What Are the Best Things to Do in El Paso?
For visitors and residents alike, El Paso, Texas is a great place for fun and excitement. With its mix of art, culture, music, and history, there are plenty of incredible attractions and activities to choose from. From museums and monuments to theater and food, El Paso offers locals and visitors a variety of awesome options for their entertainment. Here’s our guide to the best things to do when you’re in El Paso.
1. Visit the El Paso Museum of Art
The El Paso Museum of Art is the oldest cultural institution in the city and one of the largest in the region. With both permanent exhibits and rotating pieces, this free museum features an array of artists and artwork from different cultures across the world and throughout history. From painting and sculpture to photographs and textile designs, you can spend an enjoyable afternoon exploring the museum’s collection.
2. Take a Tour of the Mission Trail
The Mission Trail is an easy and enjoyable way to explore El Paso’s history and culture. The trail covers three Spanish Colonial missions that can be easily navigated on foot or bike: Ysleta Mission, San Elizario Chapel, and Socorro Mission. You can join a guided tour, or use the helpful app from MissionTrailEP.org for a self-guided tour.
3. Explore the El Paso Zoo
El Paso Zoo is home to more than 400 species of animals, including some endangered species. The zoo also features education shows and interactive experiences that are sure to be fun for the whole family. There are also several restaurants and refreshment stands at the zoo, so you won’t get hungry during your day out. You can easily spend a day exploring all that the El Paso Zoo has to offer.
4. Visit the Magoffin Home State Historic Site
The Magoffin Home State Historic Site is a beautiful example of 19th-century architecture in El Paso. Designed by master architect Henry C. Trost in 1895, this restored house was once home to one of El Paso’s prominent families—the Magoffins. Today, visitors can enjoy guided tours that delve into the fascinating history of the home and its inhabitants.
5. Enjoy Local Cuisine
El Paso is rich in cultural heritage, including its vibrant and unique food scene. As a border city, El Paso’s culinary traditions have been influenced by a variety of cultures , resulting in dynamic dishes reflective of New Mexican, Mexican and Latino fusion cuisines. From classic Tex-Mex staples such as barbacoa tacos and enchiladas to new takes on traditional cuisine like gorditas and tamales, you’ll find plenty of delicious dishes to enjoy while in El Paso.
6. Check Out a Live Concert
From jazz festivals to outdoor concerts to the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, live music abounds in El Paso. The city boasts numerous music venues perfect for all types of shows from singer-songwriters to alternative bands. Whether you’re looking for a night out dancing or a casual afternoon listening session, you’re sure to find something perfect when you head out for a night of live music.
7. Go Stargazing at McKelligon Canyon Park
McKelligon Canyon Park is a great spot for stargazing with its open skies and minimal light pollution. Visitors can opt for more structured stargazing experiences such as those offered by EPStargazingTours.com, which offers guided stargazing excursions that include lessons on constellations, star names, and other astronomy basics. Stargazing at McKelligon Canyon Park is truly an unforgettable experience for astronomy lovers of all ages!
Whether you’re an avid art enthusiast or looking for a weekend adventure, there’s something everyone in El Paso can enjoy! From amazing museums to vibrant cuisine, El Paso offers a great opportunity to explore the culture and history of this unique city no matter what your interests may be. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your visit to El Paso today!
An Insider’s Guide to El Paso: Discover the Hidden Gems
El Paso, located on the westernmost edge of Texas, is a city with a fascinating mix of Mexican and American influence. From local attractions off the beaten path to unique dining experiences and cultural events, this insider’s guide will take you on a journey to uncover the best things to do in El Paso.
Local Attractions: Uncovering Hidden Gems
Beyond well-known attractions such as the El Paso Museum of Art and the Franklin Mountains State Park, the city has so much more to offer. Take a stroll through the Downtown Art District, filled with vibrant murals and street art. Explore the architectural marvels of the Chihuahuan Desert Gardens, home to a variety of cacti and succulents. For a unique experience, visit the El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center, a somber but insightful glimpse into the horrors of the past.
Unique Dining Experiences: Savoring Local Cuisine
For a taste of El Paso’s diverse culinary scene, head to the renowned L&J Cafe, which has been serving up mouth-watering Mexican food since 1927. If you’re in the mood for some barbecue, make your way to Rudy’s Country Store and Bar-B-Q, recognized as one of the best in Texas, and order their famous brisket. For something sweet, visit Chocolat, a chocolate boutique and bakery that offers artisanal chocolates, macarons, and pastries.
Cultural Experiences: Celebrating El Paso’s Traditions
El Paso has a rich cultural heritage, visible in annual festivals and events. Witness the Dia de los Muertos celebration with its vibrant costumes, flowers and food offerings. Pay a visit to the Chamizal National Memorial Park, home to the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, outdoor performances, and galleries during art exhibits. Finally, take a trip to the Plaza Theatre, one of El Paso’s most prestigious venues and witness a live performance of local musicians, artists, and performers.
Local History: Learning Stories of the Past
El Paso’s layered history can be discovered at the El Paso Museum of History, a unique experience that tells the story of the city’s roots, including colonization, the Civil War, and the Wild West. The Magoffin Home, a historic adobe home with cultural and social significance, tells the stories of one of the city’s founding families. For an off-beat experience, venture out to Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site, where rock art, dating back to 10,000 BCE, tells the stories of people who once lived in and around the area.
Off-the-Beaten-Path Suggestions: Unique and Memorable Experiences
For a truly adventurous experience, hike to the top of El Paso’s tallest peak, North Franklin Mountain, and enjoy a panoramic view of the city below. If you’re looking for a bit of an adrenaline rush, head to the Wyler Aerial Tramway and travel over 5,500 feet to the top of Ranger Peak. Finally, take a ride on the historic El Paso Streetcar, which provides a nostalgic and unique way to travel through the city’s different neighborhoods.
El Paso is like a hidden gem that is slowly revealing its secrets to visitors, so grab your hat and boots, and immerse yourself in this unique and fascinating city.
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