Green chile cheeseburgers aren’t the only things out of this world in New Mexico.
The state is a natural for travelers interested in the atomic age and space travel. Seeing the Trinity Site, where they detonated the world’s first atomic bomb, isn’t the half of it.
New Mexico has no less than four cities rich in space age-centered exhibits. And unlike the Trinity Site, they’re open to you year-round.
Out of this World Travel in New Mexico, North to South
How will we travel on this tour?
In a clockwise direction, starting near the top-center of the state, 30 miles northwest of Santa Fe, in the city of:
1. Los Alamos, site of the Manhattan Project.
This is where scientist J. Robert Oppenheimer and his team birthed the first atomic bombs used in warfare. These were “Fat Man” and “Little Boy,” dropped on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, respectively, ending World War II.
The Los Alamos Historical Walking Tour gives you a window into these scientists’ groundbreaking work. It’s also a terrific way to explore this scenic and historic city at your own pace.
The remaining three “space cities” are in Southern New Mexico . . . naturally!
Out of This World Travel (that is strictly Southern NM)
2. Roswell, site of the “first alien landing.”
Ever since 1947’s alleged alien spaceship landing and the equally alleged government cover-up that followed, Roswell has been on the map as a center for activity related to UFO’s (unidentified flying objects).
And little spacemen, who are not necessarily green.
You may find the International UFO Museum and Research Center fun if you’re traveling with children. So we’ll forgive you for eating at the spaceship-shaped McDonald’s restaurant “just because.”
But if you miss seeing the art collection celebrating the American southwest at the Roswell Museum, you won’t be able to forgive yourself.
3. Alamogordo, home of the New Mexico Museum of Space History.
Space wear, space rockets, and other artifacts documenting space exploration history and New Mexico’s role in it ~ it’s all here. Along with the International Space Hall of Fame honoring space pioneers from astronauts to science fiction writers.
4. Truth or Consequences, site of Spaceport America.
Remember how each episode of the original Star Trek series began by describing space as “the final frontier?”
Well, the people of Spaceport America are working hard to help us cross it.
The facility houses two vehicles belonging to Virgin Galactic, the first commercial line for space travel. You know, the one where a single ticket costs $250,000? Well . . . .
Spaceport America offers interactive exhibits for those of us not quite ready to buy a ticket. Yet we do want to get an idea of how it might feel to cross that frontier someday.
One of these is a G-shock simulator that lets you experience some of what rapid acceleration does to astronauts in flight.
Now you KNOW that sounds like fun!
Another great post, Melodie! I ate so much food on my last visit to New Mexico that I didn’t do much else, and this is a great list of places to visit. Thanks!
Thank YOU, Steve ~ glad to help! Look out for more about eats in Southern NM’s “space cities” ~ Roswell, T or C, and Alamogordo later this spring.