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The 10 Best Places to Live in New Mexico

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A Cook, Software analyst & Blogger.

Best Places to Live in New Mexico: Fascinating rock formations, a vast desert, towering mountains, river valleys, and ancestral Puebloan ruins, New Mexico has it all. It is one of the most geographically diverse states in the country and fittingly called the “Land of Enchantment” for its rich variety of landscapes. 

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Whether you’re looking for bustling metropolitan cities, quaint villages, or vibrant small towns, you can find them here.

Couple that with intriguing historic sites, impressive museums and galleries, great restaurants, a robust job market, and an array of outdoor recreational activities.

This multicultural land comes with unique offerings and has American, Mexican, Spanish, and Native American influences all on show.

Planning to move to this vibrant state?

We’ve got you covered with our list of the best places to live in New Mexico:-

Dive in!

Albuquerque #1

Looking to enjoy vibrant cosmopolitan living?

Albuquerque may be the perfect place for you.

The largest city in the state, it has a rich and diverse heritage and features a vibrant entertainment scene.

Best Places to Live in New Mexico

From soaking up history at Old Town, learning about evolution at New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, enjoying a family outing at ABQ BioPark Zoo, or soaking in mesmerizing views of the Rio Grande with a hot air balloon ride, there is something here for everyone.

With Sandia mountains and the Rio Grande River, there are ample outdoor recreation activities to enjoy as well. 

The residents of the city also enjoy warm weather and world-class cuisine.

What’s more?

It is home to the University of Mexico, numerous

A-rated schools, and housing prices are less than the national average. Just like any other big city, certain neighbourhoods are safer than others so keep that in mind while choosing a location here. 

Los Alamos #2

Love spending time amidst nature?

Head to Los Alamos.

The surrounding mountains, parks, and forests offer breath taking views and a host of outdoor recreation activities, such as mountain biking, camping, and skiing, amongst others.

Best Places to Live in New Mexico
Los Alamos

Although it doesn’t have a lively nightlife scene, its pristine natural landscapes are major draws for people to take up residence here.

The town features numerous excellent schools and a low crime rate, making it a great place to raise a family. With so much to offer, housing prices are higher than the national average but if budget is not a constraint, go for it. 

Las Cruces #3

One of the most populated cities of the state, Las Cruces lies on the edge of the Chihuahuan Desert, offering a plethora of outdoor activities to indulge in.

Best Places to Live in New Mexico
Las Cruces

It is home to the New Mexico State University, decent schools, and over 85 parks, making it a great place to raise a family. If you’re an avid golfer, there are four golf courses in the city.

It also features a Farmers and Crafts market.

Housing prices & healthcare costs are well below the national average, making it an affordable choice for young professionals and families just starting out. 

Ruidoso #4

If you’re an adventure enthusiast, Ruidoso won’t disappoint.

Nestled amidst the towering Sierra Blanca mountains, this small town exudes a tranquil rural vibe and features stunning natural beauty.

It is home to various ski slopes and is close to the lush Lincoln National Forest, offering an array of outdoor activities to enjoy, from horseback riding to river rafting and skiing.

There is also a casino in town and Native American Reservation nearby.

Couple that with an affordable cost of living and decent schools. It is considered a great place for retirees and families alike. 

White Rock #5

Perched along the Rio Grande where it passes through the White Rock Canyon is the city of White Rock.

The city offers short commutes, numerous top-rated schools, and plenty of parks.

Being close to Los Alamos, the town offers a host of job opportunities, leading to a higher-than-average median household income. 

Best Places to Live in New Mexico
White Rock

There are numerous restaurants and bars, perfect for a fun evening out. Housing is slightly above the national average but the offerings make it worth every penny. 

Sandia Heights #6

Looking for a suburban vibe with access to all the big city amenities?

Sandia Heights may be the place for you.

A suburb of Albuquerque, Sandia Heights is nestled in the foothills of the Sandia mountains and offers picturesque natural surroundings.

Best Places to Live in New Mexico
Sandia Heights

From soaking up history at Tinkertown Museum, enjoying a long drive at Sandia Crest Byway, learning about farm life at Hollywick Farms to having a friendly match at Paako Ridge Golf Club, there are endless activities to enjoy here.

Its close proximity to Albuquerque offers easy access to plenty of job opportunities and the city’s vibrant nightlife.

The suburb is also home to numerous highly-rated schools.  Housing is expensive here but the high median household income makes up for it. 

Farmington #7

At the junction of three rivers lies the bustling city of Farmington. It is known for its flourishing coal, natural gas, and petroleum mining industries as well as picturesque landscapes.

Best Places to Live in New Mexico

The city is home to fascinating archaeological sites with the most notable being Mesa Verde and Aztec Ruins.

From fishing, camping, and mountain biking to watching sports events and appreciating folk art, there is a plethora of activities to indulge in here. 

You’ll also find plenty of restaurants and bars in the city.

Couple that with numerous A-rated schools and affordable housing options and you get a great place to put down your roots. 

Eldorado at Santa Fe #8

Wish to enjoy a relaxed pace of life?

Head to Eldorado at Santa Fe.

The place is home to a tight-knit community and exudes a rural vibe. There is an array of activities to enjoy here.

Best Places to Live in New Mexico

From exploring the Santa Fe Rail Trail, hiking at Galisteo Basin Preserve, or enjoying a delectable meal at one of its numerous excellent restaurants, there is something here for everyone.

Being close to the Santa Fe city centre offers easy access to a host of job opportunities as well as the city’s vibrant nightlife scene.

Relocating with family?

There are various A-rated schools here.

Housing can be pricey but the high median household income helps to match the costs.  With so much to offer, it is one of the best places to live in New Mexico. 

Carlsbad #9

This town is known for being home to the magnificent Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

It offers affordable housing and has a high employment rate with flourishing industries such as potash mining, petroleum production, and tourism.

Best Places to Live in New Mexico

It also offers a host of recreational activities to indulge in.

From hiking the nearby Guadalupe Mountains, exploring Lincoln National Forest, lounging by Sitting Bull Falls to visiting its several museums and art galleries, there are endless activities to enjoy here.

Although you may not find many top-rated schools in the area, if that isn’t a concern, go for it. 

Corrales #10

This charming town is perched along the Rio Grande, between Albuquerque and Santa Fe. It offers the perfect blend of tranquil rural living with access to the big city amenities.

Agriculture is a significant industry here and you’ll find numerous farms and wineries in and around the town.

There are various community events and festivals held throughout the year.

Best Places to Live in New Mexico

If you love an active lifestyle, the beautiful natural setting provides ample outdoor recreational opportunities to enjoy.

What’s more?

There are numerous A-rated schools here.

Housing options are expensive here but the offerings make it worth the splurge.

So, pick the one that ticks all the boxes on your checklist and get ready to move into your new home. 

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Q. What is the best part of New Mexico to live in?

Nestled in the southern part of the Rocky Mountains, Santa Fe and surrounding areas are considered the best part of New Mexico to live in. 

Q. What is the safest place in New Mexico to live?

Los Alamos is one of the safest places to live in New Mexico. 

Q. What is the cheapest and safest place to live in New Mexico?

Rio Rancho & Carlsbad are amongst the cheapest and safest places to live in New Mexico.

Q. Is moving to New Mexico a good idea?

With diverse natural landscapes, plenty of outdoor recreation activities, excellent schools, and an affordable cost of living, New Mexico is a great place to settle down. 

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