I Went To Roswell And Everything Was Ridiculous


Alien Zone in Roswell

What's it like to spend time in Roswell, home of the aliens? I found it to be ridiculous, hilarious, and so over-the-top!

“How would you feel if I told you we could add two hours to our driving time and get to meet some aliens along the way?” I whispered to Dave over breakfast.

“Um…”

“Don’t answer yet,” I continued. “You see, I had a look at a map and discovered that we can actually drive to Alpine via Roswell! You know? ROSWELL! Land of the aliens!” 

Dave stared at me with a blend of frustration and amusement.

“Please please please please please!” I begged. “It’ll be so much fun! I promise.”

arbys in roswell new mexico

And so, we went to Roswell.

 And it was just how I imagined it would be.

The storefronts were alien themed and the restaurants served alien burgers. There were parking spots reserved for aliens and even the lampposts were shaped like alien heads.

I breathed a sigh of relief.

This was going to be a lot of fun.

Roswell alien-themed stores

I arrived in Roswell an open-minded skeptic. I thought that all of the UFO craziness was most likely nonsense but I was happy to be convinced otherwise. In fact, I was almost certain I’d be able to be convinced of it — after all, I’m the girl that gets spooked over ghost stories but doesn’t believe in ghosts…

Dave and I made our first port of call the UFO Museum so that we could get some research done.

I was ready to hear the facts, read about alien experiences, and have my mind blown.

I was ready to start believing.

roswell alien dry ice

roswell ufo crash funny

alien at roswell ufo museum entrance

Oh!

Well… um… this wasn’t quite what I was expecting.

fake alien in roswell

Alien ridiculousness at Roswell

Disco ball ufo

It was ridiculous.

People in tie-dyed shirts hid out in corners, comparing their favourite abduction story in hushed tones.

There were glow-in-the-dark paintings of spacecraft racing through galaxies, giant disco ball UFOs hanging from the ceiling. There was even an enormous horse covered in newspaper clippings.

Random physics terms were thrown onto posters with little explanation, “How did they get here? ANTIMATTER REACTION! GRAVITY AMPLIFICATION! INTERSTELLAR CRAFT!”

And then the beeping and squeaking from the centre of the room would start up, as smoke began to gush out of a flashing, rotating UFO.

 

And then I just couldn’t take anything seriously.

We left the UFO Museum in search of even more tackiness and fortunately stumbled right into Alien Zone. For just $3 we ended up having the most fun of the entire road trip.

Alien Zone is essentially a big room with aliens in all kinds of bizarre situations — and you can pose with them!

Here are some of my favourites.

performing an autopsy in roswell alien zone

alien zone in roswell

Alien Zone in Roswell

Alien Zone in Roswell

Alien Zone in Roswell

girl at roswell

girl at alien zone in roswell

alien autopsy at roswell

posing at alien zone in roswell

playing table football with an alien

And that was Roswell!

It was corny and cheesy and tacky and so ridiculous, and yet as Dave and I climbed back in the car to head down to Texas, we couldn’t wipe the smiles from our faces.

It was so worth the two hour detour.

91 Comments

  1. September 20, 2013
    Reply

    OMG I LOVE THIS… LIKE SO MUCH!!! Yes I am a believer & have always wanted to go to Roswell. I even own the damn TV show on DVD…lol. I couldn’t sell it I just couldnt. These photos are beyond amazing they are EPIC.

    I have got to visit Roswell soon.

    • October 7, 2013
      Reply

      I used to watch the TV show too! Well, Roswell isn’t that far away from you… you’ll have to go!

  2. Roswell looks like SO much fun! I love places like this where you feel like a total tourist and so cheesy but you actually have the best time because you don’t have to take anything too seriously.

    • October 7, 2013
      Reply

      I do too. So many people frown on the tourist attractions but I freely admit that I love being a tourist. Roswell was great for being silly and getting your tourist on!

