El Paso is a city on the Mexican border. The sixth-largest city in Texas is also the second-largest majority-Hispanic city in the United States. 81% of El Paso’s population is Hispanic. Because of its proximity to the Mexican border, this splendid city has an incredibly diverse culture with strong influences from Mexican and American history.
The region’s art, food, history, and music are all rich and incredible. El Paso has also been ranked as one of the safest cities in the United States, despite its sizeable population of over 868,000 people. The bustling city in the Southwest of Texas is on the Rio Grande river and it’s the only major Texan city on Mountain Time.
- El Paso, Texas
- Top Tours In El Paso
- 20 Things To Do In El Paso
- 1- Enjoy A Stunning View At The Overlook
- 2- Explore Franklin Mountains State Park
- 3- Watch A Performance At The Plaza Theater
- 4- See The Animals At El Paso Zoo
- 5- Shop At El Paso Downtown Art and Farmers Market
- 6- Get An Adrenalin Rush At Western Playland Amusement Park
- 7- Step Back In Time At El Paso Museum
- 8- Admire Byzantine Architecture At St Patrick’s
- 9- Hike The Thousand Steps Trail
- 10- Drink Ale At An Award-Winning Brewery
- 11- Discover The Mission Trail
- 12- Relax In The Municipal Rose Garden
- 13- Watch A College Game At Sun Bowl Stadium
- 14- Learn About Local Plants At El Paso Desert Botanical Garden
- 15- Look For An Event At Insights Science Museum
- 16- Admire Art At El Paso Museum of Art
- 17- Visit The National Border Patrol Museum
- 18- See The Viva! El Paso Show
- 19- Reflect At The Chamizal National Memorial
- 20- Visit The El Paso Museum of Archeology
El Paso, Texas
20 Things To Do In El Paso
1- Enjoy A Stunning View At The Overlook
For the perfect view of the city, whether at sunrise or sunset, head to the Overlook on Scenic Drive above El Paso.
You can see the city’s twinkling lights below and marvel at the impressive mountains looming in the distance.
The Overlook has benches and a stone walkway, making it accessible and easy to visit.
The stunning views will take your breath away, even if the easy climb doesn’t.
Insider Tip: Show up at least half an hour before sunset to ensure you’re there in plenty of time to find parking and snag the best spot to watch the sun go down.
The Overlook is at Scenic Drive, El Paso, Texas, 79902.
2- Explore Franklin Mountains State Park
Something else that will take your breath away is the astounding natural beauty of the Franklin Mountains State Park.
Here you can find over 100 miles of hiking trails within this massive park’s 27,000 acres (10,926 ha).
There are also 14 tent sites and five RV sites, so stay awhile, a weekend, or a week or more and soak up nature’s beauty and resounding peacefulness.
Activities include hiking, fishing, camping and bird-watching.
Franklin Mountains State Park is at 2900 Tom Mays Park Access Road, El Paso, Texas, 79930.
3- Watch A Performance At The Plaza Theater
The Plaza Theater was built in 1930 in the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture style and was restored in 2006.
This stunning building is listed as a National Historical Building of Significance and includes stars painted onto the ceiling that mirror those you can see in real life during the June summer nights.
Events at the theatre include comedy shows, musicals, magic shows and concerts.
The Plaza Theater is at 125 W Mills Avenue, El Paso, Texas, 79901.
4- See The Animals At El Paso Zoo
The El Paso Zoo spans 35 acres (14 ha) and is home to various animals, including giraffes, lions, meerkats, monkeys, alligators and elephants.
The zoo’s main exhibits are Africa, the Americas, Asia, and the Chihuahuan Desert.
You can find everything you need for a fun day with the family, including a gift shop and two restaurants.
El Paso Zoo is at 4001 E Paisano Drive, El Paso, Texas, 79905.
5- Shop At El Paso Downtown Art and Farmers Market
The El Paso Downtown Art and Farmers Market is guaranteed to have something for everyone.
The market also hosts a food truck garden, so grab a tasty local snack while you peruse all the various stalls.
The market operates on Saturday morning from 9 am to 1 pm and has been running since 2011.
El Paso Downtown Art and Farmers Market is at 117 Anthony Street, El Paso, Texas, 79901.
