Explore Beyond the Extraterrestrial at these Awesome Roswell Attractions

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Welcome Sign to Roswell, New Mexico
Welcome Sign to Roswell, New Mexico | Photo Credit: Shutterstock - Gianni Caponera
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Roswell has grown to be a popular destination for visitors seeking to explore its diverse attractions, ranging from the site of a mysterious 1947 UFO crash to seemingly bottomless desert lakes. The city has capitalized on its historic UFO occurrence, and visitors can expect to see plenty of alien signage, statues, and décor. However, there is much more to Roswell than just the allure of the UFO incident. It offers a plethora of unique things to see and do, making it an excellent place to explore and experience. Beyond the allure of the UFO incident, there are many unique things to see and do, which make this city a great place to explore.

History of the UFO Crash & Crash Site

As the story goes, sometime around June of 1947, an apparent unidentified flying object (UFO) crashed on the private land of New Mexico rancher W.W. “Mac” Brazel. According to the U.S. government, the UFO was actually a top-secret Project Mogul balloon that was supposed to be used to detect when the Soviet Union was testing atomic weapons. A terrible thunderstorm led to the crash, and Mr. Brazel later found debris. However, conspiracy has lingered around the incident, and many people who lived in the area at the time claimed to have seen a “flying saucer”. Today, the crash site is located on private property over 20 miles north of the city of Roswell and is not open to visitors.

Table of Contents

1. Walker Aviation Museum

Address: Airport Terminal Building, 1 Jerry Smith Cir Suite 7, Roswell, NM 88203

Created as a flying school in 1941, Walker Air Force Base was used throughout WWII for training. In 1947, Roswell made history when a supposed UFO crashed down on a local ranch. Walker Air Force Base personnel were dispatched to receive the remnants of what was being called “extraterrestrial,” but the military stated it was a U.S. Army test balloon. During the Cold War, the base was utilized for Strategic Air Command and became the most extensive base in the country for such operations. The base was closed in 1967 due to a lack of funding during the Vietnam War; today, the site has been used as the Walker Aviation Museum and Roswell International Air Center.

Visitors to the Walker Aviation Museum can see exhibits showcasing not only the history of the surrounding closed military base but also uncover years of Air Force aviation history. The museum displays model airplanes, recreated command rooms, and even original jackets donated by veterans and their families to preserve history.

2. Spring River Zoo

Address: 1306 E College Blvd, Roswell, NM 88201

Explore 34 acres of fun at the Spring River Zoo. This zoo boasts a ranch exhibit uncovering early New Mexico’s cattle history. See Texas Longhorns and miniature horses grazing as you nearly step back in time. Three other exhibit areas showcase different parts of the world, including Capitan Trail, which winds through enclosures with bison, deer, elk, coyotes, fox, and even wolves. The mountain habitat offers up-close experiences with bears and even a bald eagle! The Around the World area allows visitors to see animals not native to the Americas, including wallabies and lemurs. Plus, no visit to this zoo is complete with a ride on the train or a spin around the antique carousel.

3. Roswell Museum

Roswell Museum, Roswell, New Mexico
Roswell Museum, Roswell, New Mexico | Photo Credit: Wikimedia – Peter K.

Address: 1011 N Richardson Ave, Roswell, NM 88201

Learn all about the Father of Modern Rocketry, Robert H. Goddard, at the Roswell Museum. Dr. Goddard was amazed by the idea of space and rockets from a young age. He intrigued Charles Lindbergh and Harry Guggenheim, who wanted rocket travel to come into existence. Dr. Goddard lived in Roswell for over a decade and launched 56 flights, 17 of which made it over 1,000 feet in altitude. His work is credited for helping discover new techniques in rocket science.

The museum also debuts the work of Rogers Aston, who was fascinated with the American West. His extensive artifact collection inspired him for the dozens of bronze sculptures he created. Temporary exhibits are changed regularly to display other artwork and cultural history forms.

4. Bottomless Lakes State Park

Lea Lake, Bottomless Lakes State Park, Roswell, New Mexico
Lea Lake, Bottomless Lakes State Park, Roswell, New Mexico | Photo Credit: Wikimedia – Martylunsford

Address: 545A Bottomless Lakes Rd, Roswell, NM 88201

Bottomless Lakes State Park has several unique lakes famous for plunging sinkholes. These appearing to be “bottomless” lakes extend to depths of up to 90 feet deep, and their bluish-green water makes them seem to have no lake floor. Visitors love to kayak, swim, fish, and take non-motorized boats around on the water. Scuba divers love to explore the beautiful lakes and their rocky bottoms. Hiking and birding are additional popular activities at the park. Campsites within the park offer some sites with full hookups or water/electricity. 

5. The Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art

Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, Roswell, New Mexico
Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, Roswell, New Mexico | Photo Credit: Wikimedia – AllenS

Address: 409 E College Blvd, Roswell, NM 88201

Art lovers will enjoy exploring the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art, with over 500 works of art on display across 12 galleries. The local area has inspired much of the artwork with a mixture of paintings, sculptures, and even photographs. Unique art installations showcase the artists talent, including those who have completed the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program. This museum brings a beautiful cultural experience to Roswell. 

