10 Best Places To Visit In Portales, Nm

things to do in portales nm

Nestled in the far eastern region of New Mexico, Portales is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by many travelers. Despite being a small town, it is rich in history, culture, and breathtaking landscapes. From colorful murals to impressive museums, Portales is a fascinating destination that offers something for everyone. With so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming to decide where to begin exploring. That's why we've put together this guide on the 10 best places to visit in Portales, NM. Whether you're a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or just looking for a relaxing getaway, these top attractions will surely captivate your heart and leave you with unforgettable memories.

Characteristics Tips
Portales is a small town Plan for limited options and be prepared for a slow-paced atmosphere
Agricultural community with vast farmland Bring sunscreen, hats and comfortable walking shoes for farm tours
Home to Eastern New Mexico University Look for cultural events and student exhibits in campus
Rich history and heritage Visit the Blackwater Draw Museum and Site for a glimpse into prehistoric times
Diverse cuisine options Try the local dishes such as Green Chile Cheeseburger or the famous New Mexico-style enchiladas
Natural attractions nearby Don't miss the breathtaking views of nearby canyons and caprock formations
Strong community spirit Join local events such as the Annual Peanut Valley Festival or the Roosevelt County Balloon Rally


Eastern New Mexico University

Source: Eastern New Mexico University
Characteristic Description
NameEastern New Mexico University
TypePublic university in Portales, New Mexico
WebsiteGo to website
Address1500 S Avenue K, Portales, NM 88130
Phone(800) 367-3668

One of the best things about visiting ENMU is the campus itself. The university covers over 350 acres and boasts modern facilities and beautiful green spaces. As you walk around the campus, you'll see a mix of traditional brick buildings and contemporary structures, all of which are well-maintained and designed to provide students with the best possible learning environment.

If you're interested in learning more about the history of ENMU, be sure to visit the university's Golden Student Success Center. This state-of-the-art facility houses the university's archives and offers visitors the chance to explore some of the school's most significant moments and achievements.

Another must-see attraction on the ENMU campus is the Golden Library. With over 500,000 volumes of books and access to a wealth of online resources, the library is a great place to study and learn for both students and visitors alike. Additionally, the library also hosts a number of special events throughout the year, including author readings, book signings, and more.

Of course, no trip to ENMU is complete without attending a Lobo athletic event. The university is home to a number of successful sports teams, including football, basketball, volleyball, and more. Whether you're a die-hard sports fan or just looking for a fun and exciting night out, ENMU's athletic events are not to be missed.

If you're looking to explore the Portales area beyond the ENMU campus, there are plenty of other great attractions to check out. The nearby Blackwater Draw Museum is a must-see for anyone interested in history, with exhibits on the area's ancient cultures, the Clovis people, and more. Additionally, the city of Portales itself is home to a number of excellent restaurants, shops, and cultural events, providing visitors with plenty to see and do during their stay.

Overall, Eastern New Mexico University is a fantastic place to visit for anyone interested in exploring the Portales area. With its beautiful campus, rich history, and exciting sports teams, ENMU has something to offer just about everyone. So the next time you're planning a trip to the area, don't miss the chance to explore this unique and fascinating institution.


Blackwater Draw Museum

Source: TripAdvisor
Characteristic Description
NameBlackwater Draw Museum
TypeMuseum in Portales, New Mexico
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.3 / 85
Address1457-1461 S Avenue K, Portales, NM 88130
Phone(575) 562-2202
HoursSaturday - opens at 9 AM and closes at 5 PM
Sunday - opens at 12 and closes at 5 PM
Monday - Closed
Tuesday - Closed
Wednesday - Closed
Thursday - opens at 9 AM and closes at 5 PM
Friday - opens at 9 AM and closes at 5 PM

The Blackwater Draw Museum is a hidden gem nestled in Portales, NM. As a history enthusiast, I was particularly thrilled to visit the museum, which displays the rich cultural heritage of Clovis people. I spent hours traversing through the exhibits, taking in the fascinating journey of the prehistoric people who occupied the region over 13,500 years ago. The museum is a must-visit for tourists and locals alike, telling the story of the pioneers, explorers, and settlers of the area.

