This story is a staff report from The Paper.


In a year where staying close to home is more important than ever, New Mexicans are fortunate to have a plethora of beautiful and scenic options to visit in our own backyard. Gallup is one of the many great opportunities to venture out, explore the great outdoors and get some holiday shopping done. Just over two hours from Albuquerque via I-40, it’s an easy weekend trip. Gallup is following all of the protocols of the Public Health Order and ensuring that the destination is as safe as could be for all travelers.

When you visit, you can be certain to find a treasure trove of Native American jewelry and art for family and friends this holiday season – Gallup is the epicenter of Navajo and Zuni Pueblo arts and crafts. You can shop at the new Flux Tufa Gallery (they were featured in November’s New Mexico Magazine and are New Mexico True Certified) or at any of the hundreds of traders in the area.

If you’re looking for brag worthy Southwestern attire or locally made belts and moccasins, a stop at City Electric Shoe Shop or Zimmerman’s Western Wear is a must. Hundreds of brightly colored boots, hats, belts and moccasins line the walls and store floor. Whether you’re looking for a full ensemble or one special item, you’ll find exactly what you need. Can’t make it out to Gallup? Many shops offer online shopping or can be reached via email and phone to get orders placed in time for the holidays.

Make sure you schedule some time to explore Gallup’s scenic outdoors. Head to Red Rock Park and hike the Pyramid or Church Rock Trails, where you can explore more than three miles of incredible rock formations and one-of-a-kind panoramic views. You can also visit the High Desert Trails to hike or cruise on your mountain bike over 23 miles of single track trail with gorgeous views right on the edge of town.

Energize your visit with a freshly ground brew from Gallup Coffee Company and while you’re there pick up any of the fun Gallup Coffee Company swag or fresh New Mexico True Certified coffee roasted in house daily. After your adventures, order in from any one of Gallup’s local eateries, like Jerry’s Café, which was voted Gallup’s best green chile by the Gallup Journey, or Glenn’s Bakery, which makes fresh tortillas and donuts daily and now has two locations along Route 66 offering burritos, sandwiches, or smoked meat options. Many restaurants offer online ordering and curbside pick-up, ensuring you can maintain safe social distancing.

After the sun sets take a drive down the Mother Road and experience some of the best neon on Route 66, including Richardson’s Trading Post, the historic El Rancho Hotel, and the Blue Spruce Lodge. Gallup has many photo opportunities that make some incredible Instagram worthy shares, so you’re encouraged to use #galluprealtrue when posting or tag @galluprealtrue to get looped into the social media conversation about all things Gallup. [ ]