30 Best & Fun Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Are you planning a trip to Carlsbad, New Mexico, and looking for fun activities to make your trip memorable? Look no further! You’re at the right place, as we’ll explore the 30 best and fun things to do in Carlsbad, NM, making your trip unforgettable.

Situated in southeast New Mexico, in Eddy County, Carlsbad, New Mexico, is famous as a gateway to the vast, bat-filled caves of Carlsbad Caverns National Park. Carlsbad is also the principal city of the Carlsbad-Artesia Micropolitan Statistical Area.

The city straddles the Pecos River, sits at the eastern edge of the Guadalupe Mountains, and offers a plethora of fun activities for visitors of all ages. Visitors can explore Sitting Bull Falls, Lake Carlsbad Beach Park, and the Living Desert Zoo and Garden.


30 Best and Fun Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM (2024)


1. Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Start your Carlsbad journey with a visit to Carlsbad Caverns National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its beautiful underground formations.

Located in the southern Rocky Mountains, the 19,000-hectare park features an incredible array of wildlife, plants, and natural wonders in caves, along with hiking trails and abutting rock formations.

Visitors can explore the Big Room, the largest single cave chamber in North America, and witness mesmerizing stalactites and stalagmites within the cavernous chambers.

You can also watch numerous species of bats in flight at dusk and dawn in the summer months, learn about astronomy and folklore from a park ranger, and take a full moon walk along a desert trail.

Exploring Carlsbad Caverns National Park is one of the unique things to do in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Address: Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

2. Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Just a short drive from Carlsbad, the Guadalupe Mountains National Park is one of the must-visit attractions near Carlsbad, NM.

Guadalupe Peak is the highest point in Texas and offers hiking trails with breathtaking views through serene forests, captivating local history, and the world’s most extensive Permian fossil reef.

As part of the fun outdoor activities to do near Carlsbad, visitors can embark on a hike along one of the park’s scenic trails, such as the challenging Guadalupe Peak Trail, which rewards hikers with panoramic views from the highest point in Texas.

Experienced trekkers and hikers can access the more rugged parts of the park via steep switchbacks that zigzag up the mountains, where once-in-a-lifetime photo ops await.

Address: Dell City, TX 79847, United States.

3. Carlsbad Museum

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Another fun thing to do in Carlsbad today is to enjoy the rich history and culture of the region at the Carlsbad Museum and Art Center.

Established in 1931, the Carlsbad Museum and Art Center is the oldest municipal museum in New Mexico. The museum features exceptional permanent exhibits focusing on local and regional history, Native American art and artifacts, and modern, contemporary, and Western art.

On your visit, browse through the art galleries featuring works by local and regional artists and immerse yourself in the vibrant arts community of Carlsbad.

Address: 418 W Fox Street, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

4. Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Located just in front of the famous Pecos River Valley, the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park is one of the family-friendly attractions in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

This unique zoo and garden features various exhibits and interpretive displays, including varieties of flora and fauna from the Chihuahuan desert

Sitting on 1100 acres, this park also acts as an indoor and outdoor museum and houses over 40 unique local animal species and many local and foreign plants.

On your visit, learn about the geology, flora, and fauna of the desert ecosystem. Tour the zoo and garden and see different species of animals, including bears, elk, bison, and various bird species.

Address: 1504 Skyline Road, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

5. Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Located along the Pecos River, visiting the Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area is one of the fun outdoor activities to do in Carlsbad, NM.

Spanning 125.6 acres, this waterfront recreation area is used for picnics, playgrounds, fishing and boating sites, and water sports. The site is also a perfect spot for a leisurely day with your family and friends.

The Lake Carlsbad Recreation Area also features picnic tables, benches, grills, tennis and racquetball courts, sand volleyball courts, pickleball courts, sandy beaches, and a boat launch for you to have a fun time.

What’s more, there is also a swim area that is open to the public from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend.

Address: 708 Park Drive, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

6. Brantley Lake State Park

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Another fun thing to do in Carlsbad, NM, today is to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and retreat to the tranquil shores of Brantley Lake State Park.

Spanning over 4,000 acres, the park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including fishing, boating, camping, hiking, and birdwatching.

As part of your Carlsbad adventure, cast a line from the fishing pier and reel in bass or catfish, or rent a kayak and paddle along the peaceful waters as you soak in the scenic beauty of the surrounding desert landscape.

Address: 33 E. Brantley Lake Road, Carlsbad, NM 87045, United States.

