Outside Carlsbad Caverns National Park Travel Guide

Outside Carlsbad Caverns National Park

On the Pecos River, with 3 miles of beaches, lawns, and picturesque riverside pathways, Carlsbad, New Mexico, seems suspended between the past and the present and is the main base for lodging and dining for park visitors. With a few notable attractions of its own, this small city with about 29,000 residents is part–oil boom town, part–Old West, with a decided Mexican-American accent. The town square of mom-and-pop shops, a few short blocks from the river, encircles a Pueblo-style county courthouse designed in the late 1930s by renowned New Mexican architect John Gaw Meem. At the main entrance road into the park, about 7 miles from the visitor center, is Whites City, a tiny privately owned village with the nearest lodging, dining, and gas station. It's a sleepy community, however, and most visitors spend their time outside the park in Carlsbad.

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