Plaza Hotel 1882
Las Vegas, New Mexico was one of the main hubs for the expansion of the Southwest in the late 1800s. The famous Santa Fe Trail passes by the north side of the hotel. Plaza Hotel 1882 and businesses near Plaza Park were at the center of commerce and politics in the New Mexico Territory. Visitors can learn about this history and visit historic sights while using the Plaza Hotel as a base for their explorations.
An easy way to visit multiple historic properties in Las Vegas is to book a guided tour with Southwest Detours. The tour will take visitors to the famous Castaneda and Montezuma Castle hotels. These are railroad hotels that were operated by the Fred Harvey Company in the early days of railroad expansion across the Southwest. You may even meet a Las Vegas Harvey Girl during your tour.
Another great way to learn about local history is to pay a visit to the City of Las Vegas Museum and Rough Rider Memorial Collection. Among the many exhibits at the museum, visitors can learn about Teddy Roosevelt's Rough Rider Reunion held in Las Vegas in 1899.
Las Vegas is situated between two national historic sites. Twenty-nine miles to the northeast of town, along Interstate 25, is Fort Union National Monument. Visitors are welcome to walk the ruins of the fort, which operated from 1851 to 1891. At the adjacent visitor's center, there are artifacts and displays about the history of the fort and the role it played as an outpost during the early days of the expansion and settlement of the Southwest.
Just 42 miles to the southwest of Las Vegas is Pecos National Historic Park. The park traces the history of Pueblo cultures, from as early as 1150 AD to the settlement of Spanish colonials in the 1600s, and the creation of a large Spanish Mission Church in 1619. Visitors can take a short hike through both the ruins of the pueblos and the remain of the church.
If hiking or camping is your interest, then visit Santa Fe National Forest and Carson National Forest located just north of town. Combined, these two national forests offer over 3 million acres to explore with trails, picnic grounds, streams, and mountains to explore.
For boating or fishing in the area, visit nearby Lake Isabel and Storrie Lake State Park. Storrie Lake is located only five miles north of town and offers boat rentals.
Just two miles from the Plaza is the Gene Torres Golf Course. A touch of Scotland in the heart of Las Vegas, the Gene Torres course is a unique venue that offers the golfer the ability to play 18 or 9 holes. Originally built in 1958, the course was redesigned by Jeffrey D. Brauer, ASGCA, in 2008. The newly redesigned 9 hole links style golf course, is both beautifully designed and challenging to golfers of every level. Located at the base of the Sange de Cristo mountains, the course offers the golfer a scenic view with fresh air.
Twenty miles from Las Vegas, rests the hidden treasure of Pendaries Village. This New Mexico golf community was carved from a 5,000-acre ranch, and joins the grandeur of the Pecos Wilderness. The Pendaries golf course is undoubtedly one of the community’s highlights. This 18-hole course is the best place to experience the breathtaking views you can only find at 7,500 ft. From May through October, you can try your hand at 6,101 yards of golf from the longest tees. A meadow driving range offers an excellent location for practice. The facility also includes a pro shop, as well as putting and pitching greens. A PGA member and golf pro can provide instruction to those who desire it.
This only scratches the surface for things to do in the Las Vegas area and remember that Santa Fe, with its galleries, museums, and historic sites, is only 67 miles to the west and Taos is only 77 miles to the north. Both towns make excellent day trips and the scenic drives features beautiful mountains, canyons, and forests.