Is Roswell Worth Visiting?

by Shannon
18 comments

Roswell, New Mexico brings to mind crashed spaceships, aliens, and maybe the TV show. It’s fairly remote, about three hours south of Albuquerque. So, is Roswell worth visiting? Yes! It could be done in a day or two, but we stayed for 2 weeks. It was a perfect spot to meet up with our friends, who were heading west, while we traveled east.

Whether you’re passing through or looking to spend a few days, check our these attractions!

Things to Do

If you believe in aliens or not, Roswell was made famous by a 1947 crash. Explanations of the infamous crash vary from UFOs to failed Air Force experiments. Either way, get your alien fix here!

International UFO Museum

If you only have time for one stop in Roswell, make it the International UFO Museum on Main Street! The museum outlines the history and stories surrounding the 1947 crash, details various alien encounter stories, and has all the alien stand ups and displays you could want! The museum is also home to the UFO Research Center, a large library collection.

There’s a small admission fee, with discounts for first responders, military and veterans. Expect to spend about an hour browsing the museum and gift shop.

International UFO Museum

Roswell UFO Spacewalk

The UFO Spacewalk is a blacklight walk thru, not unlike a Halloween fun house. It made some funky photos and gave us a few laughs. It’s perfect for adults or families, and is just around the corner from the UFO Museum. We made an afternoon of it after work one day, touring both before dinner.

Welcome Signs

Don’t miss a photo op with one of the Roswell welcome signs! There are signs on 380 east and west, and signs on 285 north and south. All four are similar, with different art on the top- UFOs sucking up cows vsersus a crashed ship. Near the south entrance sign, there is an addtional downed saucer for photos.

Welcome Signs

Hangar 209

Our favorite shop in Roswell, Hangar 209 is the perfect spot to grab a Roswellian souvenir. They have creative shirts, homemade jerky and more. The shirts are the most unique you’ll see, and the owners are so friendly. The shop is located right off Main Street in downtown Roswell.

Hangar 209

Alien Zone and Area 51

The Alien Zone is a giftshop with some photo ops near the back, including the alien themed playground and cafe. The shop also sell tickets to Area 51. This walk thru is full of alien themed photo snapping chances, from alien bar scenes to creepy experimental setups.

Alien Zone and Area 51

Aliens Around Town

In case you missed the welcome signs driving into town, you’ll know you’ve arrived when little, and not so little, green men begin appearing along the street.

The Dunkin Donuts and McDonald’s are perhaps the most notable. Dunkin’s giant green alien holds up their sign, while next door the McDonald’s looks like a space ship, especially at night.

Be sure to also check out the ‘We Believe’ mural at the corner of Main and 2nd Sreet.

Roswell

When You’ve Had Enough Aliens…

Roswell might be famous because of aliens, but there’s more to the town. It’s actually surrounded by some beautiful nature worth exploring.

Bottomless Lakes State Park

Bottomless Lakes State Park is just a few minutes outside downtown Roswell, offering hiking, wildlife viewing, biking, swimming and more. It was the first state park in New Mexico, created to protect the nine sinkhole lakes. They were rumored to be be ‘bootomless’, items thrown in them later appearing in the Gulf of Mexico. Although this was proven to be a myth, the deepest lakes are 90 feet, making them a scuba destination.

The park is open year round, but is busiest Memorial to Labor Day for its beach and paddle rentals. There are two campgrounds, including 6 full hookup RV sites.

Bottomless Lakes State Park

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Bitter Lake is a pleasant nature escape anytime of year, but don’t miss it in the fall! We were lucky enough to pass through in mid-October, during the annual Sandhill Crane migration. The refuge hosts nearly 30,000 of them!

The refuge has a several trails, including a bike path, a 6 mile wildlife loop drive, and a beautiful visitor center.

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Shannon & Bobby | Snorkels & Snowpants (@snorkelsandsnowpants)

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Carlsbad Caverns National Park is a must visit in the area! It’s a perfect daytrip from Roswell, about a 1.5 hour drive one way. Alternatively, it’s a destination unto itself, with several hotels and RV parks nearby.

Unlike most national parks, there isn’t a fee to enter the park or use the trails. There is, however, one for cavern entry. The America the Beautiful Pass, including the free military and veteran version, covers up to 4 people. Be aware, you must reserve a timed entry! They open 30 days in advance, and they do book up! Reserve yours here.

