Moving to Las Cruces

Are you considering a move that combines the charm of small-town living with big city amenities? Look no further than Las Cruces, New Mexico! This gem of the Southwest merges a rich historical backdrop with a modern, pulsing lifestyle unlike any other. In Las Cruces, you'll find warm desert vistas, award-winning culinary experiences, a thriving arts scene, and economic opportunities aplenty. So buckle up, get ready, and let us guide you through every aspect of relocating to this enchanting city in our comprehensive Las Cruces Relocation Guide!

Moving to Las Cruces, NM landscape image

What to Know Before Moving to Las Cruces

1. Sunshine is Abundant

If you're someone who thrives on sunlight, then you're in for an absolute treat. In Las Cruces, there are over 320 sunny days each year. This means plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors, without worrying too much about being rained in. With its stunning landscapes and scenery, you'll find plenty of fun ways to enjoy the beautiful desert weather, such as hiking, biking, or even just taking a leisurely afternoon stroll.

2. A Vibrant Mix of Cultures

One of the things that sets Las Cruces apart from other U.S. cities is its rich, diverse mix of cultures. Here, Southern New Mexico culture meets Mexican influences, resulting in a melting pot of traditions, foods, and celebrations. This translates to sophisticated architecture, colorful festivals, and a sociable community that embraces diversity. Don't miss out on the delicious food, from tasty burritos to flamboyant chili dishes that will set your taste buds on fire!

3. Live Amongst the Pecan Trees

If you didn't know, Las Cruces is located in one of the largest pecan-producing regions in the United States. The rural outskirts of the city are lined with miles and miles of lush pecan orchards. Why not take a stroll through these spectacular orchards, or better yet, pick your place amongst these towering trees? Plus, you'll always be well-stocked with fresh, locally grown pecans that add flare to any dish.

4. A Mecca for the Arts

Las Cruces is more than just beautiful landscapes and yummy food, it's also home to a rather thriving arts scene. With several fine art galleries, a large community theater, and multiple arts and crafts festivals throughout the year, it's a haven for art enthusiasts. Not to mention the Rio Grande Theatre - a much-loved centerpiece of the downtown area, offering a steady stream of performances and art shows.

5. A Spicy Secret: The World's Largest Chili Pepper

Consider yourself warned! Las cruces is spicing things up with the world's largest chili pepper. Yes, you read that right! In downtown Las Cruces, you'll find the spectacle of a 47-foot tall red chile, playfully known as "The Big Chile". This bright, colorful sculpture acts as a beacon for those seeking a taste of the city's piquant charm. It also makes for a great selfie spot!

6. A Mysterious Roadway

Last, but by no means least, there's a bit of mysterious magic in Las Cruces that defies gravity, well almost. On the city's outskirts, you'll find the peculiar 'Magnetic Hill'. Here, if you park your car at the foot of the hill and put it in neutral, it'll appear to roll uphill. It's a fun and unexpected phenomenon that has become an offbeat attraction for locals and tourists alike. But remember, this is no fantasy - it's simply an optical illusion caused by the hill's natural surroundings.

So there you have it, a fast, fun, and friendly guide to establishing your new life in the wonderful city of Las Cruces. With sunshine aplenty, rich culture, natural beauty, yummy pecans, a burgeoning arts scene, a colossal chili, and even a gravity-defying road, Las Cruces surely offers a bit of something for everyone. Happy moving!

What to know before moving to Las Cruces, NM image
See the 10 Best Movers Nearest You
(Unbiased) Ranking of the top movers in every city.

Pros and Cons of Living in Las Cruces

Pros of Living in Las Cruces

Beautiful Scenery

Las Cruces offers a beautiful natural landscape and stunning scenery all year round. With the majestic Organ Mountains serving as a backdrop, residents can enjoy breathtaking views, hiking trails, and outdoor activities.

Rich History and Culture

Las Cruces boasts a rich history and vibrant culture. From the historic Old Mesilla Village to the numerous museums, art galleries, and local festivals, there's always an opportunity to immerse oneself in the local cultures and traditions.

Great Weather

The weather in Las Cruces is mostly sunny and dry throughout the year. This mild climate is perfect for people who enjoy outdoor activities, and it also means less hassle with snow or rain.

Low Cost of Living

The cost of living in Las Cruces is relatively low compared to many other parts of the US. This includes housing, groceries, and transportation costs, making it an attractive location for those looking to make their money go further.

University Town

Home to New Mexico State University, Las Cruces has a lively and vibrant college-town atmosphere. This brings a host of educational opportunities, sporting events, and cultural experiences to the town.

