A beautiful city in New Mexico, Roswell has many interesting spots that woo visitors. The place is well-known for an alleged UFO crash in 1947 and is known as the UFO capital of America. From the International UFO Museum and Research Center to the restaurants and lamp posts that display alien figures, you will feel as if you are in some other world. However, the place is not just about UFOs. The city is also known for its natural beauty, with stunning parks and lakes. The art scene here also deserves a special mention. Check out the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art for a unique art experience. Bird and animal lovers can find their way to the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge and watch many migrating birds and animals enjoying in their natural space. Looking for an itinerary in the city? Relax, we have it all covered for you in this list of the best things to do in Roswell, NM.
1. See the art and history of the American Southwest come alive at Roswell Museum & Art Center
One of the major attractions in Roswell is Roswell Museum and Art Center. You will get to learn more about the American Southwest through the art and history exhibits. From fine art to decorative arts, artifacts to sculptures and prints including the Liquid-Propellant Rocketry collection, Spanish colonial historical items, Native American collection, and decorative arts, you will be amazed by the range of collections here. Ensure that you find some time to explore the museum and the art center.
Roswell Museum & Art Center
Address: 1011 N Richardson Ave, Roswell, NM 88201, USA
Website: Roswell Museum & Art Center
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 9am - 5pm; Sun: 1pm - 5pm (closed on Mon)
Price: Free admission (donations are welcome)
2. Have fun at Roswell Spacewalk
If you have some leisure time and don’t know what to see in Roswell, NM, with your kids, head to Roswell Spacewalk. For 2 USD, you can enjoy this small world of entertainment. Do not expect too much, but you can definitely enjoy the small pleasures. A black-light maze walk with alien landscapes is the highlight here. What is more interesting is an alien gift shop with some quirky collections. Make sure to buy some souvenirs before you say goodbye to the place.
Address: 116 East 2nd Street Roswell, New Mexico USA
Website: Roswell Spacewalk
Opening hours: Tue - Sun: 10am - 6pm (closed on Mon)
Price: 2 USD
3. Learn all about UFOs at the International UFO Museum and Research Center
The 1947 Roswell Crash and the UFO occurrences in the US form the base of this museum. You will be inundated with information on UFO encounters along with various exhibits here. Whether you love it or hate it, the museum is too interesting to ignore. Do not forget to take home some UFO-inspired souvenirs from the museum. Here’s another tip: keep your admission sticker handy as some shops offer a 10% discount upon showing that.
International UFO Museum and Research Center
Address: 114 N Main St, Roswell, NM 88203, USA
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
Price: Adults: 5 USD; Children (5-15): 2 USD
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4. Enjoy a musical treat at Roswell Symphony Orchestra
From the 2018 Christmas Classics Concert - The Roswell Symphony Orchestra and Roswell Symphony Community Chorus. Thank you to Stephanie DeFranco for the picture. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!Posted by Roswell Symphony Orchestra on Thursday, 27 December 2018
One of the must-visit places in the city is the Roswell Symphony Orchestra. Everyone who loves music should come here at least once. Having housed some very talented music professionals, the orchestra is known for its concerts and music education. Enjoy the beautiful ambiance of the place.
Roswell Symphony Orchestra
Address: 1717 W 2nd St #205, Roswell, NM 88201, USA
Website: Roswell Symphony Orchestra
5. Have a natural retreat at Bottomless Lakes State Park
Located along the Pecos River is the stunning Bottomless Lakes State Park. Don’t get confused by the name, as this group of eight unique lakes is not bottomless. The underwater plants create an illusion and make it look deep. This remote state park has many recreational activities that can keep you busy. From fishing to swimming, kayaking, canoeing, scuba diving, camping, and hiking, the options are aplenty. If you are in no mood for any activities then just relax amidst nature and enjoy the view on the ridge that overlooks the park. It is definitely a fun place to hang out and unwind.
Bottomless Lakes State Park
Address: 545 Bottomless Lakes Rd, Roswell, NM 88203, USA
Website: Bottomless Lakes State Park
Opening hours: 8am - 9pm (daily)
6. Visit Walker Aviation Museum
It may not look like much when you step inside the Walker Aviation Museum but it is an interesting spot nevertheless. A small space that has some interesting information on the aviation history of Roswell, some artifacts and souvenirs make up the museum. As the museum is part of the Roswell Airport terminal, you can spend time here if you are at the airport well ahead of the flight schedule. Kids will definitely enjoy time spent here.
