12 Most Fun Things To Do In Santa Rosa, NM

Welcome to Santa Rosa, a charming town nestled in the picturesque landscapes of New Mexico. This hidden gem offers a delightful blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and warm hospitality. 

Santa Rosa boasts a rich history deeply intertwined with the legendary Route 66. Known as the “City of Natural Lakes,” it’s a place where the past comes alive through its historical sites, such as the Route 66 Auto Museum, which celebrates the heyday of American road travel.

The first settlement in 1865 in the area named this place as Agua Negra Chiquita, “Little Black Water” in Spanish. This name was changed to Santa Rosa in 1890. The current population of the city is quite low, with only over 2,800 residents. 

Nature lovers will find Santa Rosa a paradise. The Blue Hole, a crystal-clear spring-fed pool, is a renowned diving spot, attracting water enthusiasts from far and wide. Santa Rosa Lake State Park offers a serene escape with hiking trails, camping, and water sports.

The town’s culture is a fusion of Native American, Hispanic, and Route 66 influences, reflected in its cuisine and local festivals. The annual Santa Rosa Balloon Rally lights up the sky with a colorful display of hot air balloons, embodying the town’s spirit of celebration.

Santa Rosa’s Southwestern and Mexican cuisine is a culinary adventure. From green chile-infused dishes to mouthwatering tacos, the local restaurants offer an authentic taste of the region.

Santa Rosa enjoys a semi-arid climate. Summers are warm, with temperatures ranging from the mid-80s to low 90s Fahrenheit. Spring and fall offer milder temperatures, making them the best times for outdoor activities. Winters are cooler, with daytime temperatures in the 40s and 50s Fahrenheit.

Santa Rosa draws a steady stream of visitors, who come to explore its natural wonders, historical sites, and vibrant culture. Santa Rosa, NM, is a destination that beautifully encapsulates the essence of New Mexico, offering a rich tapestry of history, nature, and culture. 

Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or a foodie, Santa Rosa welcomes you with open arms to explore its many treasures. Let’s learn about the fun things to do in Santa Rosa, NM.

1) Explore the Blue Hole

Blue Hole is a captivating natural wonder. The area around it was stablished in 1932. It is a renowned destination for divers and swimmers. Its claim to fame lies in the crystal-clear, azure waters that allure visitors.

Explore the Blue Hole
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This blue gem is a geological marvel, reaching depths of up to 81 feet. It’s fed by an underground spring, maintaining a constant temperature, making it an ideal spot for diving year-round.

The history of Blue Hole dates back to when it served as a fish hatchery. Over time, it transformed into a beloved recreational site. Jacques Cousteau, the famous oceanographer, explored the Blue Hole in 1976.

The underwater world here is captivating, featuring rock formations, aquatic life, and even underwater caves. Divers venture down to explore this submerged beauty.

The Blue Hole provides a refreshing escape for swimmers during hot New Mexico summers. It’s not only a geological wonder but also a testament to the natural beauty found in Santa Rosa, attracting thousands of visitors each year.


1085 Blue Hole Rd, Santa Rosa, NM 88435, United States

2) Visit the Route 66 Auto Museum

The Route 66 Auto Museum, established in 1990, is a captivating attraction in Santa Rosa, NM. It celebrates the iconic Route 66, showcasing a remarkable collection of classic cars and memorabilia.

Visit the Route 66 Auto Museum
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This museum offers a journey back in time to the golden age of American road travel, featuring beautifully restored automobiles, each with a unique story to tell.

The museum houses a 1940 Cadillac Fleetwood, known as Elvis Presley’s last car. Apart from that, an impressive array of vintage vehicles, including classic Chevrolets, Fords, and Packards.

Visitors can also explore a treasure trove of nostalgic memorabilia. This may include antique gas pumps, road signs, and Route 66-themed artifacts, providing a glimpse into the cultural significance of this historic highway.

The Route 66 Auto Museum is a must-visit for both automobile enthusiasts and history buffs. It offers an immersive experience that highlights the enduring legacy of Route 66 and its influence on American road trip culture.


2436 Historic Rte 66, Santa Rosa, NM 88435, United States

3) Hike through Santa Rosa Lake State Park

Santa Rosa Lake State Park was established in 1957. It is a scenic oasis in Santa Rosa, NM. It offers a serene escape into nature and is a popular spot for outdoor activities.

Hike through Santa Rosa Lake State Park
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The park surrounds Santa Rosa Lake, which is a reservoir fed by the Pecos River. It’s a paradise for anglers, stocked with bass, catfish, and trout. Fishing enthusiasts flock here to reel in their prized catches.

Hiking enthusiasts will find delight in the park’s scenic trails that wind through rugged landscapes. Bird watchers can spot a variety of avian species, and water sports enthusiasts can enjoy boating and jet skiing on the lake’s tranquil waters.

One interesting fact about the park is its role in flood control. Santa Rosa Dam, constructed in 1957, helps regulate water flow in the Pecos River.

