Wednesday, June 14, 2017

New Mexico Road Trip: Las Vegas

I've told y'all that Denis and I spent a week in the Santa Fe, New Mexico area, and now it's time to do a little show and tell. First up is Las Vegas. Founded in 1835 around the plaza, Las Vegas was an important stop on the Santa Fe Trail. Later on, it became an even more important stop on the railroad. Many of its 900 buildings that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places date from this important railroad period. Now it's a busy town of about 15,000 people.

Before we go any further, I just want to remind you that you can see all the photos in their original sizes by clicking on them. When you click on one, it will open automatically in a brand-new window so you can see all the detail. In fact, they should all come up, so all you'll have to do is scroll through them.

Denis and I traveled the sixty some odd miles from Santa Fe and enjoyed the drive through the high country. It was a straight shot along Interstate 25, and our first stop was the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge just a few miles south of town. 

Driving through the Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge.

Many of the viewpoints were barricaded, and we seem to have missed the migratory birds that the refuge protects, but it did give us a chance to get off road, and I also saw carpets of tiny (barely an inch across) white wildflowers that looked like miniature morning glories.

A tiny morning glory?

We drove back to Las Vegas and stopped for lunch. Then we went to the historic plaza around which the town was founded. Now it's a lovely shady park with a gazebo, and-- let me tell you-- parking spots around the plaza are at a premium. Denis and I thought ourselves fortunate to find one.

The Plaza at Las Vegas

Now it was time to walk around the plaza and appreciate the architecture. Let's start walking!

A different side of the plaza

Statue on the plaza


This statue is called El Campesino and was sculpted by Peter E. Lopez. 

It is dedicated to farm workers, San Isidro, and the Tri-County Farmers Market.

Installation was May 14, 2013.

The Plaza Hotel

Next-door to the Plaza Hotel...and our trusty bright red steed.

I love it when old buildings still have advertising painted on their sides.

Another side of the plaza

I love the tall building in among the shorties!

Love the architectural much better than walls of impersonal glass!

Architectural detail

More architectural detail

Downtown Las Vegas

Bookstore on the plaza!

Part of the Old Santa Fe Trail

Instead of driving back to our hotel using the same route we'd taken to Las Vegas, we chose a different one. In the photo above, you'll see that we traveled on part of the Old Santa Fe Trail. Beautiful countryside, a lovely drive... but part of me wished the road was unpaved-- like the original trail. What can I say? I like to stir up a little dust on a bright, sunshiny day!

It was a lovely day out, and much preferable to that Las Vegas we visited quite some time ago in Nevada. Next time I'll share a few photos from our drive up to Taos. It didn't turn out quite like we'd planned, but we still had a wonderful day.



  1. What absolutely lovely architecture! It looks beautiful, Cathy, and I'm sure you and Denise had a great time exploring. I love that plaza, too. There's just something about a town plaza, isn't there?

    1. Yes, there is, and it's certainly a gathering place for everyone.

  2. Wonderful photos. Like the architectural detail, El Campesino, the scenery and the trusty steed.


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