Friday, November 10, 2006


Carlsbad surprised me with its variety of Southwest scenes and obvious pride in its history. The general city architecture tends toward Spanish styles, although that is not seen throoughout the residential areas which probably have more ranch type homes than any other and which are from a slightly older era.

The main downtown buildings - City Hall, The Federal Building, The Chamber of Commerce, The Museum/Library, Municiple BUilding, etc. - all are designed in western mode and are intended to impress. For a desert town, is was amazingly green, and the lawn were frequently lush green and well manicured.

Actually the city is sprawled out along the main highways inbound and outbound, showing the same tardy planning many other communities have experienced in the age of franchise fast food and more recent commercial establishments building larger and "flashier" emporiums out where the land is cheaper.

Nevertheless, there seems to be plenty of everything locally. If that fails, Lubbock is three hours to the northeast and El Paso is three hours to the southwest. Between them they have every shopping and medical and entertainment need covered in multiple spades.

Let me mention a couple of true gems Carlsbad offers. Firstly, that museum and library combination is quite nice. The former is large enough and has suffieient significant permanent displays to be very impressive. I enjoyed the current (temporary) art show in progress, but also found a room of permanent western art wors of great distinction. Indian, Spanish/Mexican/ and Wild West periods are each well represented as is the military history of the region right up to modern times. The library seems large enough to serve the town, and they have on staff at least one librarian who made an exceptional effort to assist me in my unusual request.

Secondly, On a hill west of the valley is a wonderful combination Desert Museum and Cactus/Succulent collection that should not be missed when you visit Carlsbad. The character of the local flora and fauna is awesome and well represented in the inside exhibits and in the outdoor plantings and along the remarkable walkway which winds through cleverly concealed bird and amimal display areas. It is a great place to enjoy the regional cacti and critters and a peaceful place to view the entrie regional Pecos Valley below.

Remeber, these remarks are only highlights. There's more, but you'll have to visit to make your own list.


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