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Las Vegas is a lovely town in New Mexico in the United States of America. It is an under appreciated gem and a far cry from the Southwestern chic of nearby Santa Fe, with a large collection of historic Victorian homes and other remnants from when Las Vegas was a roaring railroad town. Other attractions include the Montezuma Castle, Storrie Lake, and the New Mexico Highlands University.
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Points of Interest in Las Vegas
- Las Vegas was an important waypoint on the Santa Fe Trail, and later on the railroad across the Southwest. There are over 900 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In the central area of town, it seems almost every single building you see is significant in some way. Walking tour guides are available. Here are some of the highlights:
- The Plaza, where Las Vegas was founded in 1835. Today it is a shady park with a gazebo, surrounded by historic structures. On the north side of the plaza is the Plaza Hotel, a railroad-era hotel which remains a fine place to spend the night in Las Vegas. Across the street from the southeast corner of the plaza is the old First National Bank.
- Railroad District, where the Las Vegas train station is and so much of the city's growth centered around it. The Mission Revival La Castaneda Hotel, an old Harvey House hotel, is definitely worth a look.
- Lincoln Park, a local park surrounded by lots of beautiful old homes.
- Douglas/6th Street District, once the central business area of Las Vegas, today there's plenty of interesting buildings here like the Bank of Las Vegas, the Old City Hall, and the Masonic Temple.
- Carnegie Park, an area of town centered around Carnegie Park, which has a Carnegie Library that was modeled after Thomas Jefferson's home, the Monticello. The surrounding blocks are filled with old Victorian homes.
- City of Las Vegas Museum & Rough Rider Memorial, 727 Grand Avenue, ☎ +1 505 454-1401. Tu-Sa 10AM-4PM (10AM-4PM Sundays May-September). Exhibits on local history, the Santa Fe Trail, and Theodore Roosevelt's Rough Riders, who held reunions in Las Vegas. Free.
- North of Las Vegas on SR-65 (Hot Springs Blvd) is the town of Montezuma and the Armand Hammer United World College of the American West. On the campus is the gorgeous Montezuma Castle, which was built as a railroad hotel and served a number of purposes before becoming part of the United World College campus. It is open for free tours, which start at 1PM on certain Saturdays and are led by students of the college. But even if you don't get inside the building, it's worth the drive up to at least see it.
About Las Vegas
- Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge. Is just south of town and adjoins a larger state wildlife preserve. There are viewing platforms and a few short trails. Best visited in late fall and early spring, when migratory birds are passing through; winter can be bleak and summer hot, and the resident population of wildlife isn't as great as the number of seasonal transients. Entry to the Refuge as well as McAllister Lake are free.
- Lake McAllister. is a state preserve nestled in the middle of the Las Vegas Wildlife Refuge. Seasonal fishing is available as well as limited dispersed camping during fishing season. Inquire locally for fishing conditions.
- Storrie Lake. is located four miles north of town on NM 518 (7th Street). This 80 acre park is full-service with showers, RV dump station, marina, and overnight camping. It is well known regionally for its windsurfing and windsurfers are a common sight on the lake during spring, summer, and fall. There is an entry fee to the park as well as a charge for overnight camping.
- Montezuma Hot Springs. are located five miles north of Las Vegas on NM 65 (Hot Spring Blvd.) Located on the property of the Armand Hammer United World College of the American West, these hot springs are open to the public. Do not enter the college proper but look for the pull offs along NM 65.
- Blackjack's, 1133 Grand Avenue, ☎ +1 505 425-6791. Acceptable steaks, etc., for dinner 7 nights a week.
- Hillcrest Restaurant, 1106 Grand Avenue, ☎ +1 505 425-7211. A 50's diner with great food.
- Byron T's Saloon, 230 Plaza Street, ☎ +1 505 425-1455. Located inside the historic Plaza Hotel is this bar named after the resident ghost.
Experience the quant and charming shops within the Plaza, Douglas/6th Street, and Railroad Historic Districts. These areas provides many small home-town shops, antiques, book stores, and coffee shops.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Las Vegas (New Mexico) on Wikivoyage.