In search of the best and fun things to do in Carlsbad, NM?
Carlsbad is a city in New Mexico and also the county seat of Eddy County. The city’s population at the 2020 Census was 32,238. Carlsbad is located at the intersection of the U.S. Routes 285 and 62/180.
Carlsbad is one of the main cities of the Carlsbad-Artesia Micropolitan Statistical Area, this Micropolitan Statistical Area has a population of 55,435.
Carlsbad is located on the southeastern side of New Mexico around the Pecos River. This city is known for Potash mining, tourism, and Petroleum Production.
There are a lot of fun places to visit and activities to perform in Carlsbad, like the Popular Carlsbad Caverns, galleries, diners, and many other great places.
The city is also called “The Pearl on the Pecos” because the city lies around the Pecos River. Carlsbad is a city filled with various lovely sights and attractions, and below are the best fun things to do in Carlsbad, NM.
Things to Do in Carlsbad
1. Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city and a must-visit location for visitors looking for unique sights.
The caves offer unique sights that can’t be found in many cities, the caverns features fossils, underground pools, and bat sightings.
Many events and sights can be found at this park, including thousand of bats flying over the Bat Flight Amphitheater after sunset between April and October.
Apart from just seeing bats, the park also educates about the different species of bats living in the caves. This cavern is known as the World’s largest Subterranean chamber as it covers over 46,766 acres of land.
Carlsbad Caverns National Park is one of the best fun things to do in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Address: Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
2. Fiesta Driver in Theatre
Fiesta Drive-in Theatre was established in 1948, when this theatre was founded it had a single screen and could contain about450 cars. The large screen tower originally had a painting of a Mexican man and woman dancing.
Above the dancers, the theatre’s name was written in beautiful streamline style lettering, Frontier Theatres operated it in 1955. The drive-in closed in 1970 and was rebuilt totally in 1989.
When it was rebuilt in 1989, the Fiesta Drive-in Theatre could contain over 600 cars, had three screens, and also FM stereo sound. The Fiesta Drive-in is open from Friday till Mondy throughout the year. This theatre is one of the best fun things to do in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Address: 401 W Fiesta Drive, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
3. Living Desert Zoo and Garden State Park
Living Desert Zoo and Garden State Park is a zoological park located in front of the famous Pecos River Valley, this park features various exhibits, including varieties of flora and fauna from the Chihuahuan desert.
This park also acts as an indoor and outdoor Museum, and it covers over 1100 acres of land. This park houses over 40 unique local animal species and many local and foreign plants.
Various animals seen at this park include bears, elk, bison, and various bird species. Living Desert Zoo and Garden State Park is also one of the few places that conserve the Mexican Gray Wolves, an endangered species.
Taking a tour of the Living Desert Zoo and Garden State Park is one of the best fun things to do in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Address: 1504 Module Drive, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
4. Across the Canal Shooting Sports
Across the Canal shooting sport was established in 2008 by James Binder, this shooting sports center was founded to provide sporting opportunities for southwestern New Mexico.
This place features three operating skeet fields and five-stand shooting for clay shooters coming out for fun, competitive skeet shooters, and bird hunters preparing for the season.
Across the Canal shooting sport offers various sport shooting options like wobble trap and skeet, pellet traps, registered skeet matches, and rifle range with target practice silhouette located at distance between 100-600 yards.
Visitors can also have much fun by joining A skeet League, this place also hosts fundraisers, private shoots, and corporate parties. Across the Canal, shooting sport is one of the best things to do in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Address: Range location, 1530 E Morris Road, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
5. Guadalupe Mountain Brewing Company
Guadalupe Mountain Brewing Company is another one of the best things to do in Carlsbad, NM. This is a family-owned and operated classic Brewing Company.
This company features some of the best brews in the city, a deli-style menu loved by families, and indoor and outdoor seating space. The owner of BB this brewery, Chris Pettus, is one of the first people who introduced craft beers into Carlsbad.
Another important person in the company is Chris’s lifelong friend, Brad Carlsen, they both aim to make all kinds of beer available for visitors and customers. Tours of the brewing company are available, Guadalupe Mountain Brewing Company is a great place to visit in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Address: 3324 National Park Highway, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
6. New Mexico Artist Gallery
New Mexico Artist Gallery was founded by five artists part of the Carlsbad Area Art Association. Currently, these artists have managed the gallery for over 40 years.
The gallery has expanded over the years mainly because of the promotion and sales of artworks from the Carlsbad areas. This art gallery has been moved around for years because of an inability to find a perfect spot for the organization.
