JUST 20 MINUTES FROM WHITE SANDS NATIONAL PARK, Alamogordo is a hot spot for family getaways and Southwestern road trips. Visitors to this Tularosa Basin town can take in its historic charm, burgeoning arts and food scenes, summertime activities, and natural beauty. “We’re surrounded by mountains,” says Nolan Ojeda, Alamogordo MainStreet executive director. “Our sunsets and sunrises are phenomenal.”
In addition to year-round attractions like the New Mexico Museum of Space History, Tularosa Basin Museum of History, and Alameda Park Zoo, the city’s food truck offerings have shifted into high gear, with more than 15 mobile chefs. “Every couple months, we get one more,” says Trisha Roberts, who organizes the annual Battle of the Food Trucks, held this year on October 7 and featuring live music, arts and crafts vendors, and a cornhole tournament.
When not fighting it out for foodie supremacy, a rotating lineup of food trucks can be found parked at 575 Brewing Co. to complement its craft beers. Regulars include Off the Wall Curbside Creations (check out its Sunday brunch!) with offerings like a beer-battered-chicken sandwich, shrimp and grits, and the Bayou Burger, as well as the Mediterranean-themed Rollin’ Up truck with kebab platters, gyros, and salads. New Mexico Dahlia’s Hawaiian Shave Ice attracts long lines of customers for its creative treats. “The last one I had was apple pie shaved ice,” says Ojeda, “which is topped with real pieces of apple pie.”
Alamogordo MainStreet showcases the city’s range of shops, galleries, and entertainment venues on the first Friday of each month. From 6 to 8 p.m., participating spots such as the Roadrunner Emporium gift and antiques shop, Victoria on Pins and Needles quilting store, arts and event space New York Art & Music Studio, the Rocket City Gaming Lounge hobby and game shop, and the Mission Billiards pool hall feature special sales and activities that accompany live music and food trucks. You can listen to more live music, feast on local fare, and shop pop-up vendors during 4th Friday evenings (March–August) at the Griggs Sports Complex. “Everyone here is in it for the betterment of one another,” Ojeda says. “Everyone understands we’re in it together.”
If that’s not enough to fill your Alamogordo bucket list, the Flickinger Center for Performing Arts and the Tularosa Basin Historical Society celebrate the area’s culture and history with Old West reenactments and plenty of food and craft vendors at the Otero County Heritage Festival & Street Dance, in August.
With so much going on in Alamogordo, White Sands visitors can spend days in town digging into the past and exploring what’s new.
Overlooking a pistachio orchard, Heart of the Desert Pistachios & Wine’s large covered patio makes a perfect spot for a glass of local wine, straight from the nearby vineyard.
D.H. Lescombes Winery and Bistro’s Alamogordo tasting room serves its roster of award-winning wines and a full menu to enjoy on the covered patio.
First Street’s Pizza Patio Pub crafts inspired pies, like the house-special Alfredo pizza, to share on a covered patio with a view of the mountains.