Travel Journal

Travel Journal - The Truth About Truth or Consequences

The Truth About Truth or Consequences: Things to Do in T or C

Truth or Consequences...No it's not a cheesy drinking game or Vegas nightclub, but rather an enchanting, but unknown destination. This southern New Mexico town of about 7500 people got its name in 1950, when the host of a popular game show announced that he would broadcast from the first town that renamed itself after the show. The town of Hot Springs (as it was then known, named for the large number of mineral springs in the area) jumped at the chance. Since then, the sleepy town has been known more for its moniker than its happenings, but T or C (as its known locally) is perfect for a relaxing getaway. 

Located about 5 miles south of the manmade Elephant Butte reservoir, T or C is a marine oasis in the middle of the sunny desert. It’s pretty shocking to see a huge expanse of water abutting the stark mountains and even crazier to see speedboats and sunbathers over 700 miles from any coastline. Elephant Butte State Park is perfect for picnicking, fishing, or camping. The town supports several different marinas (we like Dam Site Resort & Marina), so you can also rent a boat or a kayak for a quick afternoon jaunt on the water.

Visit Riverbend Hot Springs (100 Austin St), the best damn hot springs in T or C. They have several different pools, ranging in temperature, but all are set on a gorgeous deck overlooking the Rio Grande and Turtleback Mountain. Soak away your troubles, chat with other travelers, or walk in the awesome garden, complete with an Old West wagon replica. Pools are $10 an hour and $25 for a day pass. Bathing suits are required, but Riverbend also offers private pools in case you’d like to experience that the breeze off the river au naturel (private pools are $15 an hour). There are also several different accommodation options at Riverbend, so you can sleep and soak if that’s your thing.

Taking the waters make your stomach growl? Well, head on over to Big-A-Burger (710 Main St). This burger joint is covered wall-to-wall with old records and cowboy boot print booths give the place a 50s Western feel. The burgers are big, juicy, and made to order. And the fries? Oh, the fries! Crispy and salty and chewy all at the same time! If it’s your birthday, they’ll make you wear a hat and take your picture, but the guys behind the corner are happy to chat for hours about football, fishing, and activities in the area. After lunch, you can kick your boots around the folksy western shops in downtown Truth or Consequences.

Truth or Consequences is located off of 1-25, about an hour north of Las Cruces, NM,  roughly 3 hours south of Sante Fe, NM, and 2 hours from El Paso, TX. There are a variety of places to stay, including motels, lodges, spas, and more.  Make sure you take a picture of yourself in front of the town sign; that’ll prove you’re telling the “truth” about the “consequences” of your trip to one of the Southwest’s best-kept secrets. It will be a trip for your travel journal..