Located on the Eastern New Mexico University's campus, the museum is easily accessible, making it an ideal stop for road-trippers exploring the state. Visitors can conveniently park close to the main entrance and be greeted by the friendly staff. The museum is open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10 am to 5 pm. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged, and they are used to maintain and improve the museum.

One of the highlights of the museum is the array of exhibits that offer a glimpse into the lives of the Clovis people. From weapons and tools to art and artifacts, the museums take visitors through the many stages of the pre-Clovis, Clovis, and Folsom periods. The exhibits are interactive and informative, with detailed explanations and diagrams to guide visitors through the various sections.

Another exhibit that wowed me was the Blackwater Locality No. 1, a vast site that played host to numerous digs by archaeologists. Visitors get to learn about the finds from the site and how they have helped in shaping the region's prehistoric history.

The museum is also home to a gift shop with a broad array of gifts and souvenirs. Items range from jewelry to booklets and educational toys, perfect for people of all ages.

In conclusion, a visit to the Blackwater Draw Museum is an enriching experience that takes visitors back thousands of years in history. With interactive exhibits, knowledgeable staff, and a remarkable gift shop, it is no wonder that tourists and locals alike continuously recommend the museum. Set in the quaint town of Portales, the Blackwater Draw Museum is a pilgrimage for people curious about the rich cultural legacy of Clovis people.


Yam Theater

Source: Cinema Treasures
Characteristic Description
NameThe Yam Theater/Portales MainStreet
TypeEvent venue in Portales, New Mexico
Rating / Review count4.3 / 26
Address219 Main St, Portales, NM 88130
Phone(575) 226-3783

The Yam Theater in Portales, New Mexico is a must-visit destination for any lover of history, architecture, and theater. Built in 1920, this iconic building has undergone numerous renovations over the years, including its transformation into a cinema in the 1930s. Today, it stands as a testament to the rich cultural history of the region and serves as a hub for the arts in eastern New Mexico.

As you step inside the Yam, you are immediately transported back in time. The interior of the theater is impeccably preserved, with intricate plasterwork, dramatic archways, and opulent lighting fixtures. The centerpiece of the theater is the stunning stage, which has played host to countless performers over the years, from local theater troupes to touring bands and even Hollywood stars.

One of the most unique and enchanting aspects of the Yam Theater is its commitment to storytelling. The theater regularly hosts events that celebrate the art of storytelling, from live readings to performances by spoken-word artists. If you're lucky enough to catch one of these events, you'll be treated to an evening of entertainment and insight that you won't soon forget.

In addition to its storytelling events, the Yam also offers a wide range of other activities for visitors to enjoy. The theater often hosts film festivals, musical performances, and other cultural events that showcase the vibrancy and diversity of the local arts scene. Whether you're a seasoned theater-goer or a curious traveler looking for something new and exciting to experience, the Yam Theater has something for everyone.

To ensure you get the most out of your visit to the Yam, be sure to check the theater's schedule of events before you go. While the theater is open year-round, its schedule can vary depending on the season and the availability of performers. Additionally, be sure to arrive early to give yourself plenty of time to explore the theater's stunning architecture and historic features.

Whether you're a history buff, an architectual aficionado, or simply someone who loves a good story, the Yam Theater is a must-visit destination in Portales, New Mexico. With its stunning architecture, diverse cultural events, and commitment to storytelling, the Yam offers a truly unique and unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages and interests. So why wait? Plan your visit to the Yam Theater today and discover the magic of this iconic landmark for yourself!

In closing, the Yam Theater of Portales, New Mexico is a worthwhile destination for anyone visiting the American Southwest. With its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant cultural scene, the theater offers a truly unique and unforgettable experience that is not to be missed. From storytelling events to live performances and film festivals, there is always something exciting happening at the Yam. So why not plan your visit today and see for yourself what makes this iconic theater such a special and enchanting place?


