Roswell, New Mexico, is the fifth-largest city in New Mexico. An otherwise unassuming city, originally home to farmers and ranchers and industrial workers, Roswell came to be part of the country’s general consciousness when, in 1947, an air force surveillance balloon crashed at a ranch and prompted witnesses to believe an UFO had touched down and was subsequently covered up. An event now known as the Roswell Incident. Whether or not you believe this long-held conspiracy theory, Roswell is definitely worth a visit (but especially if you have a thing for aliens).
The International UFO Museum and Research Center
Created in 1990 by public information officer Lt. Walter Haut, the man responsible for the original press release revealing the landing of a flying saucer, the museum is a nonprofit organization aimed at educating the general public on all aspects of the UFO phenomena. The museum is open daily and features tours, speakers, and exhibits.
Roswell Museum and Art Center
Taking a more traditional museum route, the RMAC offers rotating exhibits of fine art and photography. The permanent collection also includes the scientific equipment of Robert H. Goddard, a scientist and physicist thought to create the first liquid-fueled rocket. The center also offers weekday and weekend classes for children and adults and also has a planetarium.
Cinco de Mayo Festival
A new cultural addition in 2016, Roswell plans to honor its large Hispanic and Latino population by hosting a Cinco de Mayo Festival. A family-friendly event, the festival will be a day of live entertainment, sporting events, the best food the area has to offer, and “loads of fun.”
Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Established in 1937, the Bitter Lake Wildlife Refuge plays an integral part in protecting the rare migratory birds who flock to the wetlands caused by the nearby Pecos River. Trails are open to the public year round from dawn to dusk, Monday through Friday, and be sure to check the calendar for any special events that might be happening during your visit.
The Amazing Roswell UFO Festival
Taking place the last weekend of June, the UFO festival invites skeptics and enthusiasts alike the opportunity to celebrate the Roswell Incident, one of the most debated events of the past century. The three-day event will feature guest speakers, live entertainment, costume contests (one for you and one for your pets), a parade, and much more!