Walker Aviation Museum
Address: 1 Jerry Smith Cir, Roswell, NM 88203, USA
Website: Walker Aviation Museum
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 3:30pm (closed on Sun)
7. Treat your kids to Spring River Park and Zoo
Once you are in Roswell with your family, especially kids, the 34-acre (13 hectares) Spring River Park and Zoo is a place you can take them to. This sprawling park and zoo include five zones. The Captain Trail houses native animals including raccoons, burrowing owls, bobcats, antelopes, and bison. Children’s Zoo houses child-friendly animals like pygmy goats. The ranching heritage exhibit includes miniature horses and a wide variety of plants and flowers. South American Llamas can be found at The World Safari. The antique wooden horse carousel is a highlight of the park and it includes many interesting hand-carved horses. You will definitely have a busy time here.
Spring River Park & Zoo
Address: 1306 E College Blvd, Roswell, NM 88201, USA
Website: Spring River Park & Zoo
Opening hours: Wed - Mon: 9am - 6pm (closed on Tue)
8. Experience the historic Downtown Roswell
It is fun to explore the downtown area. You will feel “alien"-ated for a while looking at the buildings and small stores. Alien figures are everywhere and even the streetlights are not spared. The UFO-themed windows, murals, and quirky outfits are great sights to watch. Take home some souvenirs and do not forget to take selfies with the aliens. Do visit the saucer-shaped McDonald’s once you are here.
Address: Roswell, New Mexico
9. Revel in the artworks at Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art
A 22,000 sq.ft (2044 sq.m) exhibition space that houses nine galleries, adorned with works of local artists–this is the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art. From paintings to sculptures and photos, this contemporary visual art space is a treat to the eyes. The artworks here will take you through the history of Roswell and show the diversity of the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program. The time spent here will be worthwhile.
Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art
Address: 409 E. College BLVD, Roswell, New Mexico, 88201
Website: Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 9am - 4pm; Sat - Sun: 1pm - 5pm
10. Indulge in the beauty of wildlife at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Roswell is not all about UFOs–nature can be enjoyed at its best here as wll. If you love wildlife and a bit of adventure, head to the Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge that started as a winter home for migratory birds now plays a vital role in the preservation of wetlands. Some of the rare species of New Mexico including the Roswell spring snail, Noel’s amphipod, and a wide variety of birds, mammals, amphibians, and fishes can be found here. If you are here from October to May, book the endangered species tour that will help you explore the otherwise reserved areas. Hiking trails and horseback riding are also available here. So make use of the opportunity and spend some quality time here.
Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Address: 4200 E Pine Lodge Rd, Roswell, NM 88201, USA
Website: Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 8am - 4pm (closed on Sun)
11. Catch a show at Roswell Community Little Theatre
You have to be at community spots to understand the culture of a place better. Roswell Community Little Theatre is one such place where you can enjoy musicals, dramas, and other performances. They also organize youth theatrical workshops. Be there and enjoy a theatre performance for a change.
Roswell Community Little Theatre
Address: 1717 S Union Ave, Roswell, NM 88203, USA
Website: Roswell Community Little Theatre
12. Pose for pictures in front of the Welcome to Roswell Sign
Don’t know what to do in Roswell, NM? How about a classic? One of the best places in Roswell to capture a memory and frame it forever is in front of the Welcome to Roswell Sign. The flying saucer balanced at one corner of the sign makes you ready for a complete UFO experience before entering the UFO capital of America. Lit with spinning lights at night, this is a great spot to take a break and pose for some pictures.
Welcome to Roswell Sign
Address: Roswell, NM 88203, USA
Website: Welcome to Roswell Sign
13. Take selfies with aliens at Alien Zone
You know you have to come to Roswell if you are an alien addict. For a fun and weird thing to do in Roswell, stroll through the alien zone in the city to enjoy the alien exhibits and take home some souvenirs and goodies. You don’t have to look for an alien exhibit in particular because wherever you go, you can spot one. Have good fun with the aliens and take some selfies.
Address: 216 N Main St, Roswell, NM 88201, USA
Website: Alien Zone
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 10am - 4pm
14. Get to know New Mexico's military history at The General Douglas L. McBride Military Museum
Want to know the military history of New Mexico? Visit the General Douglas L. McBride Military Museum. Located at the New Mexico Military Institute, you can check out interesting artifacts, photographs, and a good collection of firearms here. If you still have some time left, stroll through the campus as it is beautiful and worth exploring.