Roosevelt County Courthouse

Source: Wikipedia

Located in the eastern part of New Mexico, Roosevelt County is home to the historic and magnificent Roosevelt County Courthouse. Built in 1938, the courthouse is a stunning example of art deco architecture with its towering clock tower and intricate details. As a frequent traveler, my visit to the Roosevelt County Courthouse was undoubtedly one of the most memorable experiences I have ever had.

One of the remarkable aspects of the courthouse is its location. The courthouse lies in the heart of Portales, making it easily accessible to visitors. The street leading to the courthouse is lined with beautiful trees and plants that offer a picturesque view. The courthouse itself is a grand structure that immediately caught my attention as soon as I approached it. The bright blue sky and warm sunlight added to the charm of the building, making it a perfect spot for photo enthusiasts.

Once inside, I was impressed by the interior of the courthouse. The intricate details I had noticed on the outside were beautifully replicated inside. The grand hall was filled with natural light that gave the space a welcoming and calming effect. While the courthouse is primarily a government building, visitors are welcome to take a free guided tour of the building, which includes a visit to the spacious courtroom on the second floor.

Moreover, visitors to the Roosevelt County Courthouse can also explore the historic Roosevelt County Museum, which is just a few minutes walk away. The museum showcases exhibits on the history of Portales and Roosevelt County from the time of the earliest settlers to the modern era. Some highlights of the museum include exhibits displaying antique farming equipment, a replica of a typical 1900s pharmacy, and a Native American culture section.

If you plan on visiting the Roosevelt County Courthouse, I would advise you to plan your visit in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid the intense heat of the day. You can find plenty of parking spaces in the vicinity of the courthouse. Suppose you're lucky enough to visit during the Christmas holiday period. In that case, you can witness the courthouse's spectacular holiday lights and decorations. The courthouse is also open to visitors during the annual Heritage Days Festival, which takes place in September.

In conclusion, a visit to the Roosevelt County Courthouse is an excellent way to experience New Mexico's rich history and culture. The courthouse provides a perfect blend of architectural magnificence and historical significance. While in Portales, be sure to indulge in the famous Green Chili Burger at the famous restaurant, the Little Walnut Cafe. In the words of one satisfied visitor, "If you're looking for a place to get lost for a day, Portales definitely fits the bill."

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Oasis State Park

Source: Wikipedia
Characteristic Description
NameOasis State Park
TypeState park in Roosevelt County, New Mexico
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.4 / 414
Address1891 Base Line, Portales, NM 88130
HoursSaturday - Open 24 hours
Sunday - Open 24 hours
Monday - Open 24 hours
Tuesday - Open 24 hours
Wednesday - Open 24 hours
Thursday - Open 24 hours
Friday - Open 24 hours

One recommendation for those visiting the park is to arrive early in the day as it can get quite busy in peak season. The park entrance fee is quite affordable, and the staff is always welcoming and eager to provide tips and information about the park's attractions. Once inside, it is easy to understand why this park is one of the most beloved in the region for locals and visitors alike.

One could easily spend a day hiking the miles of trails that surround the park or fishing along the Pecos River. The park is home to several species of fish, including rainbow trout, bass, and catfish - a perfect spot for fishing enthusiasts. Kayaking down the river can be a unique way to enjoy the park's natural beauty, and kayaks are available for rent.

For those looking for a more relaxing experience, there is a fantastic swimming pool at the park that is quite popular during the hot summer months. There are also picnic areas, playgrounds, and other facilities perfect for a family trip or a day out with friends.

The Oasis State Park is the perfect location for outdoor enthusiasts who appreciate nature's beauty and serenity. It is a bird watcher's paradise with the park being home to almost two dozen distinct species of birds, including quail, pheasant, eagles, and owls. Nature photographers will find plenty of great shots in the park.

The story behind Oasis State Park is fascinating. The park was established in the 1930s when the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built an earthen dam on the Pecos River to prevent flooding downstream. Today, the park has become a destination spot for hundreds of visitors each year.

