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Is El Paso Fun? Here's What You Need to Know

By: Swena Kalra

Edited By: Scott Sidders

Updated on November 5, 2023

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The people of El Paso sure know how to have a good time! There's always something going on in this vibrant city, whether exploring the great outdoors, indulging in delicious Tex Mex cuisine, or enjoying a cold one at a local bar. So whether you're looking for a fun night out on the town or a weekend getaway, El Paso is the perfect spot for you!

Top 10 Attractions & Things To Do in El Paso

With so much to see and do in El Paso, it can be tough to narrow down your options. But whether you're a history buff, foodie, or outdoor enthusiast, there's sure to be something on this list that appeals to you.

1. Hike through Franklin Mountains State Park

Franklin Mountains State Park near El Paso, Texas, USA

The Franklin Mountains are a significant sight in the El Paso skyline and also provide a great opportunity for recreation for both residents and visitors of the state. The 27,000-acre Franklin Mountain State Park offers activities such as hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, geocaching, and ranger-led programs.

For those who are short on time, there are also scenic drives available throughout the park. One popular attraction in the park is the Wyler Aerial Tramway which offers a stunning view of the desert scenery from Ranger Peak. You can pick up maps and other information, as well as permits for camping at the main office of the park.

2. Visit the El Paso Museum of Art

El Paso Museum of Art in Texas, USA

There are more than 7,000 pieces of art in the El Paso Museum of Art. This includes American, European, and Mexican art from the 12th century to the current times. The American art collection has many examples from the Southwest. Some of the famous artists with pieces in this museum are Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, Rembrandt Peale, Thomas Sully, and Gilbert Stuart.

The El Paso Museum of Art also has modernist artists like Milton Avery, John Marin, and Max Weber. In addition, the museum has an extensive collection of prints, drawings, watercolors, posters, and photographs. This museum also hosts workshops and educational programs for all ages frequently.

3. Sample some delicious Tex Mex food

L and J Cafe in the Five Points neighborhood in El Paso, Texas

You can't visit El Paso without indulging in some delicious Tex Mex cuisine. There are countless restaurants to choose from, but some of the most popular include L&J Cafe, Rosa's Cantina, and Matt's Rancho Martinez.

Be sure to try some of the local specialties like carne asada fries, enchiladas, and margaritas. And of course, no meal is complete without a side of chips and salsa.

4. Explore the El Paso Mission Trail

Purple flowers line the side of the Socorro Mission, on the El Paso Mission Trail

The Mission Trail is a driving route that covers some of the most important Spanish mission sites in Texas. These missions are a key part of Texas history and offer tourists a chance to learn about the state's rich multicultural heritage. The Ysleta Mission is one of the highlights of the trail. It was consecrated in 1682 and is the oldest mission in Texas.

The Socorro Mission, which was first built in 1691, and the San Elizario mission, with its Spanish garrison church from 1789, are also along the route. In addition to the missions themselves, there are also many other authentic cultural highlights surrounding them, such as local eateries, art galleries, and the Tigua Indian Cultural Center.

5. Visit Hueco Tanks State Park

Water pool in Hueco Tanks State Park Texas

Hueco Tanks is a popular recreational spot northeast of downtown El Paso that offers hiking, climbing, camping, and bird-watching opportunities. The park gets its name from the large rock formations and natural basins that collect rainwater.

People have gathered in this unique area for thousands of years, and evidence of this early human presence remains in the form of ancient pictographs on the rock wall. It is important to note that due to the fragile resources of the park, there is a limit on the number of people who can visit each day.

Visitor cools off in Hueco Tanks State Park Texas

Reservations are strongly encouraged, and guided tours of the pictographs are also available. When planning your trip, be sure to factor in time to enjoy a picnic lunch surrounded by this incredible natural beauty.

6. Watch a Show at the Plaza Theatre

Historic Plaza Theatre El Paso, Texas, USA

In the heart of downtown El Paso, the Plaza Theatre is a beautiful and grandiose example of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture. The theatre was originally constructed in 1930 and then restored to its original glory in 2006. The Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Center is now one of the premier live entertainment venues in El Paso, showcasing a wide variety of performances ranging from country music stars to Broadway shows.

One of the best things about the Plaza Theatre is simply admiring the stunning auditorium space. The theatre is decorated with intricate mosaic tiles, ornate metal railings, and beautiful antique furniture. The ceiling is painted with stars that reflect a summer night sky, adding to the magical atmosphere of the theatre.

7. Go on a Safari at the El Paso Zoo

The El Paso Zoo is a great place for families to explore. There are three different exhibits - the Animals of Africa, the Animals of Asia, and the Animals of the Americas - each with its own unique collection of animals.

The zoo also offers a variety of Zoo Adventure Programs, daily animal encounters, and special shows at the Wildlife Amphitheater. Kids will love the treehouse playground and the year-round water play area. It's a great way to spend a day learning about and interacting with some of the world's most amazing creatures.

8. Catch a Game at the Sun Bowl Stadium

UTEP Sun Bowl football stadium panorama in El Paso, Texas

The Sun Bowl Stadium is home to the UTEP Miners of Conference USA and the Hyundai Sun Bowl, a college football bowl game that takes place in December. The stadium has a seating capacity of 51,000 and is located on the UTEP campus, surrounded by mountains.

