Hotel at a Glance: Historic Plaza Hotel
When it opened in 1882, the Historic Plaza Hotel catered to wealthy travelers visiting the town of Las Vegas, New Mexico, by train. Back then the hotel was a picture of grandeur with its red-brick Italianate facade, pressed tin ceilings, and two grand staircases leading to the upper floors. It still feels just as opulent today, thanks to a million-dollar renovation in 1982 designed to preserve the building's historic character.
- Resident poltergeist: The ghost of Byron T. Mills, a former owner of the hotel, has been spotted in various rooms, especially #310.
- Free cooked-to-order breakfast with eggs and waffles; upgrade to huevos rancheros and other New Mexico favorites for an additional cost.
- In-room amenities: antique furnishings, free WiFi, and flat-screen TV with Showtime
- A room with a view: Premium rooms look out onto Plaza Park.
- Onsite dining: Landmark Grill serves up classic American cuisine with a New Mexico twist for breakfast, lunch, and dinner; this getaway includes a $20 dining credit.
- Relaxing day trip: Spend the afternoon soaking in the Montezuma Hot Springs, located 15 minutes north of town.
Las Vegas, New Mexico: Railroad Boomtown with a Well-Preserved History
First settled in 1835, Las Vegas was a booming railroad town by the 1880s. The Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe line brought affluent businesses and families to the area, but they also carried in the riffraff. The lawless parts of town harbored notorious Old West outlaws such as Doc Holliday, Big Nose Kate Bender, Jesse James, and Billy the Kid. Today, Las Vegas embraces its long history with more than 900 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, many of which can be seen on a stroll through downtown. Learn more at the Las Vegas Museum, which displays old photographs, documents, and an entire collection dedicated to Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders.
Head to the 4,600-acre Las Vegas National Wildlife Refuge just south of town to spot elk, bald eagles, and other native species. About 40 miles away, Pecos National Historic Park is worth the drive. Surrounded by piñons, junipers, and ponderosa pines in the Santa Fe National Forest, the park showcases the remains of an Indian pueblo. Visitors can take a guided tour of the grounds or explore on their own via a 1.2-mile walking path.