Planning to visit Roswell New Mexico? Yes, it is that alien themed small town with green beings everywhere. But don’t let the green aliens scare you away. I was a little skeptical at first too. But to my surprise, the alien thing ended up being fun, entertaining and makes for many popular tourist attractions. Roswell makes a great stop when on a road trip through Southeastern New Mexico. So, when you visit, let this be your ultimate travel guide for fun things to do in Roswell New Mexico!
Where is Roswell New Mexico
Roswell is located in High Great Plains of southeast New Mexico. For driving distances: Roswell is 577 miles from Phoenix, 200 miles from Albuquerque, 132 mies from White Sands and 90 Miles from Carlsbad Caverns. It is an easy side trip when you are already in some of these areas. And makes a fun stop for a weekend getaway or a stopover on a road trip.
Closest airport to Roswell New Mexico
Roswell International Airport (ROW) is located just 7 miles from the center of Roswell and is the closest airport. However, at this time, American is the only airline with limited flights operating from Dallas, Phoenix and Tulsa. So Roswell makes a better road trip destination rather than flying.
Best time to visit Roswell New Mexico
The best times to visit Roswell are during both spring and fall seasons. As fall has the best weather with milder temperature. And spring offers less crowds but the weather can be windy. However, you can visit all year long, even in the summer the heat, as most of the alien attractions are located inside.
Alien themed things to do in Roswell New Mexico
1. Plan your alien adventure at the Roswell Visitors Center
Your first stop should be the visitor center. It’s centrally located downtown Roswell, and is close to the alien attractions and has lots of nearby parking. So that makes it a great place to start your visit and you can park and leave your car there while you are exploring the downtown historic district.
At the visitor center you can grab a city map and plan out your day to make the most of your time.
We only had half a day in this fun alien town, so we packed in as much as possible. Inside the visitor center you will find a cute insta worthy set up for photos, a few stickers and souvenirs for purchase as well as very helpful people to give you information on planning your day!
2. Get Spoked in Alien Zone Area 51
Just down the street from the visitor center you will find Area 51, but only if you know where it is. That’s because it’s tucked away in the side corner of the Alien Zone retail store. So make sure not to miss this, because there is not a sign.
A $5 per person fee is required to enter the Area 51 zone of the store, but it’s unique, totally Roswell and worth it.
The area is full of interesting things to see, walk through, take photos, and play with. It is a huge collection of alien stuff to have fun with. And its dog friendly, like many of the other attractions.
3. Do Some Alien Shopping In Along the Way
Make sure to check out all the alien shops around downtown. They are mostly located on Main Street, so its easy to sprinkle them into your day as you walk from place to place. Also, with all the crazy alien merchandise in the stores, shopping kinda feels like an alien exploration. So you can find some fun things to take home as a reminder of your Roswell adventure.
4. Educate yourself at The International UFO Museum
When you cross over 2nd Street, you will find the International UFO Museum and Research Center. It’s a large building that you can’t miss with a huge sign and alien stuff out front. The museum was organized to inform the public on the alleged ufo crash, now known as “The Roswell Incident”.
The museum is dedicated to the preservation of materials related to the incident and other phenomena related to UFO’s. In the museum you will find information about Area 51, crop circles, UFO sightings, historical artifacts and more.
So you can decide if it was a weather balloon or a flying saucer. Admission is only $5 for adults and $2 for children.
5. Go for a space walk through Outer Space
After the museum head over to the Roswell UFO Spacewalk. It’s a trippy self guided walk through a black light space journey. On the adventure, you get beamed up into the space ship and then explore around with a space walk through outer space.
The special effects and animatronics are super cool. It is a funky, futuristic interactive art exhibit, and again it is only $5 for entry, so it was totally worth it to me. And the Roswell Spacewalk ended up being one of my favorite things to do in Roswell. So, try not to miss this really unique experience.
6. Enjoy the ride on a virtual adventure
And just across the street from Spacewalk is Spaceport Roswell. Spaceport is a virtual reality experience, now offering two adventures with more to come later this year and next.
These amazing journeys take you through a virtual experience, using a headset with simulated movement, so be prepared if you get motion sickness easily. It was a fun experience with the ticket price of $14.50 or less.
7. Take a break at the coffee shop
When you are ready for a caffeine boost or a little snack then head over to Stellar Coffee. It’s a cute coffee shop with the Roswell theme serving coffee, tea, smoothies, breakfast, lunch and desert! And its very convenient to all the above Roswell attractions, as its located on Main Street. So walking over and taking a coffee break in the middle of your alien adventure is just another fun thing to do in Roswell.
8. Alien Photo Opps All Over The Place
If you enjoy taking photos especially with aliens, then you will find many insta worthy photo opportunities along your journey.
From Area 51 to shops along Main Street, the spaceship McDonalds or the Alien holding the Dunkin Donuts sign. Its endless how many unique things you will find along the way. So get that camera ready to make some alien memories. You can find the green guys hanging out all over the place.
9. A guided tour by Roswell UFO Tours
For a unique and more personal alien experience, you can hire a private tour guide. This 2 hour private tour for up to four people is guided by Dennis Balthaser. He is a UFO researcher and a UFO investigator, so he knows what he is talking about.
The cost is only $100 and you get to visit 20 sites around Roswell by way of comfortable air-conditioned transportation. Make sure to plan this in advance, as 48 hour notice is needed to book a tour.