Cons of Living in Las Cruces

Limited Job Opportunities

While the cost of living is low, so are the local salaries. Las Cruces has limited job opportunities especially in higher-income fields, and the current job market is not as robust compared to the national average.

Hot Summers

While many enjoy the year-round sunshine, the summers in Las Cruces can be extremely hot. This might be uncomfortable for those unaccustomed to high temperatures.

Rural Lifestyle

Las Cruces is a small city with a slow pace of life and a rural feel. For those accustomed to the hustle and bustle of big cities and all the cultural and entertainment options they provide, this could be a downside.

Public Transportation

Public transportation in Las Cruces is not as developed as in larger cities. This means owning a car is nearly a necessity, which can increase your living costs.

Healthcare Access

While there are healthcare facilities in Las Cruces, access to specialty and advanced healthcare services can be limited. Residents often need to travel to larger cities for certain medical procedures or specialists.

Modern day picture of Las Cruces, NM highlighting pros and cons of living in Las Cruces, NM

Is Las Cruces a Good Place to Live?

Las Cruces, NM is a great place to live because of its sunny weather, abundant outdoor activities, and rich cultural heritage. From exploring the beautiful Organ Mountains to indulging in delicious New Mexican cuisine, there is always something exciting to do. Additionally, it offers affordable living and a friendly community that make Las Cruces feel like home.

What Is Las Cruces Famous For?

World's Largest Enchilada

Each year, Las Cruces celebrates the Whole Enchilada Fiesta where a local resident named Roberto Estrada makes the world's largest enchilada. This tradition has put Las Cruces on the map as a destination for food enthusiasts and record hunters alike.

White Sands National Monument

Just a short drive from Las Cruces, the White Sands National Monument is a natural wonder consisting of 275 square miles of glistening white sand dunes. Visitors travel from all over the world to witness the breathtaking landscapes and unique flora and fauna that survive in this arid environment.

Historic Old Mesilla Village

Nestled within Las Cruces is the historic Old Mesilla Village, an area rich in history and culture. It is adorned with adobe buildings dating back to the mid-1800s and regularly hosts fascinating cultural events that delve into the region's intriguing past.

Chile Pepper Capital

Las Cruces is located in the fertile Mesilla Valley, which is known as the chile pepper capital of the world. The local passion for chile peppers is reflected in the city's culinary scene where spicy dishes reign supreme. From August to October, the intoxicating aroma of roasting green chiles fills the air as local farmers prepare their harvest.

Capital building of Las Cruces, NM in artistic rendering

Overview of Tax Rates

Property Tax

As of 2023, the average property tax rate in Las Cruces, NM is about 0.78% of a property's assessed fair market value. This is slightly below the national average property tax rate of approximately 1.07%.

Sales Tax

The total sales tax rate in Las Cruces stands at approximately 8.313% in 2023. This rate is relatively high compared to the weighted average US sales tax rate, which is around 7.12%.

Income Tax

For the 2023 tax year, New Mexico's state income tax rate ranges from 1.7% to 4.9%, depending on income level. This is median when compared to overall US state income tax rates, which ranges widely from 0% in states with no income tax to 13.3% in states like California.

Housing Market

The housing market in Las Cruces, NM is considered more affordable compared to the national average. The median home value in Las Cruces is around $149,400, which is fairly lower than the national average of $231,200. Rent prices are also relatively low, with the median rent per month pegged at $868, a figure that is below the national average of $1,036. An affordable cost of living and lower property taxes further bolster the city's attractiveness to both prospective home buyers and renters.

Cost of Living

The cost of living in Las Cruces, NM is approximately 12% lower than the national average. It ranks considerably lower than other cities such as Santa Fe or Albuquerque, making it a more budget-friendly location. Factors such as affordable housing, lower cost goods and services, and efficient healthcare maintain a reasonable living index. Yet, despite lower living costs, Las Cruces offers a high quality of life with diverse culture, warm climate, and spectacular natural scenery, thus making it an appealing living option.

Weather & Natural Disasters

Las Cruces, New Mexico, is characterized by a desert climate, with moderately hot summers and mild winters. Average summer temperatures range between 75degF to 97degF, while winter sees a range of 29degF to 60degF. Despite its aridity, Las Cruces experiences approximately 350 days of sunshine annually, balancing cool breezes and periodic rainfalls. The monsoon season, extending from July through September, brings much of the city's annual rainfall. Natural disasters are not common, but flooding can occur during the monsoon season and wildfires may happen due to the region's dry conditions. Additionally, the city seismically sits in a moderately active earthquake zone. Nevertheless, Las Cruces charms with its clear blue skies and vibrant sunsets, making it an appealing destination for those who appreciate consistent sunny weather.

