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 THINGS TO DO 

Las Vegas, New Mexico is one of the most interesting small towns in the Southwest. Check out some of the local attractions and events going on this month!


MONTEZUMA CASTLE (UWC)


LAS VEGAS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE


CHARLES ROSS / VIRGINIA DWAN LIGHT SANCTUARY

AREA ATTRACTIONS

MONTEZUMA HOT SPRINGS
One of the great natural hot springs in the country! The Montezuma springs were developed by the historic Montezuma Resort in the 1880s. The Montezuma was the greatest hotel ever built by the Santa Fe Railway. Although the hotel is now a private campus for United World College, the hot springs are across the road and are free to the public! Three groupings of hot springs has been diverted into rustic cement and rock pools and tubs along the side of the road. Pools and tubs range in size and temperature, and with a little experimenting, you can find the perfect soak.

Directions: From the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas, NM go approx. 5 miles northwest on Hot Springs Road. Watch for signs on the right side of the road just past the 1882 power plant and tower across from the Montezuma Castle – United World College.
visitlasvegasnm.com/montezuma-hot-springs

MONTEZUMA CASTLE (UWC)
UWC-USA is one of 15 United World College (UWC) campuses and the only campus in the United States. This remarkable program serves high achieving students age 16-19 from more than 70 different countries. It’s like going to school at Hogwarts! The campus is closed to visitors but there are frequent wonderful public events and you can get a tour with Southwest Tours (see below).
uwc-usa.org

SOUTHWEST DETOURS
Kathy Hendrickson provides great tours of historic Las Vegas NM, including Harvey Girl Tours of the Castaneda Hotel, Montezuma Castle and Plaza Hotel.
southwestdetours.com

LAS VEGAS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Spanish for ‘the meadows,’ Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge’s history dates as far back as 8,000 BC when old world Indians inhabited the high plains area. Pueblo Indians lived in this region until the 1100s when drought and Apaches forced them out. In the mid-1500s, Spanish conquistadors and missionaries explored and settled the region, and the influence of Spanish culture is still felt today. Westward expansion continued in the late 1800s. By the turn of the century, the Santa Fe Trail and the railroad made Las Vegas, New Mexico the boomtown of the Southwest. The Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1965 for the benefit of migratory birds. The 8,672-acre refuge represents one of the few sizeable wetland areas remaining in New Mexico. It is open to the public for wildlife-dependent recreation, including wildlife watching, hiking, hunting, educational and interpretive programs and special events. It is part of the National Wildlife Refuge System, a national network of lands and waters set aside and managed for the benefit of wildlife, habitat and you.
fws.gov/refuge/las_vegas

LIGHT SANCTUARY
The Dwan Light Sanctuary was designed by Charles Ross for art dealer and philanthropist Virginia Dwan in 1996. This beautiful chapel is one of the finest and less known public artworks in the United States. The design features large prisms in the walls and ceiling which spread moving rainbows around the space. Check in at the United World College gatehouse for entry.
uwc-usa.org

HIGHLANDS UNIVERSITY
New Mexico Highlands University (NMHU) is in the center of Las Vegas just a short walk from the Plaza or Castaneda Hotel. This is one of the finest and most affordable small colleges in the Southwest. The campus includes many beautiful buildings including the stone romanesque masterpiece Ilfeld Auditorium, many structures by John Gaw Meem (New Mexico’s most famous architect), and the new Media Arts Center and Student Center. Go Cowboys and Cowgirls!
nmhu.edu

ROUGH RIDERS MUSEUM
The city museum is at 727 Grand Avenue. This fine WPA building houses an intriguing collection of artifacts, with many related to the history of Teddy Roosevent and the Rough Riders. Roosevelt’s success in Cuba on San Juan Hill propelled him to the Presidency. Most of the Rough Riders were recruited from New Mexico, and most of them from Las Vegas – so in 1899 a tradition began of Rough Riders Reunions here in Las Vegas, with the first one attended by TR himself!

lasvegasmuseum.org

ANTIQUE STORES 

Vegas is blessed with a collection of great antique stores run by fascinating historians of the community. Right on the Plaza you will find Plaza Antiques and Frankie Antiques. Across from the Castaneda is the delightful Rough Riders Antiques. You can spend a whole afternoon in either of these!

roughriderantiqueslasvegasnewmexico.com

AROUND THE PLAZA

Around the Plaza is a delightful collection of stores and restaurants, perfect for a little stroll & some shopping! Clockwise from the Plaza Hotel you will find State Farm Insurance, Gallery 210, Mayeur Gallery, El Encanto Mexican restaurant, Travelers Cafe, Plaza Drugs, JC’s Pizza & Bowling, Pams Flowers & Event Center, Olivias Coffee, Plaza Boots, Tome on the Range (greatest name for a bookstore ever!), Plaza Antiques, Plaza Records, Longmire’s headquarters, Threadbear (for fabric & sewing) and Frankie Ann Tiques.

RECREATION CENTER

Vegas’ has a great recreation center with an indoor pool, full gym, racquetball courts and basketball courts. Day passes are only $3 and you can get them at the door!

lasvegasnm.gov/departments/recreation_department/index.php

GOLF IN TOWN OR AT PENDARIES

Right next to the Rec Center at 1 Country Club Drive – just five minutes from the Plaza – is the 9 hole Gene Torres Golf Course.  Carts & rentals are available at the Club House. This is run by Highlands University and is a great asset for our community.

WALKING TOURS WITH CCHP

GALLINAS RIVER WALK

OUR LADY OF SORROWS CHURCH AND ORGAN

CASTANEDA AND RAILROAD AVENUE

 

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