  3. September 20, 2013
    Reply

    Looks like so much fun! I love all of these pictures! haha

    • October 7, 2013
      Reply

      Glad you enjoyed the post, Michelle! :-)

  4. September 20, 2013
    Reply

    I LOVE TACKY.

    This is GREAT.

    • October 7, 2013
      Reply

      It was so incredibly tacky. You should go! :-)

  5. September 21, 2013
    Reply

    O wow, that IS ridiculous! Didn’t even know such a place exists. Love it!

    • October 7, 2013
      Reply

      It’s been on my list ever since I saw a documentary showing how ridiculous the city is. It was great.

  6. September 21, 2013
    Reply

    I’ve never been to Roswell, but I agree that the best part about roadtrips is that you can go wherever you like and use that freedom to seek out all the random tacky stuff scattered around the U.S. Sounds like Roswell is the jackpot!

    • October 7, 2013
      Reply

      There were so many crazy sights on this road trip as we were often driving on Route 66. Lots of bizarre statues and stops :-)

  7. September 21, 2013
    Reply

    I love the silly physics jargon. Reverse the polarity! Ionize the isotopes! Engage the plasma coils! Electromagnetize the warp drive! Release the kraken!

    • October 7, 2013
      Reply

      EXACTLY! It was so ridiculous.

  8. Alouise
    September 21, 2013
    Reply

    This. Looks. Amazing. Seriously I’m busting a gut just looking at these photos – I can only imagine how ridiculously awesome it must have been to see such wonders with your own eyes. I’ve been wanting to visit New Mexico for a while, and when I go I’ll definitely be going to Roswell.

    • October 3, 2013
      Reply

      Yep, you should definitely add Roswell to a New Mexico itinerary — it’s so unique and so much fun!

  9. September 21, 2013
    Reply

    I liiiiive for tacky stuff like this! How fun!

    • October 3, 2013
      Reply

      It was one of the tackiest places I’ve ever been!

  10. Lilian
    September 21, 2013
    Reply

    Love the photos, they’re so cheesy yet hilarious! I would totally take a two hour detour to visit this place. I’m all about the cheese!

    • October 3, 2013
      Reply

      I’m so pleased I managed to convince Dave to detour with me :-)

  11. Yvette
    September 21, 2013
    Reply

    Fun fact: I spent a summer working at the SETI Institute, meaning I talk to these kooks more than you ever care to know. SO WELCOME TO MY WORLD, LAUREN! :-p

    In other news, I kinda feel sorry for anyone who actually lives in Roswell- if I was in the area I would detour, but more than a day there would likely render someone insane.

    • October 3, 2013
      Reply

      Yeah, seriously. Most of the people I saw working in non-alien themed shops looked absolutely miserable! And, erm, lucky you? Haha! At least it keeps things interesting…. right? :-)

  12. Ryan
    September 21, 2013
    Reply

    Those posing photos are HILARIOUS! But it is a damn shame that a place with such a fanatical following and storied history (true or not) has such a crap museum. I’m sure it was overly amusing how tacky it was, but it seems of elementary school science fair quality. Oh well, I’ve always wanted to visit Roswell, but I don’t think it is SUPER high up on my list anymore.

    • October 3, 2013
      Reply

      I did feel like the museum wasn’t very well done… there was information and stories, but it was all printed on font size 10 on A4 pieces of paper stuck to the wall, so didn’t really grab my attention as much as the other stuff… :-)

  13. September 22, 2013
    Reply

    Haha – looks like you guys had a good time!

    • September 24, 2013
      Reply

      We had such a great time! :-)

  14. Stephanie @ Pearlsandpassports
    September 22, 2013
    Reply

    How do you find all of these crazy places Lauren? I love it! If you ever fancy a change from travel writing and freelance work I think you should become a model! You pose with those aliens with such ease!

