Who knew that the Land of Enchantment could also be a place of the bizarre? That’s right, New Mexico—the land of desert, mountains, and some truly incredible food—has had some pretty weird events that took place here and even stranger sights that might make you scratch your head. Here’s a look at 9 places that might seem a little weird to both New Mexicans and our visitors.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. American International Rattlesnake Museum, Albuquerque
If you’re not like Indiana Jones, then you might enjoy a visit to this animal conservation museum. Located in Old Town, the museum has a large collection of live rattlesnakes living in caged exhibits and is a fascinating place to learn about our slithery neighbors.
Address: 202 San Felipe Street NW, Albuquerque
2. Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness Area
Where does one even begin to describe the landscapes here? Dreamy, alien, surreal, perhaps even weird. It’s safe to say that you’ll never see another place like this anywhere else.
3. Classical Gas Museum, Embudo
If you have a passion for old gas stations and all of its associated accessories, then you’re going to enjoy checking out this unique museum near Taos. You’ll find a large collection of old gas pumps, signs, and other vintage goods. Since it is operated by one person who also lives on site, it is recommended you call before arriving to ensure it is open.
Phone: (505) 852-2995
4. “Flintstones House,” Lamy
You’ll find some strange houses around the state—did someone say
Earthships?—but this one in Lamy really takes the cake. Designed to blend in with the natural rocky terrain around it, this house looks something like a melting marshmallow but most people tend to associate it with something Fred Flintstone would have lived in.
5. The Lightning Field, Quemado
In 1977, sculptor Walter De Maria created this massive land art installation about 40 miles from Quemado. 400 steel poles rise from the ground, creating an impressive sight that you can see and walk through. Despite its name, the field doesn’t require lightning to be experienced and, in fact, it doesn’t see lightning all that often.
6. McGinn’s Pistachio Tree Ranch, Alamogordo
First of all, did you know pistachios grow on trees? This orchard is large and it’s a great place to pick up a few bags of pistachios and other dried goods but we think you should definitely take the opportunity to see the world’s largest pistachio while driving through.
Address: 7320 US Highway 54/70, Alamogordo
7. Roswell UFO Museum, Roswell
This is exactly what you would expect to find in Roswell: a museum dedicated to the Roswell crash that purportedly took place in 1947 and other UFO-related incidents. In addition to seeing some pretty strange exhibits like the scene below, you can also attend lectures and purchase alien-themed merchandise from the gift shop.
Address: 114 North Main Street, Roswell
8. Sparky’s BBQ and Burgers, Hatch
A restaurant that specializes in green chile dishes typically wouldn’t seem weird in New Mexico. In fact, it would be incredibly welcome! However, it’s the type of dishes with green and red chiles that put Sparky’s on this list. You’ll find some strange items on the menu like green chile lemonade, a chile mango shake, and nearly all the dishes here are served with green chile. We haven’t noticed any in their espresso drinks but you can bet that once they do, the restaurant will definitely earn a permanent spot on this list!
Address: 115 Franklin Street, Hatch
9. Tinkertown Museum, Sandia Park
The Old West dioramas displayed at this museum are just one part of what makes this a unique experience. You’ll also find a ton of vintage and antique memorabilia on the premises, interesting junk art, and even the building itself (with walls made of glass bottles, wheels, and more) is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.
Address: 121 Sandia Crest Road, Sandia Park