Typical weather in Las Cruces, NM

Economy & Job Market

* Education is thriving in Las Cruces, thanks to New Mexico State University, Dona Ana Community College, and several top-quality high schools.

* Health care is a flourishing industry owing to a large elder population and the presence of several hospitals and wellness facilities.

* Agriculture has long been a cornerstone of the local economy, with pecans and chile as major agricultural commodities.

* Retail trade is a fruitful industry, catering to locals, newcomers, and tourists alike. You can find everything from independent boutiques to large shopping complexes like the Mesilla Valley Mall.

* The Aerospace and Defense industry are also of high prominence, mainly due to White Sands Missile Range and Spaceport America.

The vivid landscape of Las Cruces, NM isn't the only rich thing about this city - its economy is also teeming with life! Historically, agriculture has been the backbone of Las Cruces' economy with the "pecan capital of the world" still producing bountiful amounts of pecans and chile. More recently, the economy has diversified. The education sector is booming, thanks to the presence of educational institutions like New Mexico State University and Dona Ana Community College. The healthcare industry is also robust, serving a large elder population. Retail trade is another significant industry, with businesses catering to a diverse mix of locals, newcomers, and tourists. And let's not forget the high-flying Aerospace and Defense industry that has space and missile testing facilities.

If you're packing your bags and heading to Las Cruces, NM looking for a job, you've got plenty of exciting options! The employment rate in the city is generally comparable to the national average. However, it's crucial to remember that certain sectors have more employment opportunities than others. Specifically, the Education, Health Services, and Retail Trade sectors are often hiring. If you've got a penchant for the skies, the Aerospace and Defense industry, with its world-class facilities, might be a good bet. And of course, if you don't mind getting your hands a little dirty, there's always work to be done in the Agriculture industry. The job market here offers a unique blend of old and new - so get ready to dive in and explore!

Traffic and Transportation

Zip, zooom, zing! Welcome to the world of traffic and transportation in Las Cruces, NM, where average commute times are a breezy 15 minutes whether you're racing to work or leisurely heading to a friend's house. Imagine reading a few chapters of your favorite book instead of honking horns and rush hour frustration! When it comes to public transportation, you have the efficient Roadrunner Transit at your service with buses crisscrossing the city, making it a snap to get around town. And for those with sights set a bit further, Las Cruces International Airport is ready to whisk you away to your next adventure! With options like these, you'll find yourself saying, "road rage, who?" See, traffic in Las Cruces isn't something you dread, but an aspect of city life that's truly delightful!

What is the traffic like in Las Cruces, NM?

Best Neighborhoods in Las Cruces


1. Sonoma Ranch

When it comes to neighborhoods with dazzling serenity and breathtaking views, look no further than Sonoma Ranch. Nestled in East Las Cruces and surrounded by iconic desert scenery, this area is a hub for those who relish outdoor activities. Hiking, golfing, and bird-watching are all within arm's reach. The lively streets reflect a rustic charm, with plenty of locally-owned businesses and restaurants that promise to seduce your taste buds with authentic New Mexico cuisine. The community spirit is palpable here, with neighborhood events and festivals bringing locals together for what always turns out to be a memorable time.

2. Alameda Depot Historic District

Are you an ardent history buff or art enthusiast? Then, carving out a place in the Alameda Depot Historic District might be your best bet. As Las Cruces' oldest neighborhood, it's adorned with beautifully restored buildings that tell fascinating stories of the past. This area is also the city's cultural hub, being home to art galleries, museums, and live performance venues. The weekly farmers' market is a neighborhood favorite, offering fresh local produce and an outstanding selection of handmade goods. It's a vibrant, artistic, and community-focused slice of this quaint southwestern city.

3. Mesilla

Welcome to Mesilla, the neighborhood that promises you a stroll down history lane, paired with a laid-back, small-town vibe. Teeming with historic adobe buildings, art galleries, and charming boutiques, the community keeps tradition alive while catering to modern needs. There's nothing like taking a leisurely walk around its Plaza, arguably the heart of this area, where numerous events are scheduled throughout the year. It's the perfect spot for those who appreciate a slower, more peaceful pace.

