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Exploring the Nearby Towns Around Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Located on the border of Texas and New Mexico, Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a stunning display of wilderness, home to the highest peak in Texas. Visitors exploring this majestic area not only marvel at the natural beauty of the park but often seek accommodations in nearby towns, as the park itself does not have hotels and restaurants. In the towns surrounding the park, one can find charming local hotels, unique restaurants, and the opportunity to try regional dishes.

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Published onDecember 13, 2023
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Exploring the Nearby Towns Around Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Located on the border of Texas and New Mexico, Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a stunning display of wilderness, home to the highest peak in Texas. Visitors exploring this majestic area not only marvel at the natural beauty of the park but often seek accommodations in nearby towns, as the park itself does not have hotels and restaurants. In the towns surrounding the park, one can find charming local hotels, unique restaurants, and the opportunity to try regional dishes.

Van Horn, Texas

Just an hour's drive to the west of Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Van Horn offers a convenient and comfortable stop for travelers. Recognized as a crossroads, with easy access to I-10, this town provides a range of lodging options, from cozy bed and breakfasts to well-known hotel chains. In terms of dining, Van Horn’s restaurants serve familiar American food alongside Mexican specialties, reflecting the local culinary influences.

Hotel Highlight:

  • Hotel El Capitan: Has the charm of a historic building with the added benefit of modern comforts.

Restaurant and Dish to Try:

  • Chuy's Restaurant: Famous for Tex-Mex cuisine, it’s the perfect place to try enchiladas or fajitas.

White's City, New Mexico

White's City is the closest community to the park and is about a 35-minute drive from the Pine Springs Visitor Center. Although it’s primarily geared towards tourists visiting the nearby Carlsbad Caverns National Park, it also serves travelers visiting Guadalupe Mountains. Accommodation options range from hotel rooms to RV parks.

Hotel Highlight:

  • White's City Cavern Inn: Offers proximity to both national parks and has amenities tailored to the traveler’s needs.

Restaurant and Dish to Try:

  • White's City Restaurant: While there, indulge in the local specialty, the New Mexico green chili cheeseburger.

Carlsbad, New Mexico

Around a 45-minute drive northeast of the park, Carlsbad is a larger city offering a variety of hotels and restaurants, making it a good base for park visitors. It is also the gateway city for exploring Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Hotel Highlight:

  • The Trinity Hotel: Set in a historical building that exudes character.

Restaurant and Dish to Try:

  • YellowBrix Restaurant: Offers a patio dining experience and is known for generous servings of American cuisine with a New Mexican twist like blue corn enchiladas.

Pecos, Texas

About a 90-minute drive from the park, Pecos is famed for its rodeo but also for being an agreeable stay for national park visitors. It offers more in the way of lodging and dining options than the closer communities, with amenities for a comfortable stay.

Hotel Highlight:

  • Best Western Swiss Clock Inn: Combines a central location with the reliability of a trusted chain.

Restaurant and Dish to Try:

  • Pody's BBQ: Get a taste of Texas with some genuine smoked brisket or ribs.

Alpine, Texas

Alpine is approximately a 2-hour drive from Guadalupe Mountains National Park, but its small-town charm makes it a delightful place to stay. Besides having hotel options, Alpine serves as a hub to Big Bend National Park and the artsy town of Marfa.

Hotel Highlight:

  • The Holland Hotel: Offers historic ambiance and stylish accommodation in the heart of downtown Alpine.

Restaurant and Dish to Try:

  • Reata Restaurant: Upscale Texan cuisine with options such as tenderloin tamales or chicken fried steak.

Local Cuisine

While visiting these towns around Guadalupe Mountains National Park, you might notice a pattern in the cuisine that blends Texan and New Mexican flavors. Texas barbecue and Mexican food are both staples in this area. Be sure to try local flavors like smoked meats, Tex-Mex dishes, and anything with green chilies. For the adventurous foodie, seek out restaurants serving game meats like venison or wild boar, both found in the more refined establishments.

Helpful Websites

These small towns not only offer practical amenities but also allow you to dive into the regional culture. Remember, when traveling through smaller communities, amenities can be limited so it's wise to book accommodations ahead of time, especially during peak visitor seasons. Enjoy the breathtaking Guadalupe Mountains and the warmth of the local towns!

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