Besides the breathtaking sunsets, one-of-a-kind homes, delicious food, vibrant culture, and, of course, the Organ Mountains, Las Cruces, New Mexico has so much to offer for its retirement community. In fact, in a nationwide ranking list, topretirements.com ranked Las Cruces as #15 out of 100 cities to retire in.
As the southern-most “urban” area in New Mexico and the second-largest city, Las Cruces is certainly a diverse place for travelers and residents alike. As a leading agriculture area you can expect there to be much less traffic, which is always a plus. On the other hand, there’s still a lot going by way of eateries, art galleries, community events (Harvest Wine Festival), and, of course, the Farmer’s Market. There are many reasons to fall in love with this place and we’re giving you a few more. Here are ten reasons why you should consider retirement in Las Cruces, NM:
Las Cruces experiences warm weather almost year-round, yet still gives its residents a good taste of each season rather than a perpetual summer. With an average of 294 sunny days a year, and very low humidity, it’s the perfect place for retirees to settle down and live in comfort—especially for those who suffer from arthritis.
Retirement in Las Cruces is worth consideration when looking at the cost in comparison with nationwide prices. In fact, Las Cruces is well-known for its low cost of living, which is about 8.6% lower than the national average. Affordable and comfortable living is just one of the city’s many appealing assets. You can read more about the cost of living in Las Cruces plus the wide variety of things to do in this beautiful southern area of New Mexico here.
Although Las Cruces is the second-largest city in New Mexico in terms of population, there is a true sense of community among its residents. We wave to passersby, talk to our neighbors, and look out for one another. New Mexico Magazine’s Retirement guide states that “Many attribute that geniality to the Hispanic culture—and its emphasis on family, community, and tradition—that permeates the state.” Our very own Michael Fraembs commented on the state’s friendliness compared to other retirement states like Florida, Texas, Arizona, and Colorado, “You see a lot more people engaging with one another…You get a little bit more of the friendliness.”
In addition to genuine friendliness, our small-town feel can nearly guarantee that it will always be a short commute from point A to point B, regardless of where you are in the city.
Las Cruces provides a wide range of medical facilities to its residents. With world-class care from multiple specialists and providers as well as two state-of-the-art hospitals, quality healthcare is always readily available. More recently, Las Cruces has launched construction for a new health care facility and hospital making it easier for newer, emerging living communities to access the same great health care. Visit Three Crosses Regional Hospital for more information on project completion.
Las Cruces is home to New Mexico State University, one of the country’s most affordable higher education institutions. NMSU always does its part in giving back to the Las Cruces community and helps to strengthen the city’s economy. It’s never too late to continue down the path of education, plus, the university hosts many public events such as plays and art exhibits.
When you retire in New Mexico you retire in a location that loves to road trip. Las Cruces may be south central New Mexico, but the state is our oyster. A number of places are within 2-4 hours of a drive, making day trips a popular pastime. With the confluence of two major Interstate Highways (I-10 and I-25), Las Cruces is a prime starting point for east-west and north-south travel. A few nearby places you may consider visiting are:
- Cloudcroft, NM
- White Sands National Monument
- El Paso, TX
- Roswell, NM
- Elephant Butte Lake (T or C, NM)
- Taos, NM
- Ruidoso, NM
- Albuquerque, NM
- Santa Fe, NM
When you choose to retire in Las Cruces, NM, the hardest decision you may face is “Where in Las Cruces do I live?” This is because there are a number of master-planned communities and retirement communities, including independent and assisted living communities. Below are only a few that you will be able to choose from:
Retirement and Assisted Living Communities
- Trails West (Retirement Community)
- Solstice Senior Living (Retirement Community)
- Good Samaritan Society (Retirement Community)
- The Village at Northrise (Assisted Living Community)
- Casa Bella (Assisted Living Community)
- Haciendas at Grace Village (Assisted Living Community)
Las Cruces, NM is rich in history and culture. Las Cruces was granted township in 1907, five years before New Mexico was granted statehood as the 47th state. Prior to this, Las Cruces and bordering town Mesilla had their parts to play in the old west. Mesilla was a stop on the famous Butterfield Overland Trail from 1857-1861, a trail that ran from St. Louis to San Francisco. Shortly after that time, William H. Bonney, Jr., AKA, Billy The Kid, was held captive in Mesilla, NM as he awaited trial for crimes committed in Lincoln, NM. Additionally, this town had major impacts from Word War II, as more than 2,000 New Mexico citizens perished in the Bataan Death March. Many of those 2,000 were from the Southwest Region of New Mexico. If you’re a Wild West Buff, you will love retiring in Las Cruces, NM.
The town of Old Mesilla, NM boasts a number of small boutiques with high-quality shopping. As mentioned above, Old Mesilla is best known for being a stop on the Butterfield Overland Trail, and a temporary home to the cowboy outlaw Billy-The-Kid while he awaited trial for his crimes. In fact, the Billy the Kid Gift Shop now houses itself in what was the Court House in 1881. Here’s a list of some of the other boutique shops you can frequent in the Mesilla Plaza.
If you’ve never had the pleasure of enjoying fresh New Mexican food, then you are in for a treat when you retire in Las Cruces. The dining experiences offered in New Mexico are endless, but the Southern Valley is uniquely different from the rest of the state. Hatch, New Mexico, a mere 45-minutes from Las Cruces, is known as the “Chile Capital of the World,” where Hatch Green Chile, Co. has made its headquarters. This proximity to New Mexico Chile, and Southwest New Mexico’s proximity to traditional Mexican food out of El Paso, Texas, and Juarez, Mexico, gives the dining in Las Cruces an extra flare not seen anywhere else in the world. Additionally, the city boasts a number of wineries, distilleries, and breweries. Check out some of these great dining options below.
- La Posta de Mesilla
- Double Eagle
- Rio Grande Winery
- D.H. Lescombes Winery & Bistro
- Spotted Dog Brewery
- High Desert Brewing
- Boneyard Cantina by Ice Box Brewing
- Little Toad Creek Brewery & Distillery
- Dry Point Distillers
Southern New Mexico has a long history of being a pioneer in space exploration and research. In 2021, New Mexico became the third US state to launch humans into space. Less than an hour from Las Cruces, tours are available at Spaceport America, the world’s first purpose-built commercial spaceport.
Other space-related activities to add to your bucket list include the New Mexico Museum of Space History, and the Las Cruces Space Festival which takes place annually in the spring.
If being outdoors is one of your hobbies, Las Cruces is for you. The unique Chihuahuan desert offers an assortment of activities from biking, hiking, bird watching at Bosque State Park, year-round golfing, and more!
The beautiful sunsets/sunrises of Las Cruces are guaranteed to impress every day. The only sunsets we don’t like are the ones we miss, and once you experience a New Mexico sunset, you’ll understand why.