Places to Visit in Southern New Mexico

Families, groups, art-enthusiasts, couples, outdoor adventurers, and more will find something to appreciate on a visit to any of New Mexico’s best southern attractions. Casino gaming, alien-themed museums, rolling white sand dunes, and hidden caverns are just some of the top places to visit in southern New Mexico.

Read on to discover the 7 top places to visit in southern New Mexico!

The old wooden wheel from a carriage
Hubbard Museum of the American West

Where: Ruidoso Downs

Contact: (575) 378-4142

Located in Ruidoso Downs, this southern New Mexico museum is an ode to the old American West and is a popular attraction among all ages. The museum includes six exhibits that feature sculptures, centuries-old horse-drawn vehicles, American Southwest-inspired jewelry, and stunning artwork.

Inn of the Mountain Gods

Where: Mescalero

Casino gaming. Fishing. Ziplining. Concerts. Golfing. Oh my! These are just some of the things you can experience at Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino. Located on the Mescalero Apache Reservations in Mescalero, New Mexico, Inn of the Mountain Gods has remained a favorite among travelers visiting the area, whether it be for a weekend trip or just to pass-through for some of the best casino gaming in New Mexico. See everything this southern New Mexico resort has to offer!

woman snowboarding down slope
Ski Apache

Where: Alto

Contact: (575) 464-3600

Ski Apache is southern New Mexico’s top destination for snow skiing and snowboarding. Located at the alpine peak of Sierra Blanca, this premier New Mexico skiing and snowboard resort offers some of the best warm-weather powder skiing in the world. The resort offers slopes for all skill levels, bump runs, a terrain park, and a bowl. The park is also open during the warmer months for hiking, biking, and ziplining.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Where: Carlsbad

Contact: (575) 785-2232

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is home to 119 hidden caverns that lay beneath the Chihuahuan Desert’s surface. Visitors can take a ranger-guided tour or tour the caverns at your own pace. The park’s Bat Flight Program is a truly unique event that is held at the caverns every evening from Memorial Day weekend through October.

Light beam from flying UFO
Roswell, New Mexico

From bug-eyed aliens to flying saucers, Roswell is certainly well-known for its extra-terrestrial obsession. Visitors will find plenty of alien-themed museums and shops to feed any out-of-this-world appetites. The fifth-largest New Mexico city is also home to many outdoor recreation areas, magnificent state parks, and the Spring River Park & Zoo.

White Sands National Monument

Where: Holloman

Contact: (575) 479-6124

Encompassing 275 miles of desert, White Sands National Monument is the world’s largest gypsum dune field. The rolling white sand peaks are truly a unique attraction and the park was listed as a national monument in 1933. Visitors can hike, bike, sled the dunes, drive the dunes, or attend a ranger program during their visit.

upper cliff dwelling national monument
Silver City, New Mexico

Silver City is home to a historic downtown area, an eclectic art district, and nearby outdoor recreation areas and state parks including the Catwalk Recreation Area and the Cliff Dwellings National Monument. Named for its silver ore discovery in the late 1800s, this intimate southwest town has become a must-visit destination in southern New Mexico for its festivals, events, and vibrant community.

Reserve your southern New Mexico hotel accommodations for your next visit.

Christmas in New Mexico 2019 – Events, Festivals & More

The holidays are almost here—that means Christmas festivities, delicious food, and lots to do around New Mexico. Use our guide to find the best Christmas events, holiday dining options, and so much more in and around Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort in Mescalero.

Don’t be a scrooge—check out what you can do this holiday season in New Mexico!

The Top New Mexico Christmas Events

christmas tree with ornamentsRuidoso Christmas Jubilee | Friday, November 8th — Sunday, November 10th

Get into the holiday spirit at this year’s Ruidoso Christmas Jubilee at the Ruidoso Convention Center. Season’s tidings and holiday festivities will be on full display at this Ruidoso Christmas event. Local crafters and artisans will sell gifts, decorations, and other local goods. Kids will have a chance to visit Santa, including fun crafts and stories.

The fun runs from Friday, November 8th – Sunday, November 10th.

  • 12 p.m. — 5 p.m. Friday, November 8th
  • 10 a.m. — 5 p.m. Saturday, November 9th
  • 10 a.m. — 3 p.m. Sunday, November 10th

Admission is $2 per person. Ages 12 and under are free.

