Alamogordo is a small city in southeastern New Mexico. The town is the county seat for Otero County and supports two major nearby military installations, Holloman Air Force Base and the White Sands Missile Range.
Originally a small hamlet for ranchers and farmers due to the railroad passing through town (the name is a Spanish word meaning "fat cottonwood"), the town has become associated with military and secretive activities, first gaining notability for being the closest substantial settlement to the first nuclear bomb test in 1945.
Alamogordo has also gained a quirky sort of infamy among video game enthusiasts as the site of the Atari video game burial, when Atari buried thousands of unsold video games, most notably copies of the poorly-received E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
U.S. Route 54, 70 and 82 all go through Alamogordo. U.S. 54 meet El Paso about 90 miles to the south. U.S. 70 & 84 meet Las Cruces and I-25 about 70 miles to the southwest. U.S. 54 North goes through La Luz, Tularosa and Carrizozo where it meets U.S. 380. U.S. 380 west meets up with San Antonio, NM and I-25. U.S. 70 heads northeast to Ruidoso. Finally, 82 east will meet Artesia and U.S. 285 after 110 miles. From there it is 40 miles north to Roswell and 35 miles south to Carlsbad, two popular tourist towns.
- 1 Alamogordo-White Sands Regional Airport (ALM IATA) (located just outside of Alamogordo). New Mexico Airlines provides service from Albuquerque and Ruidoso on a Cessna 208 Grand Caravan.
- Greyhound, 3500 White Sands Blvd., ☏ . M-F 7AM-11AM and 4PM-8PM, Sa Su 7AM-9AM and 5PM-8PM, holidays 7AM-9AM and 5PM-8PM. Greyhound provides bus service to Alamogordo.
Although the railroad goes through Alamogordo, no commuter service is available and Union Pacific ceased stopping there in 2006.
Alamogordo is a small city and one could easily walk most of the city.
There are two taxi services available:
- Dollar Cab, +1 575 434-8294
- T-N-T Taxi Service, +1 575 437-2292
Public transportation is provided by Z-Tranz +1 575 439-4900.
- 1 Alameda Park Zoo, 1321 N White Sands Blvd, ☏ . Daily 9AM-5PM, closed Christmas & New Years Day. The oldest zoo in the Southwest. It was established in 1898 by the railroad. The zoo contains about 300 animals of 90 species. The zoo has a playground area and shaded picnic tables that are included in the entry fee. Under 2 free, age 3 to 11 and 60+ $1.50, age 12 to 59 $2.50.
- 2 Flickinger Center for Performing Arts, 1110 New York Ave, ☏ . A premier venue for international music, theater, and dance. Most performances are $10-25.
- Kids' Kingdom (just off of Indian Wells Road between Oregon & Washington Ave). A park with a large jungle gym. Free.
- 3 New Mexico Museum of Space History, Top of Highway 2001 (turn east from Highway 54/70 on Indian Wells Road for 2 miles to end, turn left on Scenic Drive), toll-free: , fax: . Daily 9AM-5PM. A surprisingly large complex of museums and displays including the International Space Hall of Fame and a piece of moon rock. The museum hosts a well-regarded youth camp in the summer. IMAX movies require a separate admission and combo tickets are available. The parking lot contains the grave of Ham, the first chimp in space. Adult (13 to 59) $6, senior citizens (60+) and military (active, retired, & dependents) $5, child (4 to 12 yrs) $4, 3 and under free.
- The Toy Train Depot, ☏ . The Toy Train Depot has a small-scale train ride departing every 30 minutes from the depot, circling Alameda Park. Hundreds of model train and toy trains are on display inside the 100-year-old depot, including a 1,000-square-foot HO layout depicting Alamogordo in the 1940s. The Toy Train Depot houses the smallest scaled working train in the world. Hours are noon to 5 pm Wednesday through Sunday.
- 4 Tularosa Basin Historical Museum, 1301 North White Sands Blvd, ☏ . M-F 10AM-4PM, Sa 10AM-3PM. It is adjacent to the Alameda Park & Zoo and has a large display of articles and photos of the history and early days of the area. Free.
- Desert Lake Golf Course, 2351 Hamilton Rd, ☏ . Desert Lakes Golf Course is a true “desert” beauty with the Sacramento Mountains in the background. This is quickly emerging as one of the finest 18-hole golf courses in southern New Mexico. It has been renovated to make it a more challenging and beautiful course. Open 7 days per week weather permitting.
