Things to do

Things to do in El Paso: 31 Fascinating Things to Do

On the left bank of the Rio Grande, which here designates the state of Texas’ western border with Mexico, sits El Paso, the largest American city on the Mexican border.

The city is packed with historic landmarks and a wide range of flora and fauna that call its peculiar desert setting home. The Mission Trail, the El Paso Museum of Art, and the Magoffin Home State Historic Site are just a few of El Paso’s exhilarating treasures.

Within the city limits, Fort Bliss, one of the world’s best systems for air defense and the site of some notable military museums, was previously a military compound. Anyone looking for outdoor entertainment in El Paso should visit the stunning Franklin Mountains State Park and Hueco Tanks State Historic Site.

To learn more about other things to do in El Paso part of Texas, go through our comprehensive list of the finest sights and locations to visit in El Paso.

Best & Fun Things to do in El Paso

Image by Björn Blanck from Pixabay

El Paso is mostly known for its huge military presence, but with a burgeoning culinary scene, a wealth of historical sites, and picturesque surroundings, it’s little wonder that it’s slowly turning into a tourist hotspot. Ciudad Juarez, a nearby Mexican town, and El Paso have a lot in common with their respective histories.

The relationship is still there today, as seen by the Chamizal National Memorial, numerous tourist sites, and the local gastronomy culture in El Paso. Along with all these activities, El Paso is home to expansive state parks that offer numerous opportunities for exploration.

1.1. Head for the Hills: Franklin Mountains State Park

The breathtaking Franklin Mountains can be regularly seen on El Paso’s skyline. Additionally, they provide a crucial recreational outlet for both El Paso residents and out-of-state visitors.

A popular location for hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing is the 27,000-acre Franklin Mountain State Park, one of the major urban parks in the nation and conveniently situated on the city’s north side.

Numerous interesting activities, including orienteering, marauder programs, and wildlife viewing, are available at this big state park. The Franklin Mountains provides a selection of lovely paths for those short on time.

1.2. El Paso Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Many unique species from all over the world call the 35 acres of lush flora that make up the El Paso Zoo home. The Association of Zoos & Aquariums has accredited this zoo, which gives guests the chance to interact with these creatures that are kept in their natural habitats.

This is a fantastic location to visit if you’re thinking about what to do in El Paso with kids. A few of the distinctive family activities at the El Paso Zoo include the Giraffe Encounter, the African Star Train, the Foster Tree House Playground, and the Hunt Family Desert Spring feature.

1.3. Hueco Tanks State Historic Site

Hueco Tanks, another popular leisure area close to El Paso, is a little over 30 miles northeast of the city center and welcomes campers, hikers, climbers, and bird watchers. It is also a must-see for those interested in the history of the area.

Since ancient times, people have gathered in this unique place. The massive rock formations and rainwater-collecting natural basins are the inspiration for the park’s name. Current evidence of this early human existence is provided by ancient pictographs on the rock face.

1.4. El Paso Museum of Art

One of the top things to do in El Paso, Texas, is the El Paso Museum of Art, which was established in 1959 in the heart of historic El Paso. The museum’s permanent collection features pieces of art by notable artists like Gilbert Stuart and Manuel Gregorio Acosta.

There is a sizable collection of modern works by Mexican and Southwestern American artists and seasonal special shows. For the benefit of the neighborhood, this museum provides painting courses, storytelling sessions, and other educational programs.

1.5. Views from the El Paso Scenic Drive

Image by Björn Blanck from Pixabay

Visit the Scenic Drive Overlook to further enhance your experience after viewing El Paso from higher in the Franklin Mountains. You will pass some of the city’s oldest residences on the route to the overlook, and on the other side, you will have a distant view of Ciudad Juarez.

You will pass a tiny park that serves as the overlook along the way. This is the ideal approach to exploring El Paso because it’s close to town and you can see the majestic mountains in the distance. Fill up a picnic basket, grab a mat, and walk to the overlook for sunset to make the experience even more unforgettable.

