Guide to Alamogordo: how to get there and where to stay, what to see and where to go in the evening. The most interesting in Alamogordo: fresh reviews and photos, places to see, branded entertainment and shops.
According to toppharmacyschools, Alamogordo is located in southeastern New Mexico, and the city’s Spanish name can be translated as “thick poplar”. The town began as a small village of farmers and ranchers, and even that would not have happened if the government had not laid a railroad here. But everything changed immediately when, in 1945, the first atomic bomb exploded in White Sands. With this in mind, the official motto of the city – “The Friendliest Place on Earth” – sounds somewhat ambiguous.
White Sands National Monument, about 23 km from Alamogordo, is a special area, the largest in the world, where there are dunes of alabaster sand, fine and completely white.
How to get to Alamogordo
Getting to the city by car is easy along several highways – for example, from El Paso. The nearest international airport is located there, about 150 km to the south. In addition, Greyhound buses run to the city. But by train, oddly enough, you can’t get to Alamogordo, despite the fact that the railway line has been laid here for a long time.
A bit of history
The first people settled on the site of Alamogordo at least 11 thousand years ago. The current settlement was founded in 1898 and received city status in 1912. Tourism began to develop in Alamogordo since the 30s. 20th century, after the formation of the White Sands National Monument. And in 1950-1960. the city has become the unofficial center for air safety research and the US space program.
In addition, the city became famous as the site of the mass burning of Atari video games in 1983 – including the legendary Pac-Man. About 730 thousand cartridges with commercially failed games went into the furnace. In 2014, excavations began at the site of the burning, and approximately 1300 intact cartridges were rescued from the conflagration.
Attractions and attractions of Alamogordo
Most tourists who come to Alamogordo yearn to see the Trinity Test site, where the bomb was detonated on July 16, 1945. You can come here with an organized tour, but only 2 days a year: on the first Sunday of April and October. Tour transport departs early in the morning.
The New Mexico Museum of Space History is located on Highway 2001. This is a surprisingly large collection of museums and exhibits, including the International Space Hall of Fame. The museum exhibits include a piece of rock from the moon, models of shuttles and lunar rovers, and a full-size replica of the Sraceship One suborbital space plane. The museum territory also has an exhibition area where you can see solar shield No. 1. Here, in front of the flags, Ham, the first space chimpanzee, is buried. The Astronaut Memorial Garden was created after the Challenger explosion, and after the Columbia shuttle disaster, the names of its crew members were added to the memorial. The museum has an IMAX cinema, but visiting the sessions requires a separate fee.
Alamogordo definitely “burns”. In late 2001, the city hit the news all over the world: on December 30, the Christian Community Church held a public burning of Harry Potter books here.
Alameda Park and Zoo is located on White Sands Boulevard. This is the oldest zoo in the southwest. It was founded in 1898 by the railway company and today you can see 300 animals of 90 different species here. The zoo has a shady picnic area that visitors can freely use.
The toy train depot hides inside a small engine that leaves the depot every half hour and circles the Alameda Park. It is the smallest operating replica train in the world. In addition to this sweetie, hundreds of model and toy trains are collected in the centenary depot, and the landscape of Alamogordo in the 1940s is also recreated here.
3 things to do in Alamogordo:
- Stay at a military base.
- Go to the Mescaliero church in the middle of an open field – an unexpected mix of Catholicism and the culture of the Apache Indians.
- See the sky like you’ve never seen it before.
The Tularosa Basin Historical Museum adjoins Alameda Park. Here you can get acquainted with dozens of documentary evidence – notes and photographs related to the history of the early years of the development of this area, and for free. Among the exhibits is the American flag with 47 stars, a rarity: New Mexico was just the 47th state to join the union, and such flags were issued only a month until Arizona became the 48th state.
The Otero County Administration Building was built in 1938 in the Pueblo style and was originally intended for post office. In the portico of the main entrance, you can see the frescoes by Peter Hurd, created in 1942. The post office moved in 1961, and the building received a new name – the federal building, and since 2009 the county government has been sitting here. Today, the building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
White Sands National Monument, about 23 km from Alamogordo, is a special area, the largest in the world, where there are dunes of alabaster sand, fine and completely white. White Sands was declared a national monument in 1933, although attempts to preserve this unique natural landmark were made as early as the late 19th century. The creation of the park coincided well with the Great Depression, when the Roosevelt administration paid enough attention to public projects. As a result, 12 thousand people visited the park in the first year of its opening, and today the number of visitors reaches 600 thousand.
Of course, the main treasure of the park is the dunes themselves, which were the result of the gradual drying up of a huge lake of the Pleistocene era.
One of the local attractions is skiing from the dunes on a sled, which can be bought at the gift shop near the Visitor Center. And from mid-April to mid-June, desert flowers bloom here, mostly cacti, and it looks truly amazing. The only way to get to the park is with your own car: public transport does not go here. There is a small entry fee.
The city hosts a balloon festival every year. On this day, numerous balloons soar into the air from the site on First Street or from the White Sands National Monument and fly over the Tularosa basin. In addition, every two years (on odd years) Holloman Air Force Base hosts a large airshow. Another somewhat unusual celebration that takes place at the same air base is Oktoberfest, its instigators are the German Air Force of the German tactical training center located at Holloman Air Base. The general public is invited to Oktoberfest, and shuttle buses carry people from the city to the base.
In the fall, usually September, the weekend before the Albuquerque Balloon Festival, the Tularosa Basin Wine Festival takes place. And every year on Earth Day, in April, the Alameda Zoo organizes a holiday where butterflies are released, a science fair and other educational eco-events are held.
In early August, the Otero County Fair takes place at the corner of White Sands Boulevard and Fairgrounds Road. The program of events includes rodeos, various competitions, culinary fights and carnival processions. On Labor Day weekend, Alameda Park hosts the Cottonwood Arts and Culture Festival. First of all, here you can see and buy all sorts of handmade things, but also listen to music, eat and have fun.
The town of Cloudcroft is less than half an hour’s drive from the city. This is a small community high in the Sacramento mountains, where no more than 1000 people live permanently. The village was founded specifically as a mountain resort by a businessman from Alamogordo in the early 20th century. The altitude, low humidity, and dark blue skies even during the day make Cloudcroft a popular spot for cloud and stargazing. There are two observatories here: Sunspot can be visited with a guided tour, with or without a guide, and Apache Point can only be visited during the daytime. In addition, the town is popular for lovers of walks in the forest and mountains.
Ruidoso is located an hour’s drive from Alamogordo, and it is famous as a mountain resort where you can practice equestrianism to the full – and at the world level. The population triples in the summer thanks to New Mexico and Texas residents who come here for horse racing, gambling and clean mountain air. The casino and racetrack are located in the adjoining village of Ruidoso Downs. The race runs from Memorial Day through September, culminating on Labor Day. In addition, the town has a Hubbard Museum dedicated to the American West and a winter amusement park. Ruidoso is also a good base from which to explore the Lincoln National Forest, which is right next door.