As the weather warms up, there is nothing better than dining outdoors in Southern New Mexico. I enjoy cool mornings, evenings that are crisp and daytime climate that begs us to eat outside! Thankfully, Las Cruces eateries offer a variety of patio and courtyard dining experiences. De La Vegas Pecan Grill offers urban views in the center of the city, which I love. There is just something fun about being at the heart of where all the action is! So grab a couch or a bar table and order up a flight of micro brews and a tasty appetizer. Late afternoon or evening is enjoyable at the trendy M5 Martini Grill – a contemporary designed ‘al fresco’ hang out for connecting at days end. Soak up some sunshine or bask in the star-filled desert sky munching on appetizer bites; Shrimp Jalapenos and Italian Nachos are delicious teamed with craft/import drafts, or margaritas. Indulge in one of Marci’s signature cocktails, such as the Biscochito named after the traditional Mexican cookie. It’s a light combination of Herradura reposado tequila, tres leches liquor, Tuaca liqueur and a dash of cinnamon.  Delicioso!! Wander out to Old Mesilla… Josephina’s Old Gate Café has a quaint Mexican patio shaded and lined with flowers and foliage. It is the perfect place to gather for a breakfast tacos or a fresh healthy salad this time of year. People-watching and enjoying tasty beef tacos at Amelia’s, on the southwest corner of the plaza is another favorite spot. The newest patio in Mesilla is at La Posta’s, historic property, where  you will find a traditional Mexican courtyard, a wonderful place to spend the afternoon over a margarita or two. La-posta-patio My favorite afternoon treat is the Mexican Shrimp Cocktail; tender whole shrimp served in a spicy salsa blend of fresh diced avocados, cucumbers, celery, onions, tomatoes and jalapeños. Sooo good with one of their cold Mexican beers! Another hot (yet shady) spot is The Game Sports Bar & Grill. A great place to go during the warm summer days ahead- dine outdoors on upscale bistro cuisine, where huge trees edge the grassy yard, keeping it cool and shady. Sipping on an Aggie Ale pint and munchin’ chicken wings with live music on a warm summer night is the perfect way to end the day.  The-Game-Patio If you’re looking for a spot with a scenic view of the organ mountains head to St. Clair’s Winery.  Enjoy one of 12 wine flights offered daily with an appetizer such as the Greek or Caprese Flatbread it is a great way to taste, compare and find a new favorite New Mexico wine. So, slow down the pace and enjoy these shady retreats throughout the summer into fall. I know I will! La Posta de Mesilla The Game Bar & Grill Josephina’s Old Gate St. Clair’s Winery Amelia’s 2290 Calle De Parian Mesilla, NM