When people plan a trip to the Southwest, cities such as Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque and Santa Fe are favorite destinations, well, my city at the top of the list of favorite Southwest cities, is Ruidoso, New Mexico. Located about two hundred miles southeast of Albuquerque in the Rocky Mountains, Ruidoso is an oasis in the middle of the desert. Traveling to Ruidoso, the scenery is spectacular of the desert with its shrubbery and openness. Coyotes and elk call parts of this desert home and from a vehicle window possible to see one or both.
After the road winds up the road to Ruidoso, suddenly the scenery changes, and the area fills with tall evergreen trees, and a look reminiscent of Austria or other exotic locales. Visiting Ruidoso is to visit a place filled with activities, art, culture and fun. Ruidoso is a year around city with activities for all seasons, age groups and interests. Whether spending the day, a week or longer, Ruidoso will become your favorite city in the Southwest.
Ruidoso has one of America’s finest race tracks. The Ruidoso Downs race track offers horse racing from Memorial Day through Labor Day. The race track is adorned with life-sized replicas of race horses in a cultivated garden. Not only is horse racing available, but for the horse lover, there are opportunities to ride horseback and explore the Ruidoso area. Looking for a memorable experience riding? Elite Outfitters offers guided trail rides into the backcountry that are spectacular. Ruidoso Equine Riding Experience offers interesting trail rides and other stables offer you the experience of riding horses to view parts of the Ruidoso landscape.
Ruidoso is teeming with outdoor activities aside from horse riding. Ruidoso has many lakes and streams and offers some of New Mexico’s best fishing. If you are golf aficionado, several golf courses are available including a championship course at Inn of the Mountain Gods that offers spectacular golfing. Ruidoso offers backpacking, biking, mountain climbing, hunting, hiking and camping. How many other places can boast of such an array of outdoors activities in one place?
Winter is a season of snow and skiing and Ruidoso offers an enjoyable day of skiing. Ski Apache in the Sierra Blanca Mountains offers snowboarding and skiing for all levels of skiers. Lessons are available and Ruidoso has several shops to rent all the necessary equipment to spend fun days skiing on some of the finest slopes in America. An alternative to skiing is snow tubing. Ruidoso has a tubing area with lifts to provide a day filled with enjoyment zipping down slopes.
Art abounds in Ruidoso. A visit to Studio W is an opportunity to view more than five hundred works of art by a hundred artists. Studio W is well known by travelers to the Southwest and offers wonderful works of art. Whether you are seeking western styled art, sculpture, paintings or other art forms, Ruidoso artists have a variety to offer. Many fantastic art galleries allow for hours of browsing and enjoyment for the art lover. Close by Ruidoso and worth the visit is the Hondo Iris farm. Beautiful gardens surround a hundred-year old adobe building; it’s the perfect place for iris and flower lovers.
Culture and Night Life flourish in Ruidoso. The Inn of the Mountain Gods, offers Las-Vegas styled casino action, fine dining and the opportunity to view a collection of superb Native American art. The larger than life Kachina Sculpture that adorns the entrance is a magnificent tribute to Native American art. Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts offers excellent stage productions, concerts, ballet and shows.
Great accommodations exist for every budget from simple hotel and motel to swanky lodge-styled accommodations. Restaurants offer a variety of choices to delight people’s various appetites for cuisine including tasty Southwest specialties. Shoppers will relish the unique shops and goods Ruidoso offers visitors. Although, a small glimpse of what to see and do in Ruidoso is mentioned, visit this wonderful and entertaining city to experience the full view. Once you have visited this city, you will return on many occasions, and make Ruidoso your favorite Southwest city.