Hobbs is the principal city of Lea County, New Mexico, wedged on New Mexico’s eastern border with Texas.
Though its 68.5-square-kilometer area is small by national standards, Hobbs offers many exciting destinations.
These points of interest essentially came into being as a result of the rich history, superb location, and strategic road links of Hobbs.
Two major highway corridors—US Route 62 and State Road 18—cut across this city of about 35,000 souls.
These city residents took the same footsteps as the Hobbs couple—James Isaac and Fannie—who founded the city in 1907 and lent it their name.
Life in Hobbs and its Lea County neighbors now revolve around New Mexico’s farmlands and ranches as well as the state’s oil-drilling sector.
This economic mix sure is potent enough to spawn a lifestyle with lots of recreational activities in and around the city of Hobbs.
Sample some of the local pastimes particularly attractive to visitors in this listing of the 15 best things to do in Hobbs.
Visit the Western Heritage Museum and Lea County Cowboy Hall of Fame
This cultural repository for Hobbs is housed on the campus of the New Mexico Junior College at 1 Thunderbird Circle.
Inaugurated in January 2006, the museum endears itself to visitors as the home of "Hobbspitality" and "Where oil, water and cowboys DO mix!"
Within its 26,000-square-foot building, you will see artifacts from the historic Llano Estacado region.
Eastern New Mexico is combined with northwestern Texas in this region distinguished for having some of North America’s largest tablelands or mesas.
The museum aims to be the regional leader in the preservation and exhibition of materials documenting the Cowboy and Ranching Heritage of Southeast New Mexico and West Texas.
Contributory to this objective, the museum annually presents its Cowboy Hall of Fame awards to Lea County residents who have excelled either in rodeo or ranching.
Immerse in Culture at Lea County Center for the Arts
Hobbs is host to the Lea County Center for the Arts, which is located in the heart of the city’s downtown at 122 West Broadway Street.
This arts center hosts not only live performances of music and dance but also art shows and children's art classes.
Ran as a non-profit organization, the Lea County Center for the Arts gathers in one roof all the stakeholders of the art community in New Mexico.
On your visit to this arts center, you can buy from its gift shop amazing art pieces crafted by local artists.
These items include pieces drawn from the Southern NM Fiber Arts Trail, the only one of its kind in the region.
This extensive Arts Trail seeks to promote arts-based tourism and the masterpieces of New Mexico’s rural artists.
Book a Seat at Hobbs Community Playhouse
Seasonal live performances can be enjoyed at the Hobbs Community Playhouse located at 1700 North Grimes Street.
This community theater marked its 84thyear in 2021, propelled by the continuing dynamism of performers and producers under the aegis of the Community Players of Hobbs.
This indefatigable group formed in the 1930s holds a Youth Performing Arts Workshop for students aged from 9 to 18.
This project and other similar endeavors of the Community Players of Hobbs enabled the Hobbs Community Playhouse to stage various live plays each year.
These include comedy, drama, musical presentations, and children’s shows, plus specials like a Haunted House during Halloween.
Dig Deep in History at the University of the Southwest
If you want to learn more about the diverse history of the Hobbs’ Southwest region, visit the University of the Southwest at 6610 Lovington Highway.
This private Christian university is home to the Thelma A. Webber Southwest Heritage Room.
This facility has an engaging collection of artifacts and rare books on the history of prehistoric Indian and frontier life in the Southwest.
For history buffs, a glimpse of the past that the pioneers of the Southwest had to contend with could be riveting.
It can be recalled, for instance, that in the early 18th century, the Comanche Indian tribe expanded into the Southwest and held into it till their defeat in a fierce battle during the late 19th century.
Try Your Luck at the Zia Park Casino and Racetrack
Bring along Lady Luck with you in a visit to Hobbs, and test if she’s in your company in the gaming tables of Zia Park Casino at 3901 West Millen Drive.
You can bet here on electronic table games, video poker terminals, or play in one of the casino’s 750 slots.
The casino also has a free players club wherein members can receive offers for a chance to win in one of its promo games.
You can likewise check the casino’s tandem racetrack and place your bet on live races or simulcast racing across the US.
Shifting from gaming to music, dancing, and dining is easy as well, with Zia Park also providing the best local DJs and live bands as well as three high-end restaurants.
Play at Ocotillo Park Golf Course
Golfing visitors of Hobbs typically end up at the city’s public course, Rockwind Community Links, at 5001 Jack Gomez Boulevard off the Lovington Highway.
It features a 27-hole layout cited in the 2015 Golf Digest Top 10 New Golf Course and later included in the 2017 and 2020 GolfWeekBest Courses.
If you play here, you have a choice either in its 18-hole championship course or Rockwind’s 9-hole, par-three layout called Lil’ Rock.
You can also perfect the strokes and swings of your long and short game in several practice areas in Rockwind.
This facility, moreover, has an open green space for special events, a walking trail, several outdoor seating areas, and picnic spaces, plus a five-acre lake.
Fish for Trout at Green Meadow Lake
Although it is landlocked, Hobbs offers some great fishing at the city’s Meadow Lake off North Lovington Highway adjacent north of Magnolia Drive.
You can conveniently fish right along the lakeshore, where there are patches of pavement near the water.
The lake’s waters spread over 11 acres in size, storing anglers’ prizes like Rainbow Trout, Channel Catfish, Bluegill, and Largemouth Bass.
The tree-lined section of the lakeshore is the domain of the city’s Green Meadow Park, ideal for a family outing.
