In the Nevada desert, you will come across famous several alien-themed spots, like the black mailbox, the Little A’le’inn, and of course Area 51 itself. Among these places is the Alien Research Center, a self-proclaimed gateway to the Extraterrestrial Highway.
The building is a simple metal dome that could easily be mistaken for some kind of barn if it was not for the two-story metal alien standing out in front. Around the building are several copies of signs that one can find at area 51, offering tourists a chance to get a photo with them without having to make the 1.5-hour drive to the back gate of the facility.
Despite the name, the Alien Research Center is less focused on scientific inquiry and more on souveniers. Inside is a wide arrangement of alien-themed merchandise, with a strong focus on the “Storm Area 51” meme of 2019. The owner is even trying to organize another event, seemingly to draw in more visitors.
Besides the merchandise, you will find a large autograph wall next to an alien-faced Marilyn Monroe, as well as the original Extraterrestrial Highway sign that got removed from the road after constant vandalism.
Know Before You Go
The shop website says that it is open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., but currently (2022) a sign on the door says that it is closed on Monday and Tuesday. Try to come well before closing, as the owners sometimes close shop before 5 p.m.