- 1 Holloman Air Force Base, Hwy 70 (just west of Alamogordo). Holloman is home to the F-117 Nighthawk and the F-22 Raptor.It has static displays of the F-117 Nighthawk on the third Thursday of each month. Every two years they put on a large air show. The Northrop Grumman Lunar Lander Challenge occurs at Holloman. Put on by X-Prize, teams compete for a chance to will $2 million for completing a series of challenges in a competition designed to find technology for the next generation of lunar landers. Oktoberfest also takes place at Holloman, on the last weekend in September, hosted by the German Air Force.
- Sidney Paul Gordon Shooting Range. A public shooting range in nearby La Luz with 50, 200 and 360 yard bays. Shoot all day for $5.
- 2 Trinity Site Tour, toll-free: . Departs from Tularosa High School Athletic Field. The Trinity site (where the first nuclear bomb was detonated) is open once a year for tours. The tours begin at 6:30 AM and cost $35. They happen on the first Saturday of April. Individual arrival to the site is also possible.
- The Tularosa Basin wine festival. Each fall, usually the weekend before the Balloon Fest in Albuquerque.
There are many shops, gas stations, banks and other amenities located going through Alamagordo along White Sands Blvd (US 70/54). If shopping is your specific goal then you won't want to miss the following area.
- White Sands Mall, 3199 N. White Sands Blvd.
- Historical New York Avenue, New York Avenue (between 1st and 10th street). The Old Town of Alamagordo. The buildings are all early 20th century and it contains a variety of specialty shops.
There are plenty of restaurants to suit your tastes around Alamogordo, including Chinese, Mexican, Thai, almost everything. Most restaurants are centered around downtown or White Sands Boulevard.
Typical fast food restaurants like McDonald's, Arby's, Subway, Sonic, Quizno's, and Burger King are available throughout the city.
- Stella Vita.. Generally considered the best restaurant in town.
- Memories. This restaurant is in a building that was originally a private home and maintains a cozy feel.
- Carolina's, 415 S. White Sands Blvd, ☏ . Good Mexican food. Don't let the "atmosphere" scare you off.
- HI-D-Ho Drive In, 414 South White Sands Blvd, ☏ . This is the best burger in town, specifically, the Tiger Burger with double meat and great tasting fries.
- Casa de Suenos. In nearby Tularosa.
There are few establishments in the city specifically focused on drinking (that is to say, bars). Besides the Chili's and Applebee's, the two most popular places to drink are:
- Jerry's Lounge, 200 S New York Ave (near the Walmart), ☏ .
- The Western Bar. In Cloudcroft remains a popular place to visit and drink for people from Alamogordo, especially on Saturday nights, which feature karaoke.
Note also the following private clubs which have establishments in the city. As private organizations, they are subject to different laws than public restaurants and bars. The VFW, for example, legally allows smoking indoors.
- The American Legion.
- The Veterans of Foreign Wars.
- The Elk's Lodge. Near the Desert Lakes golf course.
- Best Western Desert Aire Hotel, 1021 S White Sands Blvd, toll-free: . $55 - 75.
- Hampton Inn, 1295 Hamilton Rd, toll-free: . $95 - 100.
- Holiday Inn Express, 100 Kerry Ave, ☏ . $90 - 120.
- Quality Inn, 1401 S White Sands, ☏ . $70 - 110.
- Satellite Inn, 2224 N White Sands Blvd, toll-free: . Cheap, clean, and comfotable. $36 - 44.
- Tavares Inn, 153 San Pedro Dr, ☏ . A small B&B. $70 - 80.
- White Sands National Park makes a nice day excursion from Alamogordo, it is about 45 minutes southwest by car.
- Ruidoso is an hour away and Cloudcroft is less than 30 minutes away, both are great mountain retreats.
- The Inn of the Mountain Gods is a hotel and casino, along with golf, horseback riding, and a hunting lodge on the nearby Mescalero Apache reservation. It is accessible by road between Alamogordo and Ruidoso.
- The Three Rivers Petroglyph Site is about 30 miles north of Alamogordo on US 54, on the east side of the road.
|Routes through Alamogordo|
|Tucumcari ← Santa Rosa & Jct ←||N S||→ Ft Bliss → END at Jct in El Paso|
|Las Cruces ← White Sands NP ←||W E||→ Ruidoso → Roswell|
|END ←||W E||→ Junction with → Brownfield|