Hot-air balloons soaring over red rock deserts can be much more affordable in Gallup than in other parts of New Mexico. Families looking to try and tame their finances can get an authentic glimpse of the wild Southwest and our freewheeling past in the town that still lives in them.
“This is real cowboy and Indians country,” Gallup Mayor Jackie McKinney told a group of visiting families.
An affordable weekend in Gallup could be headquartered in the modest Days Inn by Wyndham Red Rock-Gallup where rooms start at just $66 and include breakfast, Internet and access to the largest indoor pool in Gallup. Plus, you could bring your dog. If you want to spend a little more and immerse yourself in a historical landmark, the El Rancho Hotel, off the famous Route 66, will bring you to the spot where movie stars like the John Wayne, Gregory Peck and the Marx Brothers regularly stayed to film their westerns. Many still have their names hanging on the doors outside their favorite rooms. Walk around and take in the cinematic memorabilia hanging on every available space between the authentic New Mexican decor. Rooms start at $84.
Outdoorsy families will love the hiking trails at Red Rock Park with layers of rose, pink and salmon stone stretching across the towering desert cliffs. Choose from the favorite three-mile, round-trip Pyramid Rock trail with views of the open, sepia landscape or the two-mile Church Rock trail that showcases spires of rock leading to heaven. Yearly rodeos and tribal ceremonies are open to the public. If you go during the first weekend in December, you’ll get to witness the Red Rock Balloon Rally with hundreds of balloons coloring the blue sky. Everything is free but parking is $5 for the day. If you can’t go in December but you’d still like to soar above the cliffs, you can book a ride with X-Treme-Lee Fun Balloon Adventures and owner Bill Lee will promise you the softest landing.
If you’d rather clink your spurs around saloons, trading posts and a haunted movie theater, downtown Gallup is the place you’ll want to go. Summers also bring nightly tribal dancers. Discover what four generations of family working together to bring Native American art, jewelry and goods can accomplish, including showcasing an exhibit that displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Tanners offers unique memorabilia like hand-spun rugs, gem-quality turquoise and Katsina dolls. You’ll find many shops around town to explore and discover Indian treasure. When you’re ready to cool off, you can stop by Coal Street Pub for a bite and a brew or warm up with some coffee at Gallup Coffee Company with old-fashioned coffee equipment on display. Take the kids to catch an old flick at El Morro Theater, but watch out for the front row of the balcony where they say the ghost of a woman still patronizes the theater in her favorite seat.
As your family rides out of town with a face full of smiles and a head full of memories, you’ll be happy to know you also saved a wallet full of bills.
Pasadena gears up for a lot of attention as it prepares to host its annual Rose Parade on New Year’s Day, but it won’t just be the parade that makes it the place to be for family travelers in 2024. The coming year is full of great things for the city, like interesting anniversaries and fun kid-friendly events, which means great ways for visiting families to explore and discover.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
If you’re trying to travel with the family on a budget, you might feel like there’s no way you’ll be able to truly enjoy all the culinary experiences you might if you were to travel solo or just with your partner. However, that’s not necessarily the case. Don’t make the mistake of thinking every culinary capital across the globe is going to cost you a pretty penny every time you head to dinner as a crew. A new study from Sail Croatia uncovered the cheapest foodie destinations in Europe, so you can plan your next trip accordingly.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Dude alert: If you’ve fallen out of touch with the other guys in your family, Cody Yellowstone is the perfect place to catch up — and autumn is the ideal season for doing so in the great outdoors. From off-road adventures to historic ghost towns to plenty of wildlife, there’s something in this dynamic destination to please family travelers.