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EP16 - Visit Mesilla, NM

El Paso - Annual 2016

Walk the same streets as Billy the Kid and Pancho Villa in Mesilla, where the Old West lives on.

EP16 - Visit Mesilla, NM
Mesilla Plaza.
Photo by Steve Larese

Although the town is small (just 6.7 square miles), it's bustling with places to see and things to do. Whether you visit for the day or a season, this historic western village will charm you, just as it has visitors for more than a century.


Upon arrival, you'll want to head to Mesilla Plaza, designated a historic landmark in 1961 and the center of village life as it has been for more than a century. Today, visitors find Mesilla Plaza to be (almost) as lively as it was yesteryear. The Old Courthouse, located on the southwest corner, is a gift shop, with western souvenirs and a Billy the Kid fortune teller. The north side is dominated by Basilica of San Albino, one of the oldest churches in the region.


A good time to visit is during one of the many annual celebrations held on the plaza throughout the year, such as Dia de los Muertos in the fall and Luminarias on the Plaza on Christmas Eve.


The Old Mesilla Farmers and Crafts Market takes over the square each Friday and Sunday, enticing shoppers with locally made crafts and fresh produce. Surrounding the plaza, the streets are lined with delightful shops, interesting galleries, and renowned restaurants, serving area specialties such as local wines and New Mexico's famous green chile.


Set in a fertile valley just east of Las Cruces, New Mexico's second-largest city, Mesilla is surrounded by farms, vineyards, and orchards, including Stahmann Farms, the world's largest pecan orchard. After exploring historic Mesilla, see some of the valley's natural beauty by visiting Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park. Located on the Rio Grande about 1.5 miles from town, the park has more than 2 miles of hiking trails and a native plant garden next to a modern, energy-efficient visitor center.

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