    • October 3, 2013
      Reply

      I’ve wanted to go to Roswell since I saw a documentary about it a few years ago — it looked as ridiculous then as it does now! :-)

  15. Teo
    September 23, 2013
    Reply

    Very Very funny and silly place.. but worth visiting.. great pics!

  16. September 23, 2013
    Reply

    I would sooooo want to go there as well!
    The alien zone semes to cool. All the photo ops!

    • September 24, 2013
      Reply

      I’m so glad I discovered the Alien Zone else I would have ended up a little disappointed with Roswell. I loved all of the photo opportunities!

  17. September 24, 2013
    Reply

    Haha great post, love the photos!

  18. Hogga
    September 24, 2013
    Reply

    haha this looks like a hoot!

  19. September 25, 2013
    Reply

    Ah.. I remember that “museum” .. I found it to be a little to cheesy for my taste! But I did love seeing all the green aliens in hotels, restaurants, gas stations.. every random place possible. New Mexico is too underrated on travel itineraries!

    • October 3, 2013
      Reply

      It was exceptionally cheesy! New Mexico was fantastic, and so underrated. I’m keen to go back and see more of it :-)

  20. Nate
    September 24, 2013
    Reply

    Great set of photos, looks like a ball!

  21. September 26, 2013
    Reply

    Bahaha, that is pretty awesome! Roswell is definitely on my list for my next road trip in the Southwest!

  22. September 27, 2013
    Reply

    Oh my God, this place looks amazing!!! I love corny things like this and it looks like you went to town getting involved in all the photos. I would have taken a detour to go there too! Probably a detour of a few days!!

    • October 3, 2013
      Reply

      It’s a unique place, that’s for sure! Totally worth the detour :-). If my visa wasn’t due to run out in a week I would have probably stayed for a few days too.

  23. This is totally a place that I would make my husband go and he would have a miserable time, but I’d have so much fun!

    • October 3, 2013
      Reply

      Exactly. I know that Dave wasn’t enjoying it quite as much as I was…

  24. Brenda
    September 30, 2013
    Reply

    Haha, the pics with the aliens look amazing! Very funny!

    • October 3, 2013
      Reply

      Thanks, Brenda! Glad you enjoyed :-)

  25. September 30, 2013
    Reply

    We visited Roswell on our road trip and you just got to laugh with some of the stuff you see. America has an amazing way of turning something serious (?) into entertainment.

    • October 3, 2013
      Reply

      Absolutely! I was so pleased that Roswell as exactly as I’d imagined. Ridiculous :-)

  26. OMG, this is PRICELESS. I have to go there, I have to go there!

    • October 3, 2013
      Reply

      I think you’d love it! :-)

  27. Stephanie
    October 1, 2013
    Reply

    That is great! I didn’t know that the area was even like this. I do love the chilling with the Aliens photo. :D

    • October 3, 2013
      Reply

      There were so many fantastic photo opportunities! :-)

  28. October 2, 2013
    Reply

    HAHAHAHAHA! This post is absolutely HILARIOUS!!! We haven’t been to Roswell, but we have this plan to retire to an RV and see the states (after we are done traveling the World…..) so this stop is on our list! Thanks for sharing. Still laughing…. :)

    • October 3, 2013
      Reply

      Glad you enjoyed the post, Lina! I have a similar plan for a few years time although my boyfriend is trying to convince me to do it in a school bus…

  29. paul | walkflypinoy
    October 4, 2013
    Reply

    I love this! My favorite’s the one in the pooping booth. I feel like the alien is annoyed and thinking: “Couldn’t a guy just poop in peace these days?!” Haha.

    • October 7, 2013
      Reply

      Heh, that was exactly the look I was going for! So many opportunities… :-)

  30. October 10, 2013
    Reply

    This looks so whacky-I love it! Did you meet any crazy believers with alien abduction stories?

    • October 19, 2013
      Reply

      Nobody that had personally been abducted but there was a group of odd people crowded around a painting discussing which abduction story was their favourite. It was so bizarre!

