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What to do near Ruidoso, New Mexico in October.

I'm going to a destination wedding in Ruidoso in early October, and since it's so far away, I decided to make it a five-day vacation. There's surprisingly little about the area on Trip Advisor, etc. so thought I'd take a chance and ask for insider tips here. I'm especially interested in outdoor activities, unusual restaurants, shopping for Mexican textiles - but nobody in my family will agree to go to the market in Juarez with me, so that's out >:-( ; and anything to do with BOOKS, of course.

I don't gamble and can't drink on this trip since I've volunteered to be the "go-to" babysitter if needed (so suggest activities for preschoolers, too). I'll be flying into El Paso and spending about 24 hours there; then driving via Alamogordo to Ruidoso.

(and as always, I'm lucky to have several formidable neighbors and even a police officer checking on my home while I'm gone - so I can feel comfortable posting about travel plans.)

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I'm going to a destination wedding in Ruidoso in early October, and since it's so far away, I decided to make it a five-day vacation. There's surprisingly little about the area on Trip Advisor, etc. so thought I'd take a chance and ask for insider tips here. I'm especially interested in outdoor activities, unusual restaurants, shopping for Mexican textiles - but nobody in my family will agree to go to the market in Juarez with me, so that's out >:-( ; and anything to do with BOOKS, of course.

I don't gamble and can't drink on this trip since I've volunteered to be the "go-to" babysitter if needed (so suggest activities for preschoolers, too). I'll be flying into El Paso and spending about 24 hours there; then driving via Alamogordo to Ruidoso.

(and as always, I'm lucky to have several formidable neighbors and even a police officer checking on my home while I'm gone - so I can feel comfortable posting about travel plans.)
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You really don't want to go to Juarez. El Paso Trading Co. has tons of imports. It is on the south side of 10.
El Paso is not the nicest area but Las Cruses, NM, or more specifically, La Masilla, is up 10 about an hour.
Just a few streets away from the town square is a place to get ristras at a price worth getting one to send or take home. There may be a seller in the square but you'll pay more. There is a little shop that carries art by Robert Gertz. His paintings are wonderful. Lots of cute shops and some good food there.


Sunset Grill, on the golf course in Las Cruses (on the east side of 10) is great for lunch or dinner and I can look for the name of our favorite breakfast spot if you'd like. It is on the west side, about 10 minutes from 10. It's very quirky and the food is wonderful.

White Sands is another hour from Las Cruses. You'll pass it on your way to Alamogordo. You should really stop to see the sand dunes that look like snow covered hills with occasional cactus growing on them. The kids can ride snow saucers down them. It is a beautiful sight to see.
For military buffs the White Sands Missile Range, where the Shuttle Columbia landed, can be visited. It is studded with old missiles and has a little museum.

There are two or three members in the area that used to be pretty active. I'll try to remember who. Maybe you can ask them directly. We haven't been able to go there the past few years but it used to be a yearly trip to the area. Enjoy your trip.
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Wow! That IS a travelogue!

I have no plan to return to New Mexico, but if I DID...
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I have no plan to return to New Mexico, but if I DID...

You should go. It is a very peaceful place for lack of a better term. The people are so friendly and laid back. I seem to remember a BCer who lived there who disliked it because of that. lol
I forgot to mention; On weekends, in La Masilla, you can take a bicycle taxi tour of the town. The guy who does it is fantastic. Very knowledgeable.
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Oops

Hubby just reminded me that you'll probably be taking 54 N out of ElPaso rather than 10 To 70. It is worth the extra time to see LaMasilla I believe. Or take a day while there and see White Sands!
Oh yeah, enjoy the speed limit. I think it is 80 up there.
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RE: Oops

Hubby just reminded me that you'll probably be taking 54 N out of ElPaso rather than 10 To 70. It is worth the extra time to see LaMasilla I believe. Or take a day while there and see White Sands!
Oh yeah, enjoy the speed limit. I think it is 80 up there.


Thank you so much for the LaMasilla recommendations!
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If you will be in Albuquerque there is the balloon fiesta October 7 thru October 15
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If you are near Santa Fe, be sure to spend some time there. We've gone three times, and may be going back next year. Santa Fe is one of the prettiest cities I've ever seen. It's not far from Albuquerque, and the balloon festival is well worth seeing too.
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What I ended up doing: buying a belt at J.B. Hill Boot Co. (because I recently read about it in a John McPhee book), sunset stroll at White Sands National Monument, camping at Oliver Lee State Park, hiking at Three Rivers Petroglyph Site, sipping pistachio wine at McGinn's, driving to Lincoln on part of the Billy the Kid Scenic Byway and strolling through Smokey the Bear Historical Park on the way and two museums in Lincoln itself.

The food was wonderful: Anointed Cuisine, Chico's Tacos, Our Country Kitchen in Alamogordo, Sacred Grounds Coffee and Old Barrel Tea in Ruidoso ...

Practically every place we went had book exchange shelves, and Books Etcetera in Ruidoso had a resident cat.

Thanks for the tip about the balloon festival, whiskeyjane and susieq46. A close friend went several years ago. I might make it someday ... We didn't go near Albuquerque or Santa Fe, but my brother's family is in Santa Fe (freezing, he says!) today.

Thanks so much for your always-reliable Chit-Chat help!

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