I am making good on my promise to tell about the other things to do in Old Town Albuquerque besides shopping – Rattlesnakes, Ghosts and Bombs, oh my!
If snakes make you shudder – skip this one, but the American International Rattlesnake Museum is a fun time for the rest of us. They have the largest collection of rattlesnakes found anywhere – more than the worlds bests zoos. You may have heard how a mongoose is the only animal that can take down a cobra, but at this museum you may see a film of a roadrunner (NM State Bird) doing its hypnotic dance to lure the snake to strike. It will then jump up, hit the snake on the back of its head with its large beak to knock it dead. A remarkable feat for a bird! The folks who run this museum are THE Rattlesnake experts and will answer any question you have, (and many you didn’t know you had), about rattlesnakes. They make them less scary. Go have some fun, listen to them rattle, pick up a pair of shed fangs for $6.95 and receive your “Certificate of Bravery” at the Rattlesnake Museum in Old Town.
Tours of Old Town offer several fun and informative distractions from shopping, but the very popular Ghost Tour is a favorite of many. Old Town was founded in 1706 so you can imagine how many people lived and died there. The tour will walk you around Old Town and familiarize you with all the souls who still linger there, as well as giving you all the basics of ghost hunting. Voices are often heard, apparitions seen and phenoms photographed, so bring your camera. The tours are nightly, and you will need a reservation. You may print out a discount coupon on their website. Don’t be scared. Go do it! No certificates of bravery will be issued, though.
After the Ghost tour you may be ready to get out of Old Town for a bit. I have led you slightly astray about this last attraction, The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History, because Old Town was its home until this February. It has moved about 7 miles away to a new home at Eubank and Southern Blvd near Kirtland Air Force Base. There are still many publications out there that have Old Town listed as its location, so I have included it in this blog so everyone will know about the move. Last year we had some guests stay with us who took off to the Air Force Base to visit this museum not knowing it was moved from this, its original location, to Old Town in 2001, due to heightened security at the AF Base after September 11. So I am sure some folks will be looking for it in Old Town and I’m here to tell you, in Feb 2009 – they moved again. Beware, as Google still has it listed in Old Town and their map will send you there as well. (As of 5/20/09)
Since New Mexico has so much history with the Atomic Age, it is very appropriate for this museum, formerly known as the National Atomic Museum, to have its home here. It is the only museum of its kind and is chartered by Congress to tell the story of not only the bombs designed, developed, constructed and tested in New Mexico, but also the more modern and peaceful uses of atomic power. The museum is fascinating and all the guest we have had that visited it say it was far better than they had imagined. The nine acre Heritage Park exhibit displays historic planes, rockets, missiles, cannons and a piece of a nuclear submarine, making it one of the museums most popular attractions. Go explore history and the future.
There are even more museums to explore in our area, such as an antique car museum, a museum of anthropology, a Holocaust museum, a balloon museum and more. Want to hear about them?
I know the best things to do in Albuquerque!
Sarah Dolk, Adobe Nido Bed & Breakfast
Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!