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30 Fun Things to do in Roswell, NM

If you are looking for things to do in Roswell, NM, you are in the right place!

Roswell is a quirky little town that has fully embraced its reputation for being visited by aliens!

Roswell, New Mexico, was made famous when an alleged UFO crash occurred here in 1947.

Many people suspect that the military covered up this alien crash, and the “Roswell Incident,” as this crash was called, is still a debated topic today.

As I mentioned above, the town has fully embraced the alien theme.

We visited Roswell on our way to Ruidoso, NM, and were so glad we did! You will see alien-themed items everywhere during your visit.

A visitor would be amiss if they just associated Roswell with this alien crash.

There is so much more to this New Mexico town.

Let’s take a look at all of the attractions in Roswell.

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Explore the Roswell Historic District: Downtown Roswell

Downtown Roswell is unique, for sure.

It feels like something “alien” is watching you at every turn.

That’s because it is!

While visiting the Roswell Historic District, you will quickly understand what I meant about this city fully embracing the alien.

It seems like every store in the downtown area has something to do with aliens in downtown Roswell.

Really, aliens are everywhere on N. Main St!

Here are some places of interest in the historic district:

courthouse building in Roswell NM

Roswell Visitors Center

Pop into the Roswell Visitors Center, located right on N. Main St., to learn all about places to visit in Roswell.

The center is staffed with local, knowledgeable experts that can help ensure that your time in Roswell is well spent and that you enjoy all of the things to do in Roswell.

While visiting the Visitors Center, you can also browse their gift shop to get some fun Roswell souvenirs to take home.

You can even take a photo with the aliens here before heading out to explore the Roswell attractions!

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Roswell McDonald’s

McDonalds in Roswell shaped like a flying saucer

I know that Dunkin Donuts in Roswell’s historic district has a giant alien holding up its sign.

I also know that you will see aliens at other restaurants throughout town, but none of them have a building shaped like a flying saucer, except for McDonald’s!

I know it is silly, and you probably don’t want to eat lunch at McDonald’s, but you have to stop at least and take a picture, especially at night.

Check Out the Street Art and Murals

couple standing in front of colorful mural in Roswell that says "Roswell we believe" and has a space ship on it

There are several fun murals throughout the Roswell historic district, perfect for a fun photo in front of.

One of our personal favorites was the colorful UFO photo that you see pictured here.

Explore the historic district and see how many you can find!

Roswell UFO Spacewalk

Head to 166 E. 2nd Street in Roswell to find this interesting Roswell, NM, art exhibit and amusement center.

If you are traveling with kids, there is a good chance they will think this is one of the best things in Roswell.

The Roswell UFO Spacewalk allows you to travel through space courtesy of the interactive displays you will find here.

This is definitely one of New Mexico’s unique attractions.

Shop For All Things Alien Themed

statue of an alien riding a roadrunner

You can’t leave Roswell, New Mexico, without an alien-themed souvenir.

Lucky for you, N. Main Street in downtown Roswell is full of unique shops specializing in alien merchandise.

Browsing the fun shops on Main Street is a great way to fill a couple of hours of time and is free, well, unless you buy something.

Along the way, snap a fun selfie with all the alien cutouts and statues lining N. Main Street.

International UFO Museum and Research Center

recreation of Roswell UFO crash at the International UFO Museum, one of the things to do in Rowell, NM

You will find the International UFO Museum and Research Center in the heart of the downtown district at 114 N. Main Street.

If you are fascinated by aliens and the thought of something “out there” beyond our world, then the International UFO Museum and Research Center is a place you want to visit for sure.

Most of the exhibits at the International UFO Museum are centered around the 1947 Roswell UFO crash, which makes sense since you are visiting Roswell.

Don’t worry; there are other things to do at the International UFO Museum and Research Center.

Here you can explore all sorts of outer space-themed exhibits.

Not only that, but you can also check out over 55,000 documents like audio recordings, newspaper stories, pictures, autopsy reports, and more to solidify whether or not you believe in aliens!

Alien Zone

Alien Zone welcomes you to come in and check out all the exhibits and merchandise they have in their store.

I know extraterrestrial exhibits are all around this town, but the Alien Zone is fun to check out!

Roswell, New Mexico Museums

There are several great museums in Roswell, New Mexico, for you to explore to learn more about the area’s history outside of the “alien invasion.”

Roswell was originally home to the Mescalero Apache and Comanches tribes and was first settled by Anglo ranchers from Texas in 1867.

