New Mexico’s Best Hot Springs + Spaceport America: Home of Virgin Galactic!

New Mexico’s Best Hot Springs + Spaceport America: Home of Virgin Galactic!

Truth or Consequences, New Mexico is funky town full of fun people and fantastic stories. Situated along the Rio Grande, it’s home to 10 commercial hot springs properties, including our all-time favorite, Riverbend Hot Springs. There’s also a great brewery in town, lots of outdoor activities, and delicious dining. Just 25 miles outside of T or C , you’ll find Spaceport America, the home of Virgin Galactic. Get ready to add the unique town of Truth or Consequences to your travel bucket list!

First things first, how the heck did this town get its name? Originally Hot Springs, New Mexico, the town officially became Truth or Consequences back in 1950 when Ralph Edward’s popular radio show by the same name was holding a competition. They offered any town that would temporarily change their name to Truth or Consequences (or “T or C” as locals call it) a chance to be the location of filming for their new TV show. Hot Springs was chosen BUT they took it a step further, voting to make the change permanent! The name switch and filming of the show happened on April 1, 1950 leading some to believe it was all one big April Fool’s joke… but as you can see 70+ years later, it was hardly a joke and certainly makes for a pretty colorful story. 

So what is there to do in Truth or Consequences?

  • Get your relaxation on: With 10 commercial bath houses to choose from, there’s something for everyone. Our personal favorite is Riverbend Hot Springs, the only riverfront property with pools. Keep reading to check out our top tips for visiting Riverbend Hot Springs! 
  • Grab a craft beer at T or C Brewing Company: producing a variety of beer and over 1000 kegs a year,  T or C Brewing Co. truly does have something for every beer (or non-beer) drinker. We highly recommend grabbing a flight and trying a variety of options from stouts to IPAs to ciders. They even had a local take on the Mexican Michelada. During our March 2022 visit, The Grapevine Bistro was taking orders and delivering food to the brewery. I highly recommend the Hatch Green Chile Cheeseburger.
  • Visit Elephant Butte Lake State Park: We camped at this RV park during our visit back in 2019. You can also go boating, fishing and hiking. It’s a beautiful oasis in the middle of the desert! 
  • Take a tour of Spaceport America: Rockets, missiles and space technology have been a major part of the New Mexico story dating back to the 1940’s. Spaceport America was strategically built adjacent to White Sands Missile Range and is currently home to five tenants, including Virgin Galactic. You can book a paid, guided tour through Final Frontier Tours.

Our Top Tips for Visiting Riverbend Hot Springs

  1.  Stay overnight on the property! Whether you’re in an RV, looking for budget friendly options or even accommodations for a group, they have it all. Bonus: when you’re an overnight guest, you get unlimited soaking in the common pools (including the morning of your departure)! It’s the best bang for your buck!
  2. Book a private soak! They have 7 beautiful, private pools overlooking the river that can be reserved in 50 minute blocks. They are walled on three sides and the front open to the river. Tip: it’s cheaper to book these on the weekdays too.
  3. You must see the property at night! Jake, the owner, has an incredible eye for using fun lights to transform the property when the sun goes down. It’s truly magical!
  4. If you’re staying overnight, take advantage of last minute soaking the morning of your checkout. I practically had the pools to myself and it was incredibly peaceful with the morning sun over the river!

Liked our twice-weekly episodes earlier this year? Join us in the Newstate Navigators Community Challenge and help extend it through May! For every 10 new members who join at any paid tier, we’ll add another month of twice a week episodes. When we reach 100 total members, the change becomes permanent!

DISCLOSURE: We receive compensation for use of our affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Katelyn & Howard Newstate

Katelyn & Howard Newstate

Howard and Katelyn Newstate have traveled over 80,000 miles in their Winnebago Navion Class C RV, exploring from Alaska to mainland Mexico since 2018. Joined by their adventure pups, Piper, Ella and Scout, they share how to “Live Like a Local” in every New State they explore. For more information on their travels or the 51 Parks in 52 Weeks tour, visit

National Parks Tour

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