Not so long ago we would have needed special government clearance just to get into this town. Today we roll right in to find an AMAZING year-round playground with everything from world-class mountain biking and skiing to a super lively brewery owned by some of the world’s top scientists. And speaking of scientists, this place just happens to be home to the lab that beat out the Nazis in the race to create the A-bomb.
Where the heck are we? Los Alamos! Located in northwestern New Mexico and previously referred to only as “Site Y”, this place has a fascinating “top secret” story. I don’t want to give it all away because you really should visit to uncover it all for yourself. But curious minds want to know so I’ll make planning your own Los Alamos adventure easy for you. Here are my…
Top 10 Reasons to Visit:
1. It’s an epic history lesson on the making of the Atomic Bomb—and more! Take a few hours to check out:
- Award-winning Bradbury Science Museum …both Lonely Planet and USA Today call this place a “Must see” and I agree. You’ll find fun interactive exhibits, easy-to-digest history, and life-sized replicas of original atomic warheads “Little Boy” and “Fat Man”! It’s open daily and it’s FREE.
- The Secret City Mobile App—available on iOS and Android for FREE. This mobile app offers an immersive, game-like experience and walking tour that uses virtual reality and “augmented” reality to bring the town’s fascinating race-to-the-atomic-bomb history to life.
2. You can actually go inside ancient pueblos on the cliffs at Bandelier National Monument …yes, it requires climbing ladders!
3. Waterfalls! I hear that Frijoles Falls inside Bandelier National Monument and Jemez Falls (a little further west) are pretty darn cool! Each drops roughly 70 feet in a series of cascades with a fun “plunge pool” at the bottom.
4. Every type of camping… RV parks, tenting, back country roving… however you like to roll. According to my YELP app, two popular camping spots seem to be inside Bandelier and at Jemez Falls Campground!
5. Hiking, hiking, and more hiking …Download the Los Alamos Trails Mobile App for a look at the many options!
6. Thursday Farmers Market …has the world’s best selection of New Mexico’s Hatch chiles (next to the library).
7. Pajarito Mountain gives you access to really affordable skiing and snowboarding and it’s not crowded. It was actually named “10 Best Secret Ski Towns in North America” by National Geographic Adventure Magazine.
8. The Bathtub Row Brewing Co-op… remember I mentioned this earlier? It’s a brewery owned by some of the world’s top scientists and there are always new and creative brews on tap. It’s not the only game in town. Also check out Pajarito Brewpub for really great eats (from burgers to salads) in addition to a wide variety of local and regional drafts.
9. It’s heaven for Mountain Bikers. There are miles and miles of great trails for everyone from beginners to seasoned riders. Need advice on where to find your ideal trail? Need bikes or gear? Visit Brad and Rose at Fusion Multisport (tell them Samantha from Naked Mobile says hi)!
10. The Summer Concert Series on Friday nights at Ashley Pond Park sees locals and visitors alike out enjoying the mild high-elevation summer evenings, a variety of great music acts, and tents selling yummy eats and drinks! Bring picnic blankets and lawn chairs.
In summary, Los Alamos is a seriously awesome, off-the-beaten-path destination. But if you want to go… go soon. This “Secret City”, which has intentionally stayed off-the-radar for decades, is now promoting itself more and more—to attract visitors.
And rightly so. In addition to all the activities I’ve mentioned thus far… there is even more to do and see.
Bonus! The Rio Grande (you may have heard of it) flows very close to Los Alamos and Cottam’s Rio Grande Rafting offers half-day, full-day and overnight options if you want to get up close and personal with this famous river. They score 5 out of 5 stars on Tripadvisor so check them out on the Tripadvisor app for more details and insight.
Want a sneak peek?
Like I said, our #Wanderlove episode on The Secret City will give you some great visuals of this place so…
Make sure to take 10 seconds to subscribe to our blog here if you haven’t already so you don’t miss out on any of the upcoming adventures. Here’s where to go: NakedMobile.com/Wanderlove
Want to go?
Check out www.VisitLosAlamos.org