Non Alien things to do in Roswell NM
Yes, the town is centered around the alien themed adventure. There are however non-alien and outdoor activities to consider as well while visiting Roswell.
10. Enjoy a Cultural Experience at the art museums
If you enjoy art and need a break from the aliens then go check out the works of art at the Roswell Museum and the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art.
Founded in 1935, The Roswell Museum and Art Center has grown into 50,000 square-foot facility that includes twelve galleries. It has an extensive collection of southwestern art ranging in styles and centuries. The museum is to serve the arts needs of Roswell through rotating exhibits, lectures and gallery talks. The 2nd Saturday of every month is a free day at the museum or an entry fee of $10 per person. Open daily from 10am to 6pm.
The Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art is a unique collection of photographs, paintings, prints and sculptures. It is a permanent collection of local artists works who have been part of Artists Residence Program. A unique program where the artists lives on property and can concentrate on on their art in a supportive environment for a year. The museum is Open daily and donations are welcome.
11. Check out the stars at the Planetarium
Located in the same area as the Roswell museum, make some time to see a show at the Robert H. Goddard Planetarium. Located just behind the museum with varied show times through out the day. Only $5 or less per show, the planetarium is a full dome digital theatre immersive experience. This was something we did not get to see, but would have liked to. Check the schedule for current times and shows.
12. Visit the Walker Aviation Museum
If you enjoy aviation, you should plan to visit the museum. At the Walker Aviation Museum you will learn about the history of the Walker Air Force Base and the Roswell Army Air Field. And also information about men and women who served the United States from this base. Open Monday to Friday. Check the schedule for times:
13. Bird Viewing at J. Kenneth Smith Bird Sanctuary and Nature Center
Learn all about birds and their habitat and fragile ecosystem. Some of the birds you might see include black-chinned hummingbird, blue grosbeak, Canada goose, ruddy duck and many more. The bird sanctuary is located along the Spring River Trail. A 4 mile trail paved trail that connects Enchanted Lands Park to the Spring River Zoo. It is a great trail for walkers, runners and cyclists.
14. Wine down your day
After a full day of exploring everything alien and Roswell, unwind at the Pecos Flavors Winery. There you can enjoy a great meal, a glass of wine and even walk through the cute gift shop. Also, you have the option to sit outside on the patio or inside with a very nice and cozy ambiance.
The food looked delicious and we wished we would have know they had a full menu. But either way I think you will be impressed and happy you decided to stop by whether you have a drink, dinner or even dessert.
15. Attend the Annual UFO Festival
The UFO Festival is an annual event held late June/early July. The 3 day event includes everything alien with live music, parades, outdoor activities, alien crawl, and so much more. So plan you accommodations far in advance if you wan to attend this special event.
What to do in Roswell New Mexico, outside of downtown
If you have a few days and wondering what to do in Roswell New Mexico outside of the UFO attractions, then these outdoor activities should be on the top of your list:
16. Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Located 7 miles east of Roswell. The Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a place where the Chihuahuan Desert meets the Southern Plains and is the one of the most biologically significant wetlands on the Pecos River for migratory birds. The area draws 357 different species of birds including sandhill cranes, ducks, geese, dragonflies and more. When you visit, you can watch a short introductory video, take a 6 mile scenic drive, enjoy the walking trails or biking trails. It is free to visit.
17. Spring River Park and Zoo
TheSr 34 acre preserve has 5 main zoo areas and is home to many animals such as black bears, mountain lions, miniature horses and more. The Spring River Park and Zoo is very special because is has an antique wooden horse carousel, which is one of about 100 left in the world. They also host events throughout the year, so check the calendar to find out more.
18. Bottomless Lakes State Park
The Bottomless Lakes State Park was the first state park in New Mexico and like the name suggest the lake is actually made up of sinkholes ranging in depth between 17 and 90 feet. Like most state parks the amenities include day use with picnic areas, restroom and showers. Activities at the park include camping, boating, fishing, swimming and even scuba diving. So this is a great spot for outdoor enthusiasts.
Where to stay in Roswell New Mexico
RV Parks in Roswell
If you are looking for a campground near Roswell, then I recommend the Trailer Village RV Park. This is were we stayed and it was a great park and very close to town and all the downtown attractions. Trailer Village offers full hook ups, free wifi, laundry, bath house, clubhouse, playground and dog park.
Other RV Parks in the area include: Red Barn RV Park, Spring River RV Park, Town & Country RV Park and Wild Willy’s RV Park.
Highly rated hotels in Roswell
Homes2 Suite by Hilton, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Holiday Inn Roswell, Roswell Inn
VRBO Suggested Listings
Best Overall: https://www.vrbo.com/2591080?noDates=true&unitId=3161475
Best Location: https://www.vrbo.com/2858963?noDates=true&unitId=3431000
Is Roswell New Mexico Worth Visiting?
After spending a day in Roswell, New Mexico, I have to admit, it exceeded our expectations. At first, I wasn’t sure what to expect out of this alien themed small town but I have to say, we enjoyed it! The UFO attractions were entertaining and fun!
So,I hope you enjoy this list of the best places to visit in Roswell. And when you ask yourself if Roswell is worth the visit? The answer is yes! And we would definitely recommend Roswell on your next New Mexico road trip adventure.
We hope you enjoy Rowell New Mexico as mush as we did!
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