15 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Las Cruces
If you’re considering retirement or a fresh start for your family, you might be contemplating relocation. One of the best cities to live in is Las Cruces, New Mexico. In fact, TopRetirements.com ranked Las Cruces, NM in 15th place out of the 100 most popular cities for retirement. With so many family-friendly activities, exceptional weather, agriculture, and education, there are several reasons this hidden jewel is a nice place to settle. Here are 15 things you need to know before moving to the “City of Crosses.”
1. The Views Are Breathtaking
One of the best features of moving to Las Cruces is the captivating scenery. There is a reason New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment. Las Cruces, in particular, boasts some of the most beautiful sunsets and Organ Mountain views. Swirling shades of purples, pinks, and vibrant oranges paint the sky almost every evening. There aren’t many multistory buildings in this city to obstruct your views, so you’ll be able to catch the masterpiece from virtually anywhere in the city.
Most native Las Cruces dwellers, as well as newcomers, will marvel at the forever unique landscapes of the region. Sunrise or sunsets hikes are also a great way to witness the majestic mountains. Take a look at some of the best hiking trails in New Mexico’s southernmost areas.
2. Room to Roam
If you’re considering moving away from the big city for a little more privacy and wide-open space, you’re bound to fall in love with the clear horizons and desert landscapes offered right here in Las Cruces. According to HomeAdvisor, New Mexico’s lot sizes are bigger than the national average, meaning that you’ll have plenty of room to build your dream home complete with a luxurious backyard (a necessity when you live in a city that sees 294 days of sunshine on average each year).
3. Affordable Cost of Living
Las Cruces, NM has a very affordable cost of living compared to the national average. Sperling’s Best Places breaks it down in a chart.
Housing is priced especially well for buyers in Las Cruces, and well-built, state-of-the-art new construction homes are popular and attainable options.
4. Booming Economy
Believe it or not, Las Cruces is one of the ten fastest-growing metro areas in the U.S. Nearly 105,000 (and counting) residents call the City of Crosses home. The recent introduction of Spaceport America as well as the city’s e-commerce, agriculture, education, and defense sectors continue to fuel Las Cruces’s economy and bring jobs to the state of New Mexico.
5. Rich History
You’ll find plenty of architectural relics that have stood the test of time in the small town of Mesilla, located just 5 minutes south of the city. Here, thick adobe walls that date back to the mid-1800s border the Old Mesilla plaza. Today, shops and restaurants occupy these buildings while the plaza’s center provides a resting place for tourists and residents. At the heart of Mesilla is the Basilica San Albino Catholic Church which was originally constructed in 1851 and still stands tall near the north end of the plaza.
Other historical sites that you can find in Las Cruces include the old, abandoned resort of Van Patten Mountain Camp located at the end of the Dripping Springs hiking trail. The resort housed patients during the tuberculosis outbreak in the late 1800s and its ruins have since become a popular tourist attraction.
There are a plethora of sunny days in Las Cruces. The warm weather in spring and summer is arid and lacks humidity, an ideal environment for outdoor activities, and as the locals say, “It’s great for aging bones.” Perhaps that’s why it’s also a wonderful retirement community.
Warm weather is normal all year round. With minimal snowfall, Las Cruces is a great place to avoid harsh climates. However, if you’re looking for snow, Ruidoso (Ski Apache) is only an hour and a half drive and has a ski resort that many locals enjoy as a pastime during the winter months.
From the streets to the air quality, Las Cruces offers a clean environment. Unlike overly populated areas with lots of industrial smog and litter, Las Cruces provides clean neighborhoods like Sonoma Ranch and Metro Verde, which offer regular street maintenance.
Additionally, local community efforts support environmental clean-up and projects that help to Keep Las Cruces Beautiful. A team of organization members works to clear graffiti, pick up litter, control weeds, neighborhood beautification, and community recycling. When moving to Las Cruces, this one aspect most residents truly appreciate about this growing city.
8. Very Little Traffic
If you’ve lived in larger metropolitan cities, you know the pain of long commutes and bumper-to-bumper traffic. That is definitely not a problem in Las Cruces. You can typically drive from one side of town to the other in about 20 minutes. What this truly equates to is time. By moving to this beautiful town and cutting out the commute in your life, you’ll have more time to spend with family, and friends, and on leisure activities.
Many Las Cruces residents will tell you how much they enjoy avoiding rush hour traffic and long wait times, especially after a long day at the office. Additionally, nearly every drive in the Las Cruces area is pleasant and beautiful. Take a cruise toward the mountains, or near the river. You’ll never enjoy being in your car more.
9. Great Neighborhood Options
Las Cruces offers an array of neighborhood options. If you’re looking for a friendly area with gorgeous unobstructed views, a home nestled in a golf course community like Metro Verde or Sonoma Ranch might be right up your alley. With each of Las Cruces’s many neighborhood options, the city’s center is never more than 30 minutes away, meaning the drive to the nearest shopping center or public school only requires a quick trip.
