Top 10 Things to Do in Roswell, New Mexico

Famous for an UFO sighting, this city also offers art and outdoor activities.

Roswell, New Mexico was the location of a strange event in 1947 when some unidentified flying object came out of the sky. No one has figured out exactly what it was, but Roswell embraces their unique connection with the alien and extraterrestrial world. There's lots to do in Roswell that is UFO-related, it's also rich in natural beauty and has a vibrant art scene.

  • 01 of 10

    Go on a UFO Tour

    ••• Roswell's sign for area 51.

    What exactly happened in 1947 in Roswell still remains a mystery. People flock to the city from across the United States and the world to learn about potential UFOs, aliens, and to have all of their questions answered. While there's more to Roswell then just the alien culture, UFOs are a big part of the city and a UFO tour is a necessity to get the full picture.

    Several companies offer tours in Roswell of Area 51, the place where the UFO was spotted. Two top tour companies are Roswell UFO Tours and Top Secret Tours. Try to solve the mystery for yourself on your trip to Roswell.

  • 02 of 10

    Visit the International UFO Museum and Research Center

    ••• The famous incident of 1947 in Roswell, NM.

    This museum is dedicated to the incident, UFO history, alien sightings, and research related to extraterrestrials.

    If you're ready to believe in Roswell's alien landing, this is the place to go. The museum also has a gift shop for any alien lovers in your life. It is open year-round, with the only exceptions being Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day.

  • 03 of 10

    Explore the Roswell Museum and Art Center

    The Roswell Museum and Art Center displays the American Southwest's art, culture, and history. The museum has more than 11,000 permanent pieces of artwork and historical artifacts on display, as well as a variety of exhibitions that change during the year.

    The museum highlights Native American history and art. Take your time exploring the large collection and check out their calendar of events before you go. Entry is free. 

  • 04 of 10

    Relax at Bottomless Lakes State Park

    ••• One of the sinkhole lakes.

    Bottomless Lakes State Park is located 14 miles south of Roswell and is just a quick drive away. Looking for a relaxing day in nature? This is the perfect place to explore. 

    The lakes encourage kayaks, canoes, camping, fishing, and swimming. You can even scuba dive in the deepest areas. Even if you're not in the mood to be in the water, the lakes are bright blues and greens and are a beautiful sight to see.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10

    Walk Through the Downtown Historic District

    ••• Roswell, New Mexico caters to the alien crowd.

    Downtown Roswell caters to alien and UFO followers, so come prepared. The downtown area has many cute (and cheap) shops and stops selling kitschy things such as blow-up alien dolls. While the area may not be a "typical" historic district that tourists are used to, this area is unique and very Roswell. Brush up on your UFO history before you visit. 

  • 06 of 10

    Complete the Roswell Spacewalk

    The Roswell Spacewalk is a different way to explore Roswell's mysterious history. The Spacewalk is an art installation in black light that takes visitors through the past and present world and outer space.

    This spacewalk is a quick and simple stop to make after a day at the UFO Museum, and it is constantly changing and upgrading.

  • 07 of 10

    Visit the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art

    The Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art is one place in Roswell where you won't be completely surrounded by the alien culture. The Anderson has a large collection of artwork from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and 2000s from artists in Roswell's artist-in-residence program.

    The museum is open Monday through Friday 9am to 4pm and Saturday through Sunday 1pm to 5pm. Admission is free but they encourage donations.

  • 08 of 10

    Watch Wildlife at Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge

    Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is home to thousands of migrating birds throughout the year. There are 357 species of birds, 59 species of mammals, over 50 species of reptiles and amphibians, 24 types of fish, and more than 100 species of dragonflies that reside in the refuge.

    While the refuge is best known for their birds and dragonflies, it is a great space to see many animals in their natural habitat. The refuge offers hunting during specific times of the year and encourages biking year round. 

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10

    Explore the Walker Aviation Museum

    ••• One of the aircrafts in Roswell.

     The Walker Aviation Museum is the perfect place to take young children and older aviation enthusiasts. The museum has many displays of unique helicopters, planes, and other aircrafts. They also have several dedicated memorials for those lost in air travel. Their main display provides the history the Walker Air Force Base from December 1, 1945 through November 23, 1955.

  • 10 of 10

    Watch a Performance from the Roswell Symphony Orchestra

     The Roswell Symphony Orchestra is one of the best performances in New Mexico and a must-see if you're in Roswell. Their performances are only once every few months, so they are big events when they come along. Check the calendar and buy your tickets before you go.