By Susan Brown
The stunning and dramatic Bottomless Lakes State Park is a marvelous spot to start off a journey exploring Roswell, New Mexico. The state park is remote and situated along the Pecos River, but you don’t have to travel very far to find great local attractions and restaurants. So, next time you head out to Roswell for a visit to Bottomless Lake, check out these great things to do in and around the park.
The state’s first and oldest state park is a cluster of eight unique lakes or sinkholes that range from 17 to 90 feet deep. They are not bottomless! That’s just an illusion created by the aquatic plants that give the water a greenish-blue hue that masks the depth. The park is full of recreational opportunities. Fishing is allowed in two of the lakes, Cottonwood and Devil’s Ink and you can swim, kayak or canoe in Lea Lake. Avid scuba divers come to explore the deep blue water. Camping, hiking, birding, picnicking and birding round out the activities here.
The town may be famous for alien beings, but there’s an out-of-this-world zoo here, too. The five main zoo areas cover 34 acres of parkland. You’ll wander by native animals, child-friendly animals at the children’s area, a world safari exotics section, a ranching heritage exhibit, plus there’s a miniature train and antique wooden horse carousel to ride. Free admission.
This museum, located at the Roswell International Air Center Terminal, celebrates the rich history of the squadrons based at the Roswell Army Air Field and Walker Air Force Base from the mid-1900s to its closing in 1967. Displays include historical memorabilia from the Strategic Air Command units that were stationed here. This is a fascinating museum for fans of military history.
The curtain goes up at this modest community theatre eight months of the year. The actors, all from the surrounding communities, audition for and participate in popular musical and dramatic productions. The shows are amusing evenings of entertainment that transport audience members to different periods of our cultural history and showcase well-known and well-liked literary works.
Just down the road from the park is this casual spot that serves local wines, craft beer on tap, and hard cider. The sangria on tap is a local favorite. There’s no kitchen, but on weekends you’ll find various local food trucks providing an eclectic selection of foodie fare. This oasis in the desert is the perfect place to unwind.
Rolling a bowling ball down the alley and getting a strike is a jump-for-joy feeling. Even if you don’t roll a strike, bowling here is all about making the experience fun for the whole family. Plenty of bowling balls to choose from in all weights and sizes. A great grill with hamburgers, fries and pizza that is an unexpected delicious surprise. A lounge for adults and an arcade for kids. Can’t ask for more than that.
After a long day of sightseeing, dinner at a classic steak house with an everything imaginable salad bar is an ideal end to the day. For more than 40 years, this restaurant has been serving the best steak salad, seafood, and prime rib on both sides of the Pecos River. Kick off the meal with green chile wontons and finish with fried ice cream and the day is complete. Great ambience and friendly service.
Check this eclectic consignment store out…you just never know when you might stumble onto the find of the century. It’s chockfull of antiques, collectibles, and pieces of art from around the world. You might come across an Art Deco lamp or Depression-era glass or tchotchkes from the 1950s. You just never know, until you look, what treasure you’ll find that you can’t live without!
What a charming revitalized downtown full of a mixed bag of retail, business, restaurants, art groups, and assorted other shops. A member of the Main Street America accredited program, this historic downtown area is the heartbeat of the city, providing a destination for residents and visitors, alike. It’s a delightful place to wander and check in with the local community.
A visit to Roswell just wouldn’t be complete without an alien interaction…something the area is infamous for. This museum boasts a comprehensive collection of information on the incident that happened in 1947, plus all aspects of UFO phenomenon. Open every day, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The gift shop is overflowing with distinctive memorabilia showcasing the extraterrestrial nature to the region.