Truth or Consequences -- be prepared for more than the usual puffery from an "official" page), 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 between Albuquerque and Las Cruces. There is a municipal airport servicing private and charter airplanes. The nearest major airports are located in Albuquerque and El Paso. The Albuquerque Sunport 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. The New Mexico Speed limit is 75 in most places, it's a quick and easy drive. 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 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 you dare miss the Geronimo Springs Museum, or the Veterans memorial park
Celestial Creations (Best of New Mexico made), 220 N Date St (corner of 2nd Ave on main drag), ☎ 575-894-7591, . 10-5. Not just a Gallery, this art space specializes in made in New Mexico gifts, jewelry, gourmet foods, home decor, apparel, souvenirs, ceramics, pottery, stained glass, and a variety of art, including southwestern, primitive, Native American, modern, impressionistic, watercolors, oils, acrylics, fiber, and metal wall & lawn or garden art. Over 4,000 items in inventory representing over 100 New Mexico artists, artisans, craftspeople and companies. Written up in New Mexico Magazine (Feb 08 Artscapes), and the Handweavers Guild of America's magazine Spindle Weave & Dyepot (Winter 08/09) and on the NM Fiber Arts Trail, a truly unique, almost museum-like experience. Plan on an hour to browse. They have an old-fashioned cafe-style booth for you to sit and rest, sell bottled water, and often have New Mexico Pinon Coffee to sample in cooler weather. Air conditioned in the summer. Open every day but Wed.from under $1 to?.
Geronimo Springs Museum, 211 Main Street, ☎ 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.
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 6-9 p.m., 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 M Gallery, Dust & Glitter, and 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, Parisi Jewelry & Gallery, Black Cat Books, and many more ending up at RioBravoFineArt 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.
Shopping in historic downtown TorC, you'll find vintage clothing, antiques, rocks & minerals shops, and art.
Celestial Creations (Best of made in New Mexico items), 220 N Date St. (2 blocks from Historic Hot Springs Bath House District), ☎ 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), ☎ (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.
Historic downtown Truth or Consequences has more than a few gift shops, several thrift stores, and a handful of galleries and artist co-ops. The downtown and Historic Hot Springs Districts overlap, and it's all completely walkable!
Los Arcos Steak & Lobster House, 1400 N Date St, ☎ (575) 894-6200. Steakhouse with a full bar and an adult ambience.
Barbeque on Broadway, Broadway (in the one way section downtown going northeast), ☎ 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, but the staff may not be particularly friendly, and the atmosphere is not ideal.
Cafe Bella Luca, 303 Jones St. (between Main and Broadway), ☎ (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!). Fettucini Alfredo is a favorite, as is the Grinder sandwich at lunch. Beer and wine. Outdoor patio. moderate.
Casa Taco, 704 Highway 195, in Elephant Butte, ☎ (575) 744-4859. Always packed. The tacos are great! 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.
Clubhouse Restaurant (at the Sierra del Rio Golf Course), 101 Clubhouse Dr, in Elephant Butte, ☎ (575) 744-7106. closed Mon/Tues nights.
La Cocina, #1 Lakeway Drive, (575) 894-6499. T or C's favorite Mexican restaurant, located right off of I-25. This is still a great place to eat..take your mom there. 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).
Hilltop Cafe, 1301 N. Date St., (575) 894-3407. Where the locals eat, and breakfast is the favorite meal. It's a small place that attracts all the locals, so prepare to wait in line on Saturday or Sunday morning. Watch for needles in the parking lot and don't expect to get coffee to go, they don't have "to go" cups.
Ivory Tusk Tavern & Restaurant (at Elephant Butte Inn), 401 Highway 195 in Elephant Butte, ☎ (575) 744-5431. Good oysters and decent food.
Hodges Corner Restuarant, 915 Highway 195, Elephant Butte, ☎ (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.
La Pinata, 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.
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.
The Charles Motel and Spa, 601 Broadway, 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), is 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, ☎ 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, ☎ 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, feature orginal 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 Truth or Consequences NM 87901, ☎ 575-740-0315, . checkin: 2PM; checkout: 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), ☎ 575-894-0894, . checkin: 3-6pm; checkout: 11am. Blackstone Hotsprings offers newly-remodeled, luxurious accomodations 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.$75-125.
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.
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.
Sierra Del Rio Golf Course. T or C Municipal Golf Course.
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.