American International Rattlesnake Museum
You’d never guess this small storefront just off the plaza (202 San Felipe St. NW, 505/242-6569, www.rattlesnakes.com, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 1–5 p.m. Sun. June–Aug., $3.50) houses the largest collection of live snakes in the world, as you have to wade through an enormous gift shop full of plush snakes, wood snakes, little magnet snakes, and snakes on T-shirts to see the real critters. You’ll also see some fuzzy tarantulas and big desert lizards, and the reptile-mad staff are usually showing off some animals outside to help educate the phobic. In the off-season, September–May, the museum is open 11:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. on weekdays.
© Zora O'Neill from Moon Santa Fe, Taos & Albuquerque, 2nd edition