In conclusion, Oasis State Park is a must-visit destination for travelers looking for outdoor adventures and relaxing activities. The park is open year-round, and each season brings an entirely different experience. Whether you're a local or a visitor, one should take a moment from their busy life and visit the park. It's a perfect outing for a family day trip or a weekend getaway. The park's carefully maintained facilities, attractions, and staff guarantee a memorable experience.

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Portales Skate Park

Source: SKATE.in
Characteristic Description
NameSkate Park
TypeSkateboard park in Portales, New Mexico
Rating / Review count5 / 2
Address1001 W 18th St, Portales, NM 88130

If you're a skateboard enthusiast, then Portales Skate Park of Portales, NM is an excellent destination for you. This skate park, located at 100 North Avenue D, is easily accessible from different parts of N.M. It's a spectacular place to have fun, practice your skateboarding skills, and hang out with other skaters.

The park consists of a rectangular-shaped arena that is the perfect place for testing your skateboarding moves. There are several flat bars, banks, and ramps that are ideal for both beginners and experienced skateboarders. The park is well-kept and well-maintained, with smooth and even surfaces, allowing skaters to flow seamlessly throughout the park.

If you're planning to have an unforgettable skateboarding experience, then make Portales Skate Park your destination of choice. The park's design, great location, and beautiful surroundings make it one of the best skate parks in the state of N.M. With plenty of space available and a warm, friendly atmosphere, this skate park shouldn't be missed.

To get the best experience from the park, it's advisable to carry your protective gear such as a skating helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads. You’re also encouraged to carry some sunscreen and water bottles since Portales is known for its hot temperatures. Don't forget to carry a skateboard, and if you don't have one, you can always rent one from local suppliers.

In conclusion, Portales Skate Park is a great destination for skateboard enthusiasts. The park is located in a beautiful and accessible location, allowing individuals to enjoy a thrill-packed experience while observing the beauty of the surroundings. This skate park should be on the to-do-list of every skateboarder visiting Portales, New Mexico.

In the words of one of the park's regulars, “Portales Skate Park is not only about skateboarding; it's about the people, energy and the good times you can have here. Come experience it for yourself and make unforgettable memories!”


Three Rivers Petroglyph Site

Source: Bureau of Land Management
Characteristic Description
NameThree Rivers Petroglyph Site
TypeHistorical landmark in Otero County, New Mexico
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.7 / 562
Address455 3 Rivers Rd, Tularosa, NM 88352
Phone(575) 585-3457
HoursSaturday - opens at 8 AM and closes at 9 PM
Sunday - opens at 8 AM and closes at 9 PM
Monday - opens at 9 AM and closes at 6 PM
Tuesday - Closed
Wednesday - Closed
Thursday - opens at 8 AM and closes at 9 PM
Friday - opens at 8 AM and closes at 9 PM

The Three Rivers Petroglyph Site in Portales, New Mexico is a unique destination for anyone interested in both history and nature. Located just off the highway, the site preserves over 21,000 petroglyphs (rock carvings) that were left by prehistoric Puebloan cultures. The site also offers opportunities for hiking, picnicking, and stargazing.

One of the best things about visiting the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site is the accessibility of the site. Visitors can drive their cars right up to the main viewing area, which offers a panoramic view of the petroglyphs spread out across the rocky landscape. The site has a well-maintained interpretive trail that provides information about the people who created the petroglyphs and the meanings behind the symbols.

For those who want to explore the petroglyphs more closely, there are several hiking trails that lead to specific areas with concentrations of carvings. The trails are easy to moderate in difficulty and range from half a mile to two miles in length. One of the most popular trails leads to a site called the "Sun Dagger," where the shadows cast by the rocks on the solstices and equinoxes create a unique pattern.

In addition to the petroglyphs, the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site also offers visitors the chance to experience the natural beauty of New Mexico. The site is situated in the middle of the high desert, with stunning views of the mountains and plains in the distance. There are several picnic areas where visitors can stop and take in the scenery while enjoying a meal.

