Los Alamos is about 35 miles west of Santa Fe and about 65 miles southwest of Taos. From Santa Fe, take US 84/285 north approximately 16 miles to the Pojoaque junction, then turn west on NM 502. Driving time is only about 50 minutes.
Los Alamos is a town of 18,000, spread over the colorful, finger-like mesas of the Pajarito Plateau, between the Jemez Mountains and the Rio Grande Valley. As NM 502 enters Los Alamos from Santa Fe, it follows Trinity Drive, where accommodations, restaurants, and other services are located. Central Avenue parallels Trinity Drive and has restaurants, galleries, and shops, as well as the Los Alamos Historical Museum (1921 Juniper St.; tel. 505/662-4493; free admission) and the Bradbury Science Museum (15th St. and Central Ave.; tel. 505/667-4444; free admission). In the spring of 2000, the town was evacuated due to a forest fire that destroyed 400 families' homes. Though no lives were lost, the appearance of Los Alamos and particularly the forest surrounding it -- 47,000 acres of which burned -- were forever changed.
The Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce, P.O. Box 460, Los Alamos, NM 87544 (tel. 505/662-8105; fax 505/662-8399; www.losalamoschamber.com), runs a visitor center that is open Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sunday 10am to 3pm. It's at 109 Central Park Sq. (across from the Bradbury Science Museum).