Museums & History
Museum and Historical Sites
Fort Selden Historic Site
In Radium Springs, NM, less than 15 miles outside Las Cruces explore what remains of Ft. Selden. See firsthand the grounds where several soldiers were stationed in the late 1800s. The land is also where Native American farmers lived starting in 400 A.D. Adobe remains can be seen upon coming to the site, and the visitor’s center has pictures, artifacts, and provides even more history and information on the lives the fort’s past residents.
Located: 1280 Fort Selden Rd.
Branigan Cultural Center
Boasting exhibits showcasing the wonderful culture of New Mexico, the center displays a wide selection of diverse and meaningful art. While visiting, you also may see an exhibit about the local wildlife and their impact on the community. The center hosts regular educational classes as it’s serves as a resource for people of all ages to learn about Las Cruces, its history and culture.
Located: 501 N. Main St.
The Museum of Nature & Science
The Museum allows visitors to explore and learn about New Mexico wildlife, prehistoric animals, space, history and more. Stop by and see live animals, fossilized trackways, and learn about the roles that native animals and humans have on local wildlife. There also are several interactive exhibits for visitors of all ages to enjoy.
Located: 411 N. Main St.
The Museum of Art
This museum hosts a variety of changing contemporary art exhibits and programs for visitors with no admission fee. The Museum also runs an extensive art studio class. It currently hosts the exhibit, Origami in the Garden: Transforming Paper to Sculpture.
Located: 411 N. Main St.
The New Mexico Farm & Ranch Heritage Museum
Find yourself engulfed in the wonders of New Mexico Agriculture and the Old West. Showcasing the wonderful world of agriculture and its 4,000-year history in the southern New Mexico region, the museum has several interactive exhibits for visitors to explore. They include topics on New Mexico farm life, wagons, rotating exhibits, the ways of transportation and more. There is a greenhouse, holding pens for sheep and goats, horse stables and a section completely devoted to dairy and everything it provides. Explore the giftshop, “Heart of the Desert,” which has pistachios, wine, ice cream and other goodies. Enjoy fun hands-on learning for the whole family!
Located: 4100 Dripping Springs Rd.
The Railroad Museum
Devoted to helping people discover the history of railroads in New Mexico, the museum is an interactive and informative resource on the industry’s impact on the state. View artifacts, miniature train models, featured exhibits and attend special events. The museum is engaging for all ages.
Located: 351 N. Mesilla St.
The Chile Pepper Institute
A one-of-a-kind place, the institute conducts research and educates people from all around the world about chile. Residents of the Mesilla Valley have been growing chile since the early 1900s and produced several varieties. The Institute gives visitors the opportunity to tour the gardens and learn about the peppers up close. See original varieties grown in-house, as well as some of the world’s hottest peppers. Tours for groups off all sizes are available per reservation. The Chile Pepper Institute also sells seeds and different New Mexico and chile-themed goods at a shop located on the New Mexico State University campus.
Garden Location: 140 W. University Ave.
Store Location: 940 College Dr.