New Mexico August 06, 2017
These 9 Cities In New Mexico Aren’t Big And Aren’t Too Small – They’re Just Right
For many people, a home town is decided by the location of family, school, and current employment. But there are times in life when that choice is more open-ended. Although a great opportunity, the decision can feel overwhelming. Perhaps you want amenities but don’t like to feel hemmed in. You crave a sense of community but would feel stifled in a teeny town. Well, read on, because these mid-sized cities in New Mexico might just be the answer you’re seeking.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
This city of 30,403 people scores well on
, with a livability score of 70/100. Alamogordo boasts good weather and plenty of outdoor spaces to take advantage of sunny days, from the expansive gypsum dunes of White Sands National Monument to Oliver Lee Memorial State Park.
The city offers amenities such as museums, a zoo, pistachio ranches, and great restaurants like JAM-ing Hot Dogs and Waffle and Pancake Shoppe. Alamogordo bills itself as "the friendliest place on earth" – who wouldn’t want to call a city with that motto home?
2. Las Vegas
New Mexico’s Las Vegas is a far cry from the one in Nevada – and that’s definitely a compliment. The city has a picturesque plaza, surrounded by gorgeous architecture. In fact, more than 900 of its buildings appear on the National Register of Historic Places and the city has a lively past that you’ll want to uncover. Other selling points include hot springs pools, proximity to state parks and a wildlife refuge, a Carnegie Public Library... Oh, and let’s not forget Charlie’s Spic & Span!
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3. Sunland Park
If you want all the amenities of a major city without feeling claustrophobic from actually living in one, then Sunland Park might be for you. It’s only a few miles from El Paso but, with a population of just 14,106 people, you won’t feel trapped and you get to stay in New Mexico. Other bonuses include great weather, affordability, and crime rates that are 72% lower than the state average (according to AreaVibes). Pictured: West El Paso and Sunland Park.
4. Los Alamos
The solid education system, high household income, and low crime rates make Los Alamos an appealing city to call home. You’ll be joining 12,019 other residents who are already wise to the fact that Los Alamos earns the top spot in the state on AreaVibe’s liveability index for good reasons. Hikers and outdoor enthusiasts love the recreational opportunities and natural beauty of this area, and residents of Los Alamos County are the healthiest in New Mexico.
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As a city, Carlsbad has much to offer from affordable living to good weather. Residents earn incomes that are above the state average, all while living next to the Pecos River and the abundant recreational chances that affords, from river cruises to the swimming beach. Here, you’ll also find great restaurants and food trucks, including gems like the No Whiner Diner and Red Chimney Pit Bar-B-Q. There's even an old school, drive-in movie theater.
6. Silver City
If you’re a fan of art, adorable architecture, or the great outdoors, then you’ll love Silver City. On the small side, with 10,315 residents, this college town is surrounded by wilderness areas and natural beauty. Other selling points include great weather, a robust calendar of annual festivals, and some truly delicious restaurants.
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If you’re looking for a hometown with mild winters, low crime rates, and a cost of living that is 15% below the state average (according to AreaVibes), then you might want to check out Lovington. This city of 11,009 people also has several pleasant parks and some good restaurants.
With a population of 12,280, Portales retains that small town feel without being too tiny. Amenities include a brewery and Oasis State Park, which lives up to its name. The cost of living here is 11% below the state average (according to AreaVibes) and the average summer temperature is a pleasant 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Outdoor enthusiasts will find the landscapes around Grants appealing. The Cibola National Forest flanks the city on both sides. Adventurers can explore Mount Taylor to the northeast and the dramatic lava flows of El Malpais National Monument to the southwest. The crime rate here is well below the state average and, with a population of 9182 people, it is neither overwhelmingly large nor too small a town.
Have you lived in or visited any of these places? What other perfectly-sized towns or cities would you add to this list?