At the farthest western tip of Texas lies the border city, El Paso. Its desert landscape and rich cultural attractions make this unique city a destination for travelers and tourists alike.
Maybe you’re headed west and just passing through, or maybe you’ve planned a special trip to enjoy the scenic views of the Rio Grande. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best things to do while visiting El Paso, Texas.
If you’re moving to or within San Antonio, check out our El Paso local moving page!
El Paso Mission Trail
Take a deep look into Texas history with the El Paso Mission Trail. Here’s your chance to feel like a local by taking a walking, self-guided tour of some of the oldest villages in the United States. Enjoy authentic shops and local favorite cafes and restaurants. You’ll also get to explore two mission churches and the Presidio Chapel while discovering history dating back to the 1600’s.
El Paso Zoo
The El Paso Zoo is fun the whole family can enjoy. Sitting on 35 acres, the El Paso Zoo is home to exotic animals from around the world and features family attractions such as the African Star Train, the Hunt Family Splash Pad, Foster Tree House Playground, and the Hunt Endangered Species Carousel. Enjoy exhibits featuring animals from Africa, Asia and the Americas all in one place!
El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center
If you’re more of a history buff, check out the El Paso Holocaust Museum, a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, located in Downtown El Paso. Visitors to the Museum will learn about the Holocaust through its permanent exhibit, which features several multi-media galleries that chronicle the events of the Holocaust. The museum, a non-profit organization run by a Board of Directors, does not charge admission but does accept donations.
First constructed in 1930, and returned to its original splendor in 2006, the Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Center showcases some of the best live entertainment and attractions in El Paso. The theatre atmosphere features Spanish Colonial Revival architecture complete with intricately painted ceilings, mosaic-tiled floors, decorative metal railings and antique furniture. Located in the heart of downtown El Paso, the Plaza Theatre is home to a variety of shows and talented musical acts.
Franklin Mountains State Park
If you’re looking for something more scenic or prefer an outdoor activity, the 27,000 acre Franklin Mountains State Park is the perfect place for beautiful desert views. Located on the north end of the city, this park is the adventurers dream. Try hiking or mountain biking, camping or rock climbing. The Franklin Mountains State Park is also home to native wildlife, especially bird species.
El Paso Museum of Art
Looking for something more in the Fine Arts department? The El Paso Museum of Art houses an impressive collection of more than 7,000 pieces focusing on American, European, and Mexican art from the 12th century to current times. Free admission allows you access to view both special exhibitions and permanent collections. The museum also features an art school, where aspiring artists of all ages can take classes guided by accomplished artists and gain knowledge and experience.
El Paso Museum of Archaeology
Another fascinating museum makes our list of things to do in El Paso, Texas. The El Paso Museum of Archaeology presents 14,000 years of prehistory in the El Paso area, the greater Southwest, and northern Mexico. The museum features 15 acres of nature trails with over with 250 species of Chihuahuan Desert native plants, outdoor exhibits and an Indian Garden. Inside, exhibits highlight Paleoindian hunters of the Ice Age to their modern descendants. Special exhibits are in the auditorium and the North Gallery. The auditorium also houses explore-able drawers of artifacts from across the U.S. Tours are free and can be scheduled in advance!
Big Bend National Park
No, Big Bend National Park isn’t in El Paso, Texas. Actually, it’s located about 4 hours southeast of the city, but we couldn’t help but add this wonderful attraction to our list. Just a little over 800K acres of Texas land, Big Bend National Park is a beautiful destination for any adventure seeker. The national park has canoeing, hiking, fishing, camping, tourist attractions, horseback riding and much more! If you find yourself near El Paso, this destination is worth the trip.
Where to Stay in El Paso
- DoubleTree by Hilton Downtown – Looking for trendy cocktails and scenic views? This boutique hotel combines urban chic with impeccable service.
- Hotel Indigo El Paso – Mid-century and contemporary vibes meets rich history and culture.
- Hotel Paso Del Norte – Originally built in 1912 and located in the heart of downtown, the Hotel Paso Del Norte is listed on the National Historical Register.
Where to Eat in El Paso
- L & J Café – An El Paso Tradition since 1927. A traditional Mexican restaurant in historic downtown El Paso. Enjoy authentic cuisine and weekly drink specials, plus, Taco Tuesday!
- Tabla – A hip tapas bar in the hear of downtown El Paso, where plates are shareable, and the drinks are exquisitely hand-crafted.
- Cattlemen’s Steakhouse – An iconic family-style restaurant situated on Indian Cliffs Ranch, 20 miles east of El Paso.
El Paso is a rich, vibrant city filled with history, culture and fun activities for the entire family. Looking to move to El Paso, Texas? Contact us today for a free move estimate!