These ranchers introduced the ranching lifestyle to this area of New Mexico, of which you can still see evidence throughout the town.

These museums allow you to immerse yourself in the history of the American Southwest through their dynamic exhibits.

Visiting a Roswell museum is the perfect thing to do in Roswell on a rainy day!

Here are some of Roswell’s museums for you to explore:

Roswell Museum & Art Center

Head to the Roswell Museum to see art dedicated to the American Southwest.

The Roswell Museum Art Center was founded in 1935, and today is a 50,000-square-foot facility showcasing paintings, sculptures, drawings, and historical artifacts throughout its 12 galleries.

The Art Center Roswell Museum is also where you will find the Patricia Lubben Bassett Art Education Center and the Dr. Robert H Goddard Planetarium.

The Art Center Roswell Museum is considered one of the top museums and one of the top attractions in Southeastern New Mexico.

Robert H. Goddard Planetarium

exterior of the planetarium

The Robert H. Goddard Planetarium is inside the Roswell Museum & Art Center.

The Goodard Planetarium contains a full-dome digital theatre system where you can discover the beauty of the galaxy surrounding us.

The Goddard Planetarium also allows guests to participate in multi-media presentations, view space-related exhibits, and view the stars using a high-powered telescope.

This is a great addition to your Roswell, NM, itinerary.

Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art

displays of art in the contemporary art museum
Photo courtesy of Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art’s Facebook Page

If you love contemporary art, you will definitely want to check out the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art in Roswell, NM.

The Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art displays more than 500 original works of art from former fellows of the Roswell Artist-in-Residence Program.

The art displayed at the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art includes paintings, photographs, sculptures, drawings, and more.

Exhibited throughout the 12 galleries, the Anderson Museum of Contemporary Art is one of the best things in Roswell, NM, for art lovers.

Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico

old house in Roswell NM

The Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico is housed in a historic home in Roswell, NM.

The home was built by a local rancher, James Phelps White, and later became the Historical Society.

This home is a historical landmark in New Mexico, and the Historical Society for Southeast New Mexico is also a free museum you can visit.

Visitors can take a guided tour of the historic home to learn about the history of the home and the people who owned it.

In addition to the home, the archive building next door to the Historical Center for Southeast New Mexico holds over 14,000 rare and historical books, photos, and documents, perfect for my history buffs!

The Historical Center for Southeast New Mexico is one of the best things to do in Roswell for history lovers.

Hours at the Historical Society are 10 am – 4 pm, Monday through Friday. They are closed Saturday and Sunday.

General Douglas L. McBride Military Museum

The General Douglas L. McBride Military Museum showcases the history of the New Mexico Military Institute.

The grand castle-looking building was once the Luna Natatorium which house the first indoor swimming pool west of the Mississippi.

Today, the General Douglas L. McBride Military Museum calls the Natatorium home.

Here, you can view artifacts, photographs, a collection of military firearms, and more to learn more about the history of the New Mexico Military Institute.

If you add this to your trip itinerary, note that their hours are 8 am – 4 pm Monday through Friday.

They are closed on Saturday and Sunday.

Walker Aviation Museum

The Walker Aviation Museum can be found on the Walker Air Force Base at 1 Jerry Smith Circle.

Inside the Walker Aviation Museum, you can learn all about the interesting aviation history associated with the Roswell Army Airfield and the Walker Air Force Base.

Visitors to the Walker Aviation Museum can enjoy various exhibits, including military aircraft, photographs, uniforms, and military weapons.

The best part, this museum is completely free!

Outdoor Attractions in Roswell, New Mexico

Bottomless Lakes State Park

lake with canyon walls around it in Roswell NM

Bottomless Lakes State Park was the first state park in New Mexico!

If that alone isn’t a reason for visiting, let me tell you more about it.

Bottomless Lakes State Park is named after the sinkholes formed here, some over 90 feet deep.

This state park is a favorite of visitors and Roswell locals because of its fun recreational activities.

At Bottomless Lakes State Park, you can go fishing, swimming, hiking, paddle boarding, scuba diving, and more!

This is a great place to cool off from the Roswell, NM, summer heat!

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge

a hawk

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife photographer’s dream come true.

Thanks to the fact that the Chihuahuan Desert, High Plains, and Pecos River valley come together and form a wetland paradise for over 350 species of migratory birds.

