FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.
Air Canada

The Wild West of Gallup, New Mexico

by Rina Nehdar

May 5, 2019

Rina Nehdar

Budget

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.

 

Desert in Gallup, New Mexico.

Desert in Gallup, New Mexico. Photo: Rina Nehdar

 

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.

 

Hot-Air Ballooning in Gallup, New Mexico. Photo: Rina Nehdar

Hot-Air Ballooning in Gallup, New Mexico. Photo: Rina Nehdar

 

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.

 

Hot-Air Ballooning in Gallup, New Mexico.

Hot-Air Ballooning in Gallup, New Mexico. Photo: Rina Nehdar

 

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.

#WhereverFamily

Insta Feed
Travel Tips
Apr 5, 2021

5 Unique Airbnb Stays in the United States

For a unique domestic trip idea, check out these one-of-a-kind Airbnb stays.

Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Card Launches BoldFamilyTravel.Chase.com

The Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Card recently launched BoldFamilyTravel.Chase.com, an interactive, online resource allowing families to plan future travel together. The launch followed the Marriott Bonvoy Bold™ Card Survey of parents and grandparents that revealed most parents believe children are important resources for planning family vacations and that one-third of parents don’t currently involve their children in planning but would like to.

Kids
Apr 2, 2021

Traditional Mexican Doll Workshop at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit

Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit now offers a new, 90-minute Mexican Doll Workshop perfect for families. Children are invited to design their own Mexican rag doll using colored ribbons and fabrics. Offering a unique bonding experience for families, the workshop also supports the local community and honors the indigenous women who started the craft.

Multigenerational
Apr 1, 2021

Get Out on the Water with GetMyBoat App

Want to feel like a high-roller VIP on a private yacht for your next anniversary vacation to a tropical island in the Caribbean or during your big family reunion to a lake house in Texas?

Multigenerational
Mar 31, 2021

Touring Valley Forge National Historical Park

Valley Forge National Historical Park is a great place to bring your history-loving family. Located in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, the park is the site of the 1777–1778 winter encampment of the Continental army during the American Revolutionary War. Today, the 3,500-acre park boasts trails, replicas and other historical markers perfect for learning more about Valley Forge’s place in our nation’s history.

Listicles
Mar 30, 2021

Top 10 Things to Do in Pensacola, Florida

Head to Pensacola, Florida, for the ultimate family vacation. Here is a list of the top 10 things to do while visiting.