20 Things To Do In Roswell NM

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Look up Roswell on a map of New Mexico and you might assume there isn’t much to do there. It’s seemingly in the middle of nowhere, tucked towards the state’s southeast. It’s also far from the big cities of Albuquerque and Santa Fe, but you will be surprised to find plenty of things to do in Roswell.

Roswell is not a traditional tourist destination city, instead, it’s filled with quirk, personality, and a fair few conspiracy theories. Roswell has managed to shape its tourism industry around all things to do with aliens.
It’s best known for the famous 1947 Roswell Incident, in which a UFO reportedly crashed in a field and was covered up by the military.

Now, UFO-themed tourism is booming. This is an ideal destination for anyone interested in space, aliens, or just people visiting with kids. You’ll find so many things to do in Roswell, from UFO museums to sand dunes, a winery and delectable cuisine. Check out these 20 Roswell attractions to make your trip to New Mexico even better.

Roswell, New Mexico

Things To Do In Roswell

1- Pop Into The Roswell Visitors Center

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You won’t have trouble finding fun things to do in Roswell for kids.

While this may be a quick stop on this list of things to do in Roswell, it’s a good place to start.

Located on Main Street, this visitor centre is perfect for getting your bearings and learning a little bit about Roswell.

The staff are super friendly and can recommend some local spots for wining and dining.

It is also great for picking up some Roswell souvenirs from their gift shop. You can even get a photo with an alien!

Roswell Visitors Center is at 426 N Main St, Roswell, NM 88201.

2- Admire Art At Roswell Museum & Art Center

things to do in roswell three aliens and a spaceship
If you’re looking for quirky things to do in Roswell, you won’t be disappointed.

The Roswell Museum displays the fascinating history of America’s Southwest, so if you are into art or consider yourself a history buff, this is one of the best Roswell attractions for you.

At the art centre, you can see art from the Taos Pueblo and other Native American tribes, while in the museum, you’ll find traditional Puebloan clothing and learn about the region’s history.

There is an extensive collection of sculptures, paintings, and decorative art.

One of the museum’s highlights is learning about the Mescalero Apache and Comanches tribes, who introduced the ranching lifestyle to New Mexico.

You’ll learn a lot about New Mexico at the Roswell Museum.

The Roswell Museum is at 1011 N Richardson Ave, Roswell, NM 88201.

3- Wander The Downtown Historic District

things to do in roswell nm ufo
You’d be surprised at how many different things there are to do in Roswell New Mexico that involve aliens.

Wander around Roswell’s historic downtown district and you’ll certainly see some aliens as the shops on Main Street have fully embraced their city’s fame as a UFO hotspot.

Wandering the streets of a new city is always the best way to start exploring.

Check out the local shops, admire Chaves County Courthouse, and grab a bite to eat along the way.

4- Explore Bottomless Lake State Park

best things to do in roswell nm
If you’ve had enough of aliens, one of the best things to do in Roswell is to Bottomless Lake State Park.

New Mexico has a vast array of stunning outdoor spots waiting to be explored.

The same can be said for Roswell.

So, if you are in the city and craving a slice of nature, head to the Bottomless Lake State Park.

Bottomless Lake State Park is 20 minutes outside of Roswell and isn’t just one lake but nine. This series of lakes gets deeper with each one you visit.

Bottomless Lake State Park is the perfect summer heat getaway to escape the scorching New Mexico sun by taking a refreshing dip in one of the lakes.

As well as swimming, you can also scuba dive, fish, and hike or bike along one of the lakeside trails.

Bottomless Lake State Park is at 545A Bottomless Lakes Rd, Roswell, NM 88201.

5- Admire Roswell Street Art & Murals

Head to Roswell’s historic district, where lively UFO-themed murals line the walls and provide Roswell with an injection of colour and cheer.

Wander around and try and find the vibrant pinky purple wall with a giant spaceship.

Small aliens on street corners and full murals depict these otherworldly creatures.

Wander around and keep your eyes peeled for how many you can find.

6- Look For Birds At J. Kenneth Smith Bird Sanctuary and Nature Center

The J. Kenneth Smith Bird Sanctuary and Nature Center is the perfect spot for bird and nature lovers.