4. Talavera

All about sprawling landscapes, and beauty in its rawest form, Talavera offers an elegant blend of countryside tranquility and desert-scape drama. Located on the eastern outskirts of Las Cruces, its homes offer stunning views of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks. It's an ideal neighborhood for nature lovers, hiking enthusiasts, or anyone who wishes to wake up to breathtaking panoramic sceneries every day. Also, the area is known for its strong sense of community spirit that resonates throughout its tranquil valleys and mountainous hills.

5. Jornada-Las Colinas

Jornada-Las Colinas, situated in North Las Cruces, is a combination of urbanity and suburbia making it a sought-after neighborhood. It houses a number of excellent schools, parks, and recreational centers, making the community attractive for families. It promises a mix of tranquillity, a stable community feel, and easy access to the city's amenities. Fun fact: The neighborhood got its name from the historical Jornada del Muerto, one of the toughest sections of El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, a historic trading route from Mexico City to San Juan Pueblo in New Mexico.

Whether it's the rustic allure of Sonoma Ranch, the historic charm of Alameda Depot, the peaceful ambience of Mesilla, the dramatic landscapes of Talavera or the family-friendly environment of Jornada-Las Colinas, Las Cruces, NM has a neighborhood that will perfectly suit your tastes and preferences. Happy moving!

``` Best neighborhoods in Las Cruces, NM image

Things to Do

Welcome to the charming sun-kissed city of Las Cruces, New Mexico. With its vibrant art scene, rich history, and stunning landscapes, there's plenty to explore! Here are seven must-do activities that will surely make you fall in love with your new city faster.

1. Explore Mesilla

Known for its rich history and southwestern charm, Mesilla is a quaint town just minutes away from Las Cruces. A day trip here is a splendid opportunity to explore the Old West architecture, locally-owned shops, gourmet restaurants, and the Basilica of San Albino. Don't miss the mesmerizing mariachi performances at the town square!

2. Visit the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum

This interactive museum takes you on a 3,000-year journey of farming and ranching in New Mexico. From milking demonstrations to blacksmithing workshops, it's an educational and entertaining experience. Plus, who wouldn't want to spend a day amidst cuddly farm animals and vintage tractors?

3. Check Out Dripping Springs Natural Area

For those who love being outdoors, the Dripping Springs Natural Area is a must-see. With over four miles of easy trails, you can witness desert wildlife, gorgeous wildlife, and stunning mountain views. Not to mention the incredible historical structures hidden within the trails that add a dash of mystery to your hike.

4. Attend the Southern New Mexico Wine Festival

Kickstart your life in Las Cruces by toasting to new beginnings at the Southern New Mexico Wine Festival. Celebrate Memorial Day weekend as you savor award-winning wines, indulge in local cuisine, and enjoy live music. A perfect way to immerse yourself in the local culture.

5. Experience the Exotic World Car Show

Unknown to many, Las Cruces hosts an annual exotic and vintage car show that takes over the city. Car enthusiasts gather to admire a stunning collection of classics and super cars that showcase speed, creativity and craftsmanship. It's a hidden gem event that is worth the discovery.

6. Get Lost in Prehistoric Tracks at the Robledo Mountains

A lesser-known attraction, the Prehistoric Trackways is a national monument that houses fossil footprints dating back 280 million years! This trip pairs perfectly with a love of hikes and history. Remember to keep your eyes on the ground, you never know when you'll spot an ancient track!

7. Savour Local Cuisine at the Saturday Farmers Market

No exploration is complete without savouring the local fare. Take a stroll to the local farmers market on Saturday mornings for fresh produce, handmade goods, and the most delicious green and red chili you will ever taste!

In conclusion, Las Cruces is packed with hidden gems, rich history, and a vibrant atmosphere. With art, outdoor activities, and a captivating history, there's something for everyone in this sunny city. So get out there and embracethe fun and wonder that is Las Cruces. Welcome, adventurer, your journey has just begun!

Things to do in Las Cruces, NM?

Find Movers for Your Las Cruces Relocation

Having explored the various facets of life in Las Cruces, it's clear the City of Crosses has much to offer would-be residents. Now that you're likely excited about the prospect of your move, it's time to make that next crucial step. Great Guys Moving simplifies the process by connecting you with highly reputable, affordable movers. Submit the basics about your move and within moments, receive quotes from licensed, insured moving companies ready to help you embark on your new journey. Experience how quick, easy, and stress-free moving to Las Cruces can be. Request your free moving quote from Great Guys Moving today.

See The Best Movers For Moving To New Mexico From...

Find out how much your move costs!