A border city in the south of New Mexico, Carlsbad treats you to an exotic combination of Mexican, Spanish, Native American and Southern cuisines, along with boutique fashion and jewellery outlets. This culturally-rich destination is home to numerous art galleries and live music venues, while the surrounding region reveals enthralling national and state parks.
Things to do in Carlsbad
Don’t visit Carlsbad without getting out among New Mexico’s fascinating nature. Drive about 30 minutes to Carlsbad Caverns National Park to explore over 100 limestone caves, soak up dramatic desert vistas on the Walnut Canyon Desert Loop and spot unique wildlife in the Rattlesnake Springs desert wetland.
If you’re interested in seeing animals, head to the Living Desert State Park. Here you can walk through a sprawling desert garden with animal exhibits. Closer to the centre of Carlsbad is the Lake Carlsbad Beach Park, which is popular among families for its playgrounds, picnic areas, water sports rentals and fishing. It’s a short stroll from Carlsbad Water Park, where you can ride waterslides and float in a lazy river.
Get a taste of the local artwork at the Artist Gallery, a showroom displaying locally-made arts and crafts, including elaborate paintings and pottery. Afterwards, visit the Carlsbad Museum & Art Center to admire local and regional paintings, drawings and historical artefacts.
Treat your taste buds to some of the local delicacies around Carlsbad, including eclectic New American fare at Yellow Brix Restaurant and authentic Mexican at Mi Casita. You’ll also find old-school Western barbecue in a log cabin-style setting at Red Chimney Bar-B-Q.
Getting around Carlsbad
Carlsbad is a 15-minute drive from Cavern City Air Terminal, which has regular services to Dallas/Fort Worth. Public buses and dial-a-ride bus services run throughout the city, along with taxis and rideshare services. A hire car is best for exploring the surrounding region.