The historic town of Mesilla lies just west of Las Cruces, NM and is what many call the hidden jewel of the state. It is the epitome of small town charm at its finest.
Mesilla is a small town with a lot of charm, serving as a perfect location for afternoon shopping and dinner, where Mexican food and unique stores surround the town focal point of the historic Plaza. You can enjoy the quiet ambiance of the Plaza with the peaceful back drop of the San Albino Basilica. Residents can also expect to join the multitude of events that occur throughout the year, including the popular lighting of luminarias on Christmas Eve. Mesilla definitely has a lot to offer and the history of the Town boasts everything from the Civil War to Billy the Kid.
The heart of the picturesque village of Mesilla is much the same as it was over a century ago. Thick walled adobe buildings, which once protected residents against Apache attacks, now house thriving art galleries, restaurants, cafes, museums and gift shops. Take a stroll on and around the plaza to fully appreciate the uniqueness of this enchanting community.
Mesilla is a town where events are not a trend, they’re tradition and where history is alive and well! Today, many traditional events are
still held in the plaza, including
the annual Cinco de Mayo & Diez y Seis de Septiembre Fiestas, the three day Dia de Los Muertos Celebration and the annual Christmas Eve Lighting of the Luminarias ceremony.Click below to see the calendar of events.
Casa Bonita offers a superb selection of fountains, pottery, benches, bird baths, statues, and much more. Filled with vibrant colors, this outdoor venue is bursting with culture both old and new.
Mesilla is know for its vibrant art galleries. You will find art that is contemporary, abstract, modern, expressionistic, digital, figurative, photorealistic, traditional, western and Native American.
Take a secluded stroll on the numerous canals that run through Mesilla. Used to irrigate the pecan orchards and other farm land, these waterways offer great trails to get out and walk, run, or ride a bike.
San Albino is one of the oldest missions in the valley. It was established by the order of the Mexican government in 1851. In 1906, the present building was constructed on the foundation of the original adobe church. The bells of the San Albino date back to the early 1870's.
Mesilla is home to several notable wineries. Viticulture, or wine growing, has been a thriving industry since the late 1800's. The best time to visit wine country is during the fall harvest. As the weather cools, the fields are bustling with colorful activity, and heavy vines make the vineyards particularly picturesque.
The Mesilla Valley Film Society is an all-volunteer non-profit organization operating the historic Fountain Theatre in Mesilla, New Mexico. The theatre itself was built in 1905 and was originally used by the Fountain family for vaudeville variety shows. The oldest part of the theater building is the front wall, from the 1870s. The building and the apartments to the south were built on the site of Confederate barracks.
Billy the Kid Gift Shop is located in the old courthouse, one of the most historic buildings on the plaza dating to 1850. It is said to have housed the state capital when Mesilla was the capital of the Arizona Territory. After the civil war, the county used the building as their courthouse and jail until 1882. It was here that Billy the Kid was tried and sentenced to hang on April 13, 1881. Some say the ghost of Billy the Kid still lives in this building.
Mesilla is known for its expansive farm land. As it is situated along the banks of the Rio Grand, fertile soil provides for an abundance of crops. Drive around the Mesilla valley to view pecan and apple orchards. You will also see evidence of squash, pumpkins, corn, peanuts, pistachios, melons, lettuce, cabbage, alfalfa, onions, grapes, and cotton. Sunflowers are also grown here, adding to the majestic ambience of Mesilla. Click below to read our blog on the history of agriculture in the Mesilla Valley.
Visit the Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park. This day-use park is located along the Rio Grande. Bird watching, trails, and education programs are just a few of the many activities that one can partake in. Make sure to bring your camera as wildlife is always in abundance.
La Llorona Park is the perfect place to get active and enjoy the outdoors! Located right along the Rio Grande River, La Llorona Park provides a beautiful walking and biking path as well as playgrounds for the kids.
Mesilla is know for its authentic Mexican cuisine and diverse restaurant options. There’s something for everyone and your tastebuds will have you wanting more and more. Listed below are some of Mesilla's noted restaurants that are worth the trip.
World Renowned. Famed for Mexican Food and Steaks Since 1939. Located in the 1840's Historic Old Butterfield Stage Building, 2410 Calle de San Albino. Best margaritas and largest tequila selection in the Southwest!
This hideaway has a pooch friendly patio where Rover can lounge while you eat. Andeles Dog House specializes in Sonoran hot dogs and other popular Mexican dishes. Andele Restaurant (located just across the street) is a new, larger facility, with the same great authentic Mexican food and awesome service.
A Double Eagle de Mesilla is located in the heart of the plaza and is known as the 'Crown Jewel of Mesilla'. This once elegant home, built in 1849, has been beautifully restored and well preserved. The adobe buildings are filled with turn-of-the century art, antiques, crystal chandeliers and two ghosts!
Located inside of Double Eagle restaurant is Peppers Cafe. Unlike the formal setting of Double Eagle, Peppers Cafe offers a casual atmosphere with a menu dedicated to New Mexican cuisine. Its the best place to get Southwestern Santa Fe Style food offered in a 156 year old haunted house
Josefina's Old Gate is a beautiful Cafe nestled among roses and shade trees just right off the main plaza. Here you can enjoy breakfast and lunch inside or on the patio. Home made soups and fresh baked pies and pastries are among their specialities.
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