El Paso, located in Texas’ far west corner, offers visitors an interesting blend of Wild West history and Spanish mission architecture. On one side, the undulating Rio Grande, and on the other, the US-Mexico border.
El Paso’s history is intertwined with that of Ciudad Juarez, a nearby Mexican city. The relationship can still be seen today in El Paso’s local food culture, as well as several tourist attractions, including the Chamizal National Memorial. El Paso also has sweeping state parks with plenty of opportunities to explore in addition to these things to do.
1: Franklin Mountains State Park
The Franklin Mountains, which are located behind downtown El Paso, has a commanding presence. This offers a number of recreational opportunities for El Paso residents and visitors, ranging from spectacular day hikes to mountain biking.
The one-mile out-and-back trip to the historic Aztec Caves and the rigorous four-mile hike along the Ron Coleman Trail are both highly recommended day hikes for guests. This hike involves a 2,000-foot elevation rise, but once you reach the top, you can see panoramic views of the city and park.
2: Plaza Theatre
One of the greatest ways to spend an evening here is to see a show at the Plaza Theatre, which is quite popular among locals. The theater, which has extravagant furniture and a Spanish Mission-style architecture façade, is one of El Paso’s major attractions.
This was built in 1930 and was renovated in 2006 to keep up with its beautiful reputation. From the mosaic tiles and ornamental railings to the stars sprinkled across the ceiling, the grandeur of the edifice is immediately apparent.
3: Hueco Tanks State Historic Site
The Hueco Tanks, also known as the Sacred Desert Sanctuary, were originally the endpoint of an important trip. Locals have been visiting here for over a thousand years to gather fresh rainwater from the park’s large natural granite basins. This is demonstrated by the eye-opening pictographs that may be discovered on the walls.
Camp overnight at one of the twenty available sites to fully appreciate the historic site’s splendor. For the full Hueco Tanks experience, add on a guided tour. Also read Best Things to Do in Curacao.
4: El Paso Museum of Art
So many outdoor activities are available in town, you may need some shade. Exploring the Museum of Art is one of the top indoor activities to do in El Paso.
The El Paso Museum of Art houses 7,000 works of art, the oldest of which dates back to the 12th century. The museum depicts the natural beauty of the Southwest as well as triumphs and tragedies. Aside from local history, the Museum of Art is home to international icons such as Rembrandt, Remington, and Frank Boggs.
5: El Paso Mission Trail
The Mission Trail is a must-see for anybody interested in El Paso’s history and culture. The walk will lead you to important surviving Spanish missions and reveal El Paso’s rich history, which spans countries, cultures, and traditions.
The trail passes by Texas’ oldest mission, the Ysleta Mission, which was built in 1682 and gives an eye-popping connection to the past. There are famous art galleries and the Tigua Indian Cultural Center, as well as several more ancient missions established in the 17th and 18th centuries.
6: National Border Patrol Museum
A visit to the National Border Patrol Museum is one of the most interesting and free things to do in El Paso. The museum, which was founded in 1928, goes even further back in time, transporting you to the Old West.
You’ll notice the plain exterior as soon as you enter the building. Any notion that this is a dull activity is rapidly dispelled. The museum takes visitors on a journey through the history of the Border Patrol, from the Old West to Prohibition to now. Also read Best Things to Do in Las Vegas.
7: El Paso Holocaust Museum
The El Paso Holocaust Museum, founded by Holocaust survivor Henry Kellen, continues to enlighten and educate its guests. The museum doing a fantastic work of depicting the period leading up to the sad events, as well as giving a nice insight into life in the concentration camps.
There are various staff members on site who can answer any questions you may have, and workshops are given throughout the year. With continual education, it is hoped that history will never repeat itself.
8: El Paso Zoo
This is a amazing place to visit for a peaceful afternoon of fun or a family-friendly activity. The zoo has a variety of habitats that are designed to seem like those found all around the world.
Three major exhibits at the El Paso Zoo feature large and small creatures from America, Africa, and Asia. Monkeys, eagles, and sea lions can all be seen up close by visitors. Adventure programs, a treehouse playground, a wildlife amphitheater, and the famed Africa Star Train are all available to children. Also, read Best Things to do in Anchorage.
9: Fort Bliss and Old Ironsides Museums
The Fort Bliss and Ironsides Museums, which are conveniently positioned next to each other, provide an enlightening view into America’s past and present for history aficionados.
In the course of the nineteenth century, Fort Bliss was built as a US Army post before becoming a Confederate outpost during the Civil War. Fort Bliss is home to an impressive collection of exhibitions, despite the fact that it is still used for military training.
10: Chamizal National Memorial
The name may allude to a significant statue in downtown El Paso. The Chamizal National Memorial, on the other hand, is a large urban park. Residents consider the memorial to be a significant cultural site as well as one of El Paso’s most attractive locations.
Chamizal was developed to mark the end of long-running conflicts between Mexico and the United States of America. The park now honors the region with natural vegetation and walking routes that allow visitors to easily explore the park.
There is also a museum that delves more into the history of the Chamizal Dispute. There is a gallery to visit, and you may see live music or a theater play at any time of year.