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“Las Cruces - great city” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Las Cruces

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Las Cruces
Las Cruces, NM
Austin, Texas
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Las Cruces - great city”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 9, 2009

I lived there in 1996 when I was 11 yrs old. I loved Las Cruces but was very young so I didn't do much there other than go to school, ride my bike and play with my friends. I remember the people there were very nice to me though and I made friends quickly in Las Cruces. Las Cruces in my opinion and memory was heavily influenced by Latino culture, and I loved it. The best thing was the food, the hottest salsa I have ever tried was in Las Cruces. Oh, and the weather there was great. Very sunny, and never got too cold. I no longer live there, but Las Cruces will always have part of my heart.

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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cape Cod
16 reviews 16 reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
44 helpful votes 44 helpful votes
“Part I of III, Las Cruces”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2006

My wife and I spent a week in southeast New Mexico, from February 3rd to the 10th. I’ve broken this trip report into three segments; Las Cruces, Silver City and Truth or Consequences.

Las Cruces Part I of III

We landed at El Paso Airport around noon on Friday, rented a National Rental car and headed out to Las Cruces. It’s a direct and easy ride from El Paso to the New Mexico city. We stayed at the Best Western Mesilla Valley Inn, off of Route 10. The hotel was well kept and the staff friendly, but it suffers from both an advantage and a disadvantage; it’s right off of Route 10. You can’t walk to any place of interest and the area is a strip of businesses, not terribly appealing. It’s location didn’t serve us getting a feel for Las Cruces, but if one simply wanted a place to stay, it’s fine. As an aside, the hotel doesn’t serve any breakfast for its guests. We were given discount coupons to go next door to a restaurant for either pancakes or bacon and eggs ($3 or $4 dollars per serving). We eventually took them up on the offer and the food was quite good.

The first evening we were there we drove around a bit. The part of the city we drove through wasn’t particularly attractive. Las Cruces itself seemed to sprawl outward and I never did find a city center, probably due to my lack of knowledge of the area.

The next day (Saturday) we went to an upscale housing area, Sonoma Ranch (and it’s neighboring (and connected) Boulders and Boulders on the Greens sites). It’s a very attractive development, with a golf course and lovely homes in the southwest style of construction (faux-adobe). I liked the looks of the homes and we went in to view four of their models, ranging in size from around 1,600 to about 2,100 square feet. These were each two bedroom homes and were well thought out, with upscale bathrooms and intelligent use of space. Lots are listed in their handout going from around $70,000 dollars to about $114,000 dollars. They were quite small in size. The homes ranged in cost from about $211,000 to $275,000 dollars. Of course, upgrades would add additional costs and my guess would be that a new home owner in this development would be hard pressed to keep their new acquisition to under $375,000 dollars.

As I stood at the rear of several of the homes I could see in the immediate distance more desert being worked on by construction crews. Clearly some changes are happening in and to Las Cruces.

Later in the week, while in Truth or Consequences, my wife and I ran into a professional woman who lived, with her husband, in Las Cruces. They had bought there around two and a half years ago in an upscale neighborhood and she told me that she’d be hard pressed to find a suitable home for them today for under $300,000 dollars. She also commented that builders seemed to be carving up sections of desert which only a few years ago had little value and were now selling it for a great deal of money.

I did look at a local free classified paper (The Classifieds, ---) and saw homes listed for sale from $90,000 to $215,000 dollars.

The value of anything is what someone will pay for it, and clearly this part of NM is becoming increasingly desirable.

A note about water. I’m a little confused over how sensitive an issue that is in the Las Cruces area. One of the realtors at Sonoma Ranch stated that the area was sitting atop an enormous aquifer and water wasn’t an issue. The next day I glimpsed an article in a newspaper talking about limiting construction of private wells.

At any rate, that day we continued on to Cloudcroft, a town around a hundred miles from Las Cruces and several thousand feet higher in elevation (from around 3,500 feet in Las Cruces to around 7,000 feet in Cloudcroft). Our mission was to have our photos taken in front of my brother-in-law’s cabin, built by his grand dad over a hundred years ago and still in the family. The one way drive was around 100 miles (nothing is nearby in NM!). We drove through Alamogordo. As we stayed on the main road only (Route 70), we didn’t get much of an accurate impression of that town.

Since the elevation kept getting higher we now could see the difference in scenery a few thousand feet made. It was our observation that the high desert was much prettier than the desert at lower elevations. By the time we got into Cloudcroft there were large evergreen trees everywhere. It was quite pretty. The downside to the altitude was that during winter periods the air is considerably cooler than the lower parts of the state (a good thing in the summer and a reason Cloudcroft and Ruidoso were summer get-away places for those living below).

From Cloudcroft we headed back to Las Cruces, first stopping at the White Sands National Monument. This is a large preserved area of pure white mineral sands (gypsum) created from Lake Lucero A nominal charge is asked of visitors and one can drive through and around the park area, get out and walk and play (kids seem to love it) in the pure sand. Well worth a visit.

We had dinner back in Las Cruces at the Double Eagle Restaurant, located in the Old Mesilla part of town. They advertised aged steaks and it was an upscale establishment. The food was okay, the ambiance very pleasant and the service excellent. Dinner for two (steaks), with one glass of wine, came to around $80 dollars before tip.

In regards Las Cruces, I’d suggest anyone contemplating either a winter or full-time home there spend either a season or longer renting before making the final move. Clearly, some people find the location to their liking, the people seemed friendly, winter weather while we were there was great (60s~70s) and it’s an easy ride from El Paso airport, all pluses.

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