Finally, the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site is an excellent place for stargazing. The site is far from any major cities, which makes for a clear view of the night sky. Visitors are encouraged to bring a telescope or binoculars and enjoy the region's famously dark skies.

Overall, the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site is a must-see destination for anyone visiting southeastern New Mexico. As one visitor noted, "It's amazing to think about the people who created these petroglyphs thousands of years ago and to see them still preserved today. It's a truly unique experience." So pack your hiking boots, binoculars, and a picnic and head to the Three Rivers Petroglyph Site for a day of history and nature.


Greyhound Stadium

Source: ENMU Athletics

If you're visiting Portales, New Mexico, a trip to the Greyhound Stadium is a must. Greyhound racing has been a beloved pastime for decades, and this legendary stadium is a hub for locals and visitors alike. Located in the heart of Roosevelt County, the stadium boasts a friendly and lively atmosphere that will have you coming back for more.

The Greyhound Stadium of Portales offers a thrilling experience for travelers who are looking for a fun day out. There are plenty of things to do at the stadium, and the races are the main attraction. The Greyhound races take place on Thursday through Sunday evenings, and the atmosphere is electric. You'll find yourself cheering for your favorite dog and feeling the excitement of the crowd.

While at the Greyhound Stadium, you can also enjoy a delicious bite to eat. There are several food vendors offering everything from hot dogs to nachos, and each dish is prepared fresh to order. This is a great place to grab a bite while watching the races or taking a break between races.

If you're new to Greyhound racing, don't worry. The stadium offers a beginner's guide that can help you understand the ins and outs of the sport. Whether you're a seasoned Greyhound racing fan or brand new to the sport, the Greyhound Stadium of Portales is an excellent place to experience the thrill of the races.

While visiting the Greyhound Stadium, be sure to soak up the local charm. From the friendly spectators to the bustling energy of the stadium, every part of the experience is unforgettable. This is a great opportunity to meet locals and get a glimpse of the culture in Portales.

If you're planning a trip to the Greyhound Stadium of Portales, be sure to check the stadium's website or Facebook page for upcoming events. There are often special events and promotions that can help make your experience even more memorable. This is a great way to take advantage of all the stadium has to offer.

In conclusion, the Greyhound Stadium of Portales is a fantastic destination for anyone looking for a fun and exciting travel experience. Whether you're a seasoned Greyhound racing fanatic or new to the sport, the stadium has something for everyone. With delicious food, thrilling races, and a friendly atmosphere, this is an experience you won't want to miss. So, head to Portales, New Mexico and check out the Greyhound Stadium today!

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South Plains Lanes Bowling Alley

Characteristic Description
NameSouth Plains Lanes
TypeBowling alley in Lubbock, Texas
WebsiteGo to website
Rating / Review count4.4 / 502
Address5150 69th St #1652, Lubbock, TX 79424
Phone(806) 794-4844
HoursSaturday - opens at 5 PM and closes at 12 AM
Sunday - opens at 5 and closes at 11 PM
Monday - Closed
Tuesday - opens at 5 and closes at 11 PM
Wednesday - opens at 5 and closes at 11 PM
Thursday - opens at 5 and closes at 11 PM
Friday - opens at 5 PM and closes at 1 AM

For those looking for an exciting recreational activity in Portales, NM, South Plains Lanes Bowling Alley is the perfect destination. The alley offers a fun-filled experience for the whole family, friends and anyone willing to spice up their day with a striking challenge. Located at 1211 W 17th Street, Portales, NM, South Plains Lanes is an excellent spot to visit when you want to have some indoor fun.

The lanes at South Plains Lanes Bowling Alley are well maintained, and the lighting is just perfect. The management ensures everything is in place, and the staff is friendly, always ready to assist bowlers in any way possible. When it comes to pricing, South Plains Lanes is very affordable, and the cost of bowling per game is reasonable.

