Roswell, New Mexico – Aliens, Art and More

Join us as we discover there is more to Roswell than Aliens.

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UFO Museum
The street lights on Main Street look like alien heads.

We selected several places we wanted to see during our time in Roswell. Our first stop was the International UFO Museum and Research Center on Main Street. Like many of the alien-related attractions in Roswell, the front and sides of the building have pictures of spaceships and green aliens.

The museum has newspaper articles from July 1947 regarding Mac Brazel’s discovery. There are numerous affidavits by family members and neighbors detailing their knowledge of the event. There are also affidavits by several members of the military sharing their knowledge. This section of the museum was the most interesting to me.Mac Brazel

The museum has fun displays for those wanting to see aliens. There is an area devoted to alien-themed movies and books.Aliens w ship

There is also a section regarding ancient cultures and extraterrestrials. We took our time and enjoyed looking at all the displays.Ancient ET

We left the UFO Museum and walked north on Main Street. Our next stop was The Gallery Main Street Arts. Sponsored by The Roswell Fine Arts League, the gallery displays the work of local artists. The artist showing us around the gallery was very knowledgeable about the art on display.

The Gallery features photography, watercolor, sculptures, and jewelry. We enjoyed our time there and saw many pieces we liked. You can check their Facebook page for a sampling. The Gallery Roswell

Our next stop was the Historical Center for Southeast New Mexico Museum on North Lea Street. The museum is located in a house on the National Register of Historic Places. The home was constructed in 1912 in the Schooner design developed by Frank Lloyd Wright.Historical house museumOriginally home to the James Phelps White family, the museum contains exact replicas of parlors and kitchens at the turn-of-the-century. The second floor rooms contain galleries exhibiting toys, western and military items from the early 1900’s. 

historical house porch
Front Porch
front entry stairs
Front entry and staircase

It was after 2:00p.m.and we were getting hungry. Based on the recommendations of our campground host and the artist at The Gallery, we checked out Big D’s Downtown Dive. Our burgers looked so good we had to take pictures!. They did not disappoint. We ate every bite, as well as an order of sweet potato fries.

Big D's diner
Big D’s Downtown Dive – after the lunch rush
Big D burgers
Good Ole Reliable and Texas BBQ

After our late lunch, we made a quick stop at The Chaves County Magistrate Court House and the Roswell Veteran’s Memorial.court house and war memorial

One more place in the downtown area was on our list – The Roswell Museum & Art Center and Robert H. Goddard Planetarium. Locating it on our map, we headed north on Main Street, and turned west on 11th. After parking our car in an almost empty lot, we walked to the entrance. The museum was closed on Monday. We walked around the building and Andy took a few pictures.

art education center
Art Education Center at the Rosewell Museum
Robert Goddard and rocket
Statue of Robert H. Goddard looking at one of his rockets.

Back in the car, we viewed the Roswell attraction map to find another place of interest. The Bitter Lake National Wildlife Refuge looked like a great outdoor place for us.

We entered it into the Garmin and started navigating. Caution! Follow the map provided by the city if you are trying to find an out-of-the-way place. After a couple navigational mishaps, we arrived at the Joseph R. Skeen Visitor Center. It was closed; possibly due to the Federal Government shut down.

We saw the entrance for the Wildlife Drive Loop near the parking lot. We turned onto the loop and slowly started our tour.

The loop is eight-miles with several overlooks where you can stop and watch the wildlife. Unfortunately, we did not see a great variety of wildlife. We saw mallards and American coots swimming in a few of the small oxbows. We enjoyed the scenery and stopped several times to explore the paths adjacent to the loop.

trail of wildlife loop
Walkway to one of the overlooks.
shelter on loop
Inside a shelter at an overlook.
The white on the ground is not snow. It is gypsum.
oxbow lake at bitter lake refuge
Oxbow at Bitter Lake Wildlife Refuge

As the sun was setting, we finished our drive around the loop. We stopped for some final pictures, and enjoyed the view. It was a great end to our day exploring Roswell.sunset wildlife

Driving back to the campground, we discussed either visiting the Art Center and Planetarium on Tuesday, or driving to our next destination.

pecan trees
One of several pecan groves we saw while driving to campground.

Later that evening, we learned that the government shutdown was ending. Carlsbad Caverns was opening Tuesday morning. We decided to stay one more night in Roswell and visit Carlsbad Caverns as a day trip.

Check back soon for the highlights of our visit to the caverns.

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