25 Best Things to Do in Las Cruces (NM)

Las Cruces is a beautiful city located in the rich lands of Southern New Mexico. The farming roots of the city stem from Spanish saints and Mexican traditions and keep the culture alive. Bursting with colors and personality Las Cruces is a friendly place to stop for some juicy ribs and some good old traditional BBQ.

For around 99,665 people, Las Cruces is their home. This picturesque town is the perfect place to fulfill your inner cowboy fantasies and let your boots run wild and free. With an array of attractions for all ages, indulge yourself in all this city has got to offer.

Interactive Map of 25 Things to Do in Las Cruces (NM)

Source: Map data @2022 Google

1. Young Park

Young Park1
Source: Flickr / chispita_666 | CC BY 2.0

Located in a heart of Las Cruces, Young Park is a luscious green park where you and your family can enjoy the whole day. Amidst the park there is a beautiful lake perfect for kayaking and fishing.

This picturesque park is the perfect spot to unwind and take in the nature surrounding. Many of New Mexico’s yearly festivals take place in this very park. If you are a sport junky, then this is the place for you to be. This park is equipped with a tennis court, basketball court, and even a baseball pitch.

2. Farmers and Craft Market of Las Cruces

Farmers and Craft Market of Las Cruces1
Source: Flickr / Lisa Chamberlain | CC BY-SA 2.0

Farmers and Craft Market is located in Las Cruces is the perfect place to drop by to pick up your fresh local produce. The market is lined with food trucks to satisfy your hunger pangs whilst you shop.

Surround yourself with friendly atmosphere and some great music at the Farmers and craft market of Las Cruces.

3. Recycled Road Runner Sculpture

Recycled Road Runner Sculpture1
Source: Flickr / a rancid amoeba | CC BY-SA 2.0

This out of the ordinary landmark was build using recycled materials from around New Mexico. Items such as shoes, boom boxes, and other odd material make up this structure.

This grand roadrunner is located on the I-10 and is set on top of the hill that takes travelers directly into Las Cruces, making it a great pit stop. This rest stop structure sizes to about 20-feet tall and was initially created in 1993 as part of a recycling education program.

4. New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum

New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum
Source: Flickr / Corey Taratuta | CC BY 2.0

The New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum is an interactive museum that adds excitement to the entire experience. This museum is the right place to be as it captures the States 3,000-year history through a hands on maze.

Artfully designed and easy to navigate, come down with your family to enjoy the predesigned tours featuring different exhibitions such as milk churning and agricultural history.

5. Dripping Springs and Natural Area

Dripping Springs and Natural Area
Source: Flickr / Bureau of Land Management | CC BY 2.0

Let your inner hiker run free on these beautiful trials with some stunning views and lots of fresh air. Equipped with a visitor center where you can stop and grab some maps of the area do make sure to take a day out of your busy schedule to get the family moving.

Continue down the trials and you will run into the stunning dripping springs in the area. These trails are not only family friendly but feel free to bring your furry friends with you too to enjoy the great outdoors.  Lined with plenty of benches for you to be able to stop and breathe in the natural beauty surrounding you.

6. Apodaca Park

Apodaca Park1
Source: Flickr / Angie | CC BY 2.0

Looking for a place to wind down and breathe in some fresh air? If so, come on down to Apodaca Park located in Las Cruces. This clean and well-maintained park is the perfect place for a nice picnic or any outdoor celebrations.

If you do visit the Apodaca park, do make sure to look out for some wooden sculptures. The wooden statue, “Dineh” stands tall in the park as it symbolizes and honors the Native Americans living in New Mexico. This honorary wooden sculpture was carved out by Peter wolf Toth in the 1980s.

7. Mesilla Valley Maze

Mesilla Valley Maze1
Source: Flickr / Doubbt Official | CC BY 2.0

If you love Fall, pumpkin and being outdoors, this is the place for you to visit. Bring your families down to this pumpkin patch farm with activities for the whole gang to enjoy.

Make sure to try your luck with the corn maze to make it out to the other side. With friendly staff surrounding you to meet your every need, enjoy a fun filled day at the Mesilla Valley maze.

8. Old Mesilla Village

Old Mesilla Village1
Source: Flickr / Lisa Chamberlain | CC BY-SA 2.0

With a designated downtown street filled with all restaurants, shopping and little eateries this is the perfect pitstop in your journey. Feel free to walk on into the gift shop and grab yourself a sombrero hat or the perfect pair of boots. The buildings surrounded date back to the 1800s. Into the twentieth century, the main street served as the city’s town center.

