One night in Las Cruces, NM (visit #2)–Tucson for Christmas trip

We visited Las Cruces in January 2024 as part of our Tucson for Christmas trip. Read about our first visit to Las Cruces/Mesilla in 2021 here.

Tucson to Catalina to Prescott to Tucson… after eleven nights in Arizona (plus a non-contiguous night in Flagstaff), we’re heading home. But don’t worry, we still have some entertaining stops planned. While it may have fun things to offer, Las Cruces wasn’t one of our planned fun stops–we just spent a quick night there, with only one foray into town for a beer.

Campground

our campsite at Las Cruces KOA
enjoying our campsite while it was decently nice out

Last time we passed through Las Cruces, we stayed at the Las Cruces KOA. This time, we checked out two other RV parks that looked closer to town, but they had no availability. We also looked into Harvest Hosts, which we joined at the beginning of the trip in Knoxville and still have yet to use… they had nothing.

our nighttime view in Las Cruces
night view from the Airstream

The KOA is a very nice campground! It’s built up a hillside, so most of the site have twinkly city views. Had it been warmer out, we may have enjoyed more picnic table time… but it was chilly and getting colder, with a wind advisory for the early morning. Yes, we are 2-for-2 on crazy weather in Las Cruces.

What we did

beer at the bar at Icebox Brewing
Icebox Brewing bar scene

After setting up the Airstream and getting Bugsy situated, we drove six minutes into town to Icebox Brewing Co. They have several locations in Las Cruces and Hatch Valley, and we visited the Picacho location–the original Icebox taproom, now four years old. I enjoyed the pineapple-mango-Himalayan sea salt gose, and they had a couple hazies for J to play with. The food menu had fried pickles, which strangely we weren’t in the mood for that day. I think we were just wiped out from a day of slogging down the interstate.

the original taproom of Icebox Brewing
Icebox Brewing’s Picacho taproom

So we just went home after our beers to watch our UVA basketball team play Louisville. After the game, we took down the DirecTV dish in the interest of expediting our morning, and it was a good thing, because the wind started absolutely whipping around 5am, rocking the Airstream back and forth. Campground quiet hours at the KOA were until 8am, but people started packing up hours ahead of that to get down the hill and out of the wind!

I imagine we’ll continue stopping in Las Cruces on our way to and from Tucson, and Icebox was a happy discovery.

communal firepit with a view at Las Cruces KOA
communal firepit with a view at Las Cruces KOA

We planned for our next stop to be in Fort Stockton (to do: giant roadrunner, angel wings at Bella Terrazza, old jail, old fort), but instead we decided to see how far we could drive without losing our minds, and pressed on to somewhere we knew we’d enjoy: Fredericksburg, TX!

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