Santa Rosa Lake State Park offers camping facilities, picnic areas, and opportunities for stargazing, making it a perfect destination for families and outdoor enthusiasts seeking relaxation and adventure amidst New Mexico’s natural beauty


NM-91, Santa Rosa, NM 88435, United States

4) Trail of the Forty Niners

The Trail of the Forty Niners, established in the early 1990s, is a historical treasure in Santa Rosa, NM. It commemorates the brave pioneers who journeyed west during the California Gold Rush of 1849.

Trail of the Forty Niners
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This trail winds through the same landscapes where these intrepid adventurers once walked, offering a unique window into their challenges and triumphs. It’s a living testament to the enduring spirit of exploration.

Visitors can explore the trail’s pathways, which are marked with interpretive signs and markers. These share stories of the past against the backdrop of the New Mexico desert.

One fascinating fact is that this trail offers the opportunity to see remnants of the past, like wagon ruts and historic sites, giving you a tangible connection to the history it represents.

The Trail of the Forty Niners is a place where history and nature blend seamlessly, making it a must-visit for history buffs and anyone seeking to step back in time to the era of westward expansion.


 I-40 Exit 252 Westbound Rest Area, Santa Rosa, NM 88435, United States

5) Go Camping in the New Mexico Desert

The New Mexico Desert, established naturally over millions of years, is a captivating and unique landscape in the southwestern United States. It is an arid region known for its stunning desert beauty.

Go Camping in the New Mexico Desert
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One interesting fact is that this desert is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species uniquely adapted to its harsh conditions. It’s a place where life thrives against the odds.

The desert features vast expanses of sand dunes, rocky terrain, and mesas, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts who seek adventure in its rugged beauty.

Many people might not know that the New Mexico Desert houses the White Sands National Park, known for its otherworldly white gypsum sand dunes.

This desert, with its breathtaking vistas and stunning sunsets, serves as a paradise for photographers, hikers, and stargazers.

The New Mexico Desert offers a chance to connect with the raw and untamed beauty of nature, showcasing the resilience of life in even the harshest environments.


244 South 4th Street Santa Rosa, NM 88435, United States

6) Janes-Wallace Memorial Park

Janes-Wallace Memorial Park was established in 1917. It is a serene oasis in Santa Rosa, NM, steeped in history and natural beauty. Named in honor of two prominent local families, Janes and Wallaces, the park stands as a testament to their contributions to the community.

Janes-Wallace Memorial Park
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The park’s design incorporates elements that pay homage to the renowned novel “Bless Me, Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya, who drew inspiration from his hometown for his literary masterpiece.

Visitors can enjoy leisurely walks along well-maintained paths, relax in shaded picnic areas, and appreciate beautifully landscaped gardens.

The park boasts a tranquil lake, offering paddleboat rides and a serene setting for reflection. It’s a place where families gather for quality time and where individuals find solace in nature’s embrace.

Janes-Wallace Memorial Park also serves as a venue for community events. These events, cultural gatherings, and festivals, embody Santa Rosa’s warm spirit and its commitment to preserving its heritage.

Janes-Wallace Memorial Park invites visitors to connect with nature, history, and the local community, making it a cherished destination in Santa Rosa.


El Rito St, Santa Rosa, NM 88435, United States

7) Bless Me Ultima Park

Bless Me, Ultima Park, established in 2018, is a special place in Santa Rosa, NM, inspired by the renowned novel “Bless Me, Ultima” by Rudolfo Anaya. This park is a tribute to the author and his literary masterpiece.

Bless Me Ultima Park
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One interesting fact is that the park’s design incorporates symbolism from the novel, creating a unique space where literature and nature intertwine. Visitors can explore walking paths adorned with excerpts from the book, enhancing the experience with literary immersion.

The park is beautifully landscaped with native flora and features seating areas that invite visitors to relax and soak in the natural beauty. It’s a tranquil oasis that captures the essence of Anaya’s writing and the spirit of Santa Rosa.

Beyond its literary significance, Bless Me, Ultima Park serves as a cultural landmark that celebrates the town’s connection to literature and its vibrant arts community. 

It’s a place where imagination and reality come together, inviting individuals to discover the magic of the written word within the embrace of the natural world.


Route 66 near Park Lake, Santa Rosa, NM 88435, United States

8) Experience the Santa Rosa Route 66 Carousel Park

Santa Rosa Route 66 Carousel Park was established in 1992. It is a beloved attraction in Santa Rosa, NM, paying homage to the iconic Route 66. This park is a vibrant blend of nostalgia and family-friendly fun.

Experience the Santa Rosa Route 66 Carousel Park
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One interesting fact is that a vintage carousel stands at the heart of the park, a whimsical attraction that transports visitors back in time. It features intricately carved animals that spin to the enchanting melodies of yesteryear.

The park’s atmosphere is steeped in Route 66 charm, with colorful signage, classic memorabilia, and a warm, welcoming ambiance.

Apart from the carousel, the park boasts a range of amusement rides, including bumper cars and mini-golf, offering something for visitors of all ages.