Major decisions about Las Cruces to trade for New Mexico took place on this very street. The sounds of pedestrians, vehicles, and horses filled the air around the street.  With time, Main street grew and attracted more and more people to enjoy its joyous aroma.

9. Mesilla Plaza

Mesilla Plaza1
Source: Flickr / Las Cruces Digs | CC BY-SA 2.0

Mesilla Plaza is a small, centrally located plaza in the heart of the small town of Mesilla. This square offers tourists and locals a variety of small boutiques and historical buildings to indulge in. Feel as though you are being transported into another era with old stone buildings surrounding you and your family.

Enjoy some ice cream from the close by ice cream parlor or purchase some locally crafted jewelry for your loved ones. With plenty to do, you’ll never get a moment to be bored.

10. Veterans Memorial Park

Veterans Memorial Park
Source: Pixabay / Sage Scott

The Veterans Memorial Park was built and dedicated in 1999 to honor and thank the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for the United states of America.

The park is well kept and maintained for visitors to enjoy. The entire park is filled with honor and emotions to commend the heroes that built the USA. 

11. Organ Mountains – Desert Peaks National

Organ Mountains – Desert Peaks National
Source: Flickr / Bureau of Land Management | CC BY 2.0

This picturesque natural mountain range allows for visitors to explore the valleys, canyons, and the peaks all in one terrain. Former President Obama has officially made this mountain range a national monument on May 21, 2014. Predominantly in history Native Americans called this region their homes. In this region of New Mexico, you can find a lot of historical footprints. Enjoy the perfect scenery whilst getting in your daily exercise.

Go for a hike, run or stroll through these beautiful mountains. If you time your trip well, enjoy the beautiful sunset that allows the sun to fall just beyond the mountains on a daily basis. Allow yourself to emerge into the great outdoors, and do not forget to bring your camera as there are picturesque views all around.

12. La Llorona Park

La Llorona Park1
Source: Flickr / Mia & Steve Mestdagh | CC BY-SA 2.0

Las Cruces and its surrounding are blessed by plenty of parks and recreation areas. Enjoy La Llorona park as it surrounds the beautiful river. Go for a stroll or for a nice run along the river Rio Grande. Perfect place for a family to unwind on the weekend and blow off some steam.

The park is equipped with washroom facilities making it easier for your family to enjoy the whole day. If you like to be challenged, then dare yourself to do the 10k run along the river. Fear not, if running is not your thing, the park is equipped with picnic tables and areas where you can have a good time with your families.

13. Leasburg Dam State Park

Leasburg Dam State Park
Source: Flickr / Barbara Brannon | CC BY 2.0

Leasburg Dam State Park is New Mexico’s state park located on the Rio Grande river. This park opens up to opportunities of hiking, swimming, and mainly camping. Providing electricity and water for your campers should you wish to come and spend time camping at this park.

Different campsites are dedicated to your camping needs. Be welcomed by friendly faces that will help you get situated into the park well. All sorts of your camping needs will be met at this park. Clean bathroom with hot running water in case you want to clean up.

14. The Museum of Nature and Science

The Museum of Nature and Science1
Source: Flickr / Mira Mechtley | CC BY-SA 2.0

Focusing on local wildlife and history exhibits, the Museum of Nature and Science is the perfect place to take your kids to learn about the Chihuahuan desert nearby. Learn about the different plant species and visit prehistoric exhibits on the friendly dinosaurs.

As the museum inspires curiosity in your little one, engage in different interactive exhibitions as they learn the beauties of the nearby surroundings.

15. Pioneer Women’s Park

Pioneer Women’s Park
Source: Flickr / Jennifer Snyder | CC BY-SA 2.0

This city park features playgrounds, gazebos, and benches and tables to host the perfect picnic spot. New Mexico is ensured there be plenty of outdoor spots for residents and visitors to stop by and hang out. This park in specific is surrounded by quiet neighborhood filled with historic Las Cruces homes which make it the perfect peaceful stop over.

Walking around in the historic district gives one a better understanding of the homes that were present not too long ago in this region. Equipped with play areas for kids, this park is family and pet friendly.

