1. Festivals & Events
The year holds plenty of must-attend events for you to enjoy!
¡Mira! Las Cruces
This Spring festival is quite the highlight of the year here at Visit Las Cruces. 2024 will be second year that ¡mira! Las Cruces is executed as the festival debuted spring of 2023. Come on down to get in on a celebration of local culture, cuisine, art, music, outdoor sights and recreation. Bask in the colorful ambiance, listen to great tunes, and indulge in some of the local vendors. Save the date for Saturday, April 27!
Las Cruces Space Festival
Explore and celebrate your love of space, astronomy, and everything out of this world! Southern New Mexico is a region rich in space history. Come on down to learn about the buzzing aerospace developments in the region. This year's festival makes it's move to the fall, one of the best times of year to visit southern New Mexico.
NM Wine Festival
Held over the Memorial Day weekend, the New Mexico Wine Festival is just one of the festivals occurring over the weekend. It’s a great way to wind down for the holiday and sip on the variety of samples from local wineries and vendors.
Día de los Muertos in Historic Mesilla
This celebration is one that spans several days with elaborate altar displays and performances on the plaza. Don’t miss out on this important and beautiful celebration of heritage and the depart of lost loved ones. You can catch the festival annually at the end of October, beginning of November.
Here in Las Cruces, NM the city gathers on Dec. 31 to celebrate the new years with twist on the traditional ball drop. New Year’s Eve the public gathers to watch a giant chile pepper drop at the stroke of midnight. The tradition began in 2014 and has continued every year since. Residents are asked to guess whether the pepper will be green or red in reference to the state question: “Do you prefer red or green chile peppers?” Enjoy live music, local food vendors, and family-friendly activities. CNN was even on site to ring in 2024, using the Chile drop for the Mountain Time Zone countdown!
In a city full of culture and community, you’ll find plenty of beautiful pieces to appreciate and observe throughout the city. Whether you are looking to buy , or just explore and discover, Las Cruces has art for all. Check out the local Las Cruces Museum of Art, the Doña Ana Arts Council or the NMSU Art Museum. You'll find new exhibits throughout the year, so keep an eye out for museum news.
There's plenty of public art around town to check out and snap some pics with as well. A few of the particular noteworthy art spots in town are:
"Color me Cruces" mural on North wall of Instacopy
"Con Amor" mural on East wall of Visit Las Cruces
"Lady of Las Cruces" mural on West wall of Cruces Creatives
Water Tank murals across the city
Earth and Cosmos mosaic at 145 N. Main St.
Recycled Roadrunner on Interstate 10 eastbound rest stop.
Fine Arts Flea Market: Get your fill of local arts the first Friday of every month downtown with this market. From 7-10 p.m. you can enjoy live music, art and craft vendors and food vendors.
Franciscan Festival of Fine Arts: Put a fine twist on your Labor Day weekend at the Holy Cross Retreat Center with the variety of showcased artists ranging from paintings and photographs to ceramics and jewelry. Appreciate the art and indulge in food, booze, wine, music and entertainment throughout the event.
For the Love of Art Month in February: ArtForms presents the 25th anniversary of For the Love of Art Month. The organization promotes the appreciation for art in the local area. The month of February will hold 39 weekend studio tours that highlight painting, ceramics, woodworking and more!
One thing southern New Mexico does best is chile. Not far from Hatch, NM, the “chile capital of the world,” Las Cruces is jam packed with unique spicy regional dishes. Discover a twist on some traditional cultural dishes, and test your tolerance on the spice scale. For a spooky and historical experience head to Double Eagle for a fine dining experience, complete with the world's largest green chile cheeseburger.
Immerse yourself in the region's history of winemaking by stopping by one of the many wineries along the Mesilla Valley's wine trail. For a more intimate wine and dine experience, visit D.H. Lescombes Winery and Bistro. The menu utilizes its wine selections to perfection and even includes wine pairings for each dish.
If spicy isn’t your thing, try one of the sweet spots in town. Local favorite Caliches does offer a unique green chile sundae if you're feeling adventurous, but it also offers quality custard, sundaes, caliches (similar to concretes), shakes and malts, hotdogs, nachos and more. Check out Paleteria La Reyna Michoacán for all your sweet and savory cravings as one can find plenty of sweet and cold treats to satisfy that sweet tooth. Be sure to check out their piñatas and shop!
4. Outdoor Recreation
Las Cruces is a great place for some outdoor recreation, no matter the time of the year. If you’re looking to get out and get moving take a look at some of the different hiking trails around the surrounding area. Take a leisurely stroll, or challenge yourself with something more strenuous. Enjoy the nature and wildlife at the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park, and bask in the view from Dripping Springs Natural Area. Drive out to Slot Canyon for an interesting experience. Visit the Visit Las Cruces Visitors Center, 336 S. Main St., to pick up a free Trails Map of the Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks National Monument.
If you’re looking for mountain biking opportunities, check out the local Dona Ana Mountains, Picacho Peak or the Tortugas “A” Mountain. You’ll find various degrees of difficulty depending on the trail, so be sure to research and prepare. Southeast of Las Cruces, you’ll find the Sierra Vista Trail with breathtaking views of the mountains and Rio Grande Valley. Ride through the Prehistoric Trackways National Monument and stop to check out some of the interesting history and paleontological aspects of the area.
Be sure to take a look at the Las Cruces/Doña Ana County Gravel Guide! Here you can get the scoop on biking on Southern New Mexico.
With 320 days of sunshine, Las Cruces is a great spot for you to bust out the clubs and get out on the green hills. The city offers different courses for you to pick from. Each with their own amenities and challenges. At 4,000 feet above sea level, your shots travel farther, inviting creative thinking and plays.