In addition to the city’s numerous historic and cultural sites, Las Cruces is home to the famous astronomer Pat Garrett, who is most famous for his work on the famous Albert Jennings Fountain case. The city’s growth can be attributed to the university, the government jobs, and recent retirees. The University of New Mexico, established in 1888, has grown along with the city. Visitors will also find plenty of opportunities for work at the White Sands Missile Range and the aforementioned missile park.
During your stay in Las Cruces, you may want to consider purchasing souvenirs or gift items that you can take home with you. Handmade jewelry and leather goods are popular souvenirs, as are local ceramics and pottery pieces. If you’re interested in history, you might also want to visit the Museum of Fine Art and Couture and the Las Cruces Historical Museum, both of which offer exhibitions of local art and textiles.
Downtown Las Cruces features a vibrant and historic downtown centered around Main Street. A pedestrianized area was built in 1973 and is now home to restaurants, businesses, art galleries, theaters, and a farmers market. Visitors can spend their days strolling along the sidewalks or taking in a live music performance. Despite its new-found prominence, Las Cruces still maintains its old-fashioned feel. The historic downtown area also offers a unique experience for art and culture lovers.
Although Las Cruces has a booming downtown, it lacks a true central business district. However, you’ll find many restaurants, art galleries, and theaters throughout the city. There’s also an abundance of New Mexican cuisine, and the city’s wine industry is well-established. The Harvest Wine Festival is held annually on Labor Day weekend, and the Southern New Mexico Wine Festival is held over Memorial Day and Labor Day.
Mesilla, a town south of Las Cruces, is a cultural center and historical site where Billy the Kid was put on trial. This historic village has many boutiques where visitors can purchase handicrafts from the region and sample delicious authentic Mexican cuisine. The town’s downtown plaza is also home to the annual Day of the Dead celebration, organized by the Calavera Coalition. It also hosts a large outdoor festival each year, which commemorates the lives of the departed.
Although the city is surrounded by mountains, the climate is mild and pleasant. The city experiences 350 days of sunshine per year. During the summer, temperatures soar to the 90s. Nighttime lows are in the 60s. During the fall, temperatures drop and are in the mid-70s. The winter months are cooler and snow falls rarely, but it is just enough to cause inconvenience. The warm season brings heavy showers, especially in the late summer monsoon weather pattern.
The city has a council-manager form of government. Its city council comprises six members, with the mayor elected at-large. Each councilor represents one neighborhood district. Each councilor represents one resident. The mayor, Ken Miyagishima, serves staggered four-year terms. The other city council members include Kasandra Gandara, Gabriel Vasquez, Johan Bencomo, Gill M. Sorg, and Kasandra Gandara.