16. Basilica of San Albino

Basilica of San Albino1
Source: Flickr / psyberartist | CC BY 2.0

The Basilica of San Albino is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Las Cruces and is located in Mesilla, New Mexico. This beautiful structure with stained glass windows stands tall in the North end of the town Square. Both the interior and the exterior walls are built with fired bricks, a technique used in the 1900s.

This traditional church transports you into the right era where religion and history engulf you. The low brick wall surrounds the church as a symbol to protect the Basilica. Built in the early 1900s, the Basilica of San Albino offers Mass in both English and Spanish as well.

17. St. Genevieve’s Catholic Church

St. Genevieve’s Catholic Church
Source: Wikimedia / Metropolitan Museum of Art | Public Domain

Modern built, St. Genevieve’s is a Catholic Church located in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Feel free to drop in for a confession or for Saturday Mass.

This beautiful classic church pairs well with the warm community of people that welcome you to the church. The church has great historic value in the community of Las Cruces and is viewed as a symbol of the city.

18. Las Cruces Railroad Museum

Las Cruces Railroad Museum
Source: Flickr / pyrosim the Archivist | CC BY 2.0

Las Cruces Railroad Museum is an ode to trains and locomotives in this region. Located in a historic railroad depot, this museum portrays the history of railroads and the impact they had on New Mexico.

Bring your kids to learn and be informed of all railroad knowledge. With a variety of exhibits ranging from model trains to actual train parts to antique/vintage railroad parts this museum is the perfect place to spend a Saturday afternoon.

19. Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park

Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park1
Source: Flickr / Frank | CC BY 2.0

This park is located on the Rio Grande river near Las Cruces. This State park preserves the forest and wildlife that reside along the river. If you are looking for a quiet, cozy spot to enjoy some down time, relax and unwind then this is the perfect spot for you.

Some of the best sunset views can be seen from the tracks along the park. Lined with a few close by restaurants where you can grab your food and enjoy it in the park.

20. World’s Largest Chili Pepper

Worlds Largest Chili Pepper1
Source: Flickr / Lisa Chamberlain | CC BY-SA 2.0

Are you trying to cross off from you Guinness world record, the world’s largest chile pepper? Well you sure don’t want to miss this giant attraction. 

Designed to attract tourists and visitors to not only notice the world record Chile, but also the hotel that is responsible for this giant structure. Running to about 47 – feet-long, the behemoth chile pepper entices visitors to take notice the area.

21. Lions Park

Lions Park
Source: Unsplash / Zahra Rafiei

Lions Park in Las Cruces, New Mexico is a 12 Tennis Court park. If you are a Tennis junky then bring your rackets and play some tennis. This public facility is located at 701 West Picacho Avenue.

22. Prehistoric Trackways National Monument

Prehistoric Trackways National Monument
Source: Flickr / Bureau of Land Management | CC BY 2.0

Near the city of Las Cruces, New Mexico is the Prehistoric Trackways National Monument. The area is holds home to Paleozoic era fossils that are spread on 5,255 acres of land.

This area holds true to fossilized footprints of land animals, sea creatures and yes, some insects as well. Many of the fossils date back to 280 million years old. Let your inner archeologist out by visiting the Prehistoric Trackways National Monument.

23. Fabian Garcia Botanical Gardens

Fabian Garcia Botanical Gardens1
Source: Unsplash / Ben Curry

Part of the New Mexico State University is the Fabian Garcia Botanical Garden featuring plants from the local surroundings and a romantic gazebo. Perfect for a small intimate stroll through. Enjoy the view through the gazebo of the botanical gardens.

24. Zuhl Museum

Zuhl Museum
Source: Flickr / operation_janet | CC BY-ND 2.0

The Zuhl Museum is home to the Zuhl collection in New Mexico. This museum is part art gallery paying homage to the hundreds of beautiful specimens of fossils, minerals and woods.

Located at the New Mexico State University, this exhibit is open and welcomed to alumni, local citizens, school groups and tourists. There is a visitor’s center that one can drop by to get a better understanding of the museum.

25. Baylor Pass West Trailhead

Baylor Pass West Trailhead
Source: Flickr / Patrick Alexander | Public Domain

If you like to challenge yourself to a day of hiking and are looking for a new adventure, Baylor Pass West Trailhead is the right place for you to visit. Go for a hike to enjoy the views or take out your mountain bikes. 

Though the hiking trail is not the longest, the main challenging factor is the constant incline that the path is on. This keeps one on their feet and pushing out of their comfort zone.