Thinking about retiring in Las Cruces?
Are you considering retiring in Las Cruces, New Mexico? I mean the weather is great, the cost of living is very reasonable, and let’s face it, our neighbors harvest world-famous green chile, who wouldn’t want to live here?
Las Cruces sits at about 3,900 feet in elevation. Our population fluctuates around 100,000. We enjoy an average of 294 days of sunshine per year in our beautiful valley. Yes, it gets hot, but it’s a dry heat. The Mesilla Valley is intersected by the Rio Grande or Rio Bravo as it is known in Mexico, and made famous by the old John Wayne classic by the same name. We have incredible unobstructed views of the imponent Organ Mountains. We are a scenic southwest desert oasis.
Las Cruces shares a strong sense of community. We have that small town “friendly neighbor” feel while still enjoying city type amenities such as Malls, Restaurants, and most franchise stores and eateries. Las Cruces is the perfect size if you’re looking to get away from crowds, traffic and the high paced lifestyle without sacrificing the things you enjoy. We are not metropolitan but not rural either.
What we are most proud of here in Las Cruces is our rich cultural variety that makes us so special. We are the meeting place of the Mescalero Apache, Old Mexico, Spanish influence dating back to 1598 and historic old west cowboys, farmers and ranchers. The old west vibe is alive and well and can be experienced in Old Mesilla where historic buildings are still very much intact. We are also the stomping grounds of famous cowboys such as Pat Garret. Only a hop skip and a jump from the west Texas town of El Paso where Marty Robbins fell in love with a Mexican Girl. Yes, there really is a Rosa’s Cantina and you can get there in about 20 minutes.
Not only is New Mexico the Green Chile capital of the world (sorry Colorado) it is also one of the top 3 states in pecan production with most of those being grown in the Mesilla Valley. A cruise down Highway 28 in the spring will take you right through the middle of orchard after orchard offering a breathtaking drive. Las Cruces also offers perfect growing conditions for grapes, aka wine in pill form, making Las Cruces the Napa Valley of New Mexico with 13 wineries to choose from.
If you’re still not convinced Las Cruces is the best place to retire and you are wondering what there is to do here in our beautiful city, here is a list of the top 10 things to do in the Las Cruces/Mesilla Valley area.
Hiking– Las Cruces has some beautiful hiking spots for those of us who enjoy the outdoors. The Mesilla Valley is surrounded by the Organ Mountains to the East, and Doña Ana Mountains to the North. You’ll also find hiking in the Tortugas mountains, Picacho Peak, Chihuahua Desert National Park and the gorgeous White Sands National Monument with it’s impressive white gypsum sand dunes.
2. Museums- there are 12 museums in the Las Cruces area. Three of these are operated by New Mexico State University and 4 others run by the City of Las Cruces. Examples of some of the museums are The New Mexico Farm and Ranch Museum, The Railroad Museum, and The Museum of Natural History to name a few.
3. Local shopping- Old Mesilla is full of fun unique shops with a variety of Mexican, Native American and Local NM arts, crafts, jewelry, and clothing among many other things. Las Cruces also has an extensive Farmers Market that has been a tradition for the last 40 years. You can shop the Farmers Market every Wednesday and Saturday in our picturesque downtown. We also have Farmesilla in Old Mesilla where you can find local produce and artisan wares. Also, of note are the Mesilla Valley Mall and other well-known chain stores.
4. High Spirits- For those of us that like to relax with a glass of wine, a craft beer or a stiff whiskey after a long day, Las Cruces has 13 wineries, 7 Breweries and 2 distilleries. All of which have a great friendly laid-back atmosphere.
5. Golf– You’re not officially retired until you are able to dedicate some serious time on the golf course. Las Cruces has 4 Golf Courses to chose from and, because we have such great weather, you can pretty much Golf year-round.
6. Outdoor activities- There are plenty of outdoor activities to choose from here in Mesilla Valley. You can sign up for expeditions on horseback, ghost tours and jeep tours or just enjoy a lazy float down the Rio Grande.
7. Food- We have the best Mexican Food in NM and have I mentioned the green Chile? You haven’t lived until you’ve tried a freshly roasted green chile. There are over 40 Mexican Restaurants in our area all of which feature fresh Hatch Green chile. We also have over 11 local coffee houses for you to enjoy your morning brew.
8. University Sports– If you are a fan of university level sports, our NMSU Aggies compete in the Western Athletic Conference in Division 1. This makes for a great opportunity to enjoy a high level of competitive sports spectatorship.
9. Proximity to anything you are looking for- We are 60 miles away from a major Mexican City, Ciudad Juarez Chihuahua. 46 miles away from a large metropolitan city, El Paso TX and in 2 hours you can escape into the Sierra Blanca Mountains to Ruidoso or Cloudcroft at almost 7,000 feet of elevation. Las Cruces is also a one hour drive from Elephant Butte Reservoir. It is the largest state park in New Mexico and surrounds the state’s largest reservoir spanning 36,000 acres.
It’s difficult to whittle down all of Las Cruces’s great qualities into a short list of 10. We have a lot to offer everyone, even those of the most discerning tastes. This shortlist is an invitation to come to Las Cruces NM and see for yourself what an experience it can be to retire in such a great community!