Drawn to the endless recreation opportunities, beautiful landscape, unique culture and mild year-round temperatures, many people relocate to New Mexico each year. Are you interested in moving? Read on to find out why New Mexico may be the perfect location for you! Are you interested in moving? Read on to find out why you will love it here!
Both climate and landscape make New Mexico a Mecca for people who enjoy being outdoors. There are many opportunities to take up – walking, hiking, cycling, rafting, paddle boarding, kayaking, skiing, climbing, golf, and horse riding.
New Mexico is called the “Land of Enchantment” for a reason. The beautiful landscapes and natural surroundings are stunning and surprisingly varied. When people think of New Mexico they often envision a large desert, but most are surprised to find that the landscape ranges from desert to mesas to mountains. As you travel through New Mexico you can journey to the canyons and White Sands National Park in the desert region or walk through the forests and hike rugged terrain in the mountainous regions. This state has a total of 4 national parks, 5 national forests, 3 UNESCO world heritage sites, and 11 monuments.
New Mexico is proud to boast of its clean air. Even in the cities the air is clean. Albuquerque and Santa Fe have both appeared on lists of the least polluted cities in the U.S.
Sunrises and Sunsets
The New Mexico sunrises and sunsets absolutely blaze with color. Clean air, no pollution, and refractive particulates in the air create perfect conditions just right to cause a vibrant mixture of red, orange, and purple hues to spread across the sky nightly.
Big Starry Nights
Another great feature characteristic of New Mexico is its beautiful night sky. It is a perfect destination to gaze at stars and constellations as they are incredibly distinct and bright. They are often referred to as “big starry nights”. The reason for this? Yep - clean air and low light pollution.
The climate in New Mexico offers four seasons while still being mild year-round. Residents enjoy over 300 days of sunshine, so when it rains, they enjoy that as well. A notable feature is the dry climate mostly due to the low amount of precipitation. Winters do bring colder temperatures but snow is rare in most regions.
New Mexican cuisine is distinctive and delicious. The special ingredient of many dishes is chile. Green chile is usually spicier than red, but if you’re not sure which one to order, you can always say “Christmas” and try both. Carne Adovada, sopaipillas, green chile cheeseburgers, huevos rancheros, and green chile stew are just a few of the local’s favorites.
Craft beer is big in New Mexico. There are 88 breweries with 111 taprooms. Santa Fe Brewing Company, founded in 1988, is the oldest and one of the most popular brewing companies. Marble Brewery, founded in 2008, is a favorite for many and has 3 locations in Albuquerque. La Cumbre Brewing Company, also in Albuquerque, is not only a great beer, but their labels have a creative and artistic flare.
Wine is popular in this beautiful state. It is said that monks smuggled vines out of Spain and began cultivating them here around 1629. New Mexico is home to more than 40 wineries and vineyards that produce more than tens of thousands of gallons of wine annually. Small wineries have opened throughout New Mexico, creating three unique areas to experience wine – the Southern, Central, and Northern Wine Trails. From the Northern wineries around Santa Fe and Taos to the southern wineries of Las Cruces and the Tularosa Basin, the beauty of New Mexico is sure to enchant you.
With a population around 2 million, New Mexico is one of the least populated states in the US. To give perspective, there are more people in the city of Houston, TX, than the whole state of New Mexico!
Charming towns in New Mexico
When you travel around New Mexico, you can enjoy visiting the many friendly, charming towns that are scattered across the state. Madrid, a town with a population of just around 200 people, is picturesque and full of art galleries. It’s part of the Turquoise Trail and the tight-knit community hosts fun events every year. Looking for something a bit quirky? Pie Town is a great option. With only 186 people, everyone tends to know each other, and every year they host a pie festival and the local cafes serve up tasty homemade slices.
