Truth or Consequences
December 19, 2014 2:42 PM   Subscribe

I am taking my partner on a long weekend trip to Truth or Consequences, NM as a Christmas gift. I don't know the area at all, so I'm looking for suggestions on what not to miss while we're there.

We will be there from Friday Jan 16 through Monday Jan 19, and we will be driving from Albuquerque. I've booked the hotel already (Fire and Water Lodge) for those dates. Neither of us is a huge fan of the cold, so any nearby winter-specific outdoor activities (skiing, etc.) are out. I'm open to both places to stop on the way to/from T or C and things to do while there. My car is not meant for anything extreme, so please don't recommend that I drive us up a steep, windy dirt road to the top of a snowy mountain or anything. Budget is flexible, but I'd prefer to keep the costs down when reasonable to do so.

About us: We both like good beer and wine, nice food of all varieties (no dietary restrictions), artsy things, mildly strenuous outdoorsy things (no 15 mile hikes, but shorter hikes welcome), weird local kitch, local history/culture. We are both in our 20s, she is female, I am male. I have zero interest in getting a massage or anything like that, but she might be into it, so if you know of a good place that she would enjoy going alone for a bit, feel free to send it my way.

Bonus points for cute ideas about how to present this gift visually in a wrapped box that she can open on Christmas morning. Thanks Metafilter, you're the best!
posted by cheerwine to Travel & Transportation around Truth OR Consequences, NM (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If you're into nature and/or birds, you could always stop at the Bosque del Apache Wildlife Refuge on your way to T or C. There is some pretty cool wildlife viewing, including notable flocks of sandhill cranes during the winter months. The Bosque del Apache also has some shorter hiking trails that are part of the refuge too. Stop at the visitor center and pick up a map and the volunteers can let you know where the trails are. Only costs a couple bucks to get in too. Enjoy your trip!
posted by strelitzia at 3:05 PM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

Dead curious as to WHY you chose T&C for this getaway.

Roswell, I get.
Sante Fe, Absolutely
Carlsbad, 100%, it's fantastic.

But Truth or Consequences...I'm baffled.

You can soak in a variety of hot springs while you're there.

Here's the Trip Advisor list of restaurants.

How about White Sands Missile Range Museum?

I suppose a couple in love can have fun anywhere.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 3:09 PM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

Its a bit out of the way but the VLA west of Socorro is pretty neat. You can make it slightly less out of the way by going south on 52 from there to get to TorC, which is really nice route.
posted by H. Roark at 3:09 PM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

Rio Bravo Fine Art Gallery.
posted by Jackson at 3:40 PM on December 19, 2014

Go see Bob Barker?
posted by John Kennedy Toole Box at 3:57 PM on December 19, 2014 [4 favorites]

Seconding the VLA and then White Sands National Monument. This is the best time of year for hiking around at white sands as it isn't 120 degrees nor blinding.

VLA has an AWESOME visitor center with all kinds of writeups of their various findings and projects all done by the staff. Really neat stuff if you are any kind of science geek at all.

The big attraction to T or C is Elephant Butte Lake, I have no idea how pleasant renting a boat or seadoo will be that time of year but maybe something to look into.
posted by bartonlong at 3:57 PM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

I commute regularly between Santa Fe and Las Cruces. I've never stopped in T or C for anything other than gas and the Dairy Queen when they used to have one, so can't really help you there.

However, I stop at a small place just outside Socorro in San Antonio to eat sometimes. It's called The Owl Bar. Really good green chile cheeseburgers. You might also like Hillsboro. The general store there serves bumbleberry pie.
posted by jenh526 at 5:40 PM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

Them Hot Springs are pretty awesome. There was one right next to the River where you could hop out of the spring run down to the river take a dip and then run back.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:52 PM on December 19, 2014

Seconding the Bosque del Apache and then the Owl Bar & Cafe for green chile cheeseburgers. That's usually on the itinerary when I go see the folks in Las Cruces. White Sands is really neat too.

Eagle Ranch Pistachios is a great place to visit. Get the green chile pistachios. Oh my god. The other flavors are good too, and they have terrific pistachio ice cream.

If you want to get into town for art galleries or boutiquey shopping in a pretty setting, there's downtown Socorro, or Old Mesilla outside of Las Cruces (a much further drive).

I've also had a decent meal at Socorro Springs Brew Pub.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 7:02 AM on December 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

Be aware that 152 from Hillsboro to Silver City is closed.
posted by falsedmitri at 7:39 AM on December 20, 2014

Another vote for VLA and White Sands. Both are awesome. The Missile Museum has its own weird appeal too - very strange place indeed.
posted by tardigrade at 12:40 PM on December 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

You might also enjoy El Camino Real Historic Site. It's a beautiful museum located between Socorro and Truth or Consequences. It also has a picnic area and trails for short hikes around the Site. The history of El Camino Real is fascinating, and it's only $5 to get in. The gent and I loved it when we were there in 2011.

The New Mexico Historic Sites website linked above has good information about other places to visit in the area too. Hope you have a wonderful trip! That part of NM is really neat, and very different than what people think of when they think "New Mexico." :)
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 9:57 AM on December 21, 2014

We actually went to T or C for our anniversary, on purpose - and had a great time. If your hotel doesn't offer soaks, you may want to check out the Riverbend Hot Springs. We enjoyed dinners at both Latitude 33 and Cafe Bella Luca. One night we walked from our hotel in the old town up to Los Arcos Steak House - if you have memories of 70s steak houses.... this is exactly that, down to the white brick arches. Passion Pie was ok for lunch/breakfast, but not amazing.

If you're interested in the Spaceport Tours, you'll need to book ahead. It's not Santa Fe, but we did enjoy just walking around, looking at galleries and little shops. The Rio Bravo Fine Art had a great textiles exhibit while we were there, and it sounded like they try to keep interesting things going. (There's an old WPA mural in the Post Office, if that's your sort of thing.) The New Mexico Magazine article linked above has some good mentions.
posted by korej at 1:06 PM on December 22, 2014

Thanks everyone! Incase any future T or C travelers ever read this, we ate at Cafe Bella Luca (twice!) and Latitude 33. Both were fantastic. We had breakfast at the Passion Pie cafe, which is also lovely. The hotel (Fire Water Lodge) was perfect and had a private mineral bath in the room in addition to the public outdoor one.

We skipped the structured tours and science-y stuff, but we had a great time walking around town (Broadway, Main, and Date Streets form a very walkable downtown loop) and doing some shopping the the local thrift stores, used bookstores, and other cute shops and checking out the galleries. Rio Bravo Fine Art was excellent. The Geronimo museum and the adjacent mosaic garden were also nice.

Be aware that nothing is open on Sundays (shops or restaurants) during the day, the town shuts down at about 5pm (except a handful of restaurants), and the only bar in town seems to be a super dive called Raymond's, which is a windowless affair attached to the gas station.
posted by cheerwine at 5:59 PM on January 19, 2015 [3 favorites]

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