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7. Sitting Bull Falls

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Just an hour’s drive from the city’s center, exploring the Sitting Bull Falls is one of the unique things to do in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Located in the rugged terrain of the Lincoln National Forest, Sitting Bull Falls is fed by springs located above the canyon. Cascading from a towering limestone cliff, the 150-foot waterfall plunges into a crystalline pool below, creating a serene setting for swimming, picnicking, and photography.

With nature trails that wind through lush vegetation, the Sitting Bull Falls ground is one of the best places to enjoy exciting outdoor activities in Carlsbad.

Address: Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

8. The Artist Gallery

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Established by five artists members of the Carlsbad Area Art Association, the Artist Gallery seeks to promote the arts and sell the works of artists in the Carlsbad area.

The art gallery features a large display area showcasing the works of producing artists who are carefully selected for membership at the gallery by a jurying process. Exhibits displayed at the gallery include artworks like watercolor, textiles, photography, pottery, acrylic painting, etc.

A visit to the Artist Gallery is one of the best things to do in Carlsbad for art enthusiasts.

Address: 120 S Canyon Street, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

9. Carlsbad Historic District

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

One of the free things to do in Carlsbad, New Mexico, is to step back in time as you wander through the streets of the Carlsbad Historic District.

The Carlsbad Historic District is adorned with charming adobe buildings and historic landmarks that tell the story of the city’s past.

As you walk through the district, admire the architectural details of buildings dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and learn about the pioneers, ranchers, and entrepreneurs who shaped the community.

Address: Carlsbad, NM, United States.


Are you exploring other attractions near Carlsbad? Why not check out some fun things to do in Cloudcroft, NM, and fun things to do in Alamogordo, NM?


10. Pecos River Flume

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

The Pecos River Flume is one of the historical landmarks in Carlsbad, New Mexico. First built out of wood in 1890, the flume was destroyed by flooding in 1902, and it was rebuilt out of concrete to supply water for irrigation in the Pecos Valley.

At the time, the 497-foot structure was the largest concrete structure in the world. Referred to as the only river that crosses itself, this structure stands as one of the most visited structures in Carlsbad.

Visitors can paddle through a historic irrigation canal dating back to the early 20th century. You can rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard and navigate through the narrow waterway, passing through scenic landscapes and historical landmarks.

A visit to the Pecos River Flume is one of the fun things to do in Carlsbad, NM, on a rainy day, as you can see water still flowing through the channel above and along the rocks below.

Address: 2309 Westridge Road, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

11. Carlsbad Water Park

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

One of the family-friendly things to do in Carlsbad, NM, is to escape the summer heat and make a splash at the Carlsbad Water Park.

Located on the Pecos River shore, the Carlsbad Water Park features thrilling water slides, a lazy river, a Children’s play zone, clean locker rooms, and free WiFi.

As part of the things to do in Carlsbad in the summer, zip down the thrilling slides, float along gentle currents at the lazy river, splash around in the wave pool, and enjoy endless hours of aquatic fun.

Address: 708 Park Drive, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

12. Carlsbad Downtown Farmers Market

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

The Carlsbad Downtown Farmers Market is one of the best places to explore local produce, handmade crafts, and delicious treats in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Held every Wednesday from June to mid-October, exploring the Carlsbad Downtown Farmers Market is one of the unique things to do in Carlsbad.

The farmers market offers an excellent opportunity to sample fresh produce, meats, eggs, local honey, pasture-raised meats, vinegars, artisanal crafts, homemade soaps, and delectable local cuisine while mingling with friendly vendors and fellow visitors.

Address: 102 S Canyon Street, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

13. Baish Park and Veterans Memorial

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Established in 2009, Baish Park and Veterans Memorial is one of the must-visit attractions in Carlsbad. The park features monuments and memorials honouring those who served the country in various conflicts.

The park, which is dedicated to the veterans of North Eddy County, is the best place to pay your respects to the military veterans who gave their lives for the country.

Address: Riverwalk Drive, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

14. Lake Carlsbad Golf Course

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

One of the fun things to do in Carlsbad, NM, this weekend is to book a tee time at the Lake Carlsbad Golf Course.

Established in 1968, the Lake Carlsbad Golf Course offers both experienced and inexperienced golfers a good challenge. Sitting on an expansive acre, the meticulously manicured 18-hole golf course spans 6,512 yards from the back tees and plays to a par-72.

Beyond the course, there is also an onsite pro shop where you can rent golf equipment.

Address: 901 Muscatel Avenue, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

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15. Carlsbad Community Theatre

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Established in 1960, visiting the Carlsbad Community Theatre is one of the fun things to do in Carlsbad, NM, at night. This popular attraction showcases local talent and fosters a vibrant arts scene.

