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The best of Las Cruces, N.M.

My winter home of Las Cruces, N.M., has something of interest for all types of travelers. I have pulled together my top five favorite tourist attractions that I visit frequently.

White Sands National Monument

The monument is open daily from 7 a.m. to one hour after sunset. The road is plenty wide enough for RVs and campers and the parking lot at the visitor center offers RV parking also.

Be sure to visit the sand dunes often because the wind is constantly changing them. The monument is located approximately 13 miles southwest from Alamogordo, N.M.

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Space Murals Museum

The museum has a collection of NASA knick-knacks and orphaned artifacts, items that other institutions didn’t much care about, donated by space enthusiasts, or by astronauts who befriended the museum’s owner, or by locals who work in the space industry. This free museum also has an excellent gift shop that even offers Astronaut ice cream.

Address is 12450 Hwy. 70 E., Organ, N.M. Directions: I-25 exit 6 onto U.S. Hwy. 70 in Las Cruces. Drive 12 miles east and exit onto Nasa Road, then bear left and immediately turn right at the Space Murals Museum sign just before the ramp back onto U.S. Hwy, 70. Hours of operation are Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Farmers’ and Crafts Market

Growing up in small town Wisconsin, I was used to attending the local farmers’ market mid-week. Here in Las Cruces, there is a mid-week market that is large in comparison to the one back home. However, if given the chance, check out the Las Cruces Farmers’ and Crafts Market that takes place every Saturday morning.

Everything else pales in comparison. From food to crafters to farmers vending their crops, there is something available for everyone to enjoy. The market is held on Main Street in downtown Las Cruces from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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White Sands Missile Range Museum

This museum has a lot to offer, from space to Army life. Located on the White Sands Missile Range off Hwy. 70, the museum is open to the general public.

The free museum has a missile park displaying a variety of missiles and rockets tested at White Sands. These include everything from the WAC Corporal and Loon (U.S. version of the V-1) to a Pershing II and Patriot.

The museum is open year-round. Hours on weekdays are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 3: p.m. Saturdays. Closed Sundays. The Missile Park is open dawn to dark seven days a week.

Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum

The museum is dedicated to preserving New Mexico’s agricultural heritage through their exhibits, hands-on activities and various events. The 47-acre campus houses cattle, sheep, and goat. The museum is open Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.

The museum is located at 4100 Dripping Springs Road in Las Cruces. Directions: from Interstate 25, take the University Exit (Exit 1) and go east 1.5 miles.

Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for senior citizens (60 and over), $3 for children ages 4 to 17 and $2 for active U.S. military and veterans. Children under 4 and museum members with a card are admitted free of charge.

About Cathy Duesterhoeft

Cathy and her husband, Norm, travel throughout the United States in their Brave Winnebago working for Mainly Marathons. When home in Westfield, Wis., their RV is parked on a gravel pad while they finish construction on their new home. Cathy documents their many adventures on her website at www.positiveinfluences.net.

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