The Royal Tour
This is El Paso, Texas, as seen from one of the viewpoints along the aptly-named Scenic Drive. It is a border city of around 800,000.
And this is Las Cruces, New Mexico, less than an hour away. The Old Mesilla area, pictured here, is the highlight. Las Cruces has around 100,000 people, the second largest city in New Mexico.
The El Paso Mission Trail will take you to three old Spanish colonial missions which mark the beginning of the city in colonial times.
For a meaningful and enlightening day, cross the border to Juarez, Mexico. This is the central cathedral there, which, despite looking much older, only dates to the 1940s.
White Sands National Park is less than an hour from Las Cruces, or about 90 minutes from El Paso. Make sure to purchase a sled to ride down the dunes.
Carlsbad Caverns is also worth a visit when you're in the region. It is a few hours from either city, depending on which way you go. Make sure to have a reservation for as early as you can get there.
Let's talk about food for a moment. When in El Paso, get tacos. Get lots of tacos. The guide linked below has some recommendations for all budgets.
Las Cruces is the hub for New Mexican cuisine, a fusion of Mexican (like enchiladas) and New Mexico's famous Hatch chiles. You'll get your pick between red and green, but you can ask for "Christmas" and get both.
Make sure to click the link below to read the full guide to this awesome area. It will also tell you where to find this cool alligator scultpure!