Truth or Consequences
Truth or Consequences, locally called T or C and formerly known as Hot Springs, is a town in New Mexico in the United States of America. It gets its curious name from a 1950s-vintage television show that offered to film an episode in some little town far from Hollywood, if that town would change its name to match the show's. Hot Springs, New Mexico needed an economic boost, agreed to the deal, and has gained notoriety and consequently tourist business as a result.
Truth or Consequences is located along Interstate highway 25, about halfway between Albuquerque and Las Cruces. The New Mexico Speed limit is 75 in most places, so it's a quick and easy drive from many locations in the Southwestern United States. Be sure and gas up at Socorro from the north or Las Cruces from the south, each about 70 miles away, as there are no gas stations located between T or C and these cities.
There is a general aviation municipal airport servicing private and charter airplanes. The nearest major airports are located in Albuquerque and El Paso. The Albuquerque Sunport (its international airport) is served by most United States airlines and is a major hub for Southwest Airlines; it is located about 150 miles north. The El Paso airport is located about 150 miles to the south; it also has many major connections.
Trailways bus and independent Mexican buses service T or C, connecting it with Albuquerque and through El Paso to Mexico City.
The nearest Amtrak station is Alvarado Station in Albuquerque. The Railrunner commuter train, formally known as the New Mexico Rail Runner Express, terminates in Belen, New Mexico, over 130 miles north, which connects Albuquerque, some pueblos, and Santa Fe.
There is no public transportation, but the entire downtown district is very walkable. That would include all 10 lodging options that offer hot mineral baths, plus the shopping/gallery district, plus 7 places to dine, at least 2 of which would be open for each meal of the day. There is taxi service for getting around town and from T or C to Elephant Butte and back. You can also rent a car ahead of time from Whitehead Auto for a day or two of exploration, and spend the rest of the time exploring the art of doing almost nothing--soaks in different bath houses, walks to the galleries or the river, getting a massage.
Don't miss the Geronimo Springs Museum, or the Hamilton Military Museum at Veterans Memorial Park
- Geronimo Springs Museum, 211 Main St, ☎ +1 575-894-6600. M-Sat 9AM-5PM; Sun 11AM-4PM. The Geronimo Springs Museum contains the history of Sierra County. From mammoth and mastodon skulls and a world-class collection of prehistoric Mimbres pottery to Apache, Hispanic, military, mining, ranching, and cultural exhibits, the Museum is a fascinating complex of historical artifacts. Each of several rooms represents a specific subject of history, with displays and artifacts interpreted so that the viewer can understand the items exhibited. $5.
- Veterans Memorial Park, 996 S. Broadway, ☎ +1 575-894-7640. museum: Tues-Sat 10AM-4PM & Sun 12-4PM; park 24/7/365. Dedicated in November 2009, the Hamilton Military Museum is located at Veterans Memorial Park, next to the Vietnam War Memorial replica and Walk of Education. The park, museum and its contents are a living memorial and history of the nation and the dedication of those who served it. Historic displays in the museum range from a military button collection to Buffalo Soldier memorabilia, and numerous displays are dedicated to local heroes. Donation.
- Elephant Butte Lake is the largest lake in the state, even when the water's low. To see the actual Elephant Butte (an island just offshore), go to the Dam Site Recreation Area. Take 3rd Street from Date St. in T or C. Go about 4 miles; turn left at the Dam Site Recreation Area and follow the road down to the lake. Dam Site Restaurant there has a great patio, the best view in the county, and a full bar. Be wary of the food; chefs come and go there and it varies greatly in quality.
- Spaceport America is 30 miles to the east. During construction visitors can take 3 hour tours (starting in T or C) of the area and facility, after it is completed people will be able to view launches from the terminal (or purchase flights from Virgin Galactic).
- Water sports, remarkably enough. T or C is on the Rio Grande between Elephant Butte Reservoir and Caballo Lake, two artificial lakes built mainly for flood control and water management, which however offer opportunities for fishing and small boating. (Note that there are frequent weather advisories for boaters on these lakes resulting from high winds; take these advisories seriously!) Elephant Butte is NM's largest Lake and has over 40 miles of shore front that you can drive right up to and camp. If you are planning on driving on the beach, 4WD is strongly recommended. The sand is deep and soft in spots and you can easily get stuck. There are numerous developed camp sites that feature sheltered picnic tables and benches that do not require 4WD for access.
- Check out the local hot springs (this is also the former name of T or C). The Artesian Bath House is a good one. For soaking outdoors in riverside pools, try Riverbend Hot Springs. The ultimate is the new Wet Room at the Blackstone Hot Springs and Lodging. The most economical is the Indian Hot Springs, which has free-flowing water with a pebble bottom. Each of the 10 has something unique to offer. Sierra Grande Lodge, featured in National Geographic Traveler and on the National Register of Historic Places offers full spa services along with your hot mineral baths. Charles Motel & Spa has 2 8-person private rooftop jacuzzis with hot mineral water. All of the hot springs are concentrated in the old part of town. If you have the time and like to walk, it's actually a nice walking tour to go check them all out, then decide where to make your reservation. Plan on a couple of hours.
