The small ranching town of Roswell is renowned as the spot where an alien spaceship supposedly crash-landed on July 4, 1947. The commander of the local air force base announced that they had retrieved the wreckage of a flying saucer, and despite a follow-up denial within a day the story has kept running, with TV series like X-Files, Roswell and Taken stoking the imaginations of UFO theorists.
Despite the wishful thinking of the truly weird clientele who drift in from the plains, the International UFO Museum, 114 N Main St (daily 9am–5pm; $5; Tel:505/625-9495, Web: www.roswellufomuseum.com ), inadvertently exposes the whole tawdry business as transparent nonsense. By way of contrast, the Roswell Museum, 100 W 11th St (Mon– Sat 9am–5pm, Sun 1–5pm; free), boasts an excellent, multifaceted collection, with a section celebrating pioneer rocket scientist Robert Goddard (1882–1945). Historical artifacts elsewhere range from Spanish armor to astronaut Harrison Schmitt's spacesuit, while a gallery displays Southwestern landscape paintingss including a solitary Georgia O'Keeffe.
Roswell's visitor center is at 426 N Main St (Mon– Sat 9am–5pm; Tel:505/624-0889, Web: www.roswellnm.org ). The finest motel in town, the Best Western Sally Port Inn, 2000 N Main St (Tel:505/622-6430 or 1-800/548-5221, Web: www.bestwestern.com ; Price: $51-75), also has a good restaurant. The Cattle Baron, 1113 N Main St (Tel:505/622-2465), is a large, good-value steakhouse, while Farley's, just up the hill at 1315 N Main St (Tel:505/627-1100), is a livelier sci-fi-themed pub and diner.
Comfort Inn Roswell is located approximately 14 miles from Bottomless Lakes State Park, 15 miles from the Petroglyph National Monument, and 175 miles from Lubbock International ...