When you think of Las Cruces, New Mexico I’m sure the first thing that comes to mind would be desert. Well, that is definitely true, Chihuahuan desert to be exact, but there is much more than that in this sprawling town in the middle of the southern part of the state.
It is located just a short 55-minute drive from El Paso, Texas. It is known as the ‘City of Crosses’ and has a population of over 100K people, making it the second largest city in the state after Albuquerque, and is the home of New Mexico State University. Las Cruces
We came here the first time a year ago on our way to Texas for a friend’s wedding. We had actually booked ourselves into a small RV park in the older part of Las Cruces. When we arrived we found our site to be in the middle of the road. We were situated next to the maintenance shed that was very run down and obviously home to lots of large rodents. I really didn’t want to stay around too long to get to know any of them, the rodents that is, not the people.
We promptly moved across town to the Hacienda RV Resort. Hacienda RV Resort Now the Hacienda Resort is one of our, if not our favorite, parks. The resort has a lot of features that are very RV friendly. The lots are almost all pull-through, level, and wide, which makes it much easier as we all know. The bathhouse is immaculate, new and spacious. It truly has to be the best showers I have seen in an RV park. The kind that you really just want to let the warm water cascade onto you for 15 minutes, without having to shut the shower head on and off.
The hot tub could be your own private oasis because it is never used. A very large laundry room, a workout facility that could use some upgrading, and a little knick-knack shop. We like to walk and bike and with the paved rows, it makes it easy.
Every time we go to Las Cruces we try to find new restaurants that we hadn’t tried before, but can’t help but go back to ones that we had discovered in the past. One of our favorite ‘go to’ restaurants is Bite of Belgium Bite of Belgium, a fantastic breakfast place. We usually get seated immediately. This most recent trip was quite different in a couple of ways. When we arrived we already noticed how crowded the parking lot was. We were seated in the new back patio. It was so cute and had big heaters to make sure we stayed warm. We had to ask them to turn them off because it was too hot. We always like to try new food options from the menu like the Corned Beef Hash and the Original Liege Waffles and once again they hit it out of the park. They are going to be starting a dinner service in about a month or two, and we can’t wait for that.
A new restaurant we tried this year was The Shed. It’s only open for breakfast and lunch and it’s worth the wait. worth it. The inside of the restaurant kind of makes you feel like you are on the bottom of a fish tank. We can’t figure out why it is called the shed and not the tank. Paul got the eggs benedict served with brisket and green chili hollandaise sauce. I loved every bite of my cinnamon raisin french toast.
Where ever we travel we like to check out some of the oddities in the area. It’s always fun for us to see strange and sometimes interesting things. Most of the time they are right around the corner and we miss them unless we take the time to seek them out.
We use a smartphone app called Roadside America. You can also find it on the internet Roadside America
Many times we have driven down Interstate 10 Eastbound towards Las Cruces but never stopped at the rest area. When we did we found the largest roadrunner made out of recycled material from the area.
We saw a very large wooden carved American Indian head called Dineh,
which means ‘the people’ in the Navajo language. This is located in Apodaca park.
The Bataan Death March Statue and Walkway in Veterans’ Park was one site we did discover and was really moving. This park is on the northeast side of town in a small residential area. If you are not familiar with the Bataan Death March, it started on April 10th 1942. 75,000 American and Filipino captured troops were forced to march 85 miles in six days. They were only given one meal of rice during their entire journey. We walked around and read all the words from survivors. That really made it more clear as to what these fellow humans had to endure. I have put a link to read more about this horrific moment in history and a tiny video to see the actual footsteps of survivors cast in stone. This Day in History
Click here to see the footsteps to the statue. Bataan March
It was very cool to see a specific monument for each branch of the service. Paul served with the Airborne Infantry in the Army so he was happy to find a monument dedicated to Airborne. My good friend Lisa Brown, from Always on Liberty, was in the US Coast Guard, so I had to pose with one the brave women of the Armed Forces. It was so worth the time it took us to find it in this park.
There are many other interesting things to see. You can take Interstate 25 north to the city of Hatch Village of Hatch and visit the worlds’ green chile capital. We went there to buy some chilis because that’s what you do. I’m not very familiar with how to cook with them so I was kind of intimidated by it all. You can take New Mexico Highway 185 and meander south, following the Rio Grande and see some of the most spectacular views.
Wherever you go in the area you will find chili vendors, historic markers, really lovely shops, farmers markets, great restaurants, statuesque churches, and breathtaking mountainscapes.
We have been to Las Cruces, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and many more other parts of the state and loved every one of them. We are definitely eager to adventure around more to see what else New Mexico has to offer.