Just the name alone—Truth or Consequences, New Mexico—has likely piqued your curiosity, and with good reason. There is a lot to be curious about in this town formerly called Hot Springs: the geothermal soaks, the food and drink (and propensity for Hatch chiles!), and the eclectic cultural tours. After even a short visit, you’re likely to understand why yesteryear celebrity Ralph Edwards visited this town year-after-year once it was renamed for his game show in 1950.
If you’re lucky enough to find yourself with a few days in Truth or Consequences, here’s what we recommend to get the most out of your visit—so you can move on from the town with a full stomach and geothermally-relaxed muscles, knowing you’ve fully experienced its flavor and culture.
Where to Stay
Since time is of the essence on a shorter trip, a really lovely and conveniently-located lodging option is the Sierra Grande, owned by media mogul and environmentalist Ted Turner. The rates include a 30-minute geothermal soak, as well as a continental breakfast for two for each of your booked nights. There’s also an excellent onsite restaurant with menu items featuring local meat (like the Ted Turner ranch bison), fish, and vegetarian options, some featuring that ubiquitous green Hatch chile.
But there are many other lodging options in town too, from chain hotels to ultra affordable Airbnb rentals.
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Where to Eat and Drink
Whether you’re traveling in for the weekend, or you’re fitting in a stopoff, you might pass through Las Cruces en route to Truth or Consequences (especially if you’re flying in from El Paso). If so, before you head straight to your T or C hotel or Airbnb to check in, grab some lunch or brunch at Indulgence Bakery & Cafe. With breakfast all day and plenty of vegetarian options, everyone in your party will be delighted with the menu here. The Vegetarian Biscuits and Gravy or the Peach Basil Blintzes are good brunch options, but if you want your first taste of the green Hatch chile, get the Chicken Green Chile Sandwich. Should you crave some caffeine, try the Cubano Espresso for a cinnamon and cane sugar twist on a typical espresso.
After you’ve settled into your hotel in Truth or Consequences and gotten some activity in (more on those options below), it’s time to grab another bite. Serving Asian fusion with a Southwestern influence, Latitude 33’s menu ranges from local New Mexico steak dishes to vegan noodles with tofu. The Turquoise Curry with Grilled Shrimp presents another opportunity to try the green Hatch chile, this time simmered in a sauce of spices and vegetables, and served over rice and shrimp.
For breakfast, lunch, or a sweet snack in T or C, check out the Passion Pie Cafe. Get a quiche, get a waffle, get a pastry, get some specialty coffee drinks—see if they’re serving anything with the Hatch chile, if you need a final fix! Note that they are closed on Wednesdays.
If you’re looking for a nightcap, check out the Truth or Consequences Brewing Co. They’re not open very late, but if you’re able to squeeze in a trip, you’ll be rewarded with locally-brewed beers as well as a selection of wine and cider.
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What to See and Do
If you’re staying at the aforementioned Sierra Grande, be sure to take advantage of those soaks. Whether you select an indoor or outdoor soak, staff will provide you with a carafe of water, and then will leave you alone to relax and sink into the geothermal waters amid flickering candles. It’s these thermal springs that gave T or C its original name of Hot Springs, and that popularized the town as a destination for health in the early 1900s.
Another place to take the waters is Riverbend Hot Springs, unique in its offering of hot springs tubs with an open-air view of the Rio Grande River and Turtleback Mountain. Book your nearly-hour-long soak online ahead of time for $30, and enjoy the geothermal waters that Truth or Consequences is so famous for—plus a great view. (You can also book lodging here, though large groups and small children are not allowed.)
If you like a structured experience, Ted Turner Ecotours (ranging from $150 to $600) offer a guided adventure through the flora and fauna of Ted Turner’s New Mexican ranch properties, highlighting the conservation efforts made to protect endangered species. Other Ted Turner Experiences include mountain biking, cooking classes, or even Bats and Brews, where you watch flights of bats while sipping Truth or Consequences Brewing Co. beer. Make sure to book any of these in advance of your trip, to secure your spot!
For those wanting more independent exploration (or for those on a budget), the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge and the White Sands National Monument are within a two-hour drive, and require only modest entrance fees ($5, and $20, respectively). While the Ted Turner tours include lunch, for these national wilderness destinations, make sure to grab some provisions and water in town before you head out, or plan to make some food purchases at the visitors center or gift shop.
Then take another soothing soak while you still can—and maybe grab another bite of Hatch green chile.
Have a favorite spot in Truth or Consequences? Let us know in the comments.
Header image courtesy of Michael Fernandez.