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Alamogordo

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White Sands Boulevard, Alamogordo.


Alamogordo [1] is a city in southeastern New Mexico, in the USA. The population was estimated at 36,069 in July, 2006. The city name is a Spanish word meaning "fat cottonwood". The local zip code is 88310.

Understand

Alamogordo began as a small hamlet for ranchers and farmers due to the railroad passing through the city. The first nuclear bomb was detonated outside Alamogordo at the Whitesands Missle Range in 1945. It currently exists as the county seat for Otero County and to support Holloman Airforce Base and White Sands Missile Range.

Get in

By Car

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 will meet up with San Antonio, NM and I-25. U.S. 70 will head 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.

By Plane

Alamogordo-White Sands Regional Airport (IATA: ALM) (ICAO: KALM), is located just outside of Alamogordo. New Mexico Airlines provides service from Alamogordo to Albuquerque and Ruidoso on a Cessna 208 Grand Caravan. The closest major airport is El Paso International Airport 90 miles to the south.

By Bus

  • Greyhound, 3500 White Sands Blvd., +1 575 437-3050, [2]. 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 Alamagordo.

By Train

Depsite the railroad going through Alamogordo, no commuter service is available and Union Pacific ceased stopping there at the beginning of 2006.

Get around

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.

See

Alamogordo Toy Train Depot.
  • 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.), +1 877 333-6589 (fax: +1 575 434-2245), [3]. 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.
  • Alameda Park and Zoo, 1321 N White Sands Blvd, +1 575 439-4290, [4]. The oldest zoo in the Southwest. It was established in 1898 by the railroad. The zoo contains about 300 animals of 90 different species. The zoo has a playground area and shaded picnic tables that are included in the entry fee. Hours 9 am to 5 pm every day except Christmas & New Years Day. Under 2, Free, Age 3 to 11 and 60+, $1.1a, Age 12 to 59, $2.20.
  • The Toy Train Depot, +1 575 437-2855, [5]. 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 1940’s. The Toy Train Depot houses the smallest scaled working train in the world. Hours are noon to 5 pm Wednesday through Sunday.
  • Tularosa Basin Historical Museum, 1301 North White Sands Blvd, +1 575 434-4438, [6]. 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. Open 10 am to 4 pm Monday - Friday; 10 am to 3 pm on Saturday. Closed Sundays. Free.
  • Kids' Kingdom, just off of Indian Wells Road between Oregon & Washington Ave. A park with a large jungle gym. Free.
  • Flickinger Center for Performing Arts, 1110 New York Avenue, +1 575 437-2202, [7]. A premier venue for internation music, theater, and dance. Most performances are $10 - $25.

Do

  • Trinity Site Tour - +1 800 826-0294, departs from Tularosa High School Athletic Field. The trinity site (where the first nuclear bomb was detonated) is open twice a year for tours. The tours begin at 6:30 am and cost $35. They happen on the first saturday of April and October.
  • Desert Lake Golf Course - 2351 Hamilton Rd, +1 575 437-0290, [8]. 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 recently was renovated to make it a more challenging and beautiful course. Open 7- days per week weather permitting.
  • Holloman Airforce Base - Hwy 70 just west of Alamogordo, [9]. Holloman is home to the F-117 Nighthawk and will soon be home to 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 next airshow will be Friday, October 26th - Sunday, October 28th 2007.
    • 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. This year it will coincide with the airshow, Friday, October 26th - Sunday, October 28th 2007.
  • The Tularosa Basin wine festival each fall, usually the weekend before the Balloon Fest in Albuquerque [10]. In 2011, dates were 17-18 September.
  • Oktoberfest. The last weekend in September, hosted by the German Air Force at Holloman AFB.
  • La Luz public shooting range. A public shooting range in nearby La Luz with 50, 200 and 360 yard bays. Shoot all day for $5. [11]

Learn

  • New Mexico School for the Blind and Visually Impaired - 1900 White Sands Blvd., +1 800 437-3505, [12]. Started in 1903 to provide training and support for blind children to so they can lead independent and productive lives. New Mexico residents are not charged tuition to attend the school and it supports students from birth through 21 years old.
  • New Mexico State University-Alamogordo Branch - Branch of NMSU in Alamogordo.

Buy

There are many shops, gas stations, banks and other ameneties 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, [13].
  • 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.

Eat

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 McDonalds, Arby's, Subway, Sonic, Quizno's, Burger King, etc. 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., +1 575 434-1219. Good Mexican food. Don't let the "atmosphere" scare you off.
  • Chili's
  • Applebee's
  • HI-D-Ho Drive In 414 South White Sands Boulevard, Alamogordo, NM 88310, (575) 437-6400. This is the best burger in town, specifically, the Tiger Burger with double meat and great tasting fries.
  • Rebecca's at The Lodge, the restaurant in the Lodge hotel in nearby Cloudcroft, which serves an excellent champagne brunch on Sundays. [14]
  • Casa de Suenos. in nearby Tularosa.


Drink

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, near the Walmart.
  • The Palmside, attached to one of the local motels on White Sands Boulevard.
  • 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.


Sleep

  • Best Western Desert Aire Hotel - 1021 S White Sands Blvd., +1 800 565-1988, [15]. Within a few miles of Alamogordo's major attractions. $55 - $75.
  • Hampton Inn - 1295 Hamilton Rd, +1 800 426-7866, [16]. $95 - $100.
  • Holiday Inn Express - 100 Kerry Ave, +1 575 434-9773, [17]. $90 - $120.
  • Quality Inn - 1401 S White Sands, +1 575 437-7100, [18]. $70 - $110.
  • Satellite Inn - 2224 N White Sands Blvd., +1 800 221-7690, [19]. Cheap, clean, and comfotable. $36 - $44.
  • Tavares Inn - 153 San Pedro Dr. , +1 575 437-8779, [20]. A small B&B, $70 - $80.

Get out

  • White Sands National Monument 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 [21] is a hotel and casino, along with golf, horseback riding, and a hunting lodge on the nearby Mescalero Apache reservation. Itis 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 [22].


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