Birds aren’t the only animals that love Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

There are also numerous reptiles, amphibians, and fish that call this area home.

Some of these creatures are the rarest species found in New Mexico, like the Roswell Spring Snail and the Least Shrew.

While here, you can explore some of the hiking trails and horseback riding available here.

Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge is a special place and a must-see during your trip to Roswell, New Mexico!

However, their opening hours are 8 am – 4 pm Monday-Saturday. They are closed on Sundays.

Mescalero Sand Dunes

sand dunes in Roswell, NM

The Mescalero Sand Dunes are an awesome place to visit if you want a unique experience in Roswell, NM.

The 610 acres of towering sand dunes draw ATV vehicles like crazy. ATV riders love zipping through the soft sand on the 90+ foot tall hills.

The Mescalero Sand Dunes are located about 45 minutes outside Roswell, New Mexico, and are open daily.

J. Kenneth Smith Bird Sanctuary and Nature Center

parks in Roswell

If my bird lovers didn’t get their fill at Bitter Lake, they could try their luck at the J. Kenneth Smith Bird Sanctuary and Nature Center.

The J. Kenneth Smith Bird Sanctuary and Nature Center give the residents of Chaves County a nice place to connect with nature.

The Chaves County residents are also invited to learn more about this diverse ecosystem and the preservation needed to protect the wildlife that calls this area home.

Guests can also enjoy the Spring River Trail during their time here.

Spring River Trail is a 4-mile long trail fully paved and perfect for walking or cycling.

This is a relaxing addition to your trip!

Golf Courses in Roswell, New Mexico

golf ball being put on golf tee

If you want to spend the day on the golf course, you’re in good hands.

Roswell, NM, is home to several golf courses.

The Nancy Lopez Golf Course at Spring River lies on 144 acres around the Spring River.

This 18-hole course is said to be a nice challenge for all golfers.

Other options for your trip itinerary include the New Mexico Military Institute Golf Course and the Roswell Country Club.

Disc Golf Courses in Roswell, NM

If you are interested in playing a round of disc golf in Roswell, New Mexico, then you will be happy to know that there are also two disc golf courses.

Enchanted Lands disc golf course is a free 18-hole golf course in Enchanted Lands Park.

Guests here can also enjoy the other park amenities like the playground, picnic areas, and walking trails.

The ENMU-Roswell Campus also has a 9-hole disc golf course you are welcome to come and play on.

Spring River Park and Zoo

ring tailed lemur

Spring River Park and Zoo is one of the great kid-friendly places to go in Roswell, NM.

Comprised of over 30 acres of land, the Spring River Park and Zoo has plenty to see, but still at a manageable size.

Not only can you see all the animals that call the Spring River Park and Zoo home, but you can also participate in educational programs, pet the animals, and go on a train ride!

1306 E. College Blvd, Roswell, NM 88201

Cielo Grande Park

Cielo Grande Park is a nice place to visit for a nice picnic or just a stroll outside.

The park is situated on 151 acres and offers loads of fun amenities.

There are picnic facilities, a paved walking path, a skate park, soccer fields, and more at Ciele Grande Park.

Enchanted Lands Park

Another Roswell park, Enchanted Lands Park, features a playground, a large grassy area, barbecue pits, and baseball and soccer fields. This is a great place to spend a day outside.

Other Places to Visit in Roswell, NM

Pecos Flavors Winery

2 glasses of red wine and a charcuterie board

Head to Pecos Flavors Winery for a relaxed evening out on the town.

Here you can enjoy a great atmosphere paired with some great wine.

Pecos Flavors Winery is a local wine producer that makes some incredible New Mexican wine.

You can do a tasting during your visit to determine your favorite and then settle in with a bottle and a charcuterie board!

Pecos Flavors Winery sounds like the perfect date night in Roswell, NM!

412 W. 2nd Street, Roswell, NM 88201

See a Performance at Pearson Auditorium

A concert at Person Auditorium is a great addition to your trip itinerary.

Located on the New Mexico Military Institute campus, the Person is where the Roswell Symphony Orchestra plays.

Attending a concert here and then going to dinner at one of Roswell’s restaurants makes for a nice evening out.

Roswell UFO Tours

UFO Crash Site sign

Roswell UFO Tours offers in-depth tours with a Roswell UFO Researcher to answer all your questions about what really happened on that day in 1947.

During your tour, you will visit 20 locations to see if you can uncover the truth.

