Year-round sunshine, striking desert landscapes, and a vibrant and diverse culture define El Paso, Texas’ westernmost city. Explore thousands of years of history, step inside 300-year-old missions, hike through the foothills of a stunning mountain range, and let your imagination run wild as you experience El Paso’s one-of-a-kind charm. Beautiful vistas, professional sports teams, fun family-friendly entertainment, and more can be found in this lively border town. Needless to say, there are many amazing things to do in El Paso. Discover a few of these adventures and start planning your trip to this unique Texas destination.

Hike, Bike, Climb & Explore

El Paso’s rugged mountains offer a lot more than a picturesque backdrop to the bustling border town. They are a veritable playground perfectly suited for hiking, mountain biking, camping and even rock climbing. In fact, two of the most unique state parks in Texas are just a stone’s throw from downtown El Paso. Remarkably, the first state park is located in the middle of El Paso. Franklin Mountains State Park is one of the largest urban parks in the country, home to 125 miles of multi-use trails that wind throughout 37 square miles of rocky desert wilderness. For some intriguing history, look no further than Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site. Thousands of years ago, people traveled to the rocky hills for the rainwater that collected in the natural rock basins. These early travelers left behind rock paintings that can be seen today on a guided or self-guided tour. Looking for more adventure? El Paso is gateway to four, jaw-dropping national parks; Big Bend National Park, Guadalupe Mountains National Park, White Sands National Park, and Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Photo courtesy of Destination El Paso

Tour the El Paso Mission Trail

Experience more than 300 years of Texas history, dating back to when the first European explorers set foot on the northern bank of the Rio Grande, when you explore the El Paso Mission Trail. Start at one of the most significant landmarks in the Lone Star State: the Ysleta Mission Church. Built in 1682, the white adobe-walled church is the oldest continuously active parish in Texas and one of the first buildings constructed in El Paso. Drive a few miles south to reach the eye-catching Socorro Mission, a unique structure with six-foot-thick adobe walls that dates back to 1691. Your final stop is the San Elizario Presidio Chapel, built with rounded archways and gold-trimmed pillars commonly found in traditional Spanish mission architecture. While the missions are eye-catching, they aren’t the only things to see on the trail. Discover more than 350 years of Pueblo Indian history, art and culture at the Tiqua Indian Cultural Center. Art galleries showcasing distinctive Native American and Southwestern-style paintings (and other works) by local and regional artists can be found on the trail as well. With so many cultural and historic attractions in one place, no trip to El Paso would be complete without a visit to the El Paso Mission Trail.

Photo courtesy of Destination El Paso

Get a Taste of El Paso’s Flavors

El Paso’s melting pot of cultures manifests itself in other ways beyond the historic sites and museums. There’s no better way to get to know a place and its people than by sampling the local cuisine, and the food in El Paso is legendary. Let the flavors of jalapeño, habanero, poblano, chipotle and serrano dance off your tongue when you munch on El Paso’s specialty: Mexican food. Steaming tortillas and tamales, handcrafted enchiladas smothered in savory homemade sauces, and more can be found all throughout the Sun City. Mexican food may be El Paso’s forte, but it’s not your only option. American, Asian, Greek, Italian and barbecue eateries are just some of your other choices for dining in El Paso. 

Photo courtesy of Destination El Paso

Experience a City Reborn

Thanks to a massive half-billion-dollar investment, Downtown El Paso is growing like never before. Ever spent the night in a 1920s art deco tower? How about a hotel with ties to the Mexican Revolution? Historic buildings like these and more have been renovated into top-of-the-line hotels so unique and comfortable you’ll be requesting a late checkout. We now have more than 1,200, state-of-the-art rooms all within walking distance of new shops, clubs, bars, restaurants and exciting year-round activities! Throw in an art-filled city square, the return of El Paso’s iconic vintage streetcars and exciting games at Southwest University park, and you’ve got a thriving downtown with something for everyone to enjoy.