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Carlsbad is a desert city in the south of New Mexico, near the border with Texas. The town center features a state university, a museum and art center, plus recreation opportunities on the river. The Living Desert State Park, on the edge of town, offers hiking trails and animal exhibits.

Rent a car through Orbitz in central Carlsbad, and use it to visit Carlsbad Caverns National Park. This spectacular subterranean site is a network of canyons, caves and cacti. Visit the Big Room, where stone hangs from the ceiling like icicles. Come at dusk to watch bats fly through the air in synchronized formations.


Carlsbad and beyond: Weird and wonderful desert

Staying in Carlsbad places you near some of the desert’s most alluring and intriguing sights. We’ve picked three unusual or little-seen corners of the country to visit.

Roswell, New Mexico

Did an alien craft crash in Roswell in the 1940s? No one knows for sure, but you can explore for yourself when visiting the city of Roswell, which is now home of the International UFO Museum and Research Center. Even if you aren’t visiting to meet its extraterrestrial residents, Roswell also offers an interesting museum and art center, as well as a wildlife refuge by Bitter Lake.

Journey time: Around 1 hour 20 minutes

Distance: Approximately 75 miles

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Cross the border from Carlsbad into Texas to reach one of the more remote and dramatic National Parks in the US. The most striking features include the rolling Salt Basin Dunes, the peak of El Capitan, and canyons that cut through the landscape. You’re unlikely to be troubled by crowds while you hike the Guadalupe Peak trail or trek through McKittrick Canyon.

Journey time: Around one hour

Distance: Approximately 55 miles

El Paso, Texas

The border city of El Paso sprawls out across a desert where condors soar across the skies, and coyotes pace through the shrubland. Adobe and pueblo-style architecture pops up throughout the city, while Gilded Age theaters offer evenings of glamorous entertainment. Unexpectedly, if you drive to the very edge of the city– with Mexico a stone’s throw away – you’ll find vineyards beneath the Franklin Mountains.

Journey time: Around 2 hours 45 minutes

Distance: Approximately 170 miles