We planned a two night layover in Roswell, New Mexico on a cross country trip with our camper. I don’t know about you, but I love all things alien. That being said, I also speak sarcasm fluently with a fairly dry sense of humor. I was ready for anything at Roswell. Informative, funny, ridiculous, I can roll with the punches. My husband had been through the area once before and while he finds all the supernatural stuff pretty silly, he was excited to take me there as it was a bucket list stop for me.
My expectations were not that high. I was pretty sure we were going to get a lot of retail oriented alien visitation rather than the real kind. After the fact, I should have lowered my expectations even further… But I feel like I approached this stop with my typical sense of humor and made the best of it.
Roswell probably banked on its Alien crash landing location with more pride and care 20yrs ago. Today it’s Alien themed stops and shops are pretty sad and run down. We did stop a week after it’s annual UFO Festival. I’ll give the town the benefit of the doubt and assume the stores/museums were a bit cleaner before and were then wiped out and tired when we arrived. Maybe?
You can’t have a Roswell visit without a stop at the International UFO Museum and Research Center. While it has a lot of really cool information to read up on, it also had some great silly stuff and I had to get a pair of hot pink alien socks and a couple magnets for our growing collection. It was the cleanest location we stopped in and a fun way to spend an hour.
There are a few stores you can walk through along the downtown strip but be prepared for the onslaught of burning incense, black lights, flower child and weird… Our favorite/worst stop was Alien Zone Area 51. A quirky gift shop with alien photo ops galore. We had a fun time in this store taking photos with their various props. However, many were in very rough shape and so filthy you kinda felt like you might not survive the experience from the onslaught of germ infestation if you touched anything. Do I recommend it? YES. But don’t enter with high expectations. Most those aliens have seen better days. Take some hand sanitizer.
Don’t forget a stop at Roswell’s UFO shaped McDonalds!
Roswell might be a fun stop for its UFO Festival, and certainly an entertaining day trip on a cross country drive. As a vacation destination? Maybe not so much. But one more thing checked off my bucket list!