Not your typical tourist destination

The movie 'Oppenheimer' has more people wanting to visit Los Alamos National Laboratory

August 10, 2023


Los Alamos — the national laboratory, the town and the county — have received unprecedented tourist attention thanks to the movie "Oppenheimer." But the Laboratory is a unique place with special restrictions, many of which visitors have never heard of.

Here’s a list of common questions and what to know before you go.

Can I get a badge? I want to tour the Lab!

While we appreciate your enthusiasm and understand why you’d want to tour such an interesting place, Los Alamos National Laboratory is a working national security laboratory and not open to the public. Badges are for authorized personnel only. To find out more about what goes on at the Lab every day, check out our news site.

But I want to learn more about Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project. What can I see while I’m in Los Alamos?

Great question! You can see the following:

  • Bradbury Science Museum: 1450 Central Ave. With exhibits on Lab science from the Manhattan Project to today, the museum is free, operated by the Laboratory and open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, 1-5 p.m.
  • Los Alamos History Museum, Fuller Lodge, and Bathtub Row: 1050 Bathtub Row. Formerly the Los Alamos Ranch School, these buildings were purchased by the United States for use during the Manhattan Project and are now owned and operated by Los Alamos County. Here you can see Fuller Lodge, where several movie scenes took place, the museum (chock full of Manhattan Project memorabilia) and walk around the outside of Oppenheimer’s house.
  • Manhattan Project National Historical Park Visitor Center: Step inside and learn how Los Alamos looked and felt during the Manhattan Project era. Park personnel can answer your questions.

I want to share photos of my trip on social media. Is that OK?

Photography of Los Alamos National Lab facilities — even taken from the street or your car — is prohibited, and we’re serious about it. Security personnel could potentially take your device and delete your photos.

Instead, your best bet is to download free, unclassified Lab photos on our publicly accessible photo gallery.

Of course, our Bradbury Science Museum, the Fuller Lodge area and Park Visitors’ Center are off Lab property and photography there is welcome.

For more about what you can do and see in and around Los Alamos, take this road trip!