  31. October 14, 2013
    Reply

    Great pictures, I thought about passing by there a few times, but still haven’t made it. I have always thought that it would be just as ridiculous as you mention. Thanks for sharing it.

    • October 19, 2013
      Reply

      No problem, Andy! You’ll have to stop off there one day :-)

  32. rebecca kroegel
    August 18, 2014
    Reply

    mega awesome in such a silly way! Roswell is totally on my bucket list!

  33. Michael Wender
    November 1, 2015
    Reply

    Looks like alot of fun Laura. I am very interested in UFOs myself, did you visit the actual site of the alien spacecraft crash?

    • November 4, 2015
      Reply

      *Lauren.

      And nope, I didn’t get a chance to visit this time around.

  34. Ann
    April 23, 2016
    Reply

    We’re driving from north Florida to the Grand Canyon, and I informed my husband and 90 yr old father in law we are stopping at Roswell. The tackier the better! Thank you for your insight. Makes me want to go even more!

    • May 13, 2016
      Reply

      Yess! I hope you love it as much as we did :-)

  35. August 6, 2016
    Reply

    OMG!!! Hello fellow Lauren! I’m literally sitting in South Korea right now, having just read your post and fantasizing about going to Roswell! Who am I?!

    • August 6, 2016
      Reply

      Hi! Hahaha. You should totally go! It’s so much fun :-)

  36. August 12, 2016
    Reply

    This is brilliant the photos are hilarious!

  37. August 15, 2016
    Reply

    This is what I get for looking up things to do in Roswell – I come up with your post!

    I, too, need a gallery of being probed and hanging with aliens.

  38. John G
    September 23, 2016
    Reply

    I was born in Roswell and have not lives there in about 32 years. The museum down the street North of the UFO museum has a replica of Robert Goddard’s workshop in Roswell. It is not cheesy at all. Also to the West are the mountains. People go up there to ski etc… Also on the way up the mountain on your right if headed west is Lincoln which at one time(1870’s-80’s )was called the most dangerous place on Earth. (Young Guns/Billy the Kid etc…) If you are a old West buff that is the place. South on the road to Alpine (a great little town) is Carlsbad Caverns (It even has a elevator).

  39. This is hilarious!!! What a great post. Reminds me of when I accidentally drove right past 4 Corners on a road trip and realized it was a huge tourist attraction … it was literally just a plaque in the ground celebrating a completely random and arbitrary border, with a huge line of people waiting to take photos. We pretended like it was a huge deal and had a blast!

    We’re doing a road trip next year and this definitely just made the list. Thanks for sharing your ridic pics :)

  40. Drew
    November 29, 2017
    Reply

    Hi all,
    Sorry to be a negative post but Roswell is way over hyped. I just got back from a New Mexico road trip and was super excited to drive thru Roswell, so much I even convinced my partner to spend the night there. When I say excited I really do mean excited, I even had a playlist while driving there with the final song being Katy Perry’s ET. However outside of the little green aliens at the hotels and few gas stations, the street lights on the downtown square, the science fair quality UFO museum ( as stated earlier), the Alien zone, and few novelty stores that’s about it. Im sure RosFest is blast but I do feel like this post is a little misleading, If you want to spare an hour to go see and get the facebook check in then go for it but do not plan on more than that. The Alien Zone photo opps were the best part but there are only about 8 scenes and the lighting can be difficult. There are no alien dinners anymore unless its pop up one for a festival, we had to eat at the cowboy cafe just for themes sake.

    • December 3, 2017
      Reply

      How is the post misleading? I basically said the entire town was a disappointment and I only spent an hour there.

  41. Vivian
    December 4, 2017
    Reply

    I read your post, and perhaps Roswell is ridiculously violent. More to the town than just UFO sightings. Robert H. Goddard did much here to increase knowledge on rocket propulsion. I’ve lived here for six years, and never thought this town was funny. It’s a difficult town in which to live. Everyone knows everyone, because many people have lived here generationally. This makes it a bit of a judgemental town, and a low-end welfare town with homelessness. It truly has become violent with a least a murder, shooting or stabbing every week. It has calmed down a little, but it’s certainly not a cute little fun town.

