With an average of 350 days a year of sunshine, you won't have trouble finding something to do. From the peaks of the Organ Mountains, down to the fertile Mesilla Valley and out to the rolling dunes at White Sands National Monument, there's something for everyone.
Historic Old Mesilla: Just minutes away from the Mission Inn, this quaint town offers plenty of shops and boutiques offering traditional arts and crafts from the southwest. In addition, you can also visit the courthouse where Billy the Kid once stood trial and visit the San Albino Church, originally built of adobe in 1855. For more information visit www.oldmesilla.org
White Sands: Located 40 miles east of Las Cruces, White Sands National Monument features 275 square-miles of rolling gypsum dunes. Truly a unique and amazing site, visitors can picnic, take walking tours and even "white sand surf". Nearby, the White Sands Missile Range Museum displays missiles and rockets tested at the range and a variety of military hardware used since World War II. If you're really up to it, and happen to visit Las Cruces during one of only two dates a year, the White Sands Missile Range offers the Trinity Site Tour.
Organ Mountains: Rising over 9,000 feet above Las Cruces, the Organs offer a myriad of wildlife, hiking trails and picnicking. Adventure seekers can begin their day at one of the two main recreational areas, Aguirre Springs and Dripping Springs.
Wineries: New Mexico lays claim to having the oldest wine industry in the country. Since 1629, winemakers in New Mexico have been producing ethereal Chardonnays and lush Cabernets. Spend the afternoon taking your very own tour of the St. Clair Winery, the Luna Rossa Winery, the Rio Grande Vineyard and Winery and the La Vina Winery.
Sunland Park: Located just 40 miles southeast of Las Cruces, Sunland Park Racetrack & Casino offers gaming, concerts, car shows and more.
Golf: Bring your golf clubs and play on some of southern New Mexico's finest courses. Set a tee time at one three public courses in Las Cruces. The Las Cruces Country Club, located in the heart of the city offers small-bent grass greens and open bent-grass fairways. The New Mexico State University Golf Course, nestled close to the Organ Mountains plays a combination of traditional and desert golf with large greens and generous fairways. Finally, the award winning Sonoma Ranch Golf Course offers incredible views and challenging play with its rolling hills, strewn bunkers and undulating bent-grass greens.
Mesilla Valley Balloon Rally: Every January over 90 colorful and magnificent hot-air balloons ascend hundreds of feet into the crisp blue morning skies. For more Information visit www.mvbr.com
Wine Festivals: Twice a year, wine connoisseurs and neophytes alike, come to Las Cruces to stimulate and cultivate their palates. During Memorial Day weekend, wine lovers can learn how to pair their favorite bottle with different foods and listen to live local music, while sampling wines from across the state. Three to four months later during the Harvest Wine Festival, wine lovers can help celebrate the harvest by sampling a large variety of wines and participating in the grape stomp. For more information visit www.nmwine.com
Hatch Chile Festival: The Mesilla Valley is the chile capital of the world. So every Labor Day weekend, we celebrate with a two-day chile festival. Over 30,000 people from across the United States, including the Food Network and the BBC, attend to celebrate our love for chilies. Visit www.hatchchilefest.com for more information.
Southern New Mexico State Fair & Rodeo: During late September, visitors can enjoy livestock shows, live music, state-fair food, rodeo's and the midway. Visit www.snmstatefair.com for more information.
Spend your day enjoying the outdoors by riding horseback through a vista of hills, canyons and ruins with Corralitos Trail Rides. Located between one and two hours away, you can visit the City of Rocks, Rockhound State Park, Caballo Lake and Elephant Butte Lake, visit Cuidad Juarez in Mexico and enjoy horse racing, skiing and gaming in the resort town of Ruidoso.
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