The tour includes stops at several witnesses’ homes, some of the Roswell museums, and the Roswell Army Airfield.

Go Shopping at Roswell Mall

If you didn’t find what you wanted while exploring Main Street, head to Roswell Mall to continue your shopping spree.

Roswell Mall is home to many national retail stores and has everything from clothes to crafts.

Go Antiquing at the Roswell Antique Mall

antiques

The Roswell Antique Mall is the perfect place for antique lovers.

This antique mall contains all sorts of little treasures.

And the best part is it is nearby other Roswell attractions, like the International UFO Museum, so it is easy to look.

Of course, there are several restaurants in the area if you need a meal after all that shopping!

Support the Local Actors at Roswell Community Little Theatre

There is nothing better than supporting local talent, and you can do just that when you attend a performance at the Roswell Community Little Theatre.

The Little Theatre Company puts on live performances for the community to enjoy.

Grab dinner at one of the Roswell restaurants and make this a fun night out.

Snap a Photo with the Welcome to Roswell Sign

Welcome to Roswell sign

We love snapping photos with the town’s “Welcome to” signs; the Roswell one is no exception.

Actually, it is pretty awesome as it is such a unique and fun sign.

Complete with a flying saucer that lights up and spins at night; this is the perfect place for a fun selfie!

Roswell UFO Fest

recreation of UFO crash site during Roswell UFO Festival

We visited Roswell during the Roswell UFO Festival totally by coincidence.

We had no idea the festival was happening the weekend we went to Roswell until we got there.

I have to say; if you are a fan of outer space and extra-terrestrial stuff, then you will love this festival.

You will also love it if you are a fan of people-watching like us!

The festival takes place annually and is a quirky, fun time.

Walking around Main St. during this festival was such a treat.

There were people dressed in all sorts of space-inspired costumes.

They really did go “all out.”

It reminded me of some fun costumes we see when visiting New Orleans during Mardi Gras!

If you can add this to your itinerary, DO IT! Just know that the town gets extremely crowded during this festival so accommodation prices will increase.

Where to Stay in Roswell, NM

Hotels in Roswell

There are several hotels in Roswell to choose from. Here are some you may want to consider:

Candlewood Suites

Days Inn by Wyndham

Quality Inn and Suites Roswell

Holiday Inn

Home2 Suites

Hampton Inn and Suites

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Michelle Snell-Founder That Texas Couple

About the Author

Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through creative content creation and her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel and accompanying social media accounts.  She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.

Carol Colborn

Tuesday 28th of December 2021

What an interesting town! I didn't know about the 1947 crash. And they have built such a dedtination!!!

thattexascouple

Wednesday 29th of December 2021

It really is!

Agnes

Tuesday 28th of December 2021

I was in Roswell, NM and I enjoyed it a lot. It's a perfect destination, especially as a family trip. Mc Donalds is so funny, and the UFO Museum is fabulous! But I had no time to visit Robert H. Goddard Planetarium. I add it to my list for my next trip. It's an exciting and detailed guide to Roswell.

thattexascouple

Wednesday 29th of December 2021

You are so right, kids absolutely love it! Thanks for reading and commenting!

Sage Scott

Tuesday 28th of December 2021

Roswell is SUCH a fun New Mexico town! It's a bit out off the normal route we drive between Kansas City and my Mom and Dad's house in Las Cruces, but when we adjust to visit, we always have a blast!

thattexascouple

Wednesday 29th of December 2021

It really is!!!

Rudy at Backpack and Snorkel

Monday 27th of December 2021

Wow, this is a great article. I have driven by Roswell, NM on the highway twic about 20 years ago, but never bothered to stop. I really like the murals and, like you, I think I will take some photos with the 'aliens'.

thattexascouple

Monday 27th of December 2021

Thank you, Rudy. Next time you're driving by, stop and explore!

Nicole Anderson

Friday 24th of December 2021

I had no idea there were so many fun things to keep you occupied in Roswell! Yes, the UFO angle is enjoyable and provides much food for thought, but the natural beauty of the surrounding area is something I wasn't aware of, including the State Park, Wildlife Refuge and Sand Dunes. Previously I might have thought of spending a weekend there at the most, but given everything you have shared, a week now seems probable.

thattexascouple

Saturday 25th of December 2021

I am so happy to hear that you enjoyed the post! Roswell is such a fun, quirky town, and there is really so much to see and enjoy that isn't just the "alien" scene.