The oddly-named town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico provides a reasonable excuse to detour off of Interstate 25 for at least a few minutes, to explore this rural town. Its hot springs may persuade you to stay a little longer.
If you’re driving down Interstate 25 through New Mexico, you’ll probably be looking for an excuse to stop and get out of the car for a while. I know I was. And while that’s a pretty good reason to stop in Truth or Consequences (or simply T or C, to the locals), an even better reason is simply to be able to say you visited Truth or Consequences.
The most exciting thing to ever happen in this town, undoubtedly, happened in 1950, when Ralph Edwards, the host of the television show, Truth or Consequences, challenged a town, somewhere in America, to change its name to match the show. Hot Springs, New Mexico jumped at the chance, and gave up its old name, in exchange for a visit from Edwards. He ended up visiting every year for 5 decades, and the town built its biggest event, Fiesta, around his visits.
I stretched my legs by walking a loop around town. The central business district straddles this small hill.
The El Cortez movie theater is still showing flicks.
If you want to do more than just walk around T or C, plan your visit around the operating hours of the Geronimo Springs Museum. It’s just down the hill from downtown, and even if it’s closed, it offers some neat stuff to look at, outside…
… including this sculpture that honors the town’s hot springs and spas. Geronimo Springs (the actual hot spring) is located in, or under, this park, which is next-door to the museum.
This is a good place to start your walk around town. There’s a sign explaining all the sites to see along the Healing Waters Trail, which passes by several of the town’s historic bath houses and spas.
On the way out of town, I spotted this nice old Neon sign at the side of the road.
There’s only one way to tell your friends that you visited a town called Truth or Consequences — okay, two: you could lie to them, or you could actually stop in T or C as you pass through New Mexico. Stretch your legs and learn about the town’s quirky history.
Truth or Consequences is the county seat of Sierra County, New Mexico. It’s about halfway between Socorro and Las Cruces, on Interstate 25. To see downtown T or C, follow Business 25 (Dale St. & Broadway St.)
Check out this time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive from Socorro to Truth or Consequences…
… and from TorC to Hillsboro and Kingston via NM 152: