Introducing Las Cruces & Around
At the crossroads of two major highways, I-10 and I-25, Las Cruces makes a great pit stop, once you get past the shock that this rural outpost is actually New Mexico's second-biggest city! Las Cruces and her sister city, Mesilla, sit at the edge of a broad basin beneath the fluted Organ Mountains. There is something special about the combination of bright white sunlight, glassy blue skies, flowering cacti, rippling red mountains and desert lowland landscape found here. The city itself, however, is less than a dream town: sprawling, and beastly hot for a good part of the year.
Las Cruces is an eclectic mix of old and young. The city is home to New Mexico State University (NMSU), whose 15,000-strong student body infuses it with a healthy dose of youthful liveliness, while at the same time its 350 days of sunshine and numerous golf courses are turning it into a popular retirement destination.
Mesilla is the perfect place to lose track of time. Let the centuries slide back as you wander its beautiful historic plaza surrounded by lovely 19th-century buildings adorned with colorful ristras (strings of chiles) and shops selling souvenirs ranging from cheap and kitschy to expensive.