Why Roswell, New Mexico, Is Worth a Visit
In October of 2018, my family and I stopped through Roswell, NM. What we found was a town full of friendliness and charm and, of course, aliens. If you decide to visit, I have no doubt you'll be treated to the same!
Did aliens land at Roswell? Find out for yourself!
For the last 70 years, Roswell has taken on legendary status as the site of a possible 1947 crash landing of alien spacecraft. Dubbed the "Roswell Incident," the town has continued to draw alien enthusiasts and truth-seekers from all over the world. It has been featured in multiple movies and TV shows like the X-files, Star Trek, and The Rock. It even had its own TV show in the early 2000s called Roswell. When people think of UFOs, the word "Roswell" usually comes to the top of their minds.
As we worked our way to Albuquerque, we decided to make a stop in Roswell. As a person who was obsessed with the X-files in the 90s, I could not resist coming to this small town to view the evidence of the Roswell Incident for myself.
As we arrived in town, what struck me was just how small and quaint the town was. As we drove down Main Street, it seemed like little could have changed since 1947. The buildings are a classic design reminiscent of an era when people knew their local hardware-store owner and grocer. Hip coffee shops, hair salons, and souvenir shops line the street. Somehow, Roswell has managed to succeed as a tourist draw without sacrificing the charm that makes small towns so special.
The highlight of Main Street and Roswell is, of course, the International UFO and Research Center. The front of the building is decorated with a huge picture of the iconic green alien placed against a background of outer space. There is no question that this is the centerpiece of town. My family enters the lobby (which feels more like a small-town library than a museum). A sweet lady runs the ticket counter with all the charm of a beloved grandmother. Behind her is a sign that says "UFO Research Library." Out of curiosity, I go inside to see what types of periodicals they have in their collection. The library is filled with a hodge podge of scientific texts, fictional novels, and alien-themed toys.
We buy our tickets. Only $10, and military get a discount. As you walk through the museum, you see wall after wall of newspaper headlines from the 1930s and 40s talking about UFO sightings. The Roswell Incident is described in great detail almost to the minute. It starts with rancher Mack Brazel finding the UFO debris on his land. The story continues by describing how Army Maj Jesse Marcel collected pieces of the wreckage and was so excited that he decided to share the material with his family in the middle of the night. You'll learn how supposed "G-Men" cordoned off the crash area, collected the debris, and flew it to Fort Worth Army Air Field, where it has never been seen again. Replicas of the alien wreckage are on display. The Army said the crash was a weather balloon. Are they telling the truth? Come to Roswell, review the evidence, and decide for yourself.
Around the corner, you'll find more alien-themed exhibits. The highlight is a life-sized model of an alien spacecraft complete with its alien operators. You'll also see life-sized models of the famous alien autopsy and aliens in storage vessels. Lastly, don't forget the gift shop, where you'll find every Roswell- and alien-themed T-shirt, hat, and number sticker you can imagine.
Roswell's Main Street Is Worth a Walk
After we leave the International UFO Museum, we start walking down Main Street. The first thing we notice is the street lights, which are alien heads perched on top of poles. Looking for a souvenir, we head into Alien Invasion T-Shirts and More. Walking in, I see a hip shop full of Roswell-themed merchandise as well as apparel from local brands. Unlike your typical tourist shop, this place has character. I purchase a bright green shirt with the phrase "I believe".
We walk further down and see art galleries and other boutique shops. I stop to refuel at Stellar Coffee, which looks like it would fit in any college town. Of course, we can't resist having lunch at the only alien-themed McDonalds in the country. The playground is literally in the shape of a flying saucer and naturally, everything is space themed.
Whether you are an alien believer, a fan of cool small towns, or just looking for a fun place to relax on a cross-country trip, you can't go wrong in Roswell.
If you go to Roswell and are looking for other cool things in New Mexico, check out these articles for some great ideas
- Why the Little Town of Madrid Outside of Albuquerque Is Worth a Visit
This article describes my family's visit to the town of Madrid, NM. It's a charming little artist community just outside of Albuquerque.
- Why the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta Is Worth a Visit
This article describes my family’s experience at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.
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© 2018 George Johnson