One unique feature is the park’s role as a hub for community events, festivals, and cultural gatherings, bringing people together and fostering a sense of unity.

Santa Rosa Route 66 Carousel Park captures the essence of a simpler time and invites visitors to create new memories in the midst of timeless Americana. It’s a destination that embodies the spirit of celebration and the enduring allure of Route 66.


Route 66, Santa Rosa, NM 88435, United States

9) Take a Dip in Park Lake

Park Lake, established as a natural feature, is a tranquil gem located in Santa Rosa, NM. This serene lake provides a picturesque setting for relaxation and outdoor enjoyment.

Take a Dip in Park Lake
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Interestingly, it was not artificially established but is a naturally occurring lake that has become a cherished spot for both locals and visitors. The lake’s clear waters reflect the lush greenery surrounding it, offering a serene backdrop for picnics, leisurely walks, and moments of contemplation.

A fun fact is that visitors can enjoy paddleboat rides on the lake, adding a touch of adventure to their visit. Bird-watchers find delight in the park, with numerous avian species frequenting the area, making it a perfect spot for bird-watching.

As the sun sets, Park Lake takes on a new charm, becoming an idyllic location for a romantic evening stroll or a peaceful moment by the water’s edge.

Established by nature, Park Lake is a cherished destination in Santa Rosa that invites individuals and families to connect with the beauty of the outdoors.


913 Blue Hole Rd, Santa Rosa, NM 88435, United States

10) Historic Guadalupe County Courthouse

The Historic Guadalupe County Courthousewas established in 1909. It is a significant landmark in Santa Rosa, NM. It serves as a testament to the region’s rich history and architectural heritage.

Historic Guadalupe County Courthouse
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This stately courthouse represents a blend of architectural styles, showcasing intricate detailing and grand columns. Over the years, the courthouse has played a pivotal role in the town’s development, serving as a center for legal proceedings and civic affairs.

Visitors can explore its halls adorned with artifacts and exhibits that offer insights into the area’s past, connecting the present with its storied history.

One fascinating detail is that the courthouse has witnessed the evolution of Santa Rosa, reflecting the changing times and the enduring spirit of the community.

Preserving its historic significance, the Historic Guadalupe County Courthouse stands as a living museum that bridges the gap between the past and the present. It invites the visitors to appreciate Guadalupe County’s legacy and its architectural heritage’s enduring beauty.


130 South 4th St, Santa Rosa, NM 88435, United States

11) Joseph’s Bar & Grill

Joseph’s Bar & Grill, established in [year], is a beloved culinary haven in Santa Rosa, NM. This local eatery has gained a stellar reputation for its warm ambiance and delectable cuisine.

Joseph’s Bar & Grill
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One interesting fact is that Joseph’s boasts a diverse menu showcasing the best of Southwestern and American fare, offering dishes that cater to various tastes.

Diners can savor mouthwatering burgers, sizzling fajitas, and a host of other delightful options, all prepared with care and precision. This restaurant’s commitment to quality ingredients and attentive service ensures a memorable dining experience for visitors and locals alike.

Joseph’s Bar & Grill isn’t just a place for delicious food; it’s also a hub for community gatherings and lively evenings. Joseph’s warm and inviting atmosphere captures the heart of Santa Rosa’s culinary scene.

The restaurant offers an authentic taste of the region and a welcoming space to enjoy good food and great company.


1775 U.S. Rt. 66, Santa Rosa, NM 88435, United States

12) Attend the Annual Santa Rosa Balloon Rally

The Santa Rosa Balloon Rally, a captivating annual event in Santa Rosa, NM, paints the sky with vibrant colors and enchanting spectacles. The Santa Rosa Balloon Rally was established in 1990. It is a captivating annual event that paints the sky with vibrant colors in Santa Rosa, NM.

Attend the Annual Santa Rosa Balloon Rally
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The rally is held to celebrate the town’s vibrant spirit and features a dazzling array of hot air balloons taking flight against the backdrop of New Mexico’s stunning landscapes.

The balloons come in various shapes, sizes, and colors, creating a breathtaking visual display that captures the imagination of both visitors and locals.

Beyond the stunning visuals, this event fosters a sense of community, with live entertainment, food vendors, and engaging activities for all ages.

Another intriguing detail is that it’s not just a visual spectacle; it’s an opportunity for balloon enthusiasts to gather and share their passion for this unique form of flight.

The Santa Rosa Balloon Rally lights up the sky each year, bringing people together and showcasing the town’s spirit of celebration and unity. It’s a must-visit event for those seeking a memorable and colorful experience in Santa Rosa.


1350 Bennett Valley Rd, Santa Rosa, CA 95409, United States


Santa Rosa, NM, is a hidden treasure trove of diverse attractions that cater to a wide range of interests. Plan your trip to Santa Rosa and immerse yourself in the enchanting experiences it has to offer.

Whether you are seeking natural wonders, historical insights, outdoor adventures, or simply a taste of Southwestern culture, this charming town offers a delightful escape from the ordinary.