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6- Get An Adrenalin Rush At Western Playland Amusement Park
Western Playland Amusement Park consists of 30 acres of traditional rides and rollercoasters such as The Hurricane and the Pharaoh’s Fury.
The original park opened in 1960 before moving locations in 2006.
Western Playland is open March through October on the weekends and all week long during the Summer.
The park also has rides for smaller adventurers, such as the Granny Bugs and the U-Cars for those with little ones.
Admission is $5 and you can pay as you go for each ride ticket (most rides cost one ticket but some may cost two) for $3.
Alternatively, you can purchase unlimited rides for $27.65 (for those over 42 inches in height) and $18.49 (for anyone measuring under 41 inches).
Western Playland Amusement Park is at 1249 Futurity Drive, Sunland Park, New Mexico, 88063.
7- Step Back In Time At El Paso Museum
The crown jewel of the El Paso Museum of History is its interactive digital wall that is the only one in the United States and one of only four in the entire world.
The wall is 35 feet (10 m) long and includes videos and images related to the history of El Paso and its current day life and culture, all within its digital interactive archive.
After visiting the museum, you may want to join this El Paso history tour to learn more.
The El Paso Museum of History is at 510 N Santa Fe Street, El Paso, Texas, 79901.
8- Admire Byzantine Architecture At St Patrick’s
This breathtaking cathedral was constructed in the style of a Byzantine basilica in the fashion of the Italian Renaissance.
It’s home to stunning stained-glass windows depicting biblical scenes such as the Last Supper, the Empty Tomb and the Crucifixion.
Construction of the cathedral began in 1914, and, at that time, a large percentage of the city’s population included Irish miners, a fact that contributed to the cathedral’s patron saint being named Saint Patrick.
Patrick Cathedral is at 1118 N Mesa Street, El Paso, Texas, 79902.
9- Hike The Thousand Steps Trail
The Thousand Steps Trail is not for the faint of heart and is a high-difficulty level hike with gorgeous views well worth the climb for those who can handle it.
The Trail leads up to Ranger Peak and includes a view of the Western Valley and a turnoff to Vertigo Ridge about a quarter of a mile into the hike.
Parking for this hiking trail is at the end of Stanton Street.
Insider Tip: Though there are many beautiful easy trails in the area, this hiking trail is not one of them and is designed for experienced hikers. This trail is not recommended for children or those with difficulty walking long distances.
The Thousand Steps Trail is at 4999 N Stanton Street, El Paso, Texas, 79902.
10- Drink Ale At An Award-Winning Brewery
The Blazing Tree Brewery won bronze in the US Open Beer Championship in the Strong/Imperial Brown Ale category.
You have to swing by to try one of their award-winning local beers and delicious burgers while visiting this city.
The brewery has created its own beers since its start in 2017.
It boasts seasonally rotating beers alongside year-round favourites, guaranteeing that there will be something here to suit everyone’s tastes.
The Blazing Tree Brewery is at 11426 Rojas Drive A-13, El Paso, Texas, 79936.
11- Discover The Mission Trail
The Mission Trail takes you past three of El Paso’s historic missions: the Ysleta Mission, the Socorro Mission and the San Elizario Chapel.
These missions were built in the 17th and 18th centuries and still host congregations for mass to this day.
While travelling along this trail, you will also come across other fascinating sights, such as the San Elizario County Jail and the San Elizario Historic Art District.
One fun fact about these missions is that the San Elizario Chapel was originally built as a fort to house Mexican troops.
The Mission Trail starts at the Ysleta Mission at 131 S Zaragoza Road, El Paso, Texas, 79907.
12- Relax In The Municipal Rose Garden
With a beauty that rivals the historic El Paso Missions, the Municipal Rose Garden is a sight for sore eyes.
The garden itself spans more than four acres.
It includes 1200 bushes with over 300 varieties of rose, having grown substantially in size since the original 200 roses planted in 1958.
Visit in spring to see these gorgeous flowers during their peak season.
The Municipal Rose Garden is at 3418 Aurora Avenue, El Paso, Texas, 79930.
13- Watch A College Game At Sun Bowl Stadium
The Sun Bowl Stadium is on the campus of the University of Texas at El Paso and hosts the college football game, the Sun Bowl, every December.
