From a city along historical Route 66 that’s steeped in Native American culture to a California beach town, the cities of Gallup, New Mexico, and Oceanside, California, are prime summer vacation destinations.
Driving through Route 66? Stop by Gallup, New Mexico, and get lost in a city engrossed in Native American history and nature.
Gallup hosts several fun festivities throughout the year, such as rodeo events, the Red Rock Balloon Rally and the Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial that serve as the perfect gateway to the rich cultural heritage of the Southwest. Gallup also offers a plethora of outdoor activities such as biking, shooting and hiking for visitors of all ages and abilities.
Gallup’s Red Rock Park is the ultimate destination for outdoor adventure. The park’s 640 acres allow for hiking, biking and camping galore. As you explore the park, you can enjoy the breathtaking Red Rock and Sandstone Cliffs that formed almost 200 million years ago. Red Rock Park immerses visitors in the serenity of the Southwest via hiking trails, bike routes and camping sites.
After a long day of exciting recreation, hit the hay at Gallup’s historical El Rancho Hotel. Reflect on classic Westerns like Rocky Mountain and The Bad Man, which were filmed there in the ’40s and ’50s. Old Hollywood movie stars like Ronald Reagan and John Wayne were also regular guests. Enjoy a quick bite at the Oasis Mediterranean Restaurant, the top-rated restaurant in the Southwest on Yelp.
Gallup is commonly referred to as the “Gateway to Native America,” where numerous indigenous communities celebrate centuries of traditions. Gallup also boasts a bevy of local shops like Weaving in Beauty and Black Dog Designs, which sell handmade jewelry. Gallup’s art scene is also top-notch with murals and galleries spread all over town. The city offers several different tours that share these murals and their significance.
Gallup’s Annual Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial
One of Gallup’s signature attractions is the Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial – a lively celebration that displays the rich cultural heritage of Native American tribes. This annual gathering brings together various tribes, including the Navajo, Zuni and Hopi, to share their traditions, dances, arts and crafts. During the ceremonial, visitors can witness captivating performances of traditional dances and indulge in delicious Native American cuisine. The event also showcases art exhibitions, handmade crafts and a marketplace featuring Native American jewelry, pottery and artwork. The Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonial is a truly immersive experience that allows visitors to connect with Gallup’s Native American culture and heritage.
Nestled along the coast of Southern California, Oceanside is a captivating city with a bustling downtown and breezy beaches.
Oceanside boasts many breathtaking beaches, including Harbor Beach and Breakwater Way. From its glistening white sand to its calming ocean waves, Oceanside’s beaches are some of the best on the California coast. The beaches boast many fun activities for all ages, like surfing, volleyball and more. Oceanside’s downtown area is bustling with numerous lifestyle shops and markets, as well as Michelin-starred restaurants and cafes.
After a day filled with relaxing and exploring, stay at a locally owned hotel or camp at one of Oceanside’s myriad RV parks. A budget option is the Brick Hotel, which is a block away from the beach and located in the heart of downtown Oceanside.
Seabird Resort is a more lavish option. Just steps away from the beach, it offers a luxurious spa and pool.
On Oceanside’s Main Street, visitors can shop for vintage apparel and furniture at locally run shops like Captains Helm and Sea Hive Marketplace. To shop the chic California beach look, visit local boutiques like The Ozone and Rising Co. Additionally, every Thursday, Oceanside holds a morning Farmers Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. showcasing local produce. From 5 to 9 p.m. Oceanside’s Sunset Market offers a lively atmosphere with music, globally inspired food and shopping.
The food scene in Oceanside is prosperous, with several Michelin-starred restaurants and world-famous eateries and cafes. Buccaneer Café has breakfast items and delicious coffee steps away from the beach. Custom açaí bowls and breakfast burritos, plus organic coffee, tea and smoothies, are menu highlights. Dija Mara is one of the six Michelin-starred restaurants in Oceanside. It’s known for its wide range of Thai dishes and brunch. One of its most popular items is the Gado Gado, a stunning plate of seasonal veggies, house-made peanut sauce, fried tofu and quail eggs.
Experience Oceanside’s exciting nightlife at the Sunset Market. Every Thursday evening, locals and visitors patronize this bustling street fair set along Pier View Way. The market offers artisanal crafts, live music, delicious food and a lively atmosphere that embodies the spirit of Oceanside.
As the sun sets over the ocean, the market comes alive with vendors offering everything from handmade jewelry and artwork to international food and local goods. The aroma of global cuisine fills the air, enticing visitors to sample a variety of appetizing dishes from the food trucks and stalls. Live music performances create a lively mood, setting the stage for a night of entertainment and community gathering.
Whether you’re looking to shop for unique souvenirs, enjoy delicious street food or simply soak up the vibrant atmosphere, the Sunset Market in Oceanside is a can’t-miss experience. It’s a true celebration of the welcoming community that makes Oceanside such a unique destination.
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