The General Douglas L. McBride Military Museum
Address: 101 W College Blvd, Roswell, NM 88201, USA
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 4pm (closed on Sat & Sun)
15. Do not miss the Historical Center for Southeast New Mexico
If you want to know a place better, understand its history and culture first. In Roswell, you can find it at the Historical Center for Southeast New Mexico. The center was once the stately home of Mr. and Mrs. James Phelps White. You will be amused to see the 20th-century décor preserved here. Old photographs, documents, antiques, and artifacts that bring back the old world charm are also well-maintained at the center.
Historical Society For Southeast New Mexico
Address: 200 N Lea Ave, Roswell, NM 88201, USA
Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 10am - 4pm (closed on Sat & Sun)
16. Go shopping at Roswell Mall
If you are done with the street shopping and not satisfied with that, you can check out the Roswell Mall to find some major national retailers. From fashion to sports, beauty essentials and craft needs, you can find it all here. There is also a theatre in the mall. A cool and unassuming place to hang out, you can spend some quality time here.
Address: 4501 N Main St, Roswell, NM 88201, USA
Website: Roswell Mall
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 9pm; Sun: 12pm - 9pm
17. Have an authentic wine experience at Pecos Flavors Winery
A great place for having some authentic wine, Pecos Flavors Winery is a family-run bistro. They have almost 80 different varieties and blends of wine. Don’t forget to try their signature label “Compadres.” It is also available online. The family also owns two small vineyards in Chaves County and wine tasting is available daily. Pecos Flavors Winery + Bistro also sells authentic products including pistachios, sauces, cheeses, chocolates, stew mixes, and brewed beer as well. Enjoy a cold drink along with local live entertainment once you are here.
Pecos Flavors Winery
Address: 412 W 2nd St, Roswell, NM 88201, USA
Website: Pecos Flavors Winery
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 10am - 8pm (closed on Sun)
18. Enjoy the Roswell UFO tour
If you are into UFOs and aliens, you should take up the Roswell UFO Tours conducted by local researcher Dennis Balthaser. You can see the 1947 UFO crash, recovery, and cover-up locations and can also explore the Roswell Army Air Field, which was closely involved with the UFO incident. You can also see the notorious Hangar, where the spacecraft and alien bodies were kept earlier. Apart from what you see, you will also get to hear some interesting facts about the place, as well as its cultural and historical significance, and much more.
Roswell UFO tour
Address: Roswell, NM, USA
Website: Roswell UFO tour
Price: 100 USD (for 4 persons)
19. Stop by Roswell Visitors Center for any information on the city
If you are in the city and looking for information regarding local and state attractions, events or maps, restaurants or alien spotting details, the Roswell Visitors Center will be of great help. While you are there, do not miss the chance of taking pictures with the resident aliens. The staff at the Visitors Center are very helpful and can guide you happily on any information required. You can visit the place at the beginning of your trip so that you know how to chart your schedule.
Roswell Visitors Center
Address: 426 N Main St, Roswell, NM 88201, USA
Website: Roswell Visitors Center
Opening hours: Tue - Fri: 9am - 5pm; Sat: 9am - 4pm; Sun - Mon: 10am - 3pm
20. Have an amazing time at Mescalero Sands North Dunes OHV area
Try out some adventure in the sand dunes once you are in Roswell. The towering 90+-foot (more than 27 meters) sand dunes await you at Mescalero Sands North Dune Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) area. You can enjoy your time in terrain cycles, dune buggies, or sand rails here. The beautiful cottonwood trees add an extra charm to the dunes. The ATV/OHV paths to hike make the place perfect for adventure junkies. If you have kids or pets with you, this would be the best place to make some priceless memories, as they would enjoy every bit of being here. Shaded areas with tables and chairs make this a good picnic spot as well. Do not forget to touch the soft sands.
Mescalero Sands North Dune OHV Area
Address: Roswell, NM 88203, USA
Website: Mescalero Sands North Dune OHV Area
21. Relish the local cuisine at La Escondida Café
This unassuming and modest cafe might not appeal you from the outside but once you taste the food here, the entire story will change. The authentic and tasty delicacies at La Escondida Café will fill your tummy and heart alike. You can try their breakfast chilaquiles, steak picado & eggs, asado & eggs, or Huevos Rancheros. They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as desserts and beverages. This reasonably priced place is also known for its friendly services and generous portions. This is also a kid-friendly place!
