EL PASO TEXAS

TEXAS REGIONS

BIG BEND COUNTRY  

El PasaIn the picture you are looking at the view of El Paso as seen from the top of Ranger Peak, via the Wyler Aerial Tramway.

El Paso grew from settlements dating all the way back to 1598 during the period when the Spanish roamed this area of what is now America, creating missions and wreaking havoc with the native population.

El Paso is the largest American city on the Mexican border. Across the Rio Grande, Juarez is Mexico's largest city on the border. The 2 towns have a combined population of over 2 million. Cuidad Juarez. Juarez is Mexico's 4th largest city with a population of 1.5 million. El Paso and Juarez are linked by 4 bridges.

El Paso is located in a pass through the Franklin Mountains range, hence the name, El Paso. El Paso is surrounded by peaks a mile high.

El Paso is home to the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, established in the 1930s the symphony is the longest running in Texas. The symphony performs 12 classical concerts, with a variety of special events. The El Paso Opera stages several productions annually, featuring national and international talent. Showtime El Paso, beginning in 1934, has staged show ranging from Broadway musicals to jazz concerts to dance performances. El Paso Pro Musica is a chamber orchestra and choir that holds concerts at the El Paso Museum of Art.

El Paso's professional sports include the AA Texas League baseball team, El Paso Diablos, an A-League soccer team, Chivas El Paso Patriots, a Western Hockey League team and the El Paso Scorpions Rugby team. The Sun Bowl takes place in El Paso, the second oldest bowl game, with the Rose Bowl being the oldest. There is car racing every Friday night from April through August at El Paso Speedway Park,
The El Paso Star on the Franklin Mountains in El Paso, Texas A bright new star hovers over El Paso, shining nightly on the western horizon. The 459 foot star has 459 lights. The star can be seen for 100 miles from the air, 30 miles on the ground. The star is turned on daily on the south side of the Franklin Mountains from 6 pm til midnight.

In El Paso you'll also find the Pueblito Mexicano Shopping Mall, El Paso Union Depot, the El Paso Zoo, the Fray Garcia Monument, Magoffin Home State Historic Site, McKelligon Canyon & Amphitheatre, San Jacinto Plaza, Sierra de Cristo Rey and Viva El Paso, which is an outdoor drama that captures the spirit of El Paso and the Southwest.

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico In Cuidad Juarez you will find a lot of shopping opportunities, like the Pueblito Mexicano Shopping Mall. This is an indoor mall that re-creates a classic Mexican village's traditional markets. In Juarez you will also find very nice lodging, night clubs and the Musco de Arte e Historia with an impressive pre-Columbian art collection, along with contemporary and historic art.

Border Jumper Trolleys is closed. Due to the violence in Cuidad Juarez the trolleys into Mexico were suspended.You hear a lot of warnings about the dangers of Cuidad Juarez, but, if you visit Mexico during daylight hours and stay in the main tourist areas, you should be safe.

Fort Bliss, established in 1849, today is a U.S. Army Air Defense Center. At Fort Bliss you'll find the Buffalo Soldier Monument, the Fort Bliss Museum and Study Center, Old Fort Bliss Museum, and the Air Defense Artillery Museum.

Wyler Aerial Tramway in Franklin Mountains State Park in El Paso, Texas Franklin Mountains State Park is the largest urban park in America. The park's 24,247 acres covers nearly 37 square miles. The Franklin Mountains give El Paso a beautiful backdrop to its urban landscape. The Franklin Mountains are Texas' largest mountain range, with the highest peak being the summit of North Franklin Peak at 7,192 feet. The park contains two easy hiking trails accessed from Loop 375/Trans-Mountain Road. There is a limited number of tent and RV camping sites. The most popular attraction in Franklin Mountains State Park is the Wyler Aerial Tramway where Swiss-made gondolas hang from a 2,600 cable that takes you to the top of Ranger Peak.

Hueco Tanks State Historic Site is 26 miles east of El Paso. For centuries this was a travel stop in this dry region due to water from the infrequent rains being stored in the Hueco Tanks natural rock basins. During the past few thousand years area Native American tribe members have left behind a large collection of pictographs. Park Rangers give pictograph tours, by reservation.

