Baylor CanyonNestled in the fertile Mesilla Valley between the majestic Organ Mountains and the meandering Rio Grande, Las Cruces, New Mexico, has always been a great place to live. Now it is also becoming a popular southwestern tourist destination.

Las Cruces, also known as “The City of the Crosses”, is the county seat of Doña Ana County, the second-most populated county in the State of New Mexico. With a population of just over 100,000, Las Cruces is large enough to offer a variety of housing, entertainment, recreational, dining and shopping options, but small enough to be friendly and inviting. With a cost of living index of just 93 (based on the national average of 100) and low property taxes, you will find you can enjoy a very high quality of life here – no matter your economic means.

The city’s ideal location at the crossroads of Interstate 10 and 25 brings residents and visitors into contact with spectacular year-round golf, unique special events, world-class Mexican food, historic attractions and two national monuments – Organ Mountain Desert Peaks and White Sands National Monument.  The city is a blend of unique attractions, arts and culture, historical sites and the home of a nationally-recognized university, New Mexico State University (NMSU). Residents enjoy superb year-round weather with mild winters and 340 days of sunshine per year.

Because of its temperate, high desert climate, residents of and visitors to the Mesilla Valley can enjoy many outdoor recreational activities year-round. Virtually every week of the year offers great golfing at Cattle in the foothillsfour local courses and outdoor fun at the city’s 90 parks. The recreation areas in the adjoining Organ and Dona Ana Mountains offer hiking, horseback riding and trail bike riding just minutes away.  For other outdoor enthusiasts, winter sports, camping, hunting, off-roading, hiking and fishing are less than 2 hours away in several nearby national forests.

The four mainstays of the local economy are agriculture, commerce, education, and defense/aerospace. Since World War II, federal, state, and local government have become the main source of jobs in the area, due to the proximity of NMSU and White Sands Missile Range (WSMR). Thanks in part to the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement, or NAFTA, in 1994, and the opening in 1991 of the US/Mexico border crossing at Santa Teresa, just 40 miles south of Las Cruces, many companies are finding it advantageous to relocate in the Mesilla Valley area in order to do business with maquiladoras (factories) in Mexico.  On the U.S. side of the border, there are nine industrial and research parks operating in Dona Ana County.   On the northern side of the county, just 44 miles outside of Las Cruces, lies Spaceport America, the headquarters for Virgin Galactic, the world’s first company to offer sub-orbital spaceflights.

Over the last fifteen years, Las Cruces, New Mexico has received national recognition on numerous occasions, including the following:

  • Forbes – One of the Best Places to Retire – 2014
  • AARP – Top 10 Sunny Places to Retire – 2012
  • Parade Magazine – Top 25 Hardest Working Towns in America – 2012
  • Guidebook America – Top 10 Spring Destinations for Families – 2012
  • Forbes/Miliken Institute – Best Small Metro Areas for Businesses and Careers – 2002 through 2005 and 2010
  • US News and World Report – Ten Cities for Real Estate Steals – 2010
  • Sunset Magazine – 20 Best Towns of the Future — 2010
  • com – Best Places to Thrive – 2009
  • Magazine’s — Top Boom Towns – 2007
  • AARP – Dream Towns for Retirees – 2006
  • Money Magazine – Best College Towns for Retirees – 2005
  • National Bus Association – Top 50 Motorcoach Destinations – 2004 and 2005
  • Hispanic Magazine – Top 10 Cities for Hispanics – 2002 and 2003
  • Family Digest – Best Places to Live – 2002
  • Money Magazine – Best Places to Retire – 2002
  • Where to Retire Magazine – One of American’s Top 200 Retirement Towns — 2001

This national attention, along with the economic growth mentioned earlier has helped created an enormous influx of retirees, students, families and tourists. As of 2014, the City of Las Cruces is the fastest-growing metro area in New Mexico and among the top 10 fast growing cities in the United States.

Let the Smart Living Team introduce you to New Mexico, the “Land of Enchantment”, and to Las Cruces, the spectacular “City of the Crosses.”