40 Best Things to Do in El Paso, TX

El Paso, TX
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A cultural amalgamation of people, languages, and cuisine, El Paso is located in the state of Texas on the Rio Grande.

This diverse terrain of the desert is home to minor-league baseball and Tex-Mex cuisine.

With its backdrop of Franklin Mountains and the warmth of the locals, El Paso is a welcoming and inclusive place with a lot to offer.

Interested to know more about this stunning place?

Here are the 40 best things you can do and enjoy during your visit to El Paso, Texas:

Support Local Artists at the Downtown Artist and Farmer’s Market

Products at El Paso Farmer’s Market
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Located in the Union plaza district and open on Saturday mornings, Downtown Artist and Farmer’s Market is an excellent way of understanding the sociocultural life in El Paso.

This outdoor market sells arts and crafts made and sold by local artists and vendors.

Here, you will be delighted to find regionally and organically grown products.

A few of the many stalls at the farmer’s market include Tlachiual crafts and homestead farm EP.

Go Hiking at the Keystone Heritage Park and Desert Botanical Gardens

Keystone Heritage Park and Desert Botanical Gardens is located at the foot of the Franklin Mountains and occupies a space of 52 acres.

This is the ruins of a 4,000-year-old village discovered in the 1970s.

This is an ideal location for hiking and bird watching owing to the 206 species of birds that inhabit this rustic landscape.

The other spots of interest in and around the area include the majestic theater, moonlight garden, and children’s garden.

Marvel at the Natural Beauty of the Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site

Daytime view of Hueco Tanks State Historic Site
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At Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site, you can hike around the area and find fascinating pictographs of a hunter on horseback at the North Mountain.

The rugged and naturally carved surface of syenite granite forms ravines, arches, boulders, and cliffs.

There is one summit open for unaccompanied hikers in this challenging terrain that boasts breathtaking views.

Rock formation at Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site
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Revisit El Paso's Rich History at El Paso Mission Trail Association

A church at The Mission Trail
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El Paso Mission Trail Association dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries.

The county’s mission valley contains a few magnificent buildings, such as the Ysleta Mission, which has been active since 1660 and has a gift shop for visitors to enjoy.

Another is the Socorro Mission, started by Piro Natives and the Presidio Chapel of San Elizario.

A quiet stroll along these buildings will serve as a lesson about El Paso’s rich history.

Interior of the Socorro mission at El Paso Mission Trail Association
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Feel Inspired at the El Paso Museum of Art

Exterior of El Paso Museum of Art
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El Paso Museum of Art is arguably El Paso’s most ambitious one, as it houses 7,000 works of art from the Byzantine era to the present day.

This art paradise is free for visitors and hosts classes and workshops for interested amateurs.

The Museum of Art at El Paso contains various works: American, Renaissance, Mexican, and Baroque.

You can admire the work of well-known artists, such as Van Dyck and Tom Lea.

Facade of El Paso Museum of Art
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Watch a Musical Performance at the Plaza Theatre

Exterior of the Plaza Theatre
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Plaza Theatre was built in 1930 and is known for its one-of-a-kind musical performances.

The stage is draped in luminous red curtains, and the golden hues present throughout belong to the Spanish colonial Revival architecture and gives the space a royal feel.

The Spanish courtyard and the Alcantar sky garden are part of the theatre and open to the public.

You can also catch a glimpse of the mighty Wurlitzer Blaban 3 organ, one of six worldwide.

Front view of Plaza Theatre
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Breathe in Fresh Air at the El Paso Municipal Rose Garden

A person at Municipal Rose Garden
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El Paso Municipal Rose Garden serves as an escape from the busy city life and gives you a moment to breathe in the scent of rose bushes belonging to five hundred varieties.

Located at Aurora Avenue, the municipal rose garden has tours for visiting the Koi garden and the spectacular waterfall.

You can eat at a restaurant or indulge in some retail therapy at the plaza.

If you visit in February, you can witness a public pruning demonstration.

Remember the Dead at the El Paso Holocaust Museum

The term ‘Never forget’ is the guiding principle of the El Paso Holocaust Museum, the only bilingual Holocaust museum.

This unassuming building understands the importance of remembering and reflecting on the harsh past by organizing group tours to learn about the history of the Holocaust along with survivor testimonies.

The museum has free admission and is an unforgettable experience.

Revisit Family Life at Magoffin Home State Historic Site

Exterior of Magoffin Home State Historic Site
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Built in the year 1875, Magoffin Home State Historic Site is designed in the spectacular Territorial style architecture.

The site has preserved the history of a multicultural family active in U.S. expansion and settlement and participated in trade relations on the Santa Fe-Chihuahua trail.