1.6. El Paso Holocaust Museum

Henry Kellen, a Holocaust survivor, founded the El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center. It was founded primarily with the goal of raising awareness of the WWII resistance movements and concentration camps.

The visitor is helped to comprehend the seriousness of the problem with videos and exhibits. The real antiques on show, like the dining room scene, are moving and thought-provoking. Although the visiting displays add to this soul-stirring museum, the majority of the exhibits are permanent.

1.7. Plaza Theatre, El Paso

The Plaza Theatre, one of El Paso’s most well-known attractions, is housed in a historic edifice that was built in the Spanish Colonial Revival style in 1929.

It was designed as a movie theater with the capability of showing live performances. It was brought back to its previous appearance in 2002 after being neglected for many years. Visit the Plaza Theatre for a performance if you’re seeking for romantic date suggestions in El Paso.

Visitors can savor the exquisite carpeting, mosaic flooring, ornately painted ceilings, and decorative wrought iron banisters that give this building’s ancient furniture character. Numerous Broadway shows, concerts, and plays are still presented in the Plaza Theatre.

1.8. Chamizal National Memorial, El Paso

A city park named Chamizal represents the amicable resolution of a 100-year boundary dispute between two countries. The National Park Service location, which is on the border between Mexico and the United States, is home to a variety of local plants and animals.

Discover nature routes that are great for bicycling and trekking, or take in breathtaking views of Mexico, the Bridge of the Americas, and the Franklin Mountains. Visitors can go to a concert or a dance performance here as well.

1.9. El Paso Municipal Rose Garden

Over 1,460 rose plants and 320 distinct rose varietals are housed in the four-acre El Paso Municipal Rose Garden. The Rose Garden was made larger to its present size in 2006 after being made public in 1959.

Within an iron-fenced enclosure, the garden features raised beds, a waterfall, a Koi Pond, trees and bushes, as well as wide walkways. Each year, volunteers who perform the trimming, equipment, wedding, and rose cataloguing plant new varieties of roses.

During the height of the bloom, tours are provided. The garden hosts events all through the year, such as the Kids and Kows, an educational occasion designed to teach children of school age about agriculture.

1.10. Magoffin Home State Historic Site, El Paso

Visitors can get a glimpse into the illustrious El Paso family that played a significant role in the city’s growth and development at the Magoffin Home State Historic Site.

The family served in the war, traded along the Santa Fe-Chihuahua Trail, and supported other local enterprises as they expanded. There are guided tours available that last an hour and are educational.

There are several spots to sit in the yard under the shade of the trees that surround the home, so visitors who might have to wait for a tour to open up can take in the scenery. Group excursions with 10 or more participants must be scheduled.

1.11. Hit the El Paso Mission Trail

Image by Mike from Pixabay

The lower valley of El Paso is home to the Mission Trail, which has a 400-year-old heritage. There are three adobe churches with designs that capture the spirit, politics, and way of life of the first residents in El Paso.

The Elceario Prisidio Chapel, which served as the original chapel and military outpost until it was damaged by water in 1684, was reconstructed in 1850. The preservation of the missions and the history of the area are topics that tourists who follow the mission route will learn about.

1.12. San Elizario Historic District, El Paso Texas

One of the oldest historic districts in West Texas is San Elizario, which previously served as a bustling hub for military, commercial, and cultural activity.

The neighborhood is located along the Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail, better known as the Mission Trail, which was used for more than 300 years as a supply route from Mexico City.

There is a self-guided walking tour available for guests who want to learn more about the area. It will take them through 18 different historic locations that describe frontier life in the 18th and 19th centuries.

1.13. Stop in at the National Border Patrol Museum, El Paso Texas

The National Border Patrol has protected America’s borders for 100 years, preventing the entry of illegal immigrants, drugs, and other contraband.

