Located on the western tip of Texas, where Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico meet, El Paso is the largest international metropolis around the world. There are so many things to do in El Paso, Texas. The best time to visit is from October to April, before the summer heat really gets going.
10. National Border Patrol Museum
The National Border Patrol Museum is the only museum solely dedicated to honoring the U.S. Border Patrol since its conception in the Old West until today. They have over 10,000 artifacts including vehicles used by them and that have been seized throughout the years. They also have helicopters, uniforms, tools, and documents showing the border patrol’s history. The museum follows the history of how the methods used to cross the border have changed, and the changes this has caused for the patrols routines. Admission is free; however, they are closed on Sundays and Mondays.
9. El Paso Museum of Archeology
The Museum of Archeology has exhibits about the area’s history and the people that lived there beginning 14,000 years ago. It is a great place for the whole family to learn more about the culture and everyday life of Indians in the area. There are walking trails as part of the museum that will show you over 250 native plants, an Indian garden, and poppy fields. They include artifacts from the southwest and northern Mexico. They offer tours on Saturdays from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is free; however, they are closed Sundays and Mondays.
8. El Paso Museum of Art
The Museum of Art was established in 1947, and has over 5,000 pieces of art. The works of art range from; American, European, Mexican, and Contemporary. The Samuel H. Kress Foundation donated their most notable collection. It comprises European artwork beginning during the 13th century through the 18th century. This is a great place to come for a romantic date. This free exhibit is a wonderful way to escape the heat for a couple of hours. They hold several events and traveling exhibits throughout the year. They are closed on Mondays.
7. El Paso Zoo
This is one of the best places to visit in El Paso, Texas with kids. The zoo has three major areas; animals from the Americas, Asia, and Africa. They have a splash pad, which is a great place for the younger kids to cool off from the heat. The kids always have a blast on the treehouse playground. They have over 220 species of animals spread out over 35 acres. The African exhibit has a giraffe feeding that is fun for everyone. For just a few dollars you get a couple of pieces of lettuce to feed to the giraffes.
6. Franklin Mountains State Park
Franklin Mountains State Park is the largest urban park in the nation, covering almost 40 square miles. Pack a picnic and plenty of water to explore this park. The trails are well maintained for hiking and mountain biking. The best time to visit this desert park is from October to April to avoid the summer heat. A great way to experience the park while staying within the city limits is to spend the weekend camping here with friends. A popular activity here is bird watching. Stop by the visitor center to learn about the extensive history throughout the area. Admission fee is $5 per adult.
5. The El Paso Holocaust Museum
Nazi Holocaust Survivor, Henry Kellen, started the Holocaust Museum. During the 1980’s he decided it was time to tell his story. The exhibits detail life in Europe before the Nazi regime, their rise to power, their use of propaganda, transportation to camps, life and death within the concentration camps, and more. Through artifacts and videos they aim to educate the public of the horrors of the Holocaust to ensure that similar acts never happen again. It is closed on Mondays. Admission is free daily; although, donations are appreciated.
4. Hueco Tanks State Historic Site
The park gets its name from the rock basins where water will collect that people have used for centuries as a water resource in the dry desert. As you walk along the trails it will not take long to discover why this is a historical site. There are drawings on the rock outcroppings left by the people that used the rock basins centuries ago. Since the location is a protected site, you must watch a short video before you can enter the park area, and they only allow 70 people within the park at a time. The hidden benefit to this sometimes-inconvenient rule is that the park is never overcrowded.
3. Plaza Theatre
The Plaza Theatre originally opened during the 1930’s, and at the time it was the largest theater of its kind in a 250-mile radius. In 1986 it was going to be demolished and turned into a parking lot. The community came together to save the historical theater, and they raised one million dollars in six weeks to start the restoration project for the theater. Today the theaters restoration has made it a beautiful place for a romantic night out. The Spanish architecture and artwork are breathtaking, and the shows are spectacular. Tours are available every Tuesday at noon, reservations are required, but they are free.
2. Wyler Aerial Tramway
Visitors can take the Wyler Aerial Tramway to the top of Ranger Peak, over 5,500 feet above sea level. The view from the top is spectacular, and something you won’t want to miss while visiting the city. A gondola will take you along a 2,600-foot long cable to the top. There are some hiking trails at the top as well as an observation center. With this 360-degree view you can see the entire city of El Paso, into New Mexico, and into Juarez, Mexico. A ride on the gondola takes 4 minutes, and costs $8 per person. They are only open Friday through Sunday and for some holidays.
1. Scenic Drive-Overlook
This two mile stretch of road above the city is the best way to see the sister cities, Juarez and El Paso. There are several places to pull over and walk around. Don’t forget to bring water and a camera; the views are spectacular, but if you go in the middle of the day there is not any shade. The desert landscape stretches out for miles in every direction. The views are great at night as well, and it is a much cooler time to see the outlook if you are here during the middle of summer. It’s interesting to see how the two cities have merged together across the border.
Considering that the city is the 19th largest across the United States, it is a surprisingly low cost place to visit. This is great for families trying to travel on a tight budget. The majority of tourist attractions in El Paso, Texas are free or very inexpensive to visit, and it is considered to be the most affordable city in Texas.