First Weekend of August
Elephant Butte, NM
The annual Elephant Butte Balloon Regatta at Elephant Butte Lake State Park is one of the country’s most unique balloon adventures. Balloonists, skippers, and sponsors come together for mass ascensions and “Splash-n-Dash” balloon-boat relay races.
The regatta kicks off bright and early both days with a balloon ascension and, weather permitting, balloon glows will be held in the evening. The regatta is free, but regular park admission fees are required to attend.
Fondly known as “The Bosque,” the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge is a beautiful 57,000-acre refuge located along the Rio Grande near Socorro. The picturesque refuge is well-known as the winter home of thousands of sandhill cranes and other waterfowl, but also a wonderful place for hiking, biking, birding, and wildlife viewing year-round.
The Very Large Array, or VLA, is one of the world’s premier astronomical radio observatories. Located 50 miles west of Socorro, the 27 radio antennas raising from the Plains of San Agustin have become a popular stop for travelers to take photos and enjoy a staff-led tour and inside look at VLA operations.
Formerly known as Hot Springs, Truth or Consequences has long been a destination for wellness tourism. Today, Truth or Consequences is one of America’s most affordable spa towns and its charmingly restored hotels and spas and wide variety of shops and restaurants gives residents and visitors alike a laid-back vibe to relax in.