This park’s facilities include pavilions, a barbecue grill, picnic tables, a playground, and restrooms.
Go Camping at the Harry McAdams State Park
Visiting Hobbs with an RV is ideal, as you can camp at very affordable rental rates at the Harry McAdams State Park at 5300 Jack Gomez Boulevard.
The park has all its 15 sites set at a full hookup, and tent camping is also allowed.
The city maintains this park where the campers can enjoy verdant views of grass and trees in the area.
Campers here can also hike the trail around the nearby links of the Ocotillo Park Golf Course.
Walks in this area can be spiced up by occasional sightings of local wildlife like jackrabbits and roadrunners.
There are also some opportunities for fishing near this campsite.
Sate Your Thirst at Drylands Taproom and Beer Garden
Stop at the Drylands Taproom and Beer Garden at 502 West Navajo after a long, warm day of touring the city of Hobbs.
You can have beer here freshly brewed from the Taproom’s mother source—the Drylands Brewing Company in nearby Lovington.
The beer selection at the Drylands Taproom is huge, ranging from ales and lagers to porters and stouts.
The local beer drinkers’ favorite that’s worth a try is the Drylands’ Craft Beer Flight that offers four different beers in one round.
Order any appetizer on the Taproom’s food truck menu—Fried Pickles and Italian Nachos—for a truly delightful beer-tasting experience.
Learn the Sport of Soaring at SSA Hobbs HQ
The sport of soaring aboard engine-less gliders grows in the US through the guidance of the Soaring Society of America (SSA) headquartered at Hobbs.
Visit the SSA campus at 5425 Jack Gomez Boulevard, and chances are you’ll see some gliders parked on its sprawling grounds.
Since 1932, the SSA has been on top of promoting soaring or gliding as a sport and conducting technological R&D for flight training and safety.
The SSA also sponsors and monitors soaring competitions, as well as holds conventions, and verifies member badge claims.
So, if flying like a bird is on your bucket list, drop by the SSA HQ in your Hobbs visit and personally inquire about the association’s learn-to-fly programs.
Have a Steak at Cattle Baron
Break the monotony of dining in fast-food outlets with a sumptuous meal at the Cattle Baron in Hobbs at 1931 Grimes Street.
This restaurant frequently earns five-star ratings from diners, citing its cleanliness, good service, and food quickly served with adequate portions.
The menu options in Cattle Baron offers plenty of options, starting from its flagship steak and seafood chef masterpieces.
Significantly, Cattle Baron is a homegrown New Mexico restaurant chain that started out in 1976 at Portales to the north of Hobbs.
Cattle Baron Restaurants also operate in the New Mexico sites in Las Cruces, Roswell, and Ruidoso, as well as Texas locations in Lubbock, Midland, and El Paso.
Splash at the Aquatics Space of CORE
Hobbs takes pride in its Center of Recreational Excellence (CORE) at 4827 North Lovington Highway.
CORE’s facilities include an aquatics leisure space called SPLASH with two 40-foot tall water slides.
This center’s aquatic amenities also provide interactive play features for children, in addition to multiple recreational offerings for adults, including a large spa and a lazy river with tricky currents.
Besides its recreational functions, CORE also conducts instructional sports programs, including kids’ swimming lessons.
The center likewise offers instructions for adults in various sports disciplines like basketball, indoor soccer, flag football, and racquetball.
Watch Ball Games at the Veterans Memorial Complex
There are plenty of opportunities to catch sports action in Hobbs, with the city's focus to draw major leagues to its Veterans Memorial Complex at 2501 East Sanger Street.
This complex provides 13 sports fields comprised of a youth football/soccer field and 12 baseball/softball fields.
The city has spent $5.2 million to install 12 acres of artificial turf in all of these fields that were adopted as the home arenas of the local youth baseball and softball leagues.
Already, the center has hosted major youth baseball and softball tournaments with as many as 70 team participants.
Expect more of these events in the future as the Veterans Memorial Complex is now an all-weather sports destination.
Other Things to Do Nearby
Dine at Turner Street’s Restaurant Row
The whole dining experience in Hobbs can be filled in the restaurant row along North Turner Street starting from its junction with North Grimes Street.
The eateries in this North Turner corridor that earn high marks include Maria Bonita Mexican Grillpopular for its authentic Mexican homemade meal.
Another star-earner in ratings in North Turner is the Pizza Hut franchise Wing Street that provides tasty boneless wings and superb service.
At 2022 North Turner Street, Rancher Steak House & Buffet provides great home cooking as well as friendly service.
For excellent Chinese food selection, try Buffet Time at 1801 North Turner Street, where there is a holiday vibe even on ordinary days.
Cap your cravings for sweets at Carnivals at 1937 North Turner Street, where the treats include Sno-Cone Stand with shaved ice.
Visit Lea County Seat Lovington
A tour of the city of Hobbs can be aptly complemented with a side trip to Lovington, the seat of Lea County.
Located just some 20 miles north of Hobbs, Lovington is host to the Lea County Museum at 103 Love Street.
This museum features various exhibits and collections about Lea County and the entire region in the Southwest.
While at Lovington, you can also drop by Chaparral Park for some relaxation at its site on 1001 South Commercial Street.
This park features a lake, basketball and volleyball courts, an amphitheater, a jogging path, and an RV camp.
The city of Hobbs is more known nationally as an important player in the far-reaching oil industry in the Southwest.
Nevertheless, it has more than enough points of interest to also firmly establish itself as a major travel destination.
Keep Hobbs in mind if you’re planning to explore more of the hidden charms of New Mexico.