The theatre is a beautiful place filled with numerous productions featuring classic plays, musicals, and original works performed by talented actors and musicians.

On your visit, you can catch live performances from dramas to comedies, there is always something new and exciting at the Carlsbad Community Theatre.

Address: 4713 National Parks Hwy, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.


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16. Black River Recreation Area

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Located in the Lincoln National Forest, exploring the Black River Recreation Area, a pristine wilderness area, is one of the fun outdoor activities to do in Carlsbad.

Spanning 1,200 acres, the Black River Recreation Area is home to rare species of plants, fish, reptiles, and birds, including waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds.

The site’s most popular attraction is the Cottonwood Day Use Area, which includes a wildlife viewing platform, picnic tables, and a toilet.

Visitors can also hike along scenic trails that wind through towering pine forests, cross crystal-clear streams, and lead to hidden waterfalls and scenic overlooks.

Address: 222 Washington Ranch Road, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

17. Pecos River Antique Mall

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Located around Canyon Street is the Pecos River Antique Mall, where you can browse through a wide range of antiques, collectibles, and unique items.

This antique mall features memorabilia, antiques, and various treasures belonging to periods from the 1960s through the 1990s.

As you browse through the mall, you will find beautiful items, making it one of the best places to shop in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Address: 110 S Canyon Street, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

18. Walter Gerrells Performing Arts Center

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Another interesting thing to do in Carlsbad is to enjoy a night of entertainment at the Water Gerrells Performing Arts Center, one of the largest entertainment facilities in Southeastern New Mexico.

With a seating capacity of about 2,000, this center hosts a variety of performances, including concerts, plays, and dance recitals. The center also features the exhibition, banquet hall, and lobby area, which are about 14,000 square feet and can seat 699 people.

Address: Parking lot, 4012 National Parks Hwy, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

19. Carlsbad Skate Park

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

The Carlsbad Skate Park is one of the best places for outdoor recreational activities. This park provides an opportunity for visitors to showcase their skills or simply enjoy watching the local skaters in action.

This state-of-the-art facility also caters to riders of all skill levels. You can test your tricks on ramps, rails, and obstacles designed to challenge and inspire, or simply enjoy the thrill of cruising around the expansive concrete park.

With features for both street and professional skating, Carlsbad Skate Park is a favorite hangout for local skaters and a great spot to showcase your skills.

Address: 2560 Orion Way, Carlsbad, CA 92010, United States.

20. Balzano Family Vineyard and Pumpkin Patch

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Exploring the Balzano Family Vineyard and Pumpkin Patch is one of the kid-friendly things to do in Carlsbad, New Mexico. This place is a great place to enjoy wines, beers, and different tasty meals.

Open every weekend in October, the Balzano Family Pumpkin Patch features gemstone mining, a bounce pad, houses, a fairy garden, fishing ponds, hayrides, a farmland zoo, pumpkin fun, a bamboo maze, and gerbil races.

Visit this attraction with your family, and have a taste of their wines while the kids have fun at the pumpkin fun.

Address: 5230 7 Rivers Hwy, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

21. Carlsbad Public Library

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Escape into the world of literature and learning at the Carlsbad Public Library, a hub of knowledge and culture in the heart of downtown.

This library houses an extensive collection of books, e-books, audiobooks, newspapers, magazines, multimedia resources, and Spanish language collections for children and adults.

What’s more, the Carlsbad Public Library also hosts family-friendly activities, storytimes, engaging English language learning programs, and book clubs that cater to various age groups, making it an enriching destination for all.

Address: 101 S Halagueno Street, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

22. Top Nock Archery and Supplies, LLC

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

One of the best things to do in Carlsbad, NM, today is to aim your target at Top Nock Archery and Supplies, LLC. This archery was established to help people of all ages become involved in a healthy activity.

Top Nock Archery and Supplies LLC provides equipment and supervision to all visitors who want to learn how to shoot a bow. With plenty of targets to choose from, Top Nock Archery and Supplies LLC caters to people of all skill levels.

The archery also features several indoor shooting lanes for practice. You can rent different bows if you want to extend your range of playing techniques.

Address: 2101 S Canal St ste c, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

23. Slaughter Canyon Cave

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

A journey into the subterranean wonders of Slaughter Canyon Cave, one of Carlsbad Cavern National Park’s top attractions, is one of the most adventurous things to do in Carlsbad.

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The Slaughter Canyon Cave offers a more rugged and less-developed experience compared to the main caverns. The tour takes visitors into an underground wilderness without electricity, paved walkways, or modern conveniences.