MUSEUMS IN EL PASO

The El Paso Museum of Art has exhibits covering 6 centuries, with American, Mexican Colonial and pre-Columbian sculptures and paintings. Admission is free. The mission of the El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center is to educate the public about the Nazi Holocaust. Insights El Paso Science Museum is dedicated to the study of science. The El Paso Tigua Center has exhibits of tribal artifacts and the history of the Tigua tribe. The Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens is all about the heritage of native groups of the southwest and northern Mexico. The Gardens have over 600 plant species.

SHOPPING IN EL PASO

Parts of downtown El Paso will make you think you are in a Mexican marketplace, with cheap trinkets lining the storefronts. In El Paso, it being wild west cowboy territory, you will find plenty of places to buy boots and western wear. Like Starr Western Wear, located in the historic downtown shopping district. You can get boots from a legendary bootmaker at the Tony Lama Factory Stores. Another El Paso boot institution is Champion Attitude Boots, with boots built by a 4 generation boot making family. For imports from across the border head to the huge El Paso Saddleblanket, a mega-store with colorful blankets, furniture, pottery, artwork and all sorts of other stuff. Galleria San Ysidro is located downtown in a 3 story gallery, specializing in Mexican primitive and folk art.

EVENTS IN EL PASO

Fiesta de las Flores takes place over Labor Day Weekend annually, featuring a beauty pageant, food, live music and the World Championship Huacha Tournament. The Southwestern International Livestock Show & Rodeo is held each September in Cohen Stadium. The rodeo features bull riding, roping and barrel racing. The Sun Bowl Parade has been an annual Thanksgiving Day event since the 1930s.

BARS & CLUBS IN EL PASO

In the heart of downtown El Paso you will find the Dome Bar on the ground floor of the historic Camino Real Hotel. The Dome Bar is a bit of a swanky joint. A short distance from the Dome Bar you will find The Tap, which is a classic dive bar, complete with a jukebox. At Hemingway's you will find microbrews in a not too noisy atmosphere. Next door to Hemingway's you will find Crawdaddy's Bar & Grill where you can get cheap beer with an order of gumbo in a relaxed ambience. For live music along with martinis there is Viva Villa. For the younger types who like it loud there is Club 101. If you want to do some country dancing head to Stampede. Blues, rock and Tejano bands play at Aceitunas. If you want to experience El Paso's only well-known gay bar, go to New Old Plantation for a dance club known for strippers and foam parties.

WHERE TO STAY IN EL PASO

The Gardner Hotel is the oldest in El Paso. Also downtown you will find Camino Real Hotel, built in 1912, with upscale amenities. The Dome Bar, with its 25 foot wide Tiffany glass dome is in Camino Real Hotel. Near the airport you find Hyatt Place, Quality Inn & Suites, Radisson Hotel Suites, the Marriott and a Residence Inn.

For RV camping near El Paso there is El Paso West RV Park, which is actually in New Mexico, 10 miles west of El Paso. Mission RV Park, with a heated pool is another good El Paso RV option.

WHERE TO EAT IN EL PASO

It is not too big a surprise that there are a lot of Mexican restaurants in El Paso. A memorable one is H & H Car Wash. You can have your car washed while having chili relleno burritos. G & R Restaurant is known for its spicy chile con queso and chile relleno. Amigos Restaurant is a classic Mexican joint in the New Mexico style. Outside of downtown, locals like L & J Cafe, referred to as the place by the graveyard, due to being next to Concordia Cemetery. L & J is an El Paso institution known for its Chihuahuan Desert style cooking. Griggs Restaurant does tasty things to Anaheim chilis. Avila's Mexican Food is known for its chili dishes. Chico's Tacos is an El Paso chain popular with the locals.

For American cuisine in El Paso of the haute cuisine sort there is Cafe Central, in an art deco building in the heart of downtown. Bowie Bakery is another favorite of the locals. Cattlemen's Steakhouse is 30 miles northeast of El Paso, with a petting zoo, snake pit and maze. At Bella Napoli you will find Italian cuisine mixed in with the American. Jaxon's Restaurant and Brewpub has the 4th oldest brewpub in Texas.

Map of El Paso Area & Additional Information

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