Jon and I spent a long weekend in Las Cruces, New Mexico in early November and it was fantastic! We hiked, did some sight-seeing, beer tasted and ate the most delicious food!
Las Cruces is located about an hour from El Paso, Texas and sits right next to the Organ Mountains (they look like a giant pipe organ). We woke up early Saturday morning and hit the trails in the foothills of the Organ Mountains. We drove out of the town area and were able to find lots of trail heads around. Many people were out running, mountain biking and hiking- the New Mexico lifestyle is to get outside and enjoy the activities the outdoors have to offer! Las Cruces is a small town, so the natural playground is it’s best attraction!
Jon and I hiked in on a trail and quickly found ourselves “off-trail.” Since the brush is not super dense, you can really hike wherever you want. Just be careful to not step on a rattlesnake taking a sun bath! We got lucky and did not meet anything larger than a butterfly- phew!
We loved adventuring together and exploring a new place.
This trip was perfect timing for a kindergarten teacher- I had just finished the first quarter and loved using my extra-long, election day weekend to get out of my comfort zone and routine!
The variety of mountain views we see in this country is really astounding. Jon and I are so appreciative of our opportunities to travel and hike in new places.
Here is the butterfly we saw- it was so beautiful! We also saw some cool flying beetles and lots of cacti! I was loving the desert flora!
After our hike, we went back to the hotel to get cleaned up and explore Old Mesilla. This small town features old Southwest architecture and great local shopping. We bought some local pecans (yum) and spices. We also rocked our new cowboy boots that we had bought the night before in El Paso…we had to dress the part!
We tried out the Spotted Dog Brewery in Mesilla and really enjoyed it! It had a very laid-back and local vibe. It was small and had great beers.
Spending time with this guy was such a blessing. After a crazy fall at work we seriously enjoyed our adventure together!
Another brewery we went to is the Pecan Grill and Brewery. This was a cool spot and we tasted the most amazing Pecan Beer there! It was SO good that we packed a six-pack in our checked luggage. I’ve never had a better pecan beer (it tastes like pecan pie but isn’t sweet). I was in heaven!
We ate dinner at all of our favorite restaurants in Las Cruces: Si Senor, Habanero’s, and Andele. We ate New Mexican food every night and were in heaven! Jon loves the salsa bars most restaurants offer (#sauceman) and I had chili relleno every night (Habanero’s had my favorite version).
Here is Jon with his favorite food in Las Cruces- Habanero’s “Macho Chimichanga!” This dish fed both of us and we had left overs…oh my. It was so delicious! One thing to know about New Mexico style food is that it is seriously spicy! Even when you get something with mild salsa, the peppers are hot! I made sure to order mild everything to save myself from too much heat; on the other hand, Jon was in spicy heaven!
After dinner we headed to watch the sunset. Unlike a normal sunset, you watch the sunset in reverse in Las Cruces. Instead of watching the sun dip below the horizon (which you can do…) you watch the sun’s reflection on the Organ Mountains. It turns the red rock every shade of pink and purple- so beautiful!
While this was the end of our time in Las Cruces, be sure to check out our posts about Carlsbad Caverns and White Sands National Monument to read about the other places we visited during our New Mexico weekend! New Mexico is seriously beautiful and the food is to die for; we’ll definitely be back sometime soon!
K, J and P