Nestled at the foot of the Sacramento Mountains, in the Tularosa Basin, Alamogordo is a town of almost 36,000 people. In the south-central part of the New Mexico, the town can serve as a hub for your sight-seeing jaunts to White Sands National Monument, Lincoln National Forest, or Ruidoso Downs. Stay in one of the mid-level hotels, most located along or right off White Sands Boulevard, the main road through town. Resort accommodations are also available in the nearby towns of Cloudcroft and Mescalero.
Hotels in Alamogordo
You can choose from several hotels in Alamogordo, all easy to find. On the east side of White Sands Boulevard the Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites are adjacent to each other, as are the Best Western Desert Aire and Days Inn a bit farther down the road. The Quality Inn is bookended by the two sets of hotels. On the west side of the boulevard, you will find the Comfort Inn & Suites. All include the usual amenities and continental breakfasts. Kids under 12 stay free at the Best Western. The Best Western and Quality Inn are pet-friendly.
The Lodge Resort & Spa
Sixteen miles from Alamogordo, but 9,000 feet high in the Sacramento Mountains, Cloudcroft is the home of The Lodge Resort. Originally built in 1899 by the Alamogordo and Sacramento Mountain Railway and rebuilt following a fire in 1909, The Lodge has 59 rooms, each individually appointed with antique furnishings. Eight rooms are available in the bed-and-breakfast Pavilion. The restaurant Rebecca’s at The Lodge, named in honor of the resident ghost who disappeared after her lover found her with another, features meals cooked by an award-winning chef. Rebecca’s Lounge provides a speakeasy experience, with Al Capone’s wooden bar to top it off. The Lodge also has a nine-hole golf course, a spa, meeting facilities and a gazebo behind the resort, on the edge of the forest, for weddings or communing with nature. The Lodge offers murder mystery weekends, hike and bike packages and holiday packages.
Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort and Casino
Also in the Sacramento Mountains, bordering Lake Mescalero, is the AAA Four-Diamond rated Inn of the Mountain Gods. Owned and operated by the Mescalero Apache Tribe, the Inn offers guests 273 luxury rooms and suites and five restaurants. The casino is open from 8 a.m. to 4 a.m. during the week and 24 hours on the weekend. The Inn features weekend entertainment in Club 49, spacious meeting facilities, championship golf course, skiing, and boating and gondola rides on the lake. Horseback riding, fishing, big-game hunting, and a sporting clay range are also available on the grounds of the Inn.
The Alamogordo area is the place to stay when you are visiting south-central New Mexico, and you will not lack for activities. Southeast of Alamogordo is Holloman Air Force Base and beyond that the largest gypsum dune field in the world, White Sands. A few miles farther yet, you can visit the White Sands Missile Range. Twice a year, the public is permitted on Trinity Testing Site, where the world’s first nuclear bomb was detonated. You can chase the legend of Billy the Kid through Lincoln National Forest east of Alamogordo and learn about the world-famous Smokey Bear, who was born and is buried in the forest. From The Lodge, take a short mountain drive to the National Solar Observatory and Apache Point Observatory, where you can look across the Tularosa Basin and see White Sands in the distance. From the Inn of the Mountain Gods, a 10-minute drive will take you to the town of Ruidoso where you will find quarter horse racing at Ruidoso Downs Race Track, and artists, galleries and museums.
- Southwestern Fall Color and Light image by DesertDeville from Fotolia.com