The gallery finally found a permanent location at Canyon street, around the middle of Carlsbad. This gallery exhibits various artworks like watercolor, textiles, photography, pottery, acrylic painting, etc.
A visit to the Artist Gallery is one of the best fun things to do in Carlsbad, as it is going to be an educational and enjoyable experience.
Address: 120 S Canyon, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
7. Ocotillo Sports Bar and Grill
Ocotillo Sports Bar and Grill is a dining institution in Carlsbad that serves tasty meals, this place is a nice place for family and friends dinners. They have facilities like parking spots to make customers comfortable.
This restaurant also serves quality and nice meals at affordable prices, they also have a friendly atmosphere and nice staff. They also have a comprehensive menu filled with most people’s favorite meals.
Ocotillo Sports Bar and Grill also shows sporting programs, and there are various bar games available to keep customers entertained. Ocotillo Sports Bar and Grill is one of the best fun diners in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Address: 3706 National Parks Highway, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
8. Guadalupe Mountains National Park
The Guadalupe Mountains are fascinating and cover a large amount of space. This mountain is one of the largest examples of old fossilized reefs, and because of that, geologists have always been very attracted to this place.
Guadalupe Mountain National Park is one of the major tourist attractions in Carlsbad, New Mexico. Trails can be found in the Park and around it, and sometimes they are as long as 80 miles passing through lush falls, streams, and woodland canyons.
This park is a must-visit destination for visitors in Carlsbad, the park is located about 54 miles southwest of Carlsbad. This is another lovely and fun place to visit in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
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9. Red Chimney Pit Bar-B-Que
Red Chimney pit bar-b-que is another popular diner in Carlsbad, this diner is known for its tasty meals and comprehensive menu.
This restaurant uses old, original recipes to create sumptuous meals. Red Chimney Pit Bar-B-Que has been serving the residents of Carlsbad for over 60 years.
Red Chimney pit bar-b-que is a great place for family dinners, group meals, and other group-related gatherings. Dining at the Red chimney put bar-b-que is one of the best things to do in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Address: 817 N Canal St, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
10. Pecos River Antique Mall
Pecos River Antique Mall is a great place to shop in Carlsbad, and it is located around Canyon Street in the city. This antique mall features various antiques, treasures, and memorabilia from the 1960s to the 1990s.
Many beautiful items can be found at this antique mall, and the store has various interesting and captivating items making it hard to choose your preferred item.
This mall also has affordable prices and a great atmosphere, this is one of the best places to shop for antique items in Carlsbad. Pecos River Antique Mall is one of the best fun places to shop in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Address: 110 S Canyon Street, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States
11. Sitting Bull Falls
Sitting Bull Falls is another beautiful attraction located just about an hour’s drive from the city’s center. This place has a canyon and a beautiful park, the falls are a very beautiful sight, but the pool outshines it.
The Sitting Bull Falls ground is a nice place for picnics and other fun group activities. Apart from being a fun and lovely attraction, this place Is also inexpensive.
The Sitting Bull Falls is more beautiful and enjoyable In the morning hours because afternoons at the pool are always chilly, this place also features nice hiking trails. The Sitting Bull Falls is another fun place to visit in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Address: Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
12. Brantley Lake State Park
Brantley lake state park is another beautiful park that deserves to be on this list of best fun places in Carlsbad, this park is located on Brantley lake’s shores around the northern parts of the Pecos River.
This park is a thirty-minute drive towards the northwest of Carlsbad, and it features stunning scenery in the desert. Various activities can be performed at this park, including hiking, boating, fishing, and camping.
Brantley lake state park provides over 100 camping sites with comfortable facilities. Reservation of campsites can be obtained online. This is another perfect place to visit in Carlsbad.
Address: 33 E. Brantley Lake Road, Carlsbad, NM 87045, United States.
13. Balzano Family Vineyard and Pumpkin Patch
Balzano Family Vineyard and Pumpkin Patch is a great place to enjoy wines, beers, and different tasty meals. This is one of the most favored diners in Carlsbad, they also have varieties of wines and beers.
This place is known to have almost every wine you want, from Luna Rosa Fine Wines to Italian Red wines and also locally made wines. This dining institution also has various mouthwatering options on its menu.
Weekly menus are available at the restaurant for visitors, and people who order food online, Balzano Family Vineyard and Pumpkin Patch is one of the best things to do in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Address: 5230 7 Rivers Highway, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
14. Guadalupe Ridge Trail
Guadalupe Ridge trail is one of the most popular trails in Carlsbad because the trail connects the popular Carlsbad Caverns National Park and the stunning Guadalupe Mountain National park.
