Rattlesnake Museum and more- Albuquerque, New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico
My 10-year-old was anticipating visiting the rattlesnake museum in New Mexico the entire trip across country. Turned out he was right about how cool it was. I love finding these small obscure places that aren’t huge tourist traps. We enjoyed Nashville and the Grand Canyon, don’t get me wrong. This quaint little Spanish town was a welcome tiny place to explore.
I have to admit New Mexico has never been on my list of places to go. There was nothing at all I had ever had on my bucket list to do there. One perk of driving from the east coast to the west coast is being forced to go through places you otherwise wouldn’t. Of all the states we drove through, New Mexico was my favorite landscape of all! I annoyed the kids pointing out all the gorgeous mountains among wide open land. It was like nothing we have on the East Coast.
American International Rattlesnake Museum
Let me tell you some cool facts about the rattlesnake museum.
- Has the largest collection of different species of living rattlesnakes in the WORLD!
- The museum has interesting stories about each snake on display posted next to them
- Entrance fee is minimal ($3 kids $5 adults) and there is a military discount
- You get a certificate for going through the museum (the kids loved that)
- Dogs are allowed, welcomed even! Our 2 pups were given treats and their own certificate of bravery
- Little gift shop full of interesting keepsakes the typical trinkets mixed with out of the ordinary
- Personable and educated Owner who enjoys telling you cool stuff about the museum/snakes
We had a great time exploring this collection of snakes with the kids and dogs. This place is not just a snake museum. It’s a collection of snakes, spiders, lizards that are seriously cared about. The Owner walked around and told us cool stuff about some of them and I could hear him telling other patrons neat stuff too. He seriously loves what he does. It’s always awesome to see someone passionate about what they do. That’s when you hear the best stories and boy does this guy have some cool stories. I think he would’ve talked to us all day if we had the time. That being said he wasn’t at all overbearing or intrusive. If you need other opinions just check out their yelp reviews here.
Old Town Albuquerque
This little museum is tucked away in a little southwest style town. There are several other cute little shops you can explore. Our favorite was the street market. We spoke with locals making jewelry on the sidewalk with blankets laid out holding their finished product to sell. We purchased some handmade turquoise jewelry that hold this memory in it. One guy was admiring our Dane puppy. He told us about his St Bernard he once had. It was interesting to hear his story. In his culture he is not to pay for a dog. He can only be given a dog or exchange things for one. Then he told us his story. Walking on a street he saw a man with a St Bernard. He was traded the dog for something he had. That dog stayed with him and he loved him. He told us this story while he pounded away at a piece of metal on a stump he had placed in front of him. C’mon where else do you get that experience?!
Giant Rock Rattlesnake
I’d heard about a giant rattlesnake made of rocks on the side of the road nearby and had to go find it. Unfortunately we found that this thing was built-in a median and there really wasn’t a pull off without walking a good distance to it. I wish we had made time to walk down and stand beside this humongous snake. I was able to get a few pictures from the car. It’s a small detour from the museum and definitely worth laying your eyes on. It’s just off of I-25 on University Blvd. Now, this guy is 400 ft long and way taller than me! It’s a beautiful piece of artwork in the middle of nowhere that many probably miss out on. Which, in my opinion, makes it that much more special to see it.
As we headed out of New Mexico we made one more pit stop to grab drinks and a potty break. We lucked out to stop at the continental divide, complete with a gorgeous scene and landmark signs and covered wagon. This is just another brief memory our family can add to the “I did that” book.
I hope your next adventure takes you on a small detour to an unfamiliar place that you can make a special memory of your own.