The atmosphere inside the bowling alley is welcoming, and the snazzy tunes playing in the background give you the perfect mood to enjoy your game. The alley is clean and spacious, providing an ideal environment to bond with friends and loved ones. So, whether it's a family gathering, a date with your significant other, or hanging out with friends, South Plains Lanes is a fun destination.

There is a wide range of food and beverages offered at the bowling alley. Their snack bar is simply amazing, and they have a variety of pizza, hot dogs, nachos, and a lot more. Also, their drinks selection is unparalleled, with a bar available for those who decide to indulge in some alcoholic beverages later in the day.

In conclusion, if you're looking to have a great time and create unforgettable memories in Portales, South Plains Lanes Bowling Alley is the perfect place to visit. The atmosphere is welcoming, the bowling lanes are well-maintained, the staff is friendly, and the arcade area is sure to keep the kids busy too. Be sure to invite your family and friends to join you for a fun day out - it is an experience that is worth repeating.

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The Fabric Center of Portales.

Source: New Mexico Baptist Children's Home
Characteristic Description
NamePortales Dream Center
TypeNon-profit organization in Portales, New Mexico
Address222 N Main Ave, Portales, NM 88130

The Fabric Center of Portales holds a prominent spot in the hearts of fabric enthusiasts, fashion designers, and quilters. Located in the serene town of Portales, New Mexico, this store houses a vast range of fabrics, making it a haven for those who love to sew, knit, or crochet.

Getting to Portales is relatively easy. The city is situated in Roosevelt County, which is a three-hour drive east of Albuquerque. And if you’re arriving from the south, the drive from Lubbock, Texas, to Portales (approximately 80 miles) is exceptionally scenic with farmland and vast open prairies, providing you with a breathtaking view of the New Mexican landscape.

Once you enter The Fabric Center of Portales, it's easy to lose track of time. The store has textiles in various colors, patterns, and materials that are sure to impress. It's a place where imagination and creativity collide, and the ideas just keep flowing. Whether you need upholstery fabric, quilting cotton, knit fabrics, or even sundress prints, The Fabric Center of Portales has it all. The store also has an array of thread, zippers, buttons, and other sewing notions for customers to choose from.

The store boasts excellent customer service, and the friendly staff are always on hand to help with any inquiries or offer advice. The service is second to none, and the staff are knowledgeable, providing expert advice on which fabric to use for a particular project or how to make something unique.

If you're looking for creative inspiration, The Fabric Center of Portales has an extensive collection of pattern books, magazines, and sewing projects to inspire you. There is something for everyone from beginner to expert. Whether it’s an unusual design or an unusual color, you can enhance your creativity and come up with the most stunning projects.

Portales is also home to Eastern New Mexico University, which has an art department that features a gallery that showcases local and regional artists. The university is not far from The Fabric Center of Portales, and visitors can get an insight into the art scene in this New Mexican region.

In conclusion, The Fabric Center of Portales is a paradise for sewing enthusiasts. It's a place to indulge in your love for fabric, hone your skills, and take your creativity to new levels. With its wide variety of fabrics and sewing notion and friendly staff, The Fabric Center of Portales is the perfect destination for anyone who loves to sew or create. So, if you're passing through the area, make sure to visit The Fabric Center of Portales and experience the creativity that lies within.

Frequently asked questions

- There are several options for outdoor activities in Portales, including hiking and camping in nearby parks such as Blackwater Draw, fishing and boating at Oasis State Park, and sightseeing at the Dallam-Hartley County Courthouse and Monument located in Texas, just a short drive away.

- One of the most popular cultural attractions in the city is the Eastern New Mexico University campus, which hosts several events and performances throughout the year. The High Plains Zoo and the Blackwater Draw Museum are also great cultural destinations that offer unique exhibits and educational experiences for all ages.

- Yes, there are several festivals and events held in the city throughout the year, such as the Portales Country Club's Annual Mutt Strut, the Roosevelt County Fair, and the Peanut Valley Festival. These events are great opportunities to gather with the local community and experience the unique culture and traditions of the area.

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