Mesilla is a small town in Doña Ana County, New Mexico. The old historic town is just less than 10-minute drive from where I live in Las Cruces. I frequent the town for coffee at the famous local coffee house “The Bean.”

The first time I visited the town on a weekend, I was surprised how quiet (read: peaceful) it is. I was expecting a number of tourists to have bombarded some of its historic sites. But no, just me and a handful of curious people who seemed to have enjoyed strolling on the alleys and stepping back into a slower pace of living.

I was able to see everything in two hours. But if you are fond of checking out shops, then you may want to spare half a day to enjoy Mesilla.


Mesilla (“Little Tableland”) is the best-known and most visited historical community in Southern New Mexico. Since its’ beginning, around 1848, Mesilla has had a major influence on the economic, cultural, historical, and political life of the Mesilla Valley. From the Gadsden Purchase, to the Civil War, to the Butterfield Stage Coach Trail, to the trial of Billy the Kid, to being a lively social center in the 1880s–Mesilla has been a prominent part of the rich history of the Southwest.

Today, many of Mesilla’s population of nearly 2,200 residents are direct descendents of Mesilla’s early settlers. As such, they have retained many of the “hearty folk” qualities of the original founders. Mesilla has a rich and diverse heritage with the integration of Indian, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo-American cultures. Perhaps the greatest import of the past history is the physical character of the community itself. The traditional adobe structures and architectural features modified through time because of style and technology still remain as a reminder of the long and significant history of the town.

A small square in middle of the historic Mesilla Plaza.

Mesilla New Mexico Plaza

The Basilica of San Albino is just located right across the square.

The current structure was built in 1906 and is one of the oldest churches in New Mexico.
Basilica of San Albino

Just a block away from the plaza is the famous restaurant La Posta.

Inside an 1840’s historic structure, the restaurant is one of the oldest and most historic Mexican Restaurants in New Mexico and throughout the United States.
La Posta Mesilla NM

Then there’s Billy the Kid!

Mesilla is the site of the courthouse where Billy the Kid was found guilty of murder.
Billy the kid Mesilla NM

Just a walking distance from the plaza is the privately-owned Gadsden Museum.

From antique instruments and uniforms, to old clothing, to jail cell bars, to special dolls and religious artifacts — everything is inside Gadsden Museum. Since it is privately-owned, call ahead for an appointment.
Address: 1875 Boutz Rd, Mesilla, NM 88046
Phone:(575) 526-6293
Gadsden Museum Mesilla NM

Surrounding the plaza are little shops.

Shops Mesilla NM

The Mesilla Town Hall is also near by.

Mesilla Townhall

Christmas Carols at Mesilla Plaza.

If you happen to be in Mesilla during Christmas season, stop by the plaza as it transforms into a space decorated with lights and listen to live Christmas carols.

Mesilla New Mexico Plaza 3

Visit this well-preserved historic town of Mesilla, New Mexico!

Here’s the link on how to get there.

Where to stay.

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Or search for hotels in Mesilla that are within your budget.

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See more of my New Mexico travels.

See also: My other travel adventures.

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