Las Cruces, also known as "The City of the Crosses", is the county seat of Dona Ana County, New Mexico, United States.Las Cruces is the economic and geographic center of the fertile Mesilla Valley, which is the agricultural region on the flood plain of the Rio Grande which extends from Hatch, New Mexico to the west side of El Paso, Texas. Las Cruces is also the home of New Mexico State University, New Mexico's only land grant university. The city's major employer is the federal government on nearby White Sands Test Facility and White Sands Missile Range. Recently the city has been home to many of the retired from across the country. The majestic Organ Mountains, ten miles (16 Square Kilometer) to the east, are dominant in the city's landscape, along with the Dona Ana Mountains, Robledo Mountains, and Picacho Peak.
The New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum is state-operated and shows the history of farming and ranching in New Mexico. It is located just east of New Mexico State University.
The University Museum (Kent Hall) at New Mexico State University focuses on archeological and ethnographic collections and also has some history and natural science collections.
There are four city-owned museums. The Branigan Cultural Center examines local history through photographs, sculpture, paintings, and poetry. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Las Cruces Museum of Art offers art exhibits and classes. Las Cruces Museum of Natural History makes science and natural history more accessible to the general public and has an emphasis on local animals and plants. Las Cruces Railroad Museum is in the historic Santa Fe Railroad station. It exhibits the impact of the railroads on the local area.
Parks and recreation
City of Las Cruces operates 87 city parks, 18 tennis courts, and 4 golf courses. A list of parks, with facilities and maps, is available. Las Cruces holds a Ciclovía, a city-wide event featuring exercise and physical activities, on the last Sunday of each month at Meerscheidt Recreation Center.
Other points of interest
Several water tanks in Las Cruces have been painted with murals by Tony Pennock, including one at the intersection of Triviz Drive and Griggs Avenue. Also multimedia artist group Keep Adding have a large mural on Picacho Ave at the Lion's Park titled, Wave Nest