During the previous century, the United States has played a significant role in mankind’s journey into space.

Aside from the famous space race with Russia and the US’s leading presence in space exploration, American pop culture and media is also number one in popularizing science fiction and belief in alien life forms so much so that some of the country’s small towns became top destinations for UFO enthusiasts. If you are a fan of Star Wars, Star Trek, or aliens and UFOs in general, here are some small towns that you must include in your bucket list. 

Rachel, Nevada – The small town of Rachel in Nevada is a haven for UFO enthusiasts because of its unique position of being the neighbor of Area 51. This government and military installation is very famous because of the rumors of UFO sightings and dissecting alien remains. These urban legends can be traced back to the 1950s when the military was testing the development of advanced aircraft with colorful lights and unique shapes that seems like extraterrestrial ships. Since visiting Area 51 is impossible, the next best alternative is the town of Rachel. A lot of locals are very willing to give tours along the borders of Area 51 and other famous alien sites in the area.

Roswell, New Mexico – Roswell found its way into the map of UFO enthusiasts after the famous UFO crash incident which occurred on June 14, 1947. The site of the crash, described to be a flaming pile of sticks, rubber, and foil, was found by a local farmer, Mac Brazel, 80 miles away from the town proper. The military was contacted and announced the incident as an official UFO crash landing. However, it was just a failed balloon experiment. Since then, the town of Roswell embraced its reputation and founded the International UFO Museum and Research Center. In addition to a UFO-shaped McDonald’s joint, they also held an annual UFO festival.

Bowman, South Carolina – Unlike the other small towns mentioned in this list, Bowman in South Carolina has not had a UFO sighting. Instead, this town is famous for being the site of the UFO Welcome Center. The center is 42-foot building shaped like a flying saucer. So far, it is the only known center made for being a “highway stop” for space travelers. There are cable television sets, showers, and an air-conditioning system to counter the hot South Carolina summers. The center was constructed from the vision of Jody Pendarvis who hopefully await the first spaceship landing on Earth.

Aurora, Texas – The vast desert landscape in Texas creates an undisturbed vista of the evening sky. This is the case in the small town of Aurora, Texas where a “cigar-shaped” spacecraft crash-landed into the home of a local judge. This phenomenon made Aurora famous in May 1857. The aircraft can easily be thought of as out-of-this-world at the time since flying machinery was still pretty rare. The locals buried the alleged “pilot” of the crashed UFO in their cemetery with a headstone adorned by a drawing of its spacecraft.