I moved to Las Cruces a year and a half ago from San Diego for work. In my opinion San Diego is one of the best places on earth, but I really don't miss it that much. I love to go back to visit, but I'd never move back. There is way too much traffic and too many people. About the only thing I miss are a few stores and restaurants, but that's easy to adapt to.
In my opinion, Las Cruces is the perfect size city. Albuquerque has gotten too large, and it is too cold in the winter (Iíve never been to Reno or Grants Pass). Las Cruces can have cold days, but overall the winters are pretty mild. I've found that a lot of my neighbors chose Las Cruces because it has a lot of the amenities and things they like about Phoenix and Tucson, without the super high prices and extreme heat in the summer. I meet people here all the time from California, New York, and Florida who retired here because the great weather and low cost of living.
If you like the outdoors, you won't find a better place. Walking, mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, horseback riding, ATV riding, astronomy and more. There is a really active retired population here so there are tons of clubs, groups and organizations. I absolutely love the desert. Yeah, itís not the same as having an ocean view, but it has an amazing beauty all itís own.
Picacho Hills is the area to live if you come to Las Cruces, it is on the west side of town. There are some great places on the other side of town, but there are fewer people in Picacho Hills. The East side of town feels more crowded. I do the advertising for a company called Picacho Mountain. Itís an amazing community in Picacho Hills. You wonít find better views. The other nice areas of town are the Pueblos at Alameda Ranch & Tierra Escondida. Sonoma Ranch used to be the best place in town, but feels to crowded to me now.
There are some great links on the Picacho Mountain web site at