- Monthly Art Hop Most shops and galleries are open late on the 2nd Sat of each month. From 6-9PM, many host Artist's Receptions or offer food and/or music. Starts at Celestial Creations at Date and 2nd Ave. and continues down both Main Street (2 blocks away) and on the one-way section of Broadway, plus the streets in between. On Main Street there is Dust & Glitter, Grapes, and the El Cortez Theater (old 1930s movie theater) and a few other businesses. Over on Broadway are numerous shops and galleries, to include Hot Springs Frame & Art Supply, Judd Bradley Photography, Le BijouJewelry & Gallery, Black Cat Books, and many more ending up at Rio Bravo Fine Art where Broadway ends and turns into Date Street. Free rides from one stop to the next by Ace Electric's Horse Drawn Wagon courtesy of the Downtown Gallery District Association.
- El Cortez Theater - movies currently showing Fri-7PM, Sat-2PM & 7PM, Sun-7PM, and Wed-7PM. Tickets only $5.
- Sierra Del Rio Golf Course. T or C Municipal Golf Course.
- Historic Downtown T or C Hot Springs & Commercial District. You'll find more than a few gift shops, a thrift store or two, a handful of galleries and artist co-ops, a pawn shop, new and used clothing, office supplies, restaurants and more in downtown Truth or Consequences. The commercial and Historic Hot Springs Districts overlap, and it's all completely walkable!
- Celestial Creations, 220 N Date St (2 blocks from Historic Hot Springs Bath House District), ☎ +1 575-894-7591. 10-5. If you're looking for genuine New Mexico made gifts, apparel, souvenirs, gourmet foods, art, jewelry, Native American and more, this place is not to be missed. With prices from under $2 to 3 grand, there is something for every taste and budget. Looking for things that say "Truth or Consequences", "Elephant Butte" or "New Mexico" that were actually made in New Mexico? THIS is the place to shop. From wood slab magnets at under $5 to Santo Domingo Pueblo American Indian made turquoise necklaces at $80-$300, you can find all sorts of authentic New Mexico made goodies to take home. Closed Wednesdays. $2 and UP.
- Grasshopper Silk Studio, 509 Bass Rd (I25 exit 83 to Hot Springs Landing, Elephant Butte Lake), ☎ +1 575 740-4958. Saturdays & Sundays from 11AM to 4PM. Or by Appointment. Offers a collection of one-of-a-kind unique silk scarves, shawls, kimonos, robes, ruanas & capes. Sandy Hopper, artist, creates these gorgeous silk design wear by hand. Also you will find a collection of her fine art collection including oil paintings, silk framed art and hand painted Shoji Screens. $25.
- Los Arcos Steak & Lobster House, 1400 N Date St, ☎ +1 575-894-6200. Steakhouse with a full bar and an adult ambience.
- Barbeque on Broadway, Broadway (in the one way section downtown going northeast), ☎ +1 575-894-7047. Monday thru Wednesday 7AM-4PM, Thurs thru Sat 7AM-8PM. Closed Sun. Family-run and operated for 18 years. Really good barbecue brisket of beef. The burger is a half pounder, very well done unless you specify, but it's a great burger. They have an inexpensive breakfast special and they also serve Mexican food that is great for breakfast and lunch. Be really hungry or ready to take some food home because the plates are piled high with food. Daily and nightly specials. On Thursday if you order lunch or dinner you get your drink free!
- Big Food Express, 212 Warm Springs Blvd (Elephant Butte). Amazingly diverse menu with all the old favorites along with a focus on Chinese food. Good prices.
- Cafe BellaLuca, 303 Jones St (between Main and Broadway), ☎ +1 575 894-9866. Chef Byron, formerly of Sierra Grande Lodge, opened this restaurant with wife Jessica. They throw their own pizza dough and offer more than just the traditional red sauce, plus the toppings you expect from designer pizza. Large portions on most entrees makes it easy to share and then pick up an appetizer to share, too. Most appetizers are served on a bed of organic mixed greens (no iceberg in the house!). Fettuccini Alfredo is a favorite, as is the Grinder sandwich at lunch. Casual and delicious. Beer and wine. Outdoor patio. moderate.
- Casa Taco (Casa Taco, Elephant Butte), 704 Highway 195, in Elephant Butte, ☎ +1 575 744-4859. Always packed. The tacos are great - they have veggie options. Order the taco combo - one shrimp, one chicken, and one brisket with green chili - all on a deep fried shell - yummmm, and it's a great place to see the locals. Open year-round as of 2011.
- Clubhouse Restaurant (at the Sierra del Rio Golf Course), 101 Clubhouse Dr, in Elephant Butte, ☎ +1 575 744-7106. closed Mon/Tues nights. Live music on the weekends, and the best "bar view" in Sierra County - the greens of Sierra del Rio Golf Course
- La Cocina (La Cocina), #1 Lakeway Dr, ☎ +1 575-894-6499. T or C's favorite Mexican restaurant, located right off of I-25. The best ribeye steak in town; big enough for most folks to share. Beer and wine, but it's still a real family atmosphere. Good for American and New Mexican fare. Open on Sundays (a big deal in T or C).
