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Aerial shot of Ruidoso River Resort


Things to do in  Ruidoso, New Mexico

Ruidoso River Resort is located right in the middle of the beautiful mountain town of Ruidoso, New Mexico. There's so much to do every season. Here are our area's major attractions and curated staff picks highlighting area restaurants, shopping and activities.
Image by Kaysha



Believe it or not we have three gaming venues! Come try your luck at Billy the Kid Casino, located at the Ruidoso Downs Racetrack or the Inn of the Mountain Gods Casino or Casino Apache located on our neighboring Mescalero Apache Reservation.




The Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts opened in October of 1997, creating a year-round venue for world-class performances in theater, music and dance. An aristocrat among theaters, the $22-million structure is splendid and elegant, yet intimate and welcoming. At the heart of the Spencer, in its 514-seat hall, you’ll encounter a powerful experience of the performing arts — outstanding acoustics, intimate seating, and artistry of the highest caliber.

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A wide variety of horseback riding opportunities are available in the Ruidoso area. Riding choices range from 30-minute to 1-hour rides through the pines around the edge of town to full-day excursions into the wilderness areas of the Lincoln National Forest. There is a horseback adventure awaiting you in Ruidoso that will exceed your expectations.

Image by Nathan Jennings



Public Ruidoso golf courses include the Inn of the Mountain Gods, the Links of Sierra Blanca and Cree Meadows Country Club. These mountain golf courses offer some challenging play and on most days, year round play. Play them all for a real golf adventure!  

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Ski Apache, located high up in the Lincoln National Forest is Southern New Mexico's premier ski and snowboard resort offering dozens of trails for skiers and snowboarders of all levels.

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Home of the All American Futurity Race, the richest Quarter Horse Race in the world! Ruidoso Downs Racetrack offers world class racing in a down home environment. During the live racing season spectators are treated to 9-13 races most Fridays thru Mondays.

Image by Christine Siracusa


Check out the best places to eat and drink in Ruidoso, New Mexico. Find restaurants, coffeehouses, patio dining, craft beer pubs, and wine bars. Check out our staff picks below to find the perfect place to dine out during your stay



Take your zip-lining experience above and beyond with this three-span zip tour. This beautifully stunning adventure begins and rises above 11,000 feet. It is also complete with parallel cables so riders can glide down the mountain side-by-side. The adrenaline-pumping, three-part zip tour reaches over 8,900 feet in length, making it one of the longest in the world and offering a thrilling and unforgettable experience.

staff picks


Gas Grills: three available by the Fire pit area.

Doggies: The waste area is located on the northeast corner of the parking lot.

Firepit: Automatically ignites nightly at dusk and remain on through 10:00 PM

Reflection Garden: Enjoy this quiet space adjacent the Rio Ruidoso. Located at the far end of Building #4


Chile Bear: Great photo opportunities exist alongside our towering Chile Bear sculpture. Use the selfie stick to include the whole gang.

Lending Library: Curl up with a good book from our Little Lending Library. Feel free to leave the book you brought from home ready for its next reader!



Hatch Chile Country: Pick up some of the best authentic Hatch chile based salsas imaginable. Red, Green and plenty of hot sauces too! Their green chili honey will make you’re mouth cry with joy.
2501 Sudderth DR.

The Olive Branch Ruidoso: Oils, Vinegars, truffle infused oils and more. Plenty of sample to whet your appetite!
2722 Sudderth DR

No Bones About it! The place to take your favorite pup. Clothing, treats and toys to purchase for your furry friends! 2540 Sudderth DR.

Old Barrel Tea Company:  The ultimate tea emporium. Abundant flavors and plenty of tasting options as well. 2402 Sudderth DR.

Mountain Arts Gallery: Great place with lots of cool affordable pieces. Terri Sodd is both the owner and artist in residence.
2530 Sudderth DR.

Cherry Blossom Shoppe: Ladies, check out this place for “Chico” type clothes at a fraction of the cost. Lots of inventory to choose from!
2550 Sudderth DR.

Parts Unknown: Ruidoso’s version of a small REI carrying all the major brands of outdoor clothing and footwear. Probably the most helpful staff in town!
2316 Sudderth DR.

25th in MID: Eclectic selection of ladies clothing and fashion accessories. Easily one of the more attractive stores in Midtown.
2523 Sudderth DR.

J Roberts: Deceivingly parge store that goes on forever as you wander in the from the street entrance. This store has had the same ownership for a full 40 years in Ruidoso. 2608 Sudderth DR.

Two Bears Trading Post: This place is like stepping back in time to the pioneer days. You’ll find a collection of handmade western crafts and native American artifacts. 2615 Sudderth DR.

Roots: A store with a hard to describe inventory as it truly has a little bit of everything. Lots of plants and home décor. Good place to pick up a small, inexpensive gift while in town. They pour a good cup of coffee as well! 2315 Sudderth DR.



Of course, with 100’s of thousands of acres in the Lincoln National Forest, White Mountain Wilderness and Bureau of Land Management areas surrounding Ruidoso, hiking opportunities are endless. We want to make sure you’re up to speed on all the easy, in town spots to get a little exercise.

The Links: An easy 3.1 mile paved loop circumnavigating the The Links Golf Course.

Cedar Creek Loop: A nice wooded 1.3 mile loop which starts right behind the Smokey Bear Ranger station on Mechem DR.

Alto Lake: Starts around the lake adjacent the parking lot but gets really nice and pretty down behind the dam. The entire loop is approximately 2 miles.

Grindstone Lake: Several easy and moderate trails accessible form the parking lot. You can walk all the way around the lake if you’re feeling ambitious! 




Ruidoso is a regional mecca for mountain Bikers. Some of our favorite nearby areas include;

Grindstone Lake: Endless trails swirl around the lake and climb all the way up to Grindstone Mesa.

