Go For The Water
Relaxation is top of mind in Truth or Consequences, where pristine water flows to the surface at temperatures ranging from 98 to 115 degrees. The heavily mineralized water has no unpleasant odor, leaving you to bliss out in 10 private bathhouses with indoor- and outdoor-hot springs soaking options.
Boating, fishing, and water play await at Elephant Butte Lake State Park, located just 5 miles north of town. It's home to New Mexico's largest lake and is one of the state's most popular recreation sites. Arrive early on holiday weekends for a tent or RV camping spot along the shores, or book a houseboat at one of the marinas, where you can also rent boats, kayaks, and jet skis, or launch your own sailboat. Regattas are also held here. Fishermen can cast for striped bass, catfish, and sunfish — several state-record catches have been recorded here. The lake is also well-known for bird-watching, but for the most spectacular displays, head farther north to Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, a vital wintering ground for migratory cranes and geese. The waves at Percha Dam and Caballo Lake State Parks also invite boating, paddling, and fishing. nmparks.com, www.fws.gov/refuge/bosque_del_apache
Stay For The Culture
Artist galleries and studios have also burbled to the surface in downtown's Hot Springs Bathhouse Historic and Commercial District. They debut new shows and stay open late, from 6 to 9 p.m., for the monthly Second Saturday Art Hop. torcmainstreet.org
Geronimo Springs Museum grounds you in local history with an expansive collection of Mimbres pottery and a Ralph Edwards Room devoted to the town's TV connections and annual fiesta. geronimospringsmuseum.com
Explore the out-of-this-world Spaceport America Visitor Center, the departure point for tours to Spaceport America, the world's first purpose-built commercial spaceflight departure point. The four-hour tours, which include shuttles to and from the facility 35 miles southeast of T or C, explore the operations center and space hangar. Would-be astronauts can ride the G-Shock simulator that mimics spaceflights. spaceportamerica.com