The defining characteristic of architecture in New Mexico is the pueblo/adobe style architecture. Traditional adobe homes have thick walls that keep the home warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It also helps create a quiet, tranquil indoor environment. Adobe is a building material - a mix of earth and straw that is often formed into bricks. American Indians started building houses with adobe in the 1400s. Spanish settlers used the adobe material to create pueblo-style homes. This included round walls, corner fireplaces, vigas, flat roofs (often with projecting beams), stepped levels, and a series of rooms fronted by covered porches called “portales” that enclosed an exterior patio, echoing the Pueblo rooms designed around a central plaza. Today, this style has evolved in many directions reflecting a variety of pueblo styles – traditional, modern, contemporary, and pueblo revival. You’ll also see the territorial architectural style with columns and copings and Northern New Mexico with pitched metal roofs. Many homes are partially or fully coated with earth-colored stucco for the exterior layer.
A Long Schedule of Events, Celebrations, and Festivals
Some kind of annual celebration is always taking place in New Mexico – from film and art festivals and art shows, to wine festivals, alien festivals, international balloon fiestas, the Hatch Chile Festival, the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow, the International Folk Art Festival, and even a crane festival!
International Balloon Festival
The annual balloon fiesta attracts people from all the corners of the world. Every October, over 500 hot air balloons and tens of thousands of people gather for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, which began in 1972 and has grown every year since. One reason balloon pilots love to fly near Albuquerque is because of “the Box” — a set of predictable wind patterns that come about in the Fall over the Rio Grande. The Box allows balloons to fly north at low elevations and then cruise back south at higher elevations. The festival is a beautiful sight!
Santa Fe is New Mexico’s state capital. Established in 1607, Santa Fe became a capital in 1610, ten years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth. This makes it both the oldest capital city in the country and the oldest European settlement west of the Mississippi. Santa Fe, is one of the most visited cities in the southwestern United States because of its unique blend of natural beauty, multi-faceted culture, recreation, and lifestyle. It is considered to be the oldest continually inhabited U.S. city and the origin of American Cowboys. Santa Fe is well known for being one of the largest art markets in the United States and is home to over 250 art galleries. There are numerous exhibits, gallery events and studio tours that take place throughout the year. Another key highlight is the world-famous Santa Fe Opera. Not only is this opera company thought of as one of the best in the country, but the Opera House itself is equally impressive. Its beautiful open-air adobe design frames the views of the mountains on one side and the vibrant New Mexico sunsets on the other. One thing you may not be aware of is the Santa Fe Margarita Trail that includes 45 different margaritas, each of which has been crafted specifically for the trail by a local establishment.
Albuquerque is one of the most exciting cities in the Southwest because of the tremendous variety of activities that are unique to this city. Albuquerque is known for its rich culture, recreation, arts and museums and is always bustling with a plethora of special events. During any given week you’ll be able to choose from cultural festivals, art exhibits, craft fairs, theater performances, sporting events, concerts and more. The historic Old Town in the heart of Albuquerque with narrow streets and century-old adobe houses is home to New Mexican eateries serving enchiladas and sopaipilla pastries and tiny artisan shops selling jewelry, rugs and pottery. Old Town Plaza is a charming spot overlooked by the 18th-century San Felipe de Neri Church. Nearby, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science has dinosaur skeletons, while the Albuquerque Museum displays Southwestern art. Albuquerque International Airport (Sunport) offers non-stop service to 24 major cities.
Destination for Retirees
Affordable cost-of-living, low population, low traffic, and lots of space makes New Mexico a popular destination for retirees. Mexico is one of few states where the cost-of-living index is lower than the national average. The main contributing factors include the cost of groceries, lower healthcare costs and lower gas and transportation costs. New Mexico can also boast to have one of the lowest prices for homes as their median price is 5% cheaper than the national median price
New Mexico is known for its long history of unique cultures and traditions. In addition to Native American tribes and residents, there is a variety of Latinos and Hispanic population along with big communities of African-American, Asian, and Middle Eastern peoples. The five largest ethnic groups are White (Hispanic) 49.3%, White (Non-Hispanic) 36.8%, American Indian & Alaska Native, 11%, Other (Hispanic) 6.74%, and Black or African American 2.6%. 94.4% of the residents in New Mexico are U.S. citizens.