Viva Las Vegas?

Las Vegas is known for its lights, shows, and gambling, but what if I told you I spend my day touring buildings from the wild west? You would probably be confused until I told you I spent the day in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Most people never give this small historic town a thought, let alone consider it for a vacation spot. They would be right in choosing another place if they are looking for loud music, flashing lights, and theme park rides. However, those looking for a more relaxed and educational vacation, or just love the wild west, would be well advised to give it a chance.

Las Vegas has well preserved the feel of it’s rougher days during the late 1800s. Walking around the Old Town Plaza you can easily imagine horse drawn wagons rumbling to a stop while people gather in hushed expectation to listen to General Kearny’s speech declaring New Mexico as a United States Territory. Many of the original buildings have been restored and are used as shops, restaurants, or (like the Plaza Hotel and First National Bank) for their original purpose. I picked up a free pamphlet at the front desk of my hotel which had a self guided tour of the historic districts. One of my favourite days of the trip ensued.

Here are a few pictures and quick facts from the Old Town Plaza.

Side note: All of the buildings in the Plaza were build before 1920.

Veeder Building 1880

Veeder Building (1880) is a commercial building with an apartment on the second floor.

Stern and Nahm Dry Goods Store

Stern and Nahm Dry Goods Store (1885) has large display windows through which you can see a large assortment of antique odds and ends.

 

The Romero Building build in 1919 is the last large building to be built in the Plaza.

The Romero Building build in 1919 is the last large building to be built in the Plaza.

2014-07-06 16.23.48

First National Bank (1880) is unique because its ornamentation is made of local sandstone.

I have saved my favourite building for last.

The Plaza Hotel (1882)

The Plaza Hotel (1882)

This was the first hotel in Las Vegas and was considered the jewel of the town. It has seen guests like Romaine Fielding and the Mama Lucy Gang. Today it has been fully restored and is a operational hotel which you can stay in. I didn’t get the chance on this trip, but I suppose there is always next time. Even though I was not a guest there, I was able to walk around inside. I felt like I was in a John Wayne movie. It was incredible how the feel of the wild west is so well preserved.

I would highly recommend making a trip to this beautiful town. The only regret I have is that I was not able to stay longer! I look forward to going back and touring the other historical districts I did not have time to see. You can expect a day of site seeing, shopping, and eating when you stroll around this charming town.

I look forward to telling you more about where I went on my summer road trip.

As always thanks for reading!

 

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