Visitors can learn about the fascinating stories of the house's earliest occupants, such as Jose Sierra and Uncle Charlie.

The large expanse of lush gardens is ideal for an afternoon stroll.

Say a Prayer at St. Patrick Cathedral

Exterior of St. Patrick Cathedral
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The imposing structure of the St. Patrick Cathedral is the seat of the Roman Catholic diocese and was built in 1917.

The Italian Renaissance style architecture has alluring frescoes and vibrant stained glass windows.

Having settled down on the wooden bench, a visitor can marvel at the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue and the golden eagle and take in the quiet atmosphere of the cathedral.

Interior of St. Patrick Cathedral
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Pay a Visit to National Border Patrol Museum

Exterior of the National Border Patrol Museum
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The National Border Patrol Museum cannot be missed because it is the only one of its kind in the entire country.

Built in 1985, the museum showcases the tough and resilient history of the U.S. border patrol.

The location does not charge an admission fee and displays jeeps, helicopters, and snowmobiles.

The museum has a soft side that includes adorable dogs and art shows.

Learn about the Army at Fort Bliss and Old Ironsides Museum

Exterior of Fort Bliss
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Before the Second World War, Fort Bliss and Old Ironsides Museum was the first armored division in the country.

Mind-blowing specimens of an exciting past are on display, such as the German V2 rocket, artillery pieces, helicopters, and forty tanks.

You can also stroll around a detailed reproduction of the first post of Fort bliss.

This is perfect for families with children and history lovers.

See the Chamizal National Memorial

Mural at Chamizal National Memorial
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Chamizal National Memorial was built to remember the peaceful settlements of the Chamizal boundary dispute between the United States and Mexico.

The site serves as a reminder of the geopolitical negotiations of this country and contains a lush urban park for visitors to enjoy.

There are art galleries, a theatre, and a museum to visit in the area.

A statue at Chamizal National Memorial
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Eat Tex-Mex at L & J Cafe

This Texas culinary institution started in 1927 and served a wide array of mouth-watering Tex-Mex dishes.

Some of the loved dishes at L & J Cafe are nachos, guacamole, tortilla, enchiladas and tres leches.

After trying their food, you will be compelled to purchase a bottle of homemade red salsa sauce.

The cafe has a laid-back atmosphere and strives to serve the most authentic Tex-Mex cuisine.

Have Fun at the Roller Bomb Ice Skating Rink

Visitors may be surprised and relieved to find an indoor ice skating rink in this scorching and rugged terrain.

Roller Bomb Ice Skating Rink is a perfect opportunity to spend fun and quality time with your loved ones at an affordable price.

The rink regularly hosts thrilling ice hockey games that go well with their in-house pizzas, drinks, and snacks.

You can also spend an evening skating to retro tunes on Old school Sunday events.

Visit Franklin Mountain State Park

Wildflowers at Franklin Mountain State Park
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Franklin Mountain State Park is a breathtaking beauty.

Their magnificent desert terrain has a hundred-mile trail where visitors can hike, bike, camp, and enjoy a picnic with their family and friends.

A bird at Franklin Mountain State Park
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At the Mckelligon Canyon, you can do rock climbing and enjoy bird watching and sightseeing.

The charming views and vast expanse will make it hard for you to leave.

Hiking trail at Franklin Mountain State Park
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Visit McKelligon Canyon Park

A road at McKelligon Canyon Park
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McKelligon Canyon Park is located on the South East side of the Franklin mountains.

It has a famous amphitheater that can seat more than a thousand people and hosts Viva El Paso!

A musical performance that has to be seen to be believed.

The Ron Coleman trail allows long walks, hiking, and biking.

With the backdrop of the mountain range, you can do rock climbing and gape at the views.

Watch a Baseball Game at Southwest University Park

Exterior of Southwest University Park
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Southwest University Park is located in downtown El Paso and is home to the El Paso Chihuahua baseball team.

Located on Missouri Avenue, this is the place to witness minor league baseball.

A visitor is guaranteed a few hours of constant adrenaline rush with a glass of beer and some glutinous snacks.

A baseball player at Southwest University Park
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See the University of Texas at El Paso

A building at the University of Texas
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Located at Centennial Plaza, the University of Texas at El Paso is an astonishing structure inspired by the architecture of Bhutanese monasteries.

A stroll around the gigantic space will reveal Texas's bountiful natural and cultural history.

Welcome sign of the University of Texas
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This binational community of students has an enriching and refreshing environment.

The university offers various short-term and long-term educational programs.

Bookstore at the University of Texas
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Visit the Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens

Garden walk at Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens
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Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens is part of the University of Texas, and the exemplary museum serves as a guide to the natural and cultural history of the desert.

