Artesia is a beautiful town located in the heart of New Mexico. With its rich history and culture, there is no shortage of things to do in Artesia. From exploring the many museums and art galleries to hiking the trails and enjoying the local cuisine, there is something for everyone in Artesia.
You can find this small city, with a distinct culture dating back to the 1800s, down on the southeast corner of New Mexico, between Carlsbad and Roswell.
The people finally settled on Artesia after digging the first Artesian well on Sallie’s land.
What is Artesia NM known for?
Artesian well Today the petroleum and gas business is growing in the Artesian region as is farming and ranching.
Is Artesia NM a good place to live?
The artesian population is friendly. The city center is small and charming with a few small businesses nearby. It gives an enjoyable setting for walks, shopping, or meals at nearby restaurants. Artesia offers a variety of recreational activities for everyone.
What are the best attractions to visit in Artesia?
The best attractions to visit in this area are:
- Street Sculptures
- Artesia Public Library
- Artesia Historical Museum & Art Center
- Ocotillo Performing Arts Center
- Artesia Visitors’ Center
The Best Things to do in Artesia, NM in 2022
Here are The 14 Best Things to do in this area:
Check Out the Artesia Visitor’s Center
The Visitor’s Center at the intersection of 1st and Main is the perfect place to start your visit!
At the visitor center, the helpful staff can provide context for the attractions you’ll be exploring, give recommendations for restaurants, and more. Grab a map while you’re there and get all of your questions answered.
Learn About Local History at the Artesia Historical Museum and Art Center
Since 1970, The Artesia Historical Museum and Art Center is a window into the rich history and heritage of southeastern New Mexico. It is a place where locals and tourists alike can learn about the people and events that have shaped this unique corner of the country.
When you enter the museum, you’ll find various collections of photos, farm and ranch displays, and Native American artifacts.
At our store, you’ll also find a children’s room, where they can try on different hats and clothes. This is a great place for kids to have some fun while shopping with their parents.
The museum also operates inside the one-of-a-kind Moore-Ward cobblestone house in Artesia.
Catch a Show at the Ocotillo Performing Arts Center
The Artesia Arts Council bought the old movie theater and turned it into a vibrant community cafeteria.
The Ocotillo Cinema opened in 1935 and closed in 1959.
The new owners bought the place and turned it into Clifton’s Cafeteria in 1961, and then the Townhouse Cafeteria three years later. They have continued to operate the restaurant ever since.
However, it shuttered its doors once more.
The Artesia Arts Council extensively renovated the building, turning it into a full-scale performing arts center.
The Ocotillo Performing Arts Center is the perfect place to enjoy live music or a stage play. Today, local and visiting shows are performing. Don’t miss out on a great time! There’s plenty of fun to be had!
Catch a performance at this unique building and fill your night with culture.
Take a Stroll along Heritage Walkway
Head down the Heritage Walkway to explore Main Street and snap some photos of the colorful murals along the way.
If you get tired on your hike, you can take a break in a little shaded area and enjoy a picnic lunch.
You can find these murals by walking through the archway.
What story do these murals tell? The story of the Artesia area, of course!
In 1976, the Artesia Junior Women’s Club, with the help of local art teacher Helen Mapes, painted these murals.
In 2004, another local muralist added the third mural of the New Mexico landscape. Many years later, the landscape has changed, but the mural remains.
You should also take a closer look at the nearby fountain, which is made up of thousands of colorful tiles.
Shel Meymark, an artist from Embudo, New Mexico, crafted these tiles by hand.
Admire the Mural at the Artesia Public Library
Why can’t a public library be a tourist attraction?
The Artesia Public Library is a bona fide tourist attraction not just because of its book collection but also because of the gorgeous mural on display there.
The Artesia Public Library is a true gem of a tourist attraction, not only because of its book collection but also because of the stunning mural on display.
If you’re curious, the world-renowned New Mexican artist Peter Hurd painted the mural. The mural features the phrase “The Future Belongs to Those Who Prepare For It.”
Hurd’s mural was once located in the lobby of a building in downtown Houston, Texas.
However, the city decided to demolish the building, which pushed Hurd to move the mural to Artesia, where he could put it up permanently.
The mural stands roughly 47 feet long and 15 feet tall.
Remember Fallen Heroes at Baish Veterans Park
The protection of veterans is essential to American democracy. These men and women have sacrificed their lives to defend the flag and the way of life.
In 2012, the city of Artesia renovated the Baish Veterans Park in honor of these heroes.
You’ll find this park in front of City Hall, where you can pay respects to the veterans of North Eddy County, from past to present.
Jose Zelaya, an architect from Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the mastermind behind the park’s reconstruction.
Today, the park features the names of the region’s veterans and the imposing sculpture called “Freedom’s Fire.”
This time, Beverly Paddelford, a sculptor from Lander, Wyoming, has created a sculpture.
Remember the sacrifice of the veterans who paid the ultimate price for America’s freedom when you visit this park. Reflect on their courage and what they went through to ensure our country’s liberty.
