The first time I moved to Las Cruces, it was 2006, sight unseen, following a job. I was moving from Europe, to work at New Mexico State University in a postdoctoral research position. Being new to Las Cruces, the most important thing for me was figuring out where to go for a nice drink and some tasty food within my budget. I didn’t have kids, but was married, so I was also looking for things to do on dates, and for cool nearby spots for us to hike and camp.
New Mexico Relocation
I found that even ten years ago, it was pretty easy to find all of the above. Las Cruces has always been known for good food and drink. Some of the most historic bars and restaurants, like El Patio and The Double Eagle in Mesilla, just minutes away from Las Cruces, are also the most unique and fun. Now, there are exponentially more great spots to try for both food and drink. Including a growing number of breweries and a wide selection of food trucks, some even using meat and produce from Las Cruces farms and ranches.
Exploring Las Cruces
It was also easy to find nice spots to hike and explore. Almost everyone that I talk to in Las Cruces loves to hike, bike, fish, hunt, ski, or climb, or enjoy the outdoors in some way. There are mountains to climb, deserts to explore, and for every outdoor thing you like to do, there’s a club. At that time, I found clubs through the University, but now I’d look on Facebook.
I lived in Las Cruces for about six years. During that time, I became a mom. So my focus shifted from beer and burgers to things to do to keep my toddlers busy and make them into geniuses at the same time. I found that the Las Cruces Public Library was a great resource. They have lots of programs for kids all year round. Other great resources were the Las Cruces Museum System and Las Cruces Parks and Recreation. These offered countless hours of fun and education for my kids and for me, too. We loved Las Cruces so much that my parents even decided to retire here!
Moving Back to New Mexico
Eventually, though, I received a job offer in another city, and it had a salary that I thought I just couldn’t pass up. As much as I loved my new job and the city, I started to miss Las Cruces, which I now considered home. It wasn’t long before I found myself relocating *back* to Las Cruces.
This time, my kids are older and in an A-rated Las Cruces public school, participate in city sports and cheerleading, and are on a great swim team through the University. LC is an amazingly family-friendly city with more things for us to do than we can even keep track of. We love the farmer’s market, movies at the historic Rio Grande theater, and all of the parks and outdoor spaces.
Since I last lived in LC, there are a lot more places to do yoga, find great coffee, drink beer and wine, and eat food. I love that my kids are growing up in a culturally-rich city. We see beautiful murals and enjoy public art, we listen to live music, we are politically involved in our community. There’s so much access to cultural education for my children, and I am truly grateful for that. It’s really a beautiful little city to live in, and I’m happy to be here.