music. There are plenty of different vendors so there’s something for everyone!
Enjoy the views from atop the Organ Mountains
This mountain range is a great place to hike, mountain bike or even rock climb. There are plenty of trails for all skill levels and the views from the top are breathtaking. The Organ Mountains offer some of the best views in southern New Mexico and are just a short drive away from Las Cruces.
Hike to the top of Picacho Peak
The summit of Picacho Peak is a great place to go for a hike. The peak itself stands about 4,500 feet tall and is the tallest point in southern New Mexico. This trail can be strenuous, but it’s not too difficult for most people and offers fantastic views of the surrounding area.
Visit the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum
The New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum is a must-see, as it showcases the history of farming and ranching in the Land of Enchantment. Located on the historic Santa Fe Trail, this museum is one of only two museums dedicated solely to agriculture and ranching in the United States. Exhibits include farming equipment, photographs, maps, and other artifacts that provide insight into how this industry has shaped our state’s culture.
Take a hot air balloon ride over the Rio Grande Valley
One of the most popular things to do in Las Cruces is take a hot air balloon ride over the Rio Grande Valley. These rides are done at night, so you’ll be able to see all of the stars up above. The best part? You can stay up there for as long as you want and float around the sky!
Go skiing or snowboarding at the Ski Apache Resort
If you’re looking for the perfect winter adventure, then look no further than the Ski Apache Resort. Located a short drive away from Las Cruces, this resort offers up plenty of snow-covered slopes and breathtaking views. Plus, they have more than 100 ski trails and 12 lifts so you’ll never get bored!
Explore the caves at the Carlsbad Caverns National Park
In the Guadalupe Mountains of southern New Mexico, you will find Carlsbad Caverns National Park. It is a vast limestone cave system with many different caverns and formations. Deep underground, there are stalactites and stalagmites that have grown for over 400 million years. The caves at Carlsbad Caverns National Park are best explored during cool temperatures, which make the formations easier to see.
See the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument
Gila Cliff Dwellings is a historic site that was first occupied by the Mogollon culture, and then later by the Ancestral Puebloans. Visitors can see this amazing cliff dwelling, as well as the museum and visitor’s center. The Gila Cliff Dwellings are on Highway 60, about an hour northwest of Las Cruces.
Visit the White Sands National Monument
The White Sands National Monument is a 250 square mile stretch of white sand dunes located just outside of town. You can explore the dunes on foot or by car, with plenty of opportunities for hiking and biking. It’s worth visiting at night when the dunes are lit up with a soft glow from moonlight and streetlamps, which creates some amazing photo opportunities.
Las Cruces is a wonderful place with so many things to do! From hiking, biking, and birdwatching to learning about the culture and history of the area, there are so many exciting options. Make sure you visit some of these places next time you’re in town!