FARMINGTON — Farmington has been selected as the "Official Best Family Getaway in New Mexico."
The title will attract more tourism to the city, said Farmington Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director Tonya Stinson. She added that the area is already family friendly.
It will also boost the city's online presence. When people Google search "best family getaway," Farmington will appear at the top of the web search, said Tonya Hanggi, associate producer at "The Official Best Of," a Hollywood based travel TV show and website company that gave Farmington the title.
The company chose Farmington because it's an affordable travel location close to several cities and it provides many outdoor activities, according to a convention and visitors bureau press release.
The company filmed a 30-minute video featuring the area's family-oriented activities, such as the Farmington Museum's Nature Center, San Juan College's rock climbing wall, the Pinon Hills Golf Course, area mountain biking trails and the Connie Mack World Series.
The "Official Best Of" received $3,900 to cover fees for video production and editing, and web promotion and management, Hanggi said. The company spent two months researching before selecting Farmington based on merit, she said.
Discovery Channel will air the company's video at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 25, and television station KOB will play it at 4:30 p.m. on Jan. 11, according to the press release. The video will also remain on "The Official Best Of's" website for three years, Stinson said. Hanggi said the website averages 300,000 viewers a month.
Thompson Bell, a Navajo, said Farmington and its surrounding area allows people to be outside and healthy.
"My biggest pet peeve is my own people that don't want to do things," Bell said. "Walk. Ride a horse. Go hunt without shooting anything."
Bell lives in Waterflow, 20 minutes west of Farmington, but he spends time in the city. He said there is plenty to do with a family.
Farmington resident Heather Meyer takes her four young children fishing in the San Juan River and hiking in Chokecherry Canyon, just north of city limits. When friends visit, they take them to the Aztec Ruins.
She said Farmington is a great place for families.
Brian and Melissa Nez, long-time Farmington residents, agree.
They enjoy walking the Animas River in Durango with their 6-year-old boy. And Melissa Nez said local families spend time together and help one another out.
Mark Maquez, a Farmington resident for more than 40 years, said there's a lot to do in the area. He enjoys Pagosa Hot Springs and shopping and dining in Durango, Colo.
John Watts, of Teec Nos Pos, Ariz., 50 miles west of Farmington, commutes into the city for work.
The Bisti De-Na-Zin Wilderness, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Mesa Verde National Park and Aztec Ruins are only a few options for outdoor adventure, he said.
But there are disadvantages, too, he said.
Movie theaters show only mainstream Hollywood films, he said, ignoring independent or foreign films. Also, he said, there are no good restaurants or coffee shops.
And at times, Bell said he experiences racism. Car salesmen sometimes ignore him, prejudice of his ancestry. He also said Farmington needs to better advertise its attractions. People currently have to find most of them online, he said.
Although the list features some of Farmington's popular family-oriented activities, there are still many others, many that people don't know about, Stinson said.
"A lot of people are so unaware of the things on that list," Stinson said, "even if they live here."