Grindstone Stables Sleigh Rides | Thanksgiving Day — January 4th, 2020

Jingle all the way through Ruidoso’s Upper Canyon during a sleigh ride at Grindstone Stables. These sleigh rides are perfect for all ages, with sleighs adorned with jingle bells and beautiful draft horses that pull you through Ruidoso’s oldest areas. Snow or no snow, these sleigh rides are sure to delight! Each sleigh ride is 30 minutes, and rides depart every day from Thanksgiving through January at 5:30 p.m. Rides are $20 per adult and $10 per child 12 and under. Reservations are recommended. Call (575) 257-2241 for more information.

Inn of the Mountain Gods Christmas Tree Lighting | Sunday, December 1st

The Christmas season officially begins in Mescalero, New Mexico with the annual Christmas Tree Lighting at Inn of the Mountain Gods. All are welcome to enjoy this free holiday event that offers festive activities for the entire family. The holiday fun begins at 1 pm with a Barnes & Noble pop-up shop and continues with cookies and hot cocoa, a free screening of A Charlie Brown Christmas, carolers, and photos with Santa. The festive evening ends at 6 pm as the Inn of the Mountain Gods Christmas tree is illuminated with sparkling lights.

Christmas in the Park | Thursday, December 5th

All ages will have a jolly time when they visit Schoolhouse Park in Ruidoso on November 29th for Christmas in the Park. This classic Ruidoso festival will include Christmas carolers, festive music, and sleigh rides, as Christmas lights sparkle throughout the park. And don’t miss out on visiting the big man himself—Santa Claus! The fun is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, December 5th.

christmas tree with decorationsRuidoso Festival of Lights Parade | Saturday, December 7th

Cars covered in glowing lights and Christmas cheer spread across the street, the Ruidoso Festival of Lights Parade is a must-experience Christmas event in Ruidoso. From 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., watch as festive floats, marchers, and more bring holiday jubilee to Ruidoso. The parade will start on the corner of Sudderth/Mechem and wind through Midtown before ending at the Ruidoso Chamber of Commerce.

The Nutcracker at Spencer Theater | Saturday, December 21st & Sunday, December 22nd

Enjoy a Christmas classic when you purchase your tickets to The Nutcracker at Spencer Theater. Located in Alto, NM—just minutes from Ruidoso—Spencer Theater will feature the Dali’ Ballet Company’s rendition of this holiday classic. Not only will the performances leave you awestruck, but the production—including a Christmas tree that grows 40 feet—is equally as spectacular. The Nutcracker will run for two nights at Spencer Theater: Saturday, December 21st at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, December 22nd at 2 p.m. Contact (575) 336-4800 for tickets.

Take a peek at the Inn of the Mountain Gods entertainment schedule.

New Mexico Holiday Dining Options

Christmas or Thanksgiving turkey on rustic wooden tableWendell’s Thanksgiving Brunch

Time: 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Visit Wendell’s Steak & Seafood at Inn of the Mountain Gods and enjoy a full spread of traditional Thanksgiving dishes. Menu options include succulent carved options like Lavender Brined Roasted Turkey, Prime Rib of Roast Beef, Braised Beef Short Ribs, and Seared King Salmon. This Thanksgiving feast will also have a raw bar, salads, soup, and an omelet station. Cost per person is $90. Reservations are strongly recommended. Call (575) 464-7842 to make your reservations.

Cozy New Mexico Hotel Rooms for the Holidays

Inn of the Mountain Gods’ warm and cozy lodging is perfect for a holiday getaway. Enjoy the upscale features and amenities of a resort with the comforts of home. Our resort includes spacious rooms and suites, fit for any occasion.

Each of our accommodations boasts impeccable views of the mountains and lush forests surrounding the resort.

Presidential Suite: Two private balconies; king bed; a whirlpool tub; living area; dining area; kitchenette; multiple TVs

Deluxe Suite: King bed; private balcony; a whirlpool tub; multiple TVs; living area with queen-sized sleeper sofa

Royal Suite: King bed; private balcony; a whirlpool tub; living area with queen-sized sleeper sofa; multiple TVs; dining area

Superior Room: One king bed or two queen beds; flat-screen TV; coffee maker; private balcony

Luxury Room: Private balcony; two queen beds or one king bed; queen-sized sleeper sofa; flat-screen TV; coffee maker

Standard Room: One king bed or two queen beds; flat-screen TV; coffee maker

Don’t miss Inn of the Mountain God’s New Mexico hotel deals!

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