This is an ideal location to learn more about local ecosystems and wildlife preservation.

Head along the four-mile Spring River Trail for a relaxing walk or cycle.

Be sure to bring your binoculars, a picnic, and a good book and spend a few hours in the park.

Birds in the sanctuary include the scaled quoll, the black-chinned hummingbird, and the Canadian goose.

Head to the sanctuary where you can learn about the birds’ local habitats.

J. Kenneth Smith Bird Sanctuary is at 401 N Sycamore Ave, Roswell, NM 88201.

7- Visit Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art

If you’re one of those who usually check out an art gallery on holiday, then Roswell’s got you covered.

The Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art has nine galleries and houses more than 500 pieces of art.

This museum has everything, including photographs, drawings, prints, paintings, and sculptures.

The museum is dedicated to showcasing local artists’ work from the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program.

Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art is at 409 E College Blvd, Roswell, NM 88201.

8- Be Entertained At The Roswell UFO Spacewalk

things to do in roswell new mexico
Visiting UFO museums is one of the things to do in Roswell, NM.

For a rainy day activity, Roswell UFO Spacewalk is a good place to go.

The UFO Spacewalk is an entertaining amusement centre and interactive art exhibition.

You can experience the sensation of flying through space and discover numerous UFOs.

This experience is amplified by neon paint and lights that create an enjoyable artistic attraction.

Kids and adults alike will love this Roswell attraction. You’ll even be able to see some aliens too.

Roswell UFO Spacewalk is at 116 E 2nd St, Roswell, NM 88201.

9- Visit The International UFO Museum & Research Center

You cannot go to Roswell and not check out the International UFO Museum & Research Center.

Whether you are a UFO fanatic or on the sceptical end of the UFO scale, this museum is really enjoyable.

The well-publicized 1947 UFO crash in Roswell is the museum’s main feature.

Other alien sightings and theories are also on display for you to scoff at or believe entirely!

There are more than 55,000 documents such as articles, audiotapes, pictures, books, and reports.

You can watch UFO-related videos, listen to lectures, and pick up a souvenir in the gift shop.

International UFO Museum & Research Center is at 114 N Main St, Roswell, NM 88203.

10- Drink Wine At Pecos Flavors Winery & Bistro

If you love tasting and drinking wine, you’ve got to go to the Pecos Flavors Winery & Bistro, a winery showcasing wine from New Mexico.

The winery in the centre of town is in the perfect location to head to in the late afternoon and then continue your evening later downtown.

There is a tasting room, a century-old bar, and many wines to choose from.

Choose one or sample wines from 12 different vineyards with more than 80 unique blends.

You can also try local cheeses, nuts, and chocolates to go with your wine.

Pecos Flavors Winery & Bistro is at 412 W 2nd St, Roswell, NM 88201.

11- Have An Adventure At Mescalero Sands North Dune

If you’re after a fun outdoor activity, the Mescalero Sands North Dune are a series of sand dunes extending across 610 acres.

Besides wandering up and down the dunes and taking photos, there are several adrenaline-filled activities such as opportunities to ride sand rails, dune buggies and motorcycles.

If you want the ultimate sand dune adventure, go camping by the dunes.

12- Taste New Mexico’s Cuisine

While in Roswell, check out some of the local restaurants to get the real taste of New Mexico.

New Mexico’s cuisine is a blend of Mexican delights and American staples.

Tuck into delectable beef and chicken enchiladas, tamales, burritos, and more.

Roswell has several upscale restaurants as well as steakhouses and bars, for a more relaxed dining experience.

13- See The Stars At Robert H. Goddard Planetarium

The Robert H. Goddard Planetarium is right next to the Roswell Museum & Art Center.

The planetarium houses several interactive space-related exhibits where you can explore the wonders of the solar system and learn something new.

You can watch several star shows, which detail all of the planets and stars, look through a high-quality telescope and discover UFO exhibitions.

Robert H. Goddard Planetarium is at 1011 N Richardson Ave, Roswell, NM 88201.

14- See Military Aircraft At Walker Aviation Museum

From space and UFOs to aviation, spending time at the Walker Aviation Museum is one of the many things to do in Roswell.

