In October of 2017 my mom and I took a road trip through central New Mexico. Our main destination was Roswell, New Mexico, home of the infamous UFO incident on 1947.
I’ve been reading about Roswell and the UFO incident since I was a child. I was often drawn to the strange, esoteric, and extraterrestrial. This was a destination I always wanted to visit but never thought I’d get the chance. I never traveled very often, and New Mexico just wasn’t in the plans.
Then my mom moved to New Mexico in 2016. She had lived in the state for over a year before but had never ventured this far east. Our trip gave her a chance to explore her new state. How lucky for me!
Here’ what we saw:
Roswell did not disappoint. This is one of my favorite places that I’ve ever visited. It was absolutely everything I wanted it to be.
The first thing we visited once we got into town was the International UFO Museum and Research Center. Admission is $5 and the museum will keep you busy for most of an afternoon. You can start by watching a movie about the the UFO incident. The museum has tons of stuff to look at: movie props, models, art, photographs, scientific “evidence” of UFOs. The big model UFO in the main hall goes off every half hour with lights and smoke. I got the best souvenirs in their gift shop, namely the HOWDY from Roswell sticker that’s on my fridge in the first photo of this post.
If you’re going to see only one attraction while you’re in town, make it this one.
Everything in this town is extraterrestrials. EVERYTHING. The streetlights are aliens. There’s a flying saucer McDonald’s. It is so fucking cool. We spent the rest of the day walking around Main Street, shopping at the antique malls and alien-spotting.
These were some of my favorite signs, at a restaurant just outside of the museum.
Alien Zone: Area 51 was my second favorite activity in Roswell. The the UFO Museum is the Wikipedia of Roswell, Alien Zone is the Instagram. It’s pretty much just a bunch of rubber aliens set up in dioramas, but they allow and encourage you to interact (gently) with them to create hilarious photos. Some of the scenes are nicer than others; some were falling apart entirely. But overall this was a fun place to visit, and totally worth the price of admission.
This is a photo of a photo that they have hanging up in the lobby at Alien Zone. My mom and I took photos in the crashed UFO too, but this corgi is much cuter than either of us could ever be.
We only spent a day in Roswell, and it was almost enough time to see everything in town. I missed out on seeing the Spacewalk at the Roswell Space Center, and now it’s closed permanently. I regret not going to see it.
I do recommend driving outside of town to see the welcome sign lit up at night.
You can read about my whole trip in this series of posts:
- New Mexico Road Trip Mini Scrapbook
- Fox Cave: New Mexico’s Best Tourist Trap
- Roswell, NM: a Trip to Alien Country (that’s this one!)
Have you ever been to Roswell, New Mexico? Have you ever heard of it? Tell me about it in the comments!