Cedar Creek Recreational Area: Nicknamed the “spaghetti bowl’ by locals, this area has an abundance of quality trails on both the North and South sides of Cedar Creek RD. Check in at the Ranger station for a map and ride yourself silly!

Fort Stanton Recreational Area: Approximately 15 miles north of Ruidoso proper, this BLM option has hundreds of miles of rocky, high desert trails in which to get lost.

Ski Apache: Take yourself and wheels to the top via the Gondola and enjoy the rugged downhill from 11,500 to approximately 9000 feet at the parking lot. Very few rides like this one in new Mexico!


Ruidoso Sushi: Enjoy a fantastic pan-asian experience with delicious raw sushi as well as fully cooked entrees. Great vegan options as well! 2501 Sudderth DR.

Hall of Flame Burgers: A Ruidoso favorite for over 20 years. Great Burgers, Tacos and Philly Cheese Steaks!
2500 Sudderth DR.

Tina’s: Lots of New Mexican Specialties at this long, established local breakfast and lunch spot. CINAMON ROLLS are to die for as is the Hatch Green Chile Apple Pie! Adjacent Wine and Tapas Bar open sporadically depending on the season and the day of the week!
2825 Sudderth DR.

Café Rio: Its singularly all about the Pizza. Other sandwich items but think Pizza. Carry Out / Take away only. Long waits so prepare by ordering ahead of time. 2547 Sudderth DR

Grill Caliente: Consistently good for dinner with sometimes live music on back patio.  Has a few green chile dinner options.  Can be spicy! 2800 Sudderth DR.

Rio Grande Tap & Grill: A full service restaurant with a varied menu plus New Mexico Craft beer from the Sierra Blanca Brewing Company. Good place to catch on game on the big screen! 441 Mechem DR.

Casa Blanca: A long time Ruidoso dining institution. Full bar, pretty standard Mexican Faire and a comfortable atmosphere.
501 Mechem DR.

Texas Club: Ruidoso’s favorite steakhouse tucked behind the Innsbrook Village Condos. Plenty of Red Meat and some fish and chicken options too! Full bar! 212 Metz DR.

Farley’s: Another longstanding Ruidoso favorite. Typical Burgers etc. menu with a big bar to watch the next big game. 1200 Mechem DR.

Pena’s: Tasty Mom and Pop Mexican with a few American specialties as well. Breakfast and Lunch only. 2963 Sudderth DR.

El Paraiso: Classic Family operated Mexican Cocina. Authentic flavors and friendly service. 721 Mechem DR.

Michael J’s: Old School Italian with a few modern twists thrown into the mix. Cozy little place with a friendly vibe. 601 Mechem DR.

Club Gas: Live kitchen in the back of service station / convenience store serving up some Ruidoso’s favorite burritos, breakfast and otherwise. Plus, all the way on the back of this property is a full service bar barely visible from the street. 1137 Mechem DR.

The Krafty Kup: Comfy little coffee shop with a great selection of healthful smoothies and other juice- based drinks. Some handcrafter artisan jewelry for sale as well. 350 Sudderth DR.

Noisy Water Winery: Beautiful new Wine and Beer bar with complimentary menu and plenty of two go items to bring your delicious snacks back to the River Resort. Best place to Midtown  people watch from their large elevated patio. 2332 Sudderth DR.




The Adobe Fine Arts Gallery:  Just the past the intersection of Sudderth DR and Mechem DR as you head towards the Upper Canyon. Look for Wildcat bronze sculpture on the corner. This is Ruidoso’s most prominent gallery filled with Oils, Acrylics, Sculpture and more.  Great employees who explain the story behind the art and the artist.  2905 Sudderth DR.

Turkey Foot Pope and Cigar: The owner crafts his own pipes and the cigar selection is a good as when you find in sole larger urban settings. Pull a chair in the back and enjoy a bowl or nice cigar. 650 Sudderth DR.

DJ’s Jewelry: You’ll find this Ruidoso treasure en route to the Inn of the Mountain Gods. Lots of high quality unique one of a kind artist’s creation. Good prices and a very friendly knowledgeable staff. Plenty of beautiful turquoise!  618 Carrizozo Canyon RD.

Cork and Kettle:  A true gourmet foodie joint in Ruidoso. Great olive oils, coffees, pistachios, balsamic vinegars, chocolates and wine tasting! 2801 Sudderth DR.



Cree Meadows Golf Course: Just a short walk or drive from the River Resort, Cree Meadows is an inexpensive option to get in a few holes. Plus, as the course gets very few rounds played, we use it all the time as simply a walking path. The deer and the elk love this place too!

Other Golf Courses: The links, the Inn of the Mountain Gods and Rainmakers are more traditional courses with traditional prices. They are all unique and can provide some real challenges for average and even top flite players. For all locations CLICK HERE.

Disc Golf: Ruidoso has a couple of really well-designed courses. The Grindstone and Moon Mountain courses are well played from players around the state and have hosted several tournaments. If you’re from the flat lands you’ll really find these courses to open up a whole new concept of disc golf. There are also 2 nine-hole courses in the area. One is up at Ski Apache and the other is a great little ‘pitch and putt right in the middle of town at Wingfield Park. For all locations CLICK HERE.

OHV Rentals: Wow this is such a great way to easily get into the back country around Ruidoso. Back County Attitudes rents super high-quality equipment at reasonable rates. Perfect for big group tours and smaller self-directed trips. They also rent bad ass Sling shots for highway touring. 2303 Sudderth DR.

Grindstone Lake: Recreational opportunities abound at our little mountain lake. Quality fishing, paddle boarding, kayaking and even summer swimming with a sandy beach and recreational wibit. For all Grindstone Lake information  CLICK HERE.


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