- Ivory Tusk Tavern & Restaurant (at Elephant Butte Inn), 401 Highway 195 in Elephant Butte, ☎ +1 575 744-5431. Good oysters and decent food.
- Hodges Corner Restaurant, 915 Highway 195, Elephant Butte, ☎ +1 575 744-5626. Popular with the locals.
- Pacific Grill, 800 N. Date (at 8th Street). Pretty decent Asian food. Good salad bar where they actually have separate bowls of iceberg/American salad and mixed greens, then all the fixin's. Actually, the only salad bar in the county. They have a tendency to rush you through your meal, serving the entree before you've finished the salad. Closed Sun & Mon.
- Maria's Mexican Restaurant, 1990 S. Broadway, Williamsburg. This is the locals' favorite for down-home, family owned Mexican food. Not New Mexican, just Mexican. Great green chile sauce. Usually crowded, so expect to hang out. Closed Sundays.
- Groovy Gritz, 315 Broadway at Foch, T or C, ☎ +1 575-894-0350. Newly opened in the building formerly known as Rocky's - serving burgers & wraps, salads and sweet potato fries. Featuring live music on the weekends.
- Happy Belly Deli, 313 Broadway (Downtown T or C), ☎ +1 575-894-3354. A favorite spot for locals and tourists. This quaint eatery is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch every day but Sunday and pizza on Friday and Saturday nights. You can sit indoors or out on the garden-like patio. Home of sandwiches like the Green Chile Philly and the chicken salad croissant, they also create delicious and inventive soups. Food bloggers call it the best breakfast in town for a reason (the good coffee is a plus). Handmade pizza with a tasty herb crust comes in varieties from Pesto to White to Supreme. $-$$.
You'll find a number of watering holes in town. Couple of sawdust joints like the "Pine Knot Saloon" on 3rd street at one end to the Golf Course Brassie at Sierra Del Rio with four 50 inch plasma screens and a granite bar at the other. Places to get a drink are: BellaLuca (beer&wine), Pine Knot (beer,wine,&liquor), Raymonds (beer,wine,&liquor), Los Arcos (beer,wine,&liquor), Sierra Del Rio (beer,wine,&liquor), Casa Taco (beer&wine), Elephant Butte Inn (beer,wine,&liquor), Pacific Grill (beer&wine) and maybe a few others.
- Charles Motel and Spa, 601 Broadway, toll-free: +1-800-317-4518. Claims to be "an affordable hot springs spa" with massage therapy, wraps, etc., in addition to rooms and (hot!) spring baths.
- Riverbend Hot Springs, 100 Austin, ☎ +1 575 894-SOAK (7625). A "Budget Resort" with the town's only riverside hot spring pools. Several types of lodging and spa treatments are available.
- Sierra Grande Lodge and Spa, 501 McAdoo, ☎ +1 575-894-6976. Beautifully restored Historic Lodge, located downtown with private hot spring tubs and full service spa. Stay includes Hot Spring Soaks and Breakfast
- Pelican Spa, 306 S. Pershing, ☎ +1 575-894-0055. The Pelican Spa is actually a collection of rooms in three locations. There are 3 rooms in the Spa compound ranging from $65-$95 per night, 8 efficiency apartments around the corner that rent for $55 per night, and 3 large apartments located about 1/2 mile to the west on Broadway that rent for $60 per night. The rooms are all brightly colored, features original artwork, and 1950's style furnishings. All room rates include unlimited soaks in the Spa's five private hot mineral baths.
- Fire Water Lodge & Spa, 311 Broadway, ☎ +1 575-740-0315. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Geothermal hot mineral water tubs in the rooms. The lodge is downtown, in the heart of the Historic Bathhouse District. The adobe motel building is a 50's style motor court. The rooms surround a charming garden sitting area with a fire pit. Free Wi-Fi. $60 to $95.
- Blackstone Hotsprings, 410 Austin (1 block south of Broadway between Jones and Foch), ☎ +1 575-894-0894. Check-in: 3-6PM, check-out: 11AM. Blackstone Hotsprings offers newly-remodeled, luxurious accommodations in T or C's Historic Hotsprings District. In keeping with the name of the town, each room at the Blackstone is named and decorated for a different television show or character (think Babaloo, Roy Rogers, and The Jetsons) using a combination of classic & retro furnishings and a little bit of kitsch. The Wet Room is a tropical paradise available for lodgers and walk-in bathers alike (call to schedule), but all lodgers have access to their own in-room mineral baths. The Blackstone offers free wireless internet and satellite TV in each room. $75-135.
Go to both lakes...nuff said.
- Caballo Lake is much quieter than most of Elephant Butte Lake and is great for fishing and camping. There are 4 marinas at Elephant Butte Lake, 3 year-round, which offer rentals of pontoon boats, jet skis etc., even overnight. More camping and r.v. campgrounds.
- Take a drive to Hillsboro. One-half hour. 2 restaurants, 2 or 3 galleries/shops, nice ride.
- Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is about 60 miles north; see Socorro article for details.
|Routes through Truth or Consequences|
|Albuquerque ← Socorro ←||N S||→ Las Cruces → END|