A visitor will be stunned by the Lhakhang, a Bhutanese temple with hand-painted murals.

The only one of its kind in the country.

The botanical garden contains 800 species of plants for you to learn about.

Next year, the garden will be hosting the Florefest, a festival showcasing the region's diverse range of plant life.

Meditating pool at Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens
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Take Some Pictures of the Casa de Azucar

Sculptures at Casa de Azucar
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Casa de Azucar is a testament to the love and devotion a husband and artist of this structure has for his wife.

Built over 25 years, these white altarpieces have intricate carvings and amusing designs.

It also pays tribute to the 350th anniversary of the village of El Paso.

This atypical tourist site is inspiring, intimate, and spellbinding.

Close view of the Casa de Azucar
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See Dinosaur Tracks at Sunland Park Dinosaur Tracks

If you were a dinosaur nerd growing up or watched Jurassic park a few too many times, Sunland Park Dinosaur Tracks will be your favorite on this list.

The dinosaur fossil marks and trackways were discovered relatively recently in 2003. They belong to the Cretaceous period.

The heat-ridden desert landscape is cinematic and unique.

You can also opt for tours to learn about the biology and environment of this site.

Dine at Cafe Mayapan

Cafe Mayapan is a much-loved destination for food lovers and hungry tourists.

The food served here is mainly Mexican such as enchiladas, soups, and green chili with beef stuffing.

The ambiance of this cafe is lively and relaxing.

A perfect getaway from the heat of El Paso, and you can also visit the Lum Metik fair trade company behind the cafe.

Shop at Dave's A Pawn Shop

Dave's A Pawn Shop is an unusual spot for any tourist to visit, but it is unforgettable.

You don’t need to empty your wallets to shop here.

It offers a wide variety of quirky and unique artifacts that will make for offbeat souvenirs.

You can find paraphernalia, skulls, mummies, and wigs from the Second World War.

If that isn’t enough to convince any visitor, the tunes of Elvis Presley are played here on the loop.

Play at Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino

If a casino in itself isn’t exciting and intimidating enough, Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino offer you a racetrack with the experience.

This state of art building allows you to bet on a horse at the racing track and spend frivolously on slot machines.

The venue hosts live performances and concerts.

If you’re hungry, the eateries such as Ventanas bar and grill and Riley’s restaurant would be the ultimate spots.

Visit Concordia Cemetery

Gravesite of John Wesley Hardin at Concordia Cemetery
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The Concordia Cemetery is located in an area of 52 acres, and the graves of 60,000 individuals can be found here.

This historic site is well-known for the grave of John Wesley Hardin, the infamous outlaw of the Wild West.

The enchanting cemetery is divided into sections such as Jewish, Mormon, and African American veterans, among a few others.

The best time to visit this cemetery is during the ‘day of the dead’ holiday.

Headstones at Concordia Cemetery
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Board a Train at Union Depot

Exterior of Union Depot
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The delightful interiors of the Union Depot are a century old but are still as solid and polished as ever.

This was the first International train station in the United States and connected the US with Mexico.

The enclosed waiting area with a high ceiling and woodwork has an old-world charm and gives a cinematic feel.

While waiting for your train to arrive, you can admire the clock tower inspired by South Western architecture.

Interior of Union Depot
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See the Ruins of the B-36 Bomber Crash Site

This extraordinary tourist site is located at the Franklin Mountains and boasts of a generally unknown and forgotten part of history.

In 1953, an airplane ferrying nuclear warheads from the US to Russia crashed on this spot.

The accident killed nine people on board.

Some ruins of the crash can be found here, such as the engine, gear, and tail fin.

A relic of the casualty of the Cold War, the B-36 bomber crash site is one-of-a-kind.

Spend Family Time at the El Paso Zoo

Signage of El Paso Zoo
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The El Paso Zoo is a favorite for tired parents and bored children. The Zoo is spread over 35 acres and houses 220 species of animals.

This comprehensive and diverse range of animals keeps you and your little ones entertained for a whole day.

The zoo is divided into three major sections: Africa, America, and Asia.

Some family-related activities you can enjoy are the African star train, Springwater, and the Foster tree house.

A bird at El Paso Zoo
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See the Buffalo Soldier Memorial

A statue at Buffalo Soldier Memorial
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Any country’s core values are upheld and preserved by its soldiers and veterans. This is evident in the Buffalo Soldier Memorial, a part of the vast Concordia cemetery.

The aspect that makes this memorial unique is the burial of forty African American soldiers from the civil war of the nineteenth century.

This historic site is flush with plaques and memorial markers that guide the visitor through the events and consequences of the past.

Ho Baron is a well-known sculpture artist and a native of El Paso who has designed and maintained a sculpture garden of twelve of his artworks.