Learn more about the different responsibilities held by the men and women who work for the Border Patrol at the National Border Control Museum in El Paso.

Numerous photographic exhibits from the early years of the patrol, when newly commissioned agents still needed to provide their own horses in order to carry out their responsibilities, are on display in the museum. Weapons, uniforms, oral histories, and numerous other intriguing relics are also on display.

1.14. Visit the Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens

A vast collection of permanent exhibits and collections that illustrate the natural and cultural history of the Chihuahuan Desert region may be found at the Centennial Museum, which was founded in 1936.

The natural history exhibits present details on the local fauna, flora, and paleontology. Visitors can also explore the Chihuahuan Desert’s flora, fauna, vistas, and gardens. The museum contains both ongoing archaeological and ethnological exhibitions. Additionally, the museum hosts talk on its academic discoveries as events.

1.15. Fort Bliss and Old Ironsides Museums Fort Bliss, El Paso Texas

The second-largest facility in the U.S. Army, Fort Bliss is over 1,700 square miles in size. The greatest area of uncontrolled airspace in the country is located at Fort Bliss and is frequently used for training.

The 1st Armored Division, which was based there after spending 40 years in Germany, returned to American territory in 2011. The museum has a number of top-notches displays that detail Fort Bliss’ history, which dates back to 1849 and covers soldier life, army life, and life in both war and peace.

1.16. Painted Dunes Golf Course

Twenty-seven holes of championship golf are available at the Painted Dunes Golf Course. The course has received numerous awards and is regarded as one of Texas’ premier golf destinations.

The design of the golf course encourages players to avoid tricky terrain and can present everyone with enjoyable challenges. The East/West and North courses at Painted Dunes Golf Course are both available. Private instruction and practice facilities are offered.

1.17. Western Playland Amusement Park

There are family-friendly rides spread across 25 acres at Western Playland Amusement Park. The Flying Scooter, Scrambler, Tilt-a-Whirl, Bumper Cars, and Drop Zone are among the thirty rides available at the park, which has been operating for 50 years. Families with little children will love the theme park.

El Bandido, a roller coaster with astonishing and heart-racing heights, and the Tsunami, which sends a tidal wave of 70 feet slamming at you, are two of the most popular rides at Western Playland Amusement Park!

The Flying Scooter, the Drop Zone, the Scrambler, and the Tilt-a-Whirl are a few of the other well-known rides.

1.18. El Paso Museum of Archaeology

Visitors can get a fascinating glimpse into the region around El Paso and Northern Mexico’s 14,000-year prehistory at the Museum of Archaeology.

The museum features display on everyone from American Indians to Ice Age hunter Paleo-Indians. The progression of culture from the earliest civilizations to its present successors will be demonstrated for visitors.

There are many trails across the 15-acre area, with over 250 varieties of natural flora to appreciate, for tourists who prefer the outdoors. Families can use a gazebo for picnics and small group activities, as well as an Indian garden and outdoor exhibits.

1.19. El Paso Ascarate Park

You can’t go wrong with Ascarate Park, the biggest recreational park in El Paso County, if you’re looking for other locations to go on vacation. It boasts a 400-acre recreational complex with 280 acres of golf course and 48 acres of surface lake.

When you need a short break from all your exploring, the park in El Paso, Texas, is one of the most tranquil places to visit. To fully appreciate the whimsical nature of it all, bring a picnic basket or simply watch the ducks on the lake.

1.20. El Paso Sun Bowl Stadium

The Hyundai Sun Bowl, a late-December college football bowl game, and the UTEP Miners of Conference USA both play their home games in the Sun Bowl Stadium, which is renowned for providing a wonderful family experience.

A fun time may be had there while watching some outdoor college football! The stadium, which has a 51,000-seat capacity, is tucked away in the mountains next to the UTEP campus. Despite being outdated by today’s standards, a few renovations have kept the stadium a welcoming space.

