Top Five Destinations of Las Cruces, NM

Back in 2000 or so, I started to order CDs online. I ordered them from a particular site that I can?t remember now and that no longer exists. However, I?m still thankful for one bright marketing idea they had ? they sent me ?Decoration Day? as performed by Drive By Truckers for free. Now, I already liked Uncle Tupelo, Wilco and Son Volt, but my love of alternative country hadn?t really blossomed yet. That?s where this CD came into play. From there, I started to explore more and more of the twangy alt-country sounds of various bands (if I even have the label correct, that?s how they sound in my mind) like Old-97s, Neko Case, Hadacol and The Hold Steady. So, why do I mention all of this when I need to talk about Las Cruces, New Mexico? Because the last band I mentioned has a great song called ?Both Crosses? and Las Cruces is ?The City of Crosses.? Yes, it?s a long way to go, but so is a road trip to Las Cruces, so let these ideas swim around in your head as you head to experience these five cool things.

Visit the White Sands Missile Range Museum

I?m not entirely sure what the White Sands Missile Range is for, but that?s why I need to go to the White Sands Missile Range Museum. I mean, it?s in New Mexico and the interesting secret military stuff that happens in New Mexico tends to be damn cool.

Hike Dripping Springs Natural Area

The main page for the Dripping Springs Natural Area mentions four miles of hiking trails and has a picture of an old dilapidated building. That?s pretty much all I need for fun.

Tour nearby Ghost Towns

Speaking of dilapidated buildings, the Las Cruces Convention and Visitors Bureau website has a listing of eight ghost towns in the vicinity of Las Cruces. I recommend selecting a nice dystopian movie to watch the night before and then wander each place wondering what happened to the rest of life on Earth.

Check out the Zuhl Collection

Yes, there?s a history of men and science in this desert oasis. To find out more of all the living things that used to stand still or wander around, I?ll head over to the Zuhl Museum to view the Zuhl Collection. There are over 1,800 cool things that have been trapped, imbedded and replaced within rock.

Grab a meal at La Nueva Casita Caf?

So, amid all this activity, I?ll need food and lots of it. I plan on heading over to La Nueva Casita Caf?. First of all, there is an advertisement on the side of the building and I love that. Second, there are bean and cheese burritos for $1.99 each during lunch. Third, there are chorizo and egg burritos for $2.90 during breakfast. Yep, that?s all I need.

Any suggestions for things that I missed? Any additional recommendations for the area? Just let me know in the comments.

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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."

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