La Escondida Café
Address: 109 N Delaware Ave, Roswell, NM 88203, USA
Website: La Escondida Café
Opening hours: 7am - 3pm (daily)
22. Delight in yummy food and cool ambiance at Peppers Grill & Bar
Looking for a great place to wine and dine in the city? Head to Peppers Grill & Bar, located close to the International UFO Museum & Research Center. You can expect scrumptious Southwestern food along with traditional New Mexican cuisine and a cozy atmosphere here. The kid-friendly restaurant also serves made-to-order salads and hand-cut aged steak. Enjoy your food and a beer and relax in the patio. What more can you ask for?
Peppers Grill & Bar
Address: 500 North Main, Roswell, NM 88201
Website: Peppers Grill & Bar
Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 11am - 10pm (closed on Sun)
23. Marvel at cosmic beauty at Robert H. Goddard Planetarium
Love stargazing but never got a chance to enjoy it? Visit Robert H. Goddard Planetarium and get immersed in the experience. A full-dome digital theater system in the planetarium will bring the beautiful night sky in front of your eyes. Black holes, stars, comets, and the entire solar system come close to you. Other highlights here include multi-media presentations and some space science activities for children and families. The 96-seater planetarium is a popular place and hence tickets are sold very fast. So plan your visit well ahead and go stargazing.
Robert H. Goddard Planetarium
Address: 1011 N Richardson Ave, Roswell, NM 88201, USA
Website: Robert H. Goddard Planetarium
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 9am - 5pm; Sun: 1pm - 5pm (closed on Mon)
24. Catch a concert at Pearson Auditorium
Do not miss a chance to add a musical experience to your trip. Attend a concert at the Pearson Auditorium if you have some time and enjoy the experience. A part of the New Mexico Military Institute, the auditorium has comfy seats and amazing sound acoustics. Every year, the Roswell Symphony Orchestra organizes classical orchestral music concerts at the auditorium. Check out the events from their website and have a great musical time ahead.
Address: New Mexico Military Campus - 101 W College, Roswell NM 88201
Website: Pearson Auditorium
25. Spend some time at J. Kenneth Smith Bird Sanctuary & Nature Center
You need not be a bird lover to visit J. Kenneth Smith Bird Sanctuary & Nature Center, one of the top birding spots in Roswell. Take home some valuable information regarding birds, their habitat, and ecosystem once you are here. You can spot birds including the black-chinned hummingbird, scaled quail, blue grosbeak, and Canada goose here.
J. Kenneth Smith Bird Sanctuary & Nature Center
Address: 401 N Sycamore Ave, Roswell, NM 88201, USA
26. Buy antiques at the Roswell Antiques Mall
Planning to buy some antiques before you wind up your vacation in Roswell? Check out the Roswell Antiques Mall, a quirky place full of amazing collections that are reasonably priced. Located next to the UFO International Museum, the store can be the right stop for you to take home some rusty spring frames or maybe one or two antique metal rusted signs and other delightful finds.
Roswell Antiques Mall
Address: 1400 W 2nd St H, Roswell, NM 88201, USA
Website: Roswell Antiques Mall
Enjoy an out of this world experience in Roswell
UFOs and aliens are the major attractions in the city. However, the list above will prove otherwise. Apart from extraterrestrial beings and their stories, there are many more things to explore here. Blessed with natural beauty, Roswell’s rich history, delectable cuisine, and cultural attractions make this place a great spot for a family vacation. So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags and head to Roswell.
Frequently asked questions about best things to do in Roswell, New Mexico
1. What are the top attractions to visit in Roswell?
In case you’re only looking for the top attractions to visit in Roswell, because of your limited time, then just make sure to visit the International UFO Museum and Research Center, Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge, and the Roswell Museum & Art Center.
2. What are the best outdoor activities in Roswell?
Some of the best outdoor activities you can do in Roswell are kayaking at Bottomless Lakes State Park, hanging with different animals at Spring River Park and Zoo, and have a good picnic at Mescalero Sands North Dunes OHV area.
3. What are the best day trips from Roswell?
There are plenty of great day trip ideas from Roswell, including a trip to Lincoln County, where you’ll find Billy the Kid National Scenic Byway, Fort Stanton, Lincoln Historic Site, and White Oaks.
4. What are the most popular things to do in Roswell with kids?
If your planning a holiday in Roswell with your kid, then don’t forget to add these popular kid-friendly activities in your itinerary: visiting the Roswell Spacewalk, hanging out with friendly animals at Spring River Park and Zoo, and exploring Walker Aviation Museum.
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