The cave trails are narrow, uneven, and very slippery. Visitors also get to see incredible formations such as the 89-foot high Monarch, one of the world’s tallest columns; the Christmas Tree, a sparkling, crystal-decorated column; and the Chinese Wall, a delicate, ankle-high rimstone dam.

If you need adventure, add the Slaughter Canyon Cave to your Carlsbad itinerary.

Address: Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

24. Carlsbad Disc Golf Course

Things To Do In Carlsbad, IL

Among the many fun things to do in Carlsbad, NM, is to have a laid-back day with friends playing disc golf at the Carlsbad Disc Golf Course.

This beautiful 1-hole disc golf course winds through some of Carlsbad’s most beautiful parks. Established in 2009, the disc course features concrete pads and disc catcher holes.

The course, which plays along both sides of the railroad track near Lower Tansil Dam on the Pecos River, includes one shot over the water.

Address: Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

25. Bob Forrest Youth Sports Complex

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Another interesting thing to do in Carlsbad is to visit the Bob Forrest Youth Sports Complex for recreational activity. Built in 2003, the complex consists of a state-of-the-art facility that can accommodate people of all ages and skill levels.

The Bob Forrest Youth Sports Complex features softball fields, basketball fields, soccer fields, football fields, and playgrounds for kids. The complex also has a water play area that is open during the season.

Explore this sports complex for a round of sporting activity.

Address: 3213 W Lea Street, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

26. Bottomless Lakes State Park

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Located in Roswell, NM, about an hour’s drive from Carlsbad, Bottomless Lakes State Park is one of the top attractions near Carlsbad.

Located along the Pecos River, this park offers unique opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing, and picnicking against a backdrop of dramatic cliffs and colorful formations.

On your visit, explore the hiking trails that wind around the lakeshores, or simply relax and soak up the natural beauty of this hidden gem. Bottomless Lakes State Park is also one of the fun things to do in Roswell, New Mexico.

Address: 545A Bottomless Lakes Road, Roswell, NM 88201, United States.

27. Pecos River Village Conference Center

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Located on the banks of the Pecos River, attending an event at the Pecos River Village Conference Center is one of the best things to do in Carlsbad Village.

Managed by the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, this state-of-the-art conference center is an ideal venue for conferences, retreats, family reunions, or festive occasions.

The Village features five meeting rooms, a large colonnade, and the Carousel House banquet facility. What’s more, the center also features courtyards, covered dock areas, beautiful grounds for outdoor functions, and a large commercial kitchen.

Address: 711 Muscatel Avenue, Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

28. YellowBrix Restaurant

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One of the romantic things to do in Carlsbad, NM, for couples is to have a romantic dinner at YellowBrix Restaurant, a culinary gem that serves the flavors of the Southwest with a modern twist.

This food establishment serves authentic foods ranging from sizzling steaks and fresh seafood to creative cocktails and decent desserts.

Spend time with your partner in the elegant dining room or unwind on the outdoor patio as you savor expertly crafted dishes made with locally sourced ingredients.

Address: Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

29. Rattlesnake Springs

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Among the many fun things to do in Carlsbad is to escape the desert heat and discover an oasis of lush vegetation and crystal-clear springs at Rattlesnake Springs, located within the Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

This beautiful ecosystem features a natural spring and a large grove of cottonwood trees planted by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The spring features a picnic area with shaded picnic tables, grills, trash cans, and pit toilets.

With its tranquil atmosphere and scenic beauty, Rattlesnake Springs is a perfect spot for picnicking, birdwatching, and photography.

Address: Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

30. Lechuguilla Cave

Things To Do In Carlsbad, NM

Another unique thing to do in Carlsbad is to embark on an adventure to Lechuguilla Cave, one of the most spectacular and scientifically significant caves in the world.

Lechuguilla Cave, which is 150.4 miles long, is the eighth-longest explored cave in the world and the second deepest in the United States.

Accessible only to experienced cavers and researchers, Lechuguilla Cave boasts a maze of passages, chambers, and formations that have captivated explorers and scientists alike.

Although public access is restricted, visitors can learn about the cave’s unique geology and biology through interpretive exhibits at the visitor center.

Address: Carlsbad, NM 88220, United States.

Plan Your Trip To Carlsbad, NM

Carlsbad, New Mexico, offers a wealth of experiences for visitors to explore, from the depths of its underground caverns to the heights of its scenic vistas. If you’re planning a visit, this amazing town promises memories that will linger long after the trip has concluded. We hope this guide serves as a comprehensive starting point on your journey of discovery and wonder. Safe travels!

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