Los Alamos has lots to offer visitors
Show up early for the music...
If you are arriving Friday night, be sure to check out the free Los Alamos Summer Concert Series at Ashley Pond in downtown Los Alamos.
Bands play until 10 p.m., and food and drink vendors set up around the pond. Best of all, it's free! What could be a better welcome to town?
...and stick around for the pancakes!
The Los Alamos Sheriff's Posse will present its monthly Cowboy Breakfast from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Sunday, August 2, 2020.
Enjoy a tasty all-you-can-eat breakfast in the rustic log cabin Posse Lodge and mingle with friendly local folk before hitting the road back home or exploring the Pajarito Plateau.
The Sheriff's Posse Lodge is located at 650 North Mesa Road in Los Alamos; adults pay just $7 for unlimited pancakes (choose from plain, banana, blueberry and the monthly specialty cake), eggs, breakfast meats, orange juice, coffee and all the fixings. Kids enjoy breakfast for just $4.
Learn about the "Secret" history of the birthplace of the atom bomb
No, you can't visit Los Alamos National Laboratory—it's a working national-security science laboratory, not an atomic theme park. But you can visit the excellent science and history museums or take an Historic Walking Tour to learn how American scientific know-how helped end World War II or about how the early inhabitants of the Pajarito Plateau spent their days before the birth of the Atomic Age. The museums are within walking distance of downtown and many local businesses.
Let's face it: You are visiting the birthplace of the Atom Bomb, so you sure as heck want to see Fat Man and Little Boy, the instruments of terrible destruction that put an end to World War II, ushered in the Atomic Age and the ensuing Cold War, and led to a continuing detente born of the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction.
A visitor reads about the Fat Man replica at the Bradbury Science Museum. (James Rickman Photo)
Yes, you can see replicas of the first atomic bombs at the Bradbury Science Museum and see ghostly, life-size versions of J. Robert Oppenheimer and Gen. Leslie Groves in front of the museum's history wall. But you can also enjoy a number of hands-on exhibits and get a peek into present-day operations of Los Alamos National Laboratory to learn how The Lab—as locals call it—is using leading edge science to help make the world a safer place.
The Bradbury is located at 1350 Central Ave.; it is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday and Monday. Call (505) 667-4444 or visit the link above.
An exhibit at the Los Alamos History Museum. (James Rickman Photo)
Learn about the Pajarito Plateau before the Manhattan Project, when the Los Alamos Ranch School turned sickly city kids into robust young men through a curriculum of mental and physical exercise. The museum also displays information and artifacts related to the Native American residents of the area. Content dovetails nicely with the Bradbury Science Museum in presentation of the early days of the Manhattan Project, when scientist recruits reported to a secret office at 109 E. Palace Avenue in Santa Fe, NM, for wartime duty in the Atomic City.
The History Museum is located at 1050 Bathtub Row, next to historic Fuller Lodge; it is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. Visit the link above for more information and details about how to sign up for a walking tour.
Get outdoors and enjoy the views!
Bandelier is accessible by free shuttle from the White Rock Visitor Center, located at 115 NM 4 (across the highway from the Hampton Inn). Founded in 1916, it is one of the nation's oldest National Monuments. Inside the park, visitors can walk several loop trails to learn about the Ancestral Pueblo People who inhabited the area from 1150 to 1550. After that, these inhabitants established the nearby New Mexico pueblos. Bandelier features cliff dwellings, rock art and back-country areas. Visit the link above for more information, or call 1-800-444-0707 for shuttle and visitor information.
The Alcove House at Bandelier National Monument sits at treetop level above Frijoles Canyon and can be accessed via an exciting, breathtaking hike up a series of ladders. (Photo from Wikipedia creative commons)
Located a picturesque 20-minute drive east of downtown Los Alamos in the Jemez Mountains, the nation's newest national preserve offers expansive views, hiking, fishing, and some of the world's best quiet contemplation in the home of one of North America's largest standing elk herds. Click the link above to learn about visitor opportunities, or call (575) 829-4100 and enter Option #3.
Bicyclists ride on NM 4 in front of the Valles Caldera National Preserve. (James Rickman Photo)
Explore the canyons, mesas, mountains and skies of the Pajarito Plateau at the Los Alamos Nature Center. The nature center features exciting, interactive exhibits that help people of all ages discover nature in and around Los Alamos County.
Relax in our gardens, build a fort in the outdoor nature play areas, discover your next hiking adventure with the Los Alamos Trail app, meet the resident snakes and spiders, put on a puppet show, cuddle up with a book in the Children’s Discovery Area, or relax and enjoy the breathtaking views through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Best of all, it's free to visit.
The Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) integrates into the spectacular vistas that make Los Alamos such a beautiful place. PEEC is a 10-minute walk from downtown Los Alamos, or just a short drive away. (Photo by Stephen Shankland, provided by PEEC)
a critical mass of opportunities:
Larry R. Walkup Aquatic Center—one of the nation's highest-altitude, Olympic sized swimming pools, the Walkup Aquatic Center is open to the public seven days a week. Cool off, train hard, become fast!
Los Alamos Golf Course—This public 18-hole course was designed and built by atomic scientists shortly after Los Alamos was no longer a secret city. The greens are tricky on this challenging course, but you can get "explosive" drives at 7,000 feet above sea level. Enjoy a meal or snack and a cocktail or beer in the newly constructed clubhouse.
Atomic City Transit—Los Alamos has a free bus system that will effectively shuttle you to nearly anyplace you might want to go in town (except to the Los Alamos Sportsmen's Club). Download a schedule, check the website or download the Atomic City Tracker app to get where you need to be.
Hiking Trails—Los Alamos offers miles and miles of hiking trails. They traverse nearly every area of town. Take a short hike or string together a bunch of different trails for an excursion befitting the traditions of a Los Alamos Ranch School student.
Plan your Visit—Use this link to put together itineraries for part of a day, a full day, or multiple days in the Los Alamos area.
Eat Your Heart Out—This third-party site provides a pretty current list of restaurants in Los Alamos, with rankings that may accurately reflect your specific tastes. If you haven't read the note about going to bed hungry in the Survive section of this site, you should do so.
We Interrupt Your Browsing for an Important Announcement!
You will probably hear about or stumble upon information related to the Manhattan Project National Historic Park at Los Alamos. What you need to know is that visiting this "park" may be disappointing. Outside of a few exhibits housed in a tiny Visitor Center, the Historic Park has little to offer visitors that isn't already offered by the two museums and other resources in town. The historic properties referenced by the National Historic Park are inaccessible by the general public and exist behind security fencing on Los Alamos National Laboratory property. In other words, currently there is no "there" there. Your time likely will be better spent at the many other excellent attractions in the Atomic City that really do have something tangible to offer.