Downtown Mall – Las Cruces, NM

Normally when I hear the word “mall”, I automatically think of a shopping center.  In this case, however, it refers to the downtown area.  I’ve visited the mall when I went to the Farmer’s Market, but on a regular afternoon it looks quite different.  The first time I visited the downtown mall on a non-farmer’s market trip, there were a total of two people on the whole street: myself and an elderly woman in white pants.

There are several small shops and restaurants, including a Hawaiian themes one I’m still not quite brave enough to try, mostly because I’m afraid to see what the New Mexico spin on Hawaiian food would be.  There are two places in particular, however, which stand out.

The first is the Rio Grande Theatre.  The theatre originally opened in the 1920s and is one of the oldest and most historic locations in Las Cruces.  Now it’s mostly just used for local small community plays and rentals, but the theatre itself is still very beautiful and worth seeing.

The second place to visit is Coas bookstore.  This may be my favorite place in all of Las Cruces 🙂  Most non-chain or independent bookstores I visited have been only one or two rooms.  This one, however, takes up at least four store fronts and has more books than the majority of other bookstores, like Barnes and Noble.  In addition to books, they also have an impressive selection of audio books, records (vinyl), DVDs and a large section of regional works.  Coas also buys books from people and offers them credit on new books.  I know I’m a total book nerd, but I could easily spend hours in there, just wandering from room to room.

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