While you might not have thought of Las Cruces as a place to live, it is certainly worth investigating. This is not what you’d expect in the desert. Sitting at 3,900 feet elevation, Las Cruces is surrounded by mountains and has the Rio Grande river just west of the downtown area. But why we’d like to retire in Las Cruces, New Mexico is it’s laid back culture, the arts scene, the weather and the outdoor opportunities. Often mentioned in the lists of “Best Places to Retire”, AARP listed Las Cruces as one of it’s “Dream Towns” for retirement.
The New Mexico State University has it’s main campus here. An agricultural college, it has 18,500 students and is also home to the NASA Space Grant Program.
About 100,000 people live here and 14% are over the age of 65. The median home listing price is $177,000 and rentals run in the $850 range. This makes it pretty affordable to have a snowbird retreat! We found this great newer home, 3 bedrooms and two baths with all appliances for $127,000.
There is a lot to see and do in Las Cruces! The town has fine art galleries, several live performance theatres, and some great restaurants with fabulous Mexican food. The White Sands Military Base is really interesting for all ages and has an informative museum. The Old Mesilla Village downtown is just charming. If you are a hiker, head up to Soledad Canyon to see the caves and pools. Be sure to bring water and wear good hiking shoes. And bring your camera for the view.
Las Cruces is home to several medical facilities who offer a wide range of specialties. There is also a larger airport just outside town.
But what about the weather? Not bad. Winter daytime temperatures range in the 50’s and 60’s. Fall and spring can get into the 70-80 degree range. Summers often reach 95! They only get about 10 inches of rain each year.
There is a very nice retirement community nearby, Pueblos at Alameda Ranch. We drove through and saw some of the beautiful new homes (in the $250,000 range) and the facilities including pools, clubhouse, etc.
With world class Mexican food, year-round golf, historic attractions and festivals, and 320 days of sunshine a year, what’s not to love!
Photo courtesy of CofC
Zoom in and out on the map below to see roads and attractions!