Dive into the History of Agriculture and Unique Flavors of Southern New Mexico

Calling all foodies! With iconic red and green chile, as well as wine, pecans, and a variety of locally grown produce, Las Cruces, New Mexico is a foodie’s paradise, shaped by the agricultural traditions dating back thousands of years.

In addition to scenic farmland, vineyards, and orchards, you can experience what it’s like to grow these incredible flavors at several area attractions through tours, tastings, dining, museums, and interactive learning.

Go Behind the Scenes

A visit to the New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum provides an in-depth look at the history of farming and agriculture in the community. Connecting the rich history of agriculture in Las Cruces to the present-day, the museum features stunning artwork, interactive exhibits, farm animals, and much more. Step into the past, and learn about women in agriculture, the Wild West days of New Mexico’s cattle industry, as well as agricultural practices from over 4,000 years ago. Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, the museum is a must-visit.

Grow Your Own

The Chile Pepper Institute Teaching Garden at New Mexico State University is a favorite of all visitors. With over 150 types of peppers planted each year, the garden offers guided or self-guided tours to explore the different varieties and learn about different growing techniques.

Along with tours, you can stop by the gift shop to stock up on hot sauces, books on growing and cooking peppers, and over 100 varieties of seeds, plants, and salsas.

Plan your visit in late April, when the Institute hosts a plant sale, so you can get a jump on summer gardening.

Taste Local Flavors

After learning about the work that goes into producing these crops, try the flavors for yourself at one of many local restaurants offering the best of New Mexican food like posole, chile rellenos, enchiladas and sopaipillas. Learn more here. 

Learn, Sip and Savor

For over 400 years, the Mesilla Valley has been a force in the wine industry and home to several award-winning local winemakers. From tastings and tours to special events and festivals, nine Las Cruces-area wineries provide the perfect backdrop for a relaxing day or an experiential visit.

Check out the state’s oldest winery—La Viña Winery—for the La Viña Fall Wine Festival (Sept. 24–25), the Wicked Wine Run (Oct. 8), or music on the patio every Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The winery also offers tours by appointment.

Stop in and visit D.H. Lescombes Winery & Bistro—a family-established winery that’s been a part of Southern New Mexico since 1984. Originally from France, the family has created award-winning wines, paired with delectable dishes in the bistro. Take a day trip, tour the Deming vineyard and enjoy morning mimosas, while learning about winemaking. Reservations are required.

For those interested in trying the variety of Las Cruces reds and whites, take a self-guided tour along the Las Cruces Wine Tra­il.