1.21. Downtown Art and Farmers Market

The Downtown Art & Farmers Market has provided a market to residents of the Union Plaza neighborhood since it opened there in 2011.

Locals can visit and view creative crafts and artwork in addition to sampling the cuisine. Good cuisine, live entertainment, and various artists are available at the market. All works of art are produced locally, and local farmers either grow or raise all of the food.

The market offers arts and cuisine as well as events like performances, workshops on health and wellbeing, kid-friendly activities, and live music.

1.22. El Paso Museum of History

For residents and visitors who are interested in learning about the multicultural history of El Paso and the border region known as “The Pass of the North,” the El Paso Museum of Heritage promotes educational opportunities. The museum contains art installations and programming for visitors of all ages.

For All the Universe to See, drawing on the Past, Sixth Wall of Giants, Neighborhoods and Shared Memories, and The Changing Past are just a few of the exhibits.

In-depth examinations of the Civil Rights Movement, historical images, a celebration of the 167-year partnership between El Paso and Fort Bliss, and a chronological tour of significant local events are all included in these displays. Adult courses and creative workshops are available at the museum.

1.23. Southwest University Park

Located in the center of downtown El Paso, the Southwest University Park provides guests with stunning views of the Franklin Mountains and the city skyline during nighttime events.

The five-acre ballpark has a distinctive architecture with a red brick facade and arches running the length of its concourse. With open-air levels, the Santa Fe Pavilion provides a 360-degree view of the city and the ballpark.

Visitors are free to organize their own events at the Southwest University Park, such as wedding receptions, business meetings, graduations, and sporting competitions. The City Hall Grill, Sun Kings Saloon, or WestStar Bank Club are available to host all events.

1.24. Thousand Steps Trail

The Franklin Mountains State Park’s Thousand Steps Trail offers wonderful chances for hiking, biking, and rock climbing to its visitors.

The track is four miles long and 2,175 feet in elevation. The route takes roughly three hours to complete round trip and is designated as difficult.

The trail is more challenging due to the desert temperature; thus, it is essential to pack good equipment made for rocky, uneven terrain and lots of water.

1.25. San Jacinto Plaza

San Jacinto Plaza is the gathering place for people in El Paso. The historic first meeting between the American and Mexican presidents after the Texas battle for independence was held at this century-old gathering spot, which has been the beating center of the city.

San Jacinto Plaza now boasts a tempting selection of outdoor activities and is recognized as a Lone Star Legacy Park.

At San Jacinto Plaza, you may splash around in the splash pad, play a game of chess or ping-pong, stroll along the bridges and picturesque paths, and admire the sculptures and fountains that are throughout the park. Then unwind in the cafe in the plaza while drinking a cucumber lemonade and taking in the scenery.

1.26. El Paso Symphony Orchestra, El Paso

Image by Ioana Sasu from Pixabay

The El Paso Symphony Orchestra is a non-profit group that offers top-notch performance music for the community’s enjoyment and educational opportunities in El Paso, Texas.

The oldest performing arts institution in the region is the El Paso Symphony, which was founded in the 1930s. In addition to putting on top-notch concerts, the orchestra also plays at special events, offers educational activities, and has outreach programs that try to attract new audiences.

The El Paso Symphony Orchestra presents Young People’s Concerts every year with local young musicians as well as anniversary parties, charity events, and workshops.

1.27. National Border Control Museum

The National Border Patrol has protected America’s borders for 100 years, preventing the entry of illegal immigrants, drugs, and other contraband. Learn more about the different responsibilities held by the men and women who work for the Border Patrol at the National Border Control Museum in El Paso.

Numerous photographic exhibits from the early years of the patrol, when newly commissioned agents still needed to provide their own horses in order to carry out their responsibilities, are on display in the museum. Weapons, uniforms, oral histories, and numerous other intriguing relics are also on display.