6. BrickTown: Alien Attack

Address: 201 N Main St, Roswell, NM 88201

See the result of over 750,000 toy bricks being assembled into some amazing creations. At Bricktown: Alien Attack, witness a variety of interactive displays that range from swashbuckling pirates to alien invasions. A train town made out of these bricks models a small town similar to the quaint charm of Roswell. If you are visiting during the holidays, check out the Bricktown Xmas display. Finally, explore the world through bricks, as many of the iconic landmarks of Earth have been recreated.

7. International UFO Museum and Research Center 

Display at the International UFO Museum and Research Center, Roswell, New Mexico
Display at the International UFO Museum and Research Center, Roswell, New Mexico | Photo Credit: Wikimedia – Myotus

Address: 114 N Main St, Roswell, NM 88203

What draws many visitors to the City of Roswell is the allure of the mysterious 1947 UFO crash that took place just outside the city. The International UFO Museum and Research Center has dedicated much of its research to uncovering the truth behind the crash and many other unexplainable accounts of extraterrestrial occurrences. Since 1991, this museum, housed in a historic theatre, has been a popular attraction for visitors and locals alike. During your visit, you can look over many pieces of research that have been gathered regarding aliens, UFOs, and other related information in the library. Exhibits display a timeline of the 1947 UFO crash and a mock alien autopsy room. 

8. Miniatures And Curious Collections Museum

Address: 320 N Richardson Ave, Roswell, NM 88201

At the Miniatures and Curious Collections Museum, see dollhouses, miniatures, other unique small objects. From tiny clay pots to little crocheted blankets, this museum offers something that is truly one-of-a-kind. Vintage dollhouses show not only cute little homes but also small cities and dolls. This museum is makes you feel as though you have shrunken and are immersed in a world of miniature. Travel around the globe in miniature as you see important landmarks such as King Tut’s Tomb and even mystical lands such themes from Harry Potter and more!

9. Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Roswell, New Mexico
Bitter Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, Roswell, New Mexico | Photo Credit: Wikimedia – J Dykstra

Address: Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, 4200 E Pine Lodge Rd, Roswell, NM 88201

Nestled on the verdant banks of the Pecos River, the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a haven of natural beauty that enthralls visitors with its unique blend of the vast Chihuahuan Desert and America’s rolling plains. This breathtaking refuge spans over 25,000 acres and is home to a diverse wetland basin that supports an impressive array of wildlife. The sanctuary is particularly famous for hosting a 26,000-bird-strong Sandhill Crane migration each fall, which is a spectacular sight to behold. Visitors can also spot around 100 different species of damselflies and dragonflies that reside in the sanctuary. With its tranquil surroundings, abundant wildlife, and pristine natural landscapes, Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a must-visit destination for nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts.

10. J. Kenneth Smith Bird Sanctuary & Nature Center

Address: 401 N Sycamore Ave, Roswell, NM 88201

This 15-acre park is a must-visit for birders and nature lovers. Complete with a bike trail and picnic area, it makes an excellent spot to enjoy an afternoon outdoors. Depending on the time of year, a variety of birds frequent the sanctuary. The J. Kenneth Smith Bird Sanctuary & Nature Center has provided a list of birds that visit the area that can be accessed here

11. Old Frazier Schoolhouse

Address: 7567 Clovis Hwy, Roswell, NM 88201

The Frazier Schoolhouse was constructed in 1937 to provide local children with an opportunity to learn basic reading, writing, and math skills during the challenging times of the Great Depression. Unfortunately, due to the harsh weather conditions of the eastern New Mexico desert, many settlers left the area, and the schoolhouse was eventually abandoned. The post office also closed in 1954, leading to Frazier becoming a ghost town. The Frazier Cemetery is situated nearby and was used for hosting funerals when school was not in session. Today, the schoolhouse and cemetery are the only remnants of the once-thriving community.

Conclusion

When you hear about Roswell, New Mexico, you might immediately think of aliens and extraterrestrial mysteries, but there is much more to this city. Situated in the midst of the desert, Roswell has plenty of attractions to offer, ranging from art museums to natural refuges. As you explore this city in the Southwest, you can learn more about its history and what makes it so fascinating.

If you enjoyed reading this post or have visited Roswell before, leave a comment below or share this post on your favorite social media!

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Ashley Gary
Greetings, fellow adventurers! I'm Ashley, and I'm delighted to share my journeys and knowledge with you. As a passionate travel writer and devoted adventurer, I'm constantly fueled by the excitement of discovering new destinations and uncharted territories. With a heart full of curiosity and a suitcase packed with dreams, I've wandered through bustling marketplaces, hiked mist-covered mountains, and wandered down cobblestone streets in search of stories waiting to be told. Through my travel chronicles, I hope to not only transport you to the farthest corners of the globe but also inspire you to embrace the thrill of stepping into the unknown. Adventure awaits, and I can't wait to share it with you to help you find your adventure!

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