New Mexico December 11, 2016
You’ll Never Run Out Of Things To Do In This Tiny New Mexico Town
Although the town of Mesilla, in Southern New Mexico, is home to a mere 2,196 people, it’s a fascinating place to visit. Here you’ll find well-preserved architecture, history worth delving into, and high quality restaurants. See what this quintessential New Mexican town has to offer.
The plaza is the heart of Mesilla and that’s a good place to start exploring. In fact, it's a national historic landmark.
The San Albino Basilica dominates one side of the plaza. This Romanesque church was built in 1906 although its bells are older, dating back to the 1870s and 1880s.
Address: 2280 Calle Principal, Mesilla.
Mesilla is extremely walkable. Take your time strolling around, admiring the historic architecture.
Mesilla has an unusual history. When the Treaty of Hidalgo ended the Mexican-American War in 1848, the border was moved. Those wishing to continue being Mexican citizens established Mesilla, just south of the new border. However, the 1853 Gadsden Purchase returned Mesilla to the United States, so the town’s inhabitants ended up becoming U.S. citizens anyway.
While you're wandering, keep an eye out for this old building. Now a gift shop, it once served as the county courthouse and jail. It was here that infamous outlaw, Billy the Kid, was sentenced to death by hanging.
Address: 2385 Calle Guadalupe, Mesilla.
There are plenty of tourist souvenirs in this part of Mesilla but if you want something unique, head to Tres Manos Weaving Studio where you’ll find handmade woven items like scarves and wraps.
Address: 1910 Calle de Parian, Mesilla.
Your stomach will thank you for visiting Mesilla because the restaurants are of a far higher calibre than you might expect in a town this size.
¡Ándele! serves Southwestern and Mexican cuisine and is a local favorite.
Order the green chile chicken enchiladas or the burritos. The restaurant makes its own tortillas which takes these dishes to the next level.
Address: 1950 Calle Del Norte, Mesilla.
If you have kids or history buffs in tow, definitely go to La Posta. The décor here is one of a kind. Look closely… That is indeed a hat-wearing, gun-toting skeleton!
The La Posta Compound is on the National Register for Historic Buildings – it dates back to the 1840s. The building once housed the Corn Exchange Hotel, a stop on the Butterfield Stagecoach Line.
Address: 2410 Calle De San Albino, Mesilla.
Another historic site is the Fountain Theatre, which shows indie movies at 7:30 p.m each night, with weekend matinees.
For more info.
Address: 2469 Calle de Guadalupe, Mesilla.
Josefina’s Old Gate serves as both a restaurant and inn, offering two suites. It’s right off the Plaza and this building oozes New Mexican style, with its two-foot thick adobe walls.
Address: 2261 Calle de Guadalupe, Mesilla.
Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park lies a mile or so outside of town. The park is a little known gem that abuts the Rio Grande.
It's a peaceful place for birding and hiking - there are 2.3 miles of trails.
No trip to Mesilla is complete without a stop at Spotted Dog Brewery, a family-run microbrewery.
Feeling indecisive? Then order a tasting flight.
Address: 2920 Avenida de Mesilla, Mesilla.
While there are more than enough activities to keep you occupied in Mesilla, the town is located about three miles away from Las Cruces, the second-largest city in our state. We defy you to be bored here!
New Mexico has more than its share of charming small towns, each with its own appeal.
Here are some other small towns with large attractions.