Shopping Fun in Gallup – New Mexico Marketplace by Jon Knudsen
A two-hour drive west of Albuquerque, Gallup lies between Zuni Pueblo and the Navajo Nation. It’s world famous as a trading center for silver and turquoise jewelry, and the city is a great place for a bit of adventurous shopping.
It’s best to drive to Gallup on Friday and come back Saturday. That way you will be there for the downtown flea market Saturday morning. There are usually over 50 different vendors from the Navajo Nation, as well as Zuni and the other pueblos, half of them selling jewelry. On Sunday, almost every shop in Gallup is closed.
My advice in selecting a place to stay is the El Rancho Hotel. It has an absolutely fabulous lobby, a restaurant, a bar and its own jewelry store. But it’s the lobby that you must see, even if you decide to stay somewhere else. El Rancho is famous for the Hollywood stars — such as Humphrey Bogart, Ronald Reagan and Katharine Hepburn — who have stayed there while filming movies in the area. Their autographed pictures hang on the wall. The hotel was built in 1937 by the brother of film mogul D.W. Griffith.