There are two options for entering the cavern- taking the elevator or hiking in. You don’t have to specify on your reservation, but will need to choose at check-in. If you have the time and are physically able, I can’t recommend the hiking option enough! The cave entrance is dramatic, with beautiful light effects near the bottom. It is a fairly steep and lengthy descent, but if you take the elevator, you miss half the cavern. Everyone takes the elevator to exit, so don’t worry about climbing back up!

Stay for the evening Bat Program, May to October, when thousands of bats exit the cavern entrance. Grab a seat near the top of the ampitheater for the best bat views!

After a full day at the park, Guadalupe Mountain Brewing Co. is a great stop! Brewing both beer and cider, they also serve up some delicious pizza.

Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Restaurants

Roswell has its share of fast food and chain restaurants, but there are two local options I definitely recommend!

Pecos Flavors Winery + Bistro

Delicious food, local wines, ciders and beer? Yes please! Pecos has indoor and outoor seating, along with a reatail store. Open Tuesday to Saturday, they often have live music on the weekend. They do close at 7:30pm, so plan accordingly.

Pecos Flavor Winery + Bistro

Antigua Cocina Mexicana

If you’re looking for an upscale dining experience with top notch Mexican cusine, Antigua Cocina is it! We loved their tacos and fajitas. Like many local places in Roswell, Antigua is closed on Sundays.

Antigua Cocina Mexicana

Where to Camp

We stayed at Trailer Village RV Park and highly recommend it. The owners are so helpful, and keep everything is in top notch shape. Most sites are pull through, and all of them have full hookups. In addition to laundry and bathroom facilities, the park has a giftshop, playground, and community center. The center has a full kitchen for guest use, and we absolutely loved having a regular oven! With our tiny and painfully slow RV oven, we don’t do much baking, but during our stay Bobby went wild, baking meatballs, muffins and cookies!

The park is just a couple minutes from Main Street, making for easy access to the attractions, groceries and dining.

For a more secluded stay, Bottomless Lakes State Park has tent and RV camping. As mentioned above, they have 6 full hookup RV spaces, along with 32 water & electric sites.

Trailer Village Rv Park

Save It For Later!

Is Roswell Worth It?

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18 comments

Alisha November 5, 2022 - 11:41 am

I would love to at least drive through to see all the alien stuff! So neat!

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Shannon November 11, 2022 - 12:18 pm

A fun stopover!

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Terri November 5, 2022 - 2:06 pm

I would love to see the annual Sandhill Crane migration. It must be breathtaking.

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Shannon November 11, 2022 - 12:18 pm

It did take my breath away, loved it!

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Jeanine November 5, 2022 - 2:48 pm

Looks like a fun place if you believe in aliens or not…I do love that there are some caverns and other lakes to explore… the food looks great also. thank you for sharing

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Shannon November 11, 2022 - 12:17 pm

Yeah, believing in aliens or not, it’s a fun and entertaining stop.

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Jenn November 5, 2022 - 4:32 pm

Roswell looks like such a fun place to visit, and I love that it’s within easy driving distance of Carlsbad and the wildlife refuge! Definitely adding to my bucket list – alien stuff is totally fun.

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Shannon November 11, 2022 - 12:17 pm

Yes, great combination of things to do!

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Maninder November 5, 2022 - 8:41 pm

This looks like a cool experience! I have yet to visit New Mexico, definitely adding this to my list.

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Shannon November 11, 2022 - 12:17 pm

New Mexico is beautiful!

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Andrea November 5, 2022 - 10:47 pm

I thought Roswell was quite interesting when I visited. Thanks for sharing!

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Shannon November 11, 2022 - 12:16 pm

So few people seem to visit it!

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Annie November 6, 2022 - 9:22 am

Wow, I had no idea there were so many other things to do near Roswell! Thanks for sharing!

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Shannon November 11, 2022 - 12:16 pm

Plenty to squeeze into a visit!

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Goya Galeotta November 6, 2022 - 11:47 am

It looks like sooo much fun and my god, I would go for those tacos alone!
Thanks for sharing!

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Shannon November 11, 2022 - 12:16 pm

Great Mexican cuisine throughout NM!

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Krista November 9, 2022 - 3:44 pm

I’ve seen your Instagram posts and it looks like a really fun place to visit. Definitely on the unique side but I love things like this.

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Shannon November 11, 2022 - 12:15 pm

Definitely a unique stop!

Reply

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