1.28. El Paso Tx, Water Parks

With no less than 4 different water parks where families can cool down and have endless summer fun, keeping your cool in El Paso is simple.

In the foothills of the Franklin Mountains, Camp Cohen offers interactive snorkeling for visitors of all ages, including high-speed slides for adults that are packed with adrenaline and Poppy Island for young kids that are calm.

In the fiesta themed Chapoteo Water Park, you may cool down while taking in the lively ambiance. You will be surrounded by thrills and slides for all ages with Mayan themes at the Lost Kingdom Water Park. The Oasis Water Park is home to a surfing machine, a number of thrilling slides, and the Rain Puddle kiddie pool.

1.29. Keystone Heritage Park and Desert Botanical Gardens

Do you picture deserts as barren landscapes? Think again after seeing Keystone Heritage Park and the El Paso Desert Botanical Garden. Your eyes will be opened when you discover a thriving ecosystem that is rich in both vegetation and animals.

Archeological artifacts, archaic wetlands, botanical gardens, and a part of the Chihuahuan Desert—the largest desert in North America—can all be found in Keystone Heritage Park and the El Paso Desert Botanical Garden. Both the 4,000-year-old archaeological site and the wetlands that are home to hundreds of migratory birds will enthrall would-be Indiana Joneses.

A mile-long pathway that parallels the famous El Camino Real, which was used for centuries by settlers, conquistadors, and indigenous people, will appeal to history aficionados. And those who enjoy the outdoors can stroll around the park’s gardens to view colorful displays of local plant species.

1.30. Go Horseback Riding

Image by Nicola Giordano from Pixabay

Riding a horse through El Paso’s vast countryside and mountain views is an exhilarating experience. A number of family-run ranches offer trail rides for riders of all levels not far from the city core. Spend one or two hours outside while being led around farms and fields.

As you go through desert and tree farms, learning about local agriculture and culture is fun and engaging. In the distance, you can see the Mexican border. Since many of the local ranches have been in business for many years, they can customize rides for both kids and adults.

You can plan an overnight horseback camping trip or spend time at the facilities learning about the functioning ranches for an added excitement. You may experience the scenery and mountains of both states because the majority of horse ranches are situated on the border between Texas and New Mexico.

1.31. Viva! El Paso

It’s a joyful celebration full of thrilling events that are all intended to honor the vibrant heritage of the city via song, dance, and theater.

More than 50 dancers participate in the two-hour presentation depicting the town’s history, which spans from the first Native American settlers through the Wild West to the conquest by Spain and the rule of Mestizo Mexicans.

This is one of the most popular attractions in the region thanks to the performance, which includes cannon fire, gymnastics, and many feats. Therefore, it is one of the best things to do in El Paso.

2. Wrapping Up

El Paso is now mostly known for its sizable troop presence, but with a thriving food scene, a variety of historical monuments, and scenic surroundings, it’s no surprise that it’s steadily becoming a popular destination for tourists. Things to do in El Paso?

Want to spice up your trip through the Lone Star State with a little Old West flavor? After that, proceed to El Paso to fill up. You’ll never run out of things to do in El Paso, Texas, with its vibrant cultural scene, fascinating history, and breathtaking vistas.

El Paso, which is tucked away in the foothills of the magnificent Franklin Mountains, is a bustling, diversified city with a welcoming atmosphere for families. “Sun City” is a must-see, brimming with gorgeous parks, renowned historical buildings, fascinating museums, and mouthwatering Mexican cuisine.

Read more from us: Best 12 Hiking Trails in San Diego to Explore



About Author

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like

things to do in Knoxville Tn
Things to do

29 Fascinating Things to do in Knoxville Tn

Knoxville is a city with significant outdoor adventure possibilities due to its proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park!
Things to do Uncategorized

The Visionary Future of Biotechnology and Medicine

Introduction: Throughout the past several decades, there have been notable advances in the fields of biotechnology and medicine; the coming