    • January 2, 2018
      Reply

      Obviously as a tourist travelling through for a couple of hours, I only saw the tacky, touristy, alien-themed parts. Thanks for sharing a different side of the city with my readers.

  42. Chris
    October 4, 2018
    Reply

    You made my day. Everything seems ridiculous.

  43. Angel in roswell
    December 21, 2018
    Reply

    Come July 1 through 4 big carnavil alien contest everyone goes all out and hey if your hungry I work at golden corral buffet come see the new remodel. Also we have an aquatic center with a water park built in it’s a family friendly town please give us a try in july.

  44. Aby
    January 7, 2019
    Reply

    Hi I live in Roswell and the town is so much more than what you cut it out to be. You described Roswell as ridiculous but to be honest your it was your post that was ridiculous. Come back another time and take a deeper look.

    • January 7, 2019
      Reply

      I’d love to! Was hard to do so on a quick stopover when I only had an hour in town.

  45. Anonymous
    February 23, 2019
    Reply

    i think most people, but not all have forgotten the word FUN

    apparently your not one of those

    keep exploring

  46. Ruben
    May 10, 2019
    Reply

    I can tell you, living here is quite different. The alien stuff gets old real fast. Mostly because the actual crash in the 40s happened 70 miles away in another town. But otherwise, crime is rampant here and the cops don’t care. People are arrogant and rude, full of themselves and full of something else. The rich have no wish to help the poor and the poor do nothing to help themselves. Most businesses close after a year or two. Drugs, well, meth is everywhere. For a tourist, a day or two here is probably fun. But your just seeing the town in the most superficial way. If you stay, it takes on a whole new light.

  47. Yo-yo
    June 2, 2019
    Reply

    What Ruben said, but double it. Drugs, dairy and oil are the only money being poured into Roswell, and the city gets worse and worse with crime and opportunities for decent employment.

  48. Sammy
    March 21, 2021
    Reply

    Hi Lauren,
    I don’t travel much anymore, but I used to travel a lot when I was younger. Now I mostly just research travel ideas for other people. I was checking on something in Roswell for someone, when I saw your Ridiculous Roswell article come up in my search listings.

    I just had to click on it. The page opened to: “Never Ending Footsteps”, “Traveller, Writer and Walking Disaster”, “I Went To Roswell And Everything Was Ridiculous”, “Meet Lauren” and a tiny bit of the top of the Taj Mahal…

    I rolled my eyes and thought to myself, “Great. Another attractive young woman vapidly waxing endlessly on how fabulous the world is, all while promoting her unrealistic lifestyle, by claiming how easy is to be doing what she is doing”.

    I scrolled down a little bit further to your photograph and thought, “Attractive young woman, just as I expected…”.

    I scrolled down a little bit further and immediately recognized the pop-out UFO hatch from Alien Zone. When most people report on Roswell, they usually only visit the museum and if they even mention Alien Zone, they have either no photos or really poor ones. Yours are the best I’ve seen.

    I started reading your article, I loved the way you built up to the crescendo by being being so full of hope, enthusiasm and excitement before ending up so underwhelmed.

    Between the comments about tie-died shirt people, disco ball UFOs, horse covering newspaper clippings and random physics term posters, you had me laughing out loud. I am still chuckling to myself as I write this.

    After thoroughly enjoying the article and photographs, I checked out out some of your other writing.
    I must say, I made a hasty and prejudiced and unfair judgement of you, and for that I am sorry. Unlike so many influencers, you actually know and understand what it is like for regular people to travel and you promote that in your blog. I think you are a funny and a good writer. If you continue to work at it, I think you could write a successful book.

    Best of luck,
    Keep traveling and writing.

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