This trail is over 100 miles long, and it allows hikers experience both the subterranean caves and the tallest point in Texas. The trail starts at Whites City in New Mexico and passes through the Carlsbad Caverns National Park in the west.
The trail also goes through Cottonwood Cave I’m the Southwest before ending at Guadalupe Mountain National park in Texas. This trail offers some of the best fun experiences the city can offer.
Address: Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
15. Eddy’s House
Eddy’s House is a historical building in Carlsbad, it belonged to Charles B. Eddy, who is believed to be the first resident of the city. Each piece of the original building was moved and used to build this current dwelling.
The Southeastern New Mexico Historical Society moved the House from its original location to Heritage Park. This place has various historical features, and it’s a great historical place to visit in Carlsbad.
Eddy House is one of the historical buildings in the city and a perfect place to visit for history lovers.
Address: Callaway and Westridge drive flume park, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
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16. Blue House Bakery and Cafe
Blue House Bakery and Cafe is one of the favored breakfast spots in the city, the diner features a large variety of freshly baked croissants and other classic baked products and delicacies.
One of the most popular breakfast meals in the diner is French toast. This restaurant serves most American delicacies. Start the day with tasty pastries and A cup of Joe to make your day perfect.
Blue House Bakery and Cafe has a nice atmosphere, top-notch service, and friendly staff. This restaurant is one of the best fun dining spots in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Address: 609 N Canyon Street, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
17. Carlsbad Community Theatre
Carlsbad Community Theatre is another popular tourist attraction in the city, this theatre shows various artistic events, and visitors are offered high-quality art programs.
This theatre helps nurture Carlsbad’s taste in art and creativity, and it also helps the community function perfectly. This old theatre also has a historical atmosphere and is a great recreation location.
Carlsbad Community Theatre is a mesmerizing place filled with various minds blowing and entertaining events, you can see your favorite performances at this theatre by confirming the time with officials. Carlsbad Community Theatre is one of the best fun things to do in Carlsbad.
Address: 4713 National Parks Hwy, Carlsbad, NM 88220 United States.
18. Carlsbad Museum and Art Center
Carlsbad Museum and Art Center was founded in 1931 and has been abiding by its aim to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret artworks, artifacts, and important documents.
Carlsbad Museum and Art Center is the oldest municipal museum in New Mexico, most of the exhibits belong to Carlsbad and other areas in the southeastern part of New Mexico. This Museum has various interesting Native American antiquities.
This Museum also educates on the importance of local photographers in establishing Carlsbad’s popular caverns. Temporary exhibits available at this Museum include a local 3D picture of the caves.
Carlsbad Museum and Art Center tells the city’s history and is one of the best fun places to visit in Carlsbad, New Mexico. The Museum is free and open to everyone.
Address: 418 W Fox Street, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
19. Carlsbad Cruises Day Tours
Carlsbad Cruises Day Tours takes visitors on an exciting tour on the Pecos River, the Pecos River runs through Carlsbad, so the tours highlight attractions with better views from the river.
Apart from the exciting and exhilarating adventure when touring the river, the tours are also relaxing and educational. The Pecos River is known to be full of surprises, and you get to see various fishes, including some unique species.
It is advisable to book in advance when interested in the evening trip, the evening trip offers a relaxing atmosphere and a beautiful sunset. Carlsbad Cruises Day Tours is another one of the best fun activities to perform in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Address: 517 Rosedale Street, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
20. Carlsbad Water Park
Carlsbad Water Park is another lovely park located in the beautiful city of Carlsbad during summers. The park is open on Tuesdays till Sundays between 11 am to 6 pm.
This park is situated on the Pecos River shore, some of the popular features of the park include Childre’s Play Zone, three water slides, the lazy river, comfortable lounge chairs, and free unlimited WiFi.
The pools and locker rooms at this park are always clean, this park size is perfect for parents to watch their children and at the same time enjoy themselves. Various fun rides and activities can be enjoyed at this park.
Carlsbad Water Park is one of the fun places to spend quality time with friends and family in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Address: 708 Park Drive, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
21. The Pecos River Flume
Pecos River Flume is an architectural destination In Carlsbad, the Pecos River is a main water source for the whole city and the river flows through Texas and stops at the Rio Grande.
In the 19th century, dams were built in the city to help with irrigation this allowed various farms to embrace the river as their main water source. The dam in the city is supported by a spectacular wooden flume about 145 feet high and it carried water over the river bend.