The Las Cruces community is incredibly friendly and an amazing aspect when moving to Las Cruces. People typically greet you with a smile and a wave. You’ll find the city is small enough that you occasionally run into people you know at your favorite grocery store or cafe. What’s more is the amazing, rich culture in the community. Art, historic sites, agriculture, and multicultural cuisine are woven into the fabric of the Las Cruces community.
One of the more popular community events in Las Cruces is the Farmer’s Market hosted downtown most Saturdays. Enjoy artisan goods and homemade foods directly from the source.
11. Delicious Food & Drinks
Speaking of cuisine… want to know one of the absolutely best things about moving to Las Cruces? The food!
As a leading agricultural community, you’re sure to spot acres of land dedicated to farming. Due to its dry, hot climate, Las Cruces is home to many of America’s favorites. In fact, the city grows many crops including
- chile peppers
Perhaps that’s why the town restaurants have mastered the art of making many plates taste better with green chile. The cultural diversity in the area also plays a role in the variety of amazing Mexican food options available. The southwestern cuisine in Las Cruces reflects authenticity that is hard to find in most places.
Having some of the longest-running vineyards in the country, Las Cruces also has amazing locally sourced wines and exquisite wineries. Additionally, Las Cruces is on the rise for featured microbreweries and distilleries that are cropping up all over the region. Moving to Las Cruces means you’ll be close enough to the most modern tap houses and restaurants in the region, including:
- Bosque Brewing Co
- Broken Spoke Taphouse
- Dry Point Distillers
- High Desert Brewing
- Icebox Brewing
- Lescombes Winery
- Little Toad Brewing and Distillery
- Luna Rossa Winery
- Spotted Dog Brewery
12. Higher Education Opportunities
Las Cruces, NM is home to one of the most affordable state universities in the country, New Mexico State University. The university fosters a lot of economic growth for the City of Las Cruces and allows for many opportunities for continued education. As a leading Agricultural and Mechanical University, the curriculum ranges from farming and fine arts to engineering and business. In fact, New Mexico State University consistently appears as one of the nation’s best engineering colleges and graduates 3% more students than the national average.
The campus continues to grow to accommodate its ever-changing student population. There’s also a wide range of activities for students to participate in both on and off-campus. Enjoy local eateries near the university, watch football games at the college stadium, participate in Greek culture, and much more.
Learn more about NMSU here: https://nmsu.edu/
13. Outdoor Activities
With such great weather, Las Cruces offers many outdoor activities. The city is home to amazing golf courses, including the Sonoma Ranch Golf Course, Picacho Hills Country Club, and New Mexico State University Golf Course.
There are also beautiful hiking trails like the Picacho Peak Trail as well as the Dripping Springs Trail which is located within the Organ Mountains-Desert Peak National Monument. The four-mile path takes you up into rocky terrain where you’ll find a rushing spring water waterfall, historic ruins, and spectacular views of the Oregon needles which at their highest point stand 9,000 ft. tall. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a few native New Mexico creatures like the red tailed-hawk and golden eagle.
Residents also enjoy rafting on the Rio Grande in the summer, too. Festivals, fairs, wine tours, biking, and intramural sports are just a few of the many other outdoor activities thriving in Las Cruces.
14. Easy Access to A Variety of Nearby Recreation
There are a lot of options when it comes to nearby recreation. Here are a few that are a short driving distance from Las Cruces.
El Paso, TX
If you want access to big-city offerings, but don’t want to deal with the traffic, living in Las Cruces may be perfect for you. El Paso, TX is less than an hour’s drive from Las Cruces and has everything you could ever want from a large city.
Only 30 minutes from Las Cruces is a family-friendly water park that offers a variety of rides, a lazy river, musical events, and more.
White Sands National Park
Moving to Las Cruces puts you in close proximity to a true natural wonder, White Sands National Park. Breathtaking white sands that stretch between Las Cruces, NM, and Alamogordo, NM is a very popular destination for families and newcomers. Witness the majestic beauty of the waving dunes of white gypsum.
White Sands National Park provides an experience like none other in the world. Its stark-white sand dunes mimic the look of snow and the texture of flour. The sand does not stick as beach sand does. Visitors enjoy sliding down dunes on saucers, burying their legs, and taking walks. White Sands National Monument is also under an hour away.
15. Holiday Traditions
Each year near the beginning of November, Old Town Mesilla hosts a two-day Día de los Muertos or “Day of the Dead” festival on the Plaza. The celebration is customary in Mexico and is celebrated by families who gather to celebrate and remember passed loved ones. Altars are built and decorated with items such as chocolates, sugar skulls, marigolds, and trinkets. These items are offered as gifts to the deceased.
On New Year’s Eve, locals gather in Downtown Las Cruces to celebrate the annual Chile Drop. Similar to the New Year’s Eve Ball Drop in Times Square, a large, 19-foot long chrome chile is decorated with LED lights and slowly lowered by a crane as residents countdown to the New Year. This has become a tradition in Las Cruces since the first Chile Drop in 2015.
Moving to Las Cruces
If you’re ready to make the move to Las Cruces, we hope this gives you a good idea of what the city and surrounding areas have to offer. If you want a unique, contemporary, energy-efficient home, take a look at Arista Development listings or get in touch to schedule an appointment to view one of our model homes.