Ho Baron, Art Gallery, Sculpture Garden is free for public viewing and has become a tourist site.

The life-size sculptures are marvelous and eye-catching.

They are bronze and stone sculptures that have an abstract and surreal narrative.

You may meet the artist and discuss his work if you're lucky.

Learn about our Origins at the El Paso Museum of Archeology

Welcome sign of El Paso Museum of Archeology
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El Paso Museum of Archeology attracts a substantial amount of fanfare from tourists and locals owing to its size of 15 acres that houses up to 200 plant species.

The museum has free admission and focuses on Native American history and early cultures such as Casas Grandes.

You can also marvel at interesting dioramas holding the treasures of 14,000 prehistories.

Please don’t shy away from entering the deep hole of human history and immersing yourself in it.

Entrance to El Paso Museum of Archeology
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Show Off your Golf Skills at Painted Dunes Desert Golf Course

Put your game face on and check out the Ken Dye and Jeffrey Brauer-designed Painted Dunes Desert Golf Course in El Paso, Texas.

This magnificent golf course features 27 championship-style holes.

It has won praise as one of the top-rated facilities in Texas and the Southwest.

Finesse and a precise aim are crucial on the course due to the undulating greens and rolling hills.

The courses at Painted Dunes provide the picturesque splendor of native vegetation and desert fauna as they are located at the base of the Franklin Mountains.

Organize your upcoming golf event at Painted Dunes Desert Golf Course in the foothills of the Franklin Mountains.

Listen to Good Music by El Paso Symphony Orchestra

Did you know that the El Paso Symphony Orchestra is Texas' longest-running symphony?

Their goal is to ensure that top-notch concert music is made publicly available to the diverse population of the greater El Paso area to amuse and enlighten them.

The greatest employment in the area for the arts is the El Paso Symphony.

More than 200 people produce each event, 80 of whom are local musicians who labor year-round.

The El Paso Symphony Orchestra is committed to offering the community excellent instructional and outreach initiatives and fantastic orchestra concerts.

View the Exhibits at the El Paso Museum of History

Exterior of the El Paso Museum of History
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Initiated in 1974 as the Cavalry Museum, the El Paso Museum of History serves as one of three museums run by the city.

In 1980, the El Paso Museum of History became the institution's official name.

Among only four interactive digital walls of its sort on the planet, it is the sole one in the United States.

Facade of the El Paso Museum of History
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The Museum's archive of over 10,000 objects, papers, pictures, and personal tales traces the evolution of El Paso.

Involving various audiences in exhibits and academic programming that explores the diversity of human experience invites individuals to look into the past by considering their own position in history.

Go Shopping at Cielo Vista Mall

The East Side of El Paso is home to the city's primary shopping center, Cielo Vista Mall.

The Mall, the biggest of the three malls in the metropolitan area, debuted on November 13, 1974.

Over 140 businesses, including Dillard's, Michael Kors, Sephora, and H&M, are housed in this fantastic climate-controlled indoor shopping complex.

Other specialty stores, including those selling shoes and accessories, men's, women's, and children's clothing, are located in the Cielo Vista Mall.

The Mall has several sit-down restaurants as well as other places to eat.

After wandering and shopping, visit the Cinemark Theater complex in the west outer parking lot to see the newest film releases.

Watch a Performance at El Paso Playhouse

A community theater called the El Paso Playhouse serves a multiculturally varied audience by offering entertainment and educational programs.

It offers a place for artists, technologists, audience members, and residents to engage in artistic activity.

The community theater presents touring and regularly planned season productions for kids and families.

They mostly give theatrical performances and display high-quality play productions.

The advantages of the playhouse are numerous and range from promoting transformation to promoting self-expression.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Try Horseback Riding at Miller Horse Farm

Miller Horse Farm is a charming location for horseback riding and activity for a family or group to enjoy together.

However, it gets better. You will be led to a winery as you ride a horse and witness the scenic views of infinite fields of Mexican crops such as cotton and pecan.

Here, you can indulge in a few glasses of wine and witness a glorious sunset.

Dine at Cattleman’s Steakhouse

Cattleman’s Steakhouse deserves a special mention on anyone’s list.

This family-style eatery is located in a chophouse at a working ranch.

You can eat freshly cut meat while enjoying the views of the lush green landscape.

The steakhouse is well-known for its barbecue, seafood, and, you guessed it, steaks!

In addition to the delicious meal, you will be left enthralled at their children’s zoo, snake pit, and Indian maze.

Final Thoughts

El Paso is a fascinating city with a lot to see.

A stunning desert and various flora and animals border it.

Spend a memorable day observing notable historic sites and lively art galleries.

Enjoy everything, from the plentiful cultural attractions to the great spicy food.

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