Although it is relatively old, the stadium has been remodeled several times to keep it comfortable for spectators. The Sun Bowl Stadium is a great place to spend an afternoon watching college football, and it offers a fun family experience. You can also catch other events at the stadium, such as concerts and soccer games.

9. Take in the Views from atop the Wyler Aerial Tramway

The Wyler Aerial Tramway is a great way to see the city from above. The tramway takes you up to Rangers Peak, where you can enjoy views of 7,000 square miles that take in three states and two nations. The trip up is half the fun as you drive up the paved road through stunning scenery.

At the top of the Peak, you can enjoy the magnificent view and learn about the different cacti, abundant wildlife, and bird life. You can also buy tickets for the tramway at the station. The four-minute ride includes an in-depth narration from the cabin attendant, pointing out different aspects of the scenery. The Wyler Aerial Tramway is a great way to see the city from above and learn about the different aspects of the landscape.

10. Soak up the Sun at one of El Paso's many Parks or Public Pools

Sunset scenery at the Ascarate Park in El Paso, Texas

El Paso has many parks and public pools that are perfect for a day of fun in the sun. Some of the most popular include Ascarate Park, Memorial Park, and San Jacinto Plaza. There are also several public pools, such as the El Paso Municipal Pool and the Armijo Pool.

These pools are great places to cool off on a hot day, and they offer a variety of amenities such as slides, diving boards, and water features. When you're ready to take a break from the sun, you can also find shade under the trees or in the picnic areas. El Paso's parks and public pools are great places to spend a day outdoors with family and friends.

You can't go wrong with any of these great activities, so get out there and start exploring all that El Paso has to offer!

Top 3 Day Trip Ideas from El Paso

When you're looking for a fun day trip from El Paso, there are plenty of great options to choose from. Whether you want to explore a nearby city or town, enjoy the outdoors, or learn about the area's history, you can find it all within a few hours' drive of El Paso. Here are some of the best day trips from El Paso:

1. Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is about a two-hour drive from El Paso and is home to some of the most beautiful scenery in Texas. The park offers hiking, camping, fishing, and horseback riding, as well as opportunities to see wildlife such as mountain lions, deer, and bighorn sheep.

Guadalupe Mountains National Park is a great place to spend a day or two exploring the outdoors. It's also a perfect place to escape the heat of the summer, as the temperatures are usually cooler at higher elevations.

2. White Sands National Park

New Mexico White Sands National Monument white rippled desert dunes

White Sands National Park is located in southern New Mexico, about three hours from El Paso. The park is home to the world's largest gypsum dune field, as well as a variety of plant and animal life. Visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, picnicking, and sand sledding.

White Sands National Park is a great place to spend a day or two exploring the unique landscape. You can also extend your trip by visiting the nearby city of Alamogordo.

3. UTV Adventure Tour

The UTV Adventure Tour is the perfect way to explore the beautiful desert landscape of El Paso. With the best equipment on the market, you can experience the off-road adventure of a lifetime. It is conveniently located just 17 minutes from the El Paso International Airport.

You can also expect premium safety features to make your experience both enjoyable and safe. So if you're looking for an adrenaline-pumping adventure, look no further than the UTV Adventure Tour.


Top 3 Places To Stay in El Paso

El Paso Texas Skyline at Night

This beautiful city has plenty to offer in terms of accommodation, whether you're looking for a luxury hotel or a cozy budget hotel. Here are some of the best places to stay in El Paso:

1. Hotel Paso Del Norte, Autograph Collection

The Paso del Norte Hotel is a beautifully appointed 1912 brick building that now serves as a luxurious and modern hotel. It is located in downtown El Paso, Texas, across the street from the El Paso Museum of Art and Williams Convention Center.

The hotel is also just 8 miles from the El Paso International Airport. It features elegant rooms with traditional decor and all the latest amenities, including free Wi-Fi, cable TV, and coffeemakers. The suites are even more luxurious, with sitting areas and some featuring dining rooms.

2. Chase Suite Hotel El Paso

The Chase Suite Hotel El Paso is a great choice for travelers who are looking for an all-suite hotel that is close to the airport. The hotel offers modern suites with kitchenettes, flat-screen TVs, and free Wi-Fi. Guests can enjoy a free hot breakfast, access to a nearby health club, airport shuttle service, and parking.

The hotel also features an outdoor pool, hot tub, barbecue area, and meeting facilities. It's a great choice for business and leisure travelers alike. When staying at the Chase Suite Hotel El Paso, you'll be sure to have a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

3. The Hotel at Sunland Park Racetrack

With a casino and racetrack on-site, the Hotel at Sunland Park Racetrack offers a convenient location just off I-10. This hotel is 13 miles from El Paso International Airport and 6 minutes on foot from Western Playland. Relaxed guest rooms provide in-room safes, flat-screen TVs, and complimentary Wi-Fi, plus tea and coffee-making facilities. Suites feature sitting areas and sofabeds. Room service is available for guest convenience. Free perks include parking and an airport shuttle. Additional hotel amenities include a fitness room, restaurant, and bar.

Final Thoughts

El Paso, Texas lit up at night

Now that we've looked at all the great things El Paso has to offer, it's safe to say that, yes, El Paso is a fun place to be! Whether you're looking for outdoor adventure, delicious food, rich culture, or just a relaxing place to enjoy the desert sun, El Paso has something for everyone. This vibrant and welcoming city is sure to make your vacation one to remember. We wish you all the best on your adventure, have fun, and take care!

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