If you are a traveller or aviation buff, this is a really interesting and enjoyable museum to visit.

You can learn about the history surrounding the Roswell Army Airfield and the Walker Air Force Base at the museum.

See several military aircraft, photographs, old uniforms, and military weaponry.

Not only is this a fascinating museum, but it’s absolutely free!

Walker Aviation Museum is at Airport Terminal Building, 1 Jerry Smith Cir Suite 7, Roswell, NM 88203.

15- McDonald’s (UFO-themed)

Roswell’s McDonald’s is slightly different to your average chain restaurant.

Once again, embracing Roswell’s unescapable UFO culture, this McDonald’s is UFO-themed.

Visit at night and you’ll find the restaurant light up just like a spaceship.

Inside the restaurant, there is also an alien-themed play area, perfect for kids.

This UFO-themed McDonald’s also boasts the unique title of being the only space-themed UFO McDonald’s in the world.

The McDonald’s is near the supposed 1947 Roswell Incident crash site at 720 N Main St, Roswell, NM 88201.

16- Explore Nature At Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Another of Roswell’s fantastic nature spots is Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge, home to one of the best biological wetlands in Southeastern New Mexico.

This outdoor attraction was created in the 1930s with the purpose of protecting the migrating sandhill cranes and waterfowl.

Backed by the Chihuahua Desert, this is a highly unique destination.

On one side, you’ll find the prairies and on the other, the Pecos River.

The diversity of this landscape attracts an array of fascinating birds and animals.

As well as cranes, there are around 350 different bird species that live around Bitter Lake.

There are also ducks, fish, small mammals and over 100 species of dragonflies.

There are three walking trails and two longer hiking trails to enjoy and enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings.

Take the eight-mile Wildlife Drive trail from the visitor centre, where you can join the other pathways.

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center is at 4200 E Pine Lodge Rd, Roswell, NM 88201.

17- See The Animals At Spring River Zoo

This 34-acre Spring River Park is more than just a zoo; it is also home to a miniature train, a carousel, and a trail where you can discover more local species.

In the zoo, you can see pygmy goats, lemurs and horses. There is also a ranch area with Texas Longhorn cattle and South American llamas.

This is the perfect half-day activity that will put a smile on any kid’s face. The children will love seeing the miniature goats and horses.

Spring River Zoo is at 1306 E College Blvd, Roswell, NM 88201.

18- Take A Selfie At Alien Zone Area 51

You cannot visit Roswell without going to at least two UFO-related attractions. Alien Zone Area 51 is another such attraction.

Alien Zone Area 51 has more than 12 life-size alien scenes that depict different UFO and alien sightings.

All of these dioramas were created by artist, Randy Reeves.

Take selfies with these life-size dummy aliens and wonder whether all of this UFO-related entertainment has any truth to it.

Alien Zone Area 51 is at 216 N Main St, Roswell, NM 88201.

19- Visit The Historical Center for Southeast New Mexico

This historical centre is in the 100-year-old home of Mr and Mr White, one of the most notable families in southwestern New Mexico’s history.

To learn more about the local area, this is one of the best museums to visit.

The home is both a historical landmark and a free museum in Roswell.

Take a guided tour of the home and learn about the White family.

You will find more than 14,000 rare books, photos, and documents.

The Historical Center for Southeast New Mexico is at 200 N Lea Ave, Roswell, NM 88201

20- Go On A UFO Tour

things to do in roswell nm
There are several interesting things to do in Roswell, the alien capital of the USA.

To fully embrace Roswell’s otherworldly identity, why not take a UFO tour?

Roswell UFO Tours offers visitors an extensive and informative tour of the events of the 1947 Roswell incident.

It takes guests to 20 different UFO-related locations and the homes of residents who saw this UFO event.

This is a brilliant Roswell activity for families with friends. 

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harriet comley
Harriet Comley is a travel enthusiast, freelance travel writer and a lover of safaris. Since 2017 she has been travelling the globe living in the UK, Canada, Vietnam, China and now Zambia, where she is completing her PhD in Sustainable Tourism. For 3 1/2 years she taught English in Vietnam and China. Now she has turned her attention to writing, having contributed to a number of travel blogs and websites always focusing on what she loves most…exploring!