The stadium opened its doors (after being built in a natural bowl) in 1963 and has a capacity of 51,500 spectators.
It has also hosted massive concerts and has seen the likes of U2, Pink Floyd and even the Rolling Stones grace its stage.
The Sun Bowl Stadium is at 2701 Sun Bowl Drive, El Paso, Texas, 79902.
14- Learn About Local Plants At El Paso Desert Botanical Garden
The El Paso Desert Botanical Garden is home to various plant life species that live and thrive in the Chihuahuan Desert.
A great contrast to the Municipal Rose Garden, these amazing plants (including the prickly pear) never cease to inspire and amaze with their resilience and variety.
The Keystone Heritage Park and the El Paso Desert Botanical Garden are at 4200 Doniphan Drive, El Paso, Texas, 79912.
15- Look For An Event At Insights Science Museum
The Insights Science Museum was founded in 1980 and focuses on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM).
The museum shifted from a central location to a mobile outreach program in 2017, so check out the program options on their website to stay updated with upcoming events such as Nerd Nights and DinoTracks Tours.
Insider Tip: Make sure to check the website for events, as the museum’s listed location currently only functions as the main office due to the mobile nature of the program.
The Insights Science Museum Central Office is at 4120 Rio Bravo Street #117, El Paso, Texas, 79902.
16- Admire Art At El Paso Museum of Art
The El Paso Museum of Art has impressive collections, including modern and contemporary European, American and Latin American artworks.
These collections include works from artists from all over the world and different styles such as impressionism and romanticism.
The museum also has the famous President George Washington, After 1796 painting by Gilbert Stuart, and holds fun events and rotating exhibitions.
El Paso Museum of Art is at 1 Arts Festival Plaza, El Paso, Texas, 79901.
17- Visit The National Border Patrol Museum
The National Border Patrol Museum is a private, not-for-profit museum that covers the history of the United States Border Control from the old West, Prohibition, and World War II to the present day.
Exhibits include displays of weapons, paintings, documents, vehicles and even a helicopter.
Admission is free, and it’s worth booking a guided tour of the museum in advance. You may also like to check out this historic walking tour to discover more about El Paso’s fascinating history.
Insider Tip: Combine visits to the National Border Patrol Museum and the El Paso Museum of Archeology into a one-day trip, as both museums are on the same street.
The National Border Patrol Museum is at 4315 Woodrow Bean Transmountain, El Paso, Texas, 79924.
18- See The Viva! El Paso Show
Viva! El Paso is a performance created in 1978 by director Hector Serrano.
This outdoor show is held at the McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater, a 1,500-person outdoor theatre, and tells the story of El Paso’s history and vibrant culture.
Tickets currently cost $24.00 for adults and $16.00 for children.
The Amphitheater also has a concession stand, so arrive early to grab a beverage and snack for the show. The concession stand is also open during intermission.
Insider Tip: If the Ticketmaster website isn’t working or shows this spectacle as sold out, go on down to the McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater to buy your tickets.
Viva! El Paso is at 1500 McKelligon Canyon Road, El Paso, Texas, 79930.
19- Reflect At The Chamizal National Memorial
The Chamizal National Memorial is a National Park located along the Texas-Mexico border that pays tribute to the peaceful settlement of the Chamizal boundary dispute, settled in the 1960s.
The park is almost 55 acres (22 ha) and hosts a cultural centre, an art gallery, a theatre, and an amphitheatre.
The visitor centre has a small museum that details the history of the Mexico-Texas border and the local border disputes in the region.
The park operates daily between 5 am and 10 pm and is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Chamizal National Memorial is at 800 S San Marcial Street, El Paso, Texas, 79905.
20- Visit The El Paso Museum of Archeology
The El Paso Museum of Archeology is down the street from the National Border Patrol Museum.
So consider combining visits to both museums into an educational (and fun-filled) day out with the whole family.
One of the museum’s popular permanent exhibits is the Casas Grandes Pottery exhibit which displays geometric pottery from the Pre-Columbian world.
The South Gallery is home to educational dioramas that show the lives of the local people of the Southwest region from the Ice Age up until the modern day.
El Paso Museum of Archeology is at 4301 Woodrow Bean Transmountain Drive, El Paso, Texas, 79924.
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