Las Cruces, New Mexico

Three Crosses



Sunny Days: 294
43100 Affordability
85100 Schools
54100 Diversity
70100 Safety

I don't blame you for writing of me as you have. You had to believe other stories, but then I don't know if any one would believe anything good of me anyway.
-Billy the Kid

The Best Thing About Las Cruces?

College Living On A Budget

Las Cruces was recently ranked the number one college town in New Mexico and the number four ranked college town in the U.S. for cost of living. The city is the home of New Mexico State University and as such gets the benefits of the culture, bars/restaurants, energy and youth population other cities its size do not. Smaller cities can be great for affordability but lack the social firepower of a college town. College towns can have the firepower but be pricey. With Las Cruces you get the best combo.

Here's a local pointing out what they love:
The sunsets and sunrises are priceless. The smell of the desert after it has rained is very unique here. For me the scent is very calming. Don't be surprised to see the Rio Grande all dried up. During certain parts of the year the water is being route to other areas for irrigation purposes.

The Worst Thing About Las Cruces?

Stupidly Hot

We get that if you’re considering moving to a city that is at the southern end of New Mexico, basically a long two-iron from the border, you probably know that it is going to be toasty. But just a reminder, this is a desert town. The heat is unrelenting (as is the dry climate and dust storms), so please visit in the summer before making the call, unless you’re moving from a comparably roasting city.

Here's a local on the weather:
It’s hot, Especially around this time. With monsoon season in full swing right now. It’s hot and sometimes rainy. My phone says it’s 91° right now.

Lifestyle of Las Cruces

Las Cruces has a lot going on for a small city and the university plays a big role in providing those opportunities. There are surprisingly good eats and entertainment options both downtown and near the school. While it isn’t the only cuisine, Mexican restaurants are particularly good. There are year round festivals and art shows, as well as talks and performances nine months a year on campus. Perhaps more important to some are the outdoor experiences of hiking and mountain biking that are available just outside the city. You get a nice mix of in-town social experiences and outdoor activities for such a small city.

If you want to know what people do in Las Cruces check out the calendar of events:

Worklife of Las Cruces

If you don't have a job all set up in the education or health systems then it is safest to move here if you can work from home. The economy is built around the schools, the health system for the locals and lower-paying service jobs supporting students, locals and tourists. WFH’ers or retirees will do fine here but otherwise its a tough economy for white-collar workers.

Why You Should Move Here Now?

Retirement Cookie Jar

If you’re looking to maximize your retirement or WFH bucks in a small college town this city can work. Live here and travel when you need to escape and locals say you can pull it off. You absolutely have to understand the severity of the weather but if you’re considering south Texas, Arizona or southern New Mexico then you’re presumably sufficiently warned.

Neighborhoods in Las Cruces

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Young Professionals/College Students

Downtown is the starting point for any young professional or couple that wants to be within walking distance of the greatest concentration of restaurants, bars, cafes and activities (including skating). There aren’t many homes but plenty of apartments and condos. If you work downtown you get the double-benefit of walking to work. You’re about 4 miles to the university from here so you get the action but not the college student shenanigans.

If you’re a student, or want to be in the midst of the madness then look at the University neighborhood or just south of that in Mesilla Park. University has the greatest density of off-campus students and plenty of affordable rentals. Mesilla Park also has students but they tend to be more graduate students looking for a bit more quiet but still walkable/bikeable to campus.

  • Downtown
  • University
  • Mesilla Park



One of the favorite neighborhoods for families is the Elks area. It’s near the Three Crosses hospital so you get excellent, close care for yourself and the little ones. It’s extremely safe but also known as affordable for those just starting out or looking for reasonable prices. You’re near great hiking and biking trails and also have several parks so the kiddos and the doggos have plenty of room to play.

If you want to be close to the action check out Mesilla Park. Older, historic homes and walking distance to a big fun commercial district. You do get some students, but mostly graduate students as this isn’t the dense University neighborhood. Mesilla Park kind of works as its own city, with parks and schools and restaurants/bars and all just a few minutes from downtown if you want to hit a bigger scene on weekends or whenever. Mesilla is also close to Arrowhead ECHS (in University Park right next door), one of the best high schools in the city, in case you’re ready for that or want to keep it in mind for later years.

  • Elks
  • Mesilla Park
  • Picacho Hills
  • Northeast