The Pecos River Flume is why the river is referred to as “The only river that crosses itself), this architectural and historical location is a great place to see and understand more about the city’s history. The Pecos River Flume is a great place to visit in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Address: 2309 Westridge Road, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
22. The Trinity Hotel Restaurant
The Trinity Hotel Restaurant is located in downtown Carlsbad and is situated inside a building built in 1892 and once housed a bank. The Trinity Hotel Restaurant was established in 2007 and has become one of the favorite places to visit in the city.
This diner is famous for its menu, the menu is made up mostly of Italian and American meals it also has various reputable wines. The hotel was built to reflect the city’s history and looks like high life buildings from the past century.
The Trinity Hotel Restaurant has stunning interior designs like the gleaming chandeliers, impressive decorations, and various paintings and artworks on the walls. A visit to this restaurant is one of the best fun things to do in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Address: 201 S Canal Street, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
23. Lake Carlsbad Golf Course
Lake Carlsbad Golf Course is located along the Pecos River, it is a great recreational and relaxation area in the city. This golf course is located in the Eastern foothills.
The golf course has amazing scenery, and it’s a standard 18-hole course that is 72 par, lake Carlsbad golf course challenges all visiting golfer’s skills. The golf course features unique sights and amazing views.
Lake Carlsbad Golf Course is a semi grassland surrounded by desert, this course is open to everyone of every skill, both beginners and experts. Lake Carlsbad Golf Course is one of the best things to do in Carlsbad, NM.
Address: 901 Muscat so Avenue, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
24. Yellow Brix Restaurant
Carlsbad has many great restaurants and Yellow Brix diner is one of the best to visit. This restaurant is favored among both visitors and city residents.
Apart from an extensive menu, and delicious meals this restaurant also has a wide range of delicious dessert choices. This restaurant is a perfect dining option for people who love to try new food choices.
Yellow Brix Restaurant has various creative and experimental dishes, this diner is a lovely place to dine and one of the top things to do in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Address: 201 N Canal St, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States
25. Christmas on the Pecos
Christmas on the Pecos is one of New Mexico’s most renowned events of the year, this is a popular event, and it’s loved by most people. This event allows visitors to view lovely and beautifully decorated homes from the river.
Visitors can board boats and see more than 105 stunningly decorated homes for the Christmas holiday during a 45 minutes boat tour on the Pecos River.
Christmas on the Pecos event runs yearly from Thanksgiving till New Year’s Eve, information about ticket prices, reservations and schedules can be found on their website. This event is one of the best fun activities to be enjoyed in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
Address: 711 Muscatel Avenue, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.
26. The Lake Carlsbad Recreational Area
The Lake Carlsbad Recreational Area, encompassing 125.6 acres, is situated along the Pecos river and offers all the amenities you need to have a fun day.
The area serves as a place for picnics, a playground, a fishing and boating site, water sport, and a place for taking strolls along the lake’s walkway with your friends and family.
The Lake Carlsbad Recreational Area has several places for picnics in covered areas with picnic tables and grills.
There is also a swim area that opens for the public from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.
If you are searching for a natural oasis, Lake Carlsbad Recreational Area is perfect for you. This gorgeous waterfront park in Carlsbad isn’t only easy on the eyes, but it has several activities for everyone.
Address: 708 Park Dr, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States
27. Mexican 2 Import
If you are searching for stuff that you don’t really need but will love, visit Mexican 2 Imports.
Mexican 2 Imports Is packed with colorful pottery, Indoor and outdoor decoration, and Mexican-style furniture.
From giant metal bulls to drawer knobs, faces mask with Mexican motifs, ceramics, and knickknacks, they have it all.
If you want some colorful inspiration to decorate your home, don’t go to any other place besides this Mexican Craft home and décor shop.
Address: Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States
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Plan your Trip to Carlsbad
Apart from the most popular attraction in the city(Carlsbad Caverns National park), there are still many fun things to do in Carlsbad, NM. Above are some of the best fun things to do in the City of Carlsbad. There is always a fun activity for everyone in Carlsbad, with the various city parks, arid deserts, mountains, lakes, and many more.
Carlsbad also has various adventurous trails for explorers, hikers, and anyone interested. New Mexico has scorching temperatures in the summer, so swimming is a perfect activity for visitors to perform during the summer. Some swimming choices include the public pool at Carlsbad High School, and various outdoor swimming options mainly found in parks.
If you visit during the holidays, Christmas In the Pecos is a memorable activity to be part of. Visitors can also enjoy themselves in the city by taking a stroll through downtown, as the downtown area offers various interesting sights and activities.