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Looking for a weekend escape or just a get away from the city? You need look no further than the quaint mountain town of Ruidoso. Only an hour’s drive into the Sacramento mountain range from Alamogordo, you’ll think you’ve arrived in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. This area features crisp, cool air, tons of wildlife, and beautiful wood lodges set within the Lincoln National Forest to boot. With unique local shops, specialty restaurants, and the Ski Apache resort close by, you’re sure to fall in love with its tranquil setting.

1. Ski Apache Resort

If you think the only place to catch powder is in the Rockies, then think again. On the slopes of Sierra Blanca, the resort boasts 55 runs and trails with annual snowfall averaging over 15 feet. With 11 lifts in operation, they can take you to up to 11,500 ft.—nearly to the 12,000 ft. peak of the mountain. In the summer, you can still get your thrill by jumping on the Apache Wind Rider Zip tour, which consists of over 8,800 ft. of high-speed zip lines—one of the longest in the world. It’s no wonder this is a thrill-seeker’s top destination.

Courtesy, Ski New Mexico

2. Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino

Situated on Mescalero Lake and the Sacramento mountains, Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino offers a beautiful view of Sierra Blanca and is a getaway known for its entertainment, events, and exciting outdoor sports. This resort brings in musicians such as Easton Corbin, Justin Moore, and Three Doors Down to name a few. Their select dining and top-notch service may make them a 4-star resort, but it’s the breathtaking alpine scenery that keep you coming back time and time again.

Courtesy, Inn of the Mountain Gods

3. Ruidoso Downs

As host to the richest race in Quarter Horse racing, the All American Futurity, this race track is one you don’t want to miss. Ruidoso Downs also features Billy the Kid Casino, dining, and many festivals and events throughout the year. Whether you’re in the mood to bet on horses or play the slots, gambling is the name of the game on these grounds.

Courtesy, Paulick Report

4. Flying J Ranch

Go back in time where outlaws ruled the west and enjoy the simpler things in life such as great home-cooked food, fine country music, and a gun show. Take a stroll through the town of Bonita City, and take in the exhibits and attractions before the show. Be sure to bring your inner pioneer for an evening of down-home country entertainment.

Courtesy, Ruidoso.net

5. Midtown Gallery Walk

As southern New Mexico’s #1 arts destination, venturing through this shopping district will connect you with top artists both local and international. From exquisitely crafted pottery to seamlessly brushed canvases, you won’t be disappointed. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, a walk through the cafés and eateries will satisfy your cravings. Within this cultural hub, you’ll happily find yourself losing track of time as you stroll through the assortment of hand-crafted products.

Courtesy, Visit Ruidoso

6. Lincoln National Forest

To truly get away from it all, grab a pal or friends and plan a hike through the Lincoln National Forest. Expect expansive and breathtaking views when you embark on one of the forest’s many trails, including the Dog Canyon, La Pasada Encantada, and Rim Trails. Recreation areas offer camping, horseback riding, bicycling, hiking, hunting, and many more outdoor sports. Whether you want to explore caves, catch a view, or go for a picnic, this great escape is the perfect place to unplug and unwind.

Courtesy, Discover Ruidoso

7. Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts

In the mood for a show, or to simply be entertained? Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts features multiple shows, plays, and acts that showcase music, theater, and dance. 514 seats fill this modern architectural building designed by Antoine Pedrock. Equipped with the highest-caliber acoustics and facilities, this theater is one you don’t want to miss during your excursion in the mountains.

Courtesy, Moyers Group

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