Las Cruces is a city in New Mexico, on the edge of the Chihuahuan Desert. The interactive New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum features livestock and gardens. On the Rio Grande, Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park has trails and birdlife. The Museum of Nature and Science includes desert animals and hands-on displays. In an old depot, the Railroad Museum has model trains and explores the local impact of railways.
Las Cruces is a lovely Southwestern town. We went on a two-night date there and decided to move on. Let’s break Las Cruces down. We tend to be analytical people. So, let’s analyse.
Here is some objective data that shows that Las Cruces just doesn’t fit the bill.
Walk Score: We’d like to live somewhere where we aren’t reliant on our car all the time. With a walk score of just 34, Las Cruces doesn’t fit the bill. We like towns and cities where people actually live AND work downtown. It makes for a lively scene. Cruces seems like one big suburb, with spralling strip malls; we like to explore unique, one of a kind restaurants which are hard to come by in Cruces.
Park Score: Despite its size, Las Cruces only allocates 2% of public lands to parks. City investments into parks, green space, bike lanes, are all of the things that help to make a city livable.
It is also has three times the national average for violent crime. I could have led with that and been done with my argument against Las Cruces.
And that is the data that helped inform our decision. That Las Cruces is not our type. We did our usual running around, went out to dinner, and so on, but nothing was even really worth noting. Sadly. New Mexico is a gorgeous state. If you want to live in New Mexico, there are other places I’d recommend before Las Cruces (but goodness, you can’t find a spot much more affordable!).