Wild West history in south-central New Mexico.

By Travel & Leisure
September 04, 2012
GL Archive / Alamy

The quiet mountain hamlet of Lincoln, NM, remains relatively untouched by commercialization, unlike many of its peers, and has a well-preserved main street. The 19th-century town served as a backdrop for the Lincoln Country War of 1878-79, and is where the bandit Billy the Kid became a legend. Each August, the community stages a three-day history-driven folk pageant, which reenacts his most famous jailbreak.

Old Lincoln County Courthouse Museum

Tour the museum where Billy the Kid undertook his infamous escape, killing two guards in the process.

Tunstall Store Museum

Drop by the Tunstall Store Museum, a 19th-century general store that still displays unopened dry goods and hardware from the period.

Ellis Store Country Inn

At Isaac’s Table, inside the adobe Ellis Store Country Inn, chef Jinny Vigil turns out creative regional dishes like rack of New Mexico lamb with seasonal organic vegetables.

Wortley Hotel

Kids enjoy the Wild West vibe of the rollicking hotell, where U.S. Marshal Bob Olinger dined for the last time before Billy the Kid gunned him down. Rooms are clean and basic, with Victorian and southwestern furnishings.