Spend the Day at Eagle Draw Park
Eagle Draw Park is the perfect place to get closer to nature. With its lush greenery and abundance of wildlife, you’ll feel like you’re a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Join other New Mexicans in enjoying the great outdoors by spending time on the park’s tree-lined greenbelt.
Don’t miss the Artesia Balloons and Tunes Festival where you can see hot air balloons launch from the park.
Otherwise, just enjoy watching your kids as they play on the playground.
There are also exercise equipment stations permanently installed throughout the 3.2-mile trail that you can use to work out.
Check Out the Bronze Statues along Main Street
If you stroll down Artesia’s Main Street, you’ll come across a life-size bronze statue by the side of the road.
The city is proud to display all nine of its bronze sculptures to the public.
The statues in this collection are some of the best bronze sculptures in New Mexico.
The statues in Artesia each represent an important figure in Artesia’s history.
The city’s roots in cattle ranching go back to the 1800s, and the city still honors that history.
Many statues depict an important historical figure from the Cattle Drive era engaged in a typical Southwest activity.
One of these figures is Sallie Chisum, the original owner of the land where the city’s first Artesian well was drilled.
Experience Artesia on the Downtown Walking Tour
Artesia’s Main Street is best explored on the Artesia Walking Tour – a guided tour that takes you around the historic downtown area.
Downtown is full of important landmarks with a rich history and heritage. Our tours will take you to all the must-see spots!
You don’t even need to be a history buff to enjoy this tour because the sights and sounds of downtown Artesia are enough to delight you.
The Train Depot is the starting point for the walking tour, where you’ll see historical sites and the Artesia Visitors’ Center.
The same goes for you and the History in Bronze sculptures – you’ll stop by each one.
Celebrate the Red Dirt Black Gold Festival
Every year, Artesia celebrates its heritage with the Red Dirt Black Gold Festival – a celebration of oil and ranching.
Hundreds of tourists join the locals in honoring this rich legacy through various events.
The Oilfield Olympics and live “red dirt” music are just some of the great things you can do in this area.
Roll a Strike at the Artesia Lanes Bowling Center
This family-owned bowling alley has provided fun times for everyone who walked through its doors for more than 60 years.
Today, the Artesia Lanes Bowling Center still sits at the top of family-friendly destinations in the city.
Anna’s Café is the perfect place to enjoy some delicious food with your friends after a game of bowling. They serve up some of the best pizza, fries, and burgers around.
The arcade is the perfect place to spend a few hours playing darts or pool. And don’t forget to sing your heart out during Karaoke Saturday Nights.
Authentic New Mexican cuisine can be enjoyed at the Adobe Rose Restaurant
If you want to taste authentic New Mexican food, the Adobe Rose Restaurant is the perfect place to explore the vibrant cuisine and culture of the great state. With its wide variety of dishes and friendly staff, you’re sure to have a memorable experience.
The restaurant prides itself on its unique Southwestern flavor.
The restaurant’s main room is located inside a historic adobe building, providing a unique and intimate dining experience.
You can enjoy your meals in the courtyard while enjoying good music and the warmth of the fire-pit centerpiece.
Relive the Cold War at the Abo Elementary School and Fallout Shelter
This school building is one of a kind in American history, as it is the first public school in the United States to be built entirely underground.
This Cold War-era landmark is not just a school but also a fully equipped fallout shelter designed to protect the community from the blast and radiation from a nuclear bomb.
The prospect of planetary destruction through a full-scale nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union was a real and present fear.
Frank M. Standhardt, the architect from Roswell, planned the construction of the Abo Elementary School.
Construction finished in 1962, at the height of the Cold War. The school is mostly underground, with the exception of three flat-roofed buildings.
It was so strong that it could withstand a thermonuclear blast.
The only part of the school above ground besides these buildings was a concrete slab roof which also served as the kids’ playground.
The shelter also had a wide storage facility where the community stored emergency rations and supplies, which could support 2,160 people in case of an emergency.
The Abo Elementary School was inducted into the National Register of Historic Places in 1999.
Watch Balloons Fly at the Tunes Festival and Artesia Balloons
New Mexico’s culture is unique in many ways, one of which is the hot-air balloons. The state’s high-desert air makes it a great location for these flying balloons.
If you come to Artesia in November, you can attend the celebration of New Mexican culture.
See the colorful balloons dotting the sky in New Mexico?
Downtown Artesia is the place to be for live music and thrilling events.
Work It Out at the Artesia Family Fitness Center
After devouring delicious New Mexican cuisine, you may want to work it all off at the Artesia Family Fitness Center.
This health club is a warm and welcoming place, making it a great fitness club for the whole family.
Bring your family to join in on the fun activities.
There are many different types of exercise that you can do in order to stay healthy and fit. Some popular options include yoga, kickboxing, and swimming.
Just as you can lift weights or relax inside the sauna, you can also do both of those things outside.
The center also has personal trainers who can help you achieve your fitness goals. With their help, you can push yourself to reach new levels of fitness!
Artesia offers a variety of activities for everyone, from exploring the many museums and art galleries to hiking the trails and enjoying the local cuisine. If you’re looking for a unique destination with a rich history and culture, be sure to add Artesia, NM to your list!