Guide to El Paso: how to get there and where to stay, what to see and where to go in the evening. The best things to do in El Paso: fresh reviews and photos, places to see, branded entertainment and shopping.
According to toppharmacyschools, Texas El Paso has always been a city of criminals, thieves, marginalized individuals and just vagrants. Until now, whites in the population of the city do not make up even a sixth part. At the same time, the city cannot be called particularly criminal, given that it is located, almost, on the very border of the country. But it can be called cheerful and noisy: a lot of festivals are held here, balloons are launched annually and the best burritos are cooked in eateries on wheels.
As in any Latin American city, El Paso is very fond of holidays and parties. And it doesn’t matter what exactly they are dedicated to: this is a great occasion to eat deliciously, drink well, dance to your heart’s content and please the kids.
How to get to El Paso
El Paso Airport receives flights from Los Angeles, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Denver, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas and other American cities. You can also get to El Paso by Amtrak train or by one of the many national bus companies.
A bit of history
In pre-Hispanic times, the Indians occupied the territory of El Paso, but already in the 17th century Catholic missions began to be built here, and the village began to grow. Today’s El Paso stands on the very border between New Mexico, Texas and the Mexican border. Directly opposite is a large Mexican city – Ciudad Juarez. For a long time in the 20th century, Mexicans and North Americans fought for El Paso, so El Paso became the scenery for very bloody battles. The Great American Depression hit El Paso very hard, and its economy still cannot recover.
Entertainment and attractions in El Paso
Geographically, the city is divided into several parts by the Franklin Mountains and Fort Bliss. Each region has its own culture and customs.
The West Side is located between the mountains and Mexico and is home to most of the government offices, hospitals and the university. Kern Place is also located here – an entertainment area with a number of restaurants and nightclubs. Downtown is located in the south of the city, in the foothills, and it will be difficult for a traveler to navigate here: the layout of this part of the city is very confusing. Here you can find many small shops and cafes, as well as old buildings, quite beautiful. There is a museum, a theater and the main town square, and next to it, on Via Paisano, is the city zoo. The northeast is where the Fort Bliss military base, one of the largest US bases in the world, is located. And the East Side is a fast-growing, but bedroom and boring area populated by middle-class people.
3 things to do in El Paso:
- Taste something tasty from the Gat Trucks – these kind of restaurants on wheels sell ice cream, but more often – burritos and gorditas.
- Visit the archaeological museum to see the diorama of the prehistoric Potted Cave.
- Visit the small museum of the National Border Patrol – the only museum of its kind in the United States.
One of the city’s most notable attractions is the Chihuahua Desert Gardens. More than 600 species of plants are planted here, and a festival called Florafest takes place every year at the end of April. This is the best time to buy local desert plants like agave, yucca, cacti, and so on.
The Centennial Museum organizes permanent and temporary exhibitions, and among the first – exhibitions dedicated to the culture and natural environment of the surrounding lands. Here you can get acquainted with the nature and history of the Chihuahua Desert. And in the museum of archeology, artifacts and reconstructions of past times are exhibited, quite curious. The area around the museum is dotted with hiking trails – this is a large 15-acre wildlife park, from where you can see stunning panoramas from the Franklin Mountains.
The local art gallery “Second Floor”, which is privately owned, is quite famous. It exhibits local artists from El Paso and Juarez. Entrance to the gallery is free. And in the south of the city, near the border, there is a large park – the Camizal National Memorial. It hosts many events throughout the year, including concerts, dance evenings, and so on.
In the United States, it is officially legal to drink from the age of 21. And in Mexico – from the age of 18. This is reflected in the multiple border crossings in the El Paso area.
El Paso is proud to be where the original Margarita recipe is believed to have been invented. More precisely, it happened on July 4, 1942, by a certain Francisco Pancho Morales, a bartender at Tommy’s. Morales simply improvised when a customer ordered a Magnolia, a cocktail he didn’t know the recipe for. The only thing the bartender knew was that the order included Cointreau. But what Pancho ended up mixing became not just an alcoholic symbol of Mexico, but also one of the best-selling cocktails in the world. The very same word “Margarita” in Spanish means simply “chamomile”.
The Likon Dairy Farm, which is not far from the International Bridge, is also worth attention. There is a small petting zoo with goats, parrots and zebras, but the farm is much more famous for its own Asadero cheese. Visitors can even go fishing in the small reservoir.
El Paso Events
As in any Latin American city, El Paso is very fond of holidays and parties. And it doesn’t matter what exactly they are dedicated to: this is a great occasion to eat deliciously, drink well, dance to your heart’s content and please the kids. So, one of the main events in the cultural life of El Paso is Amigo Airshow, which is also included in the top ten best air shows in the country. The show is accompanied by a lot of entertainment and performances. Here you can see, for example, the Franklin Flying Circus and the Jet School Bus.
Another major event in El Paso is the KLAQ river races, which take place in mid-June. Participants raft down the Rio Grande with family and friends. At the end of the race, prizes are awarded not only for the points scored, but also for the best-looking team and the most colorful raft.
The PRCA Southwest International Rodeo is a very old American rodeo and also El Paso’s longest running sporting event. The rodeo is recognized as one of the best by the Professional Cowboy Association and is a charitable event.
Numerous films have been filmed in El Paso for which the plot required a desert-Mexican setting. One of the latest was Ridley Scott’s The Counselor, starring M. Fassbender.
Fiesta de las Flores is the oldest Spanish festival in the American South West. The fiesta lasts 3 days annually, begins on the weekend that coincides with Labor Day, and is the most significant holiday for all Hispanic residents of the city. Every year, 20-30 thousand guests come to see the festival from all over the state of New Mexico, from West Texas and the Mexican Chihuahua. During the festival, there is a coronation of the queen, a parade, dances for older guests, a military parade. And here you can try the most authentic dishes of local cuisine.
Another characteristic festival is the Neon Desert Festival, which lasts for two days on the last weekend of May. About 30 events take place on five downtown stages during the fest. And the Texas Showdown Festival is dedicated not only to music, but also to tattoos, and it is held on indoor venues. This holiday, which takes place annually on the last weekend of July, claims to be the world’s largest tattoo and music festival.
The only El Paso music festival that doesn’t take place in downtown is Sun City. It is organized in Askareyt Park. This two-day event is the largest electronic dance music festival in Texas. In addition, the city hosts the largest classical film festival in the world: the Plaza Classic, which is organized in the theater of the same name in the first week of August.
El Paso’s other celebrations are the KLAQ Balloon Festival on Memorial Day, when more than 60 balloons take to the air; the downtown street festival on the last weekend of June, the oldest music festival in the city; a series of free evening summer concerts by the Cool Canyon Knights, which takes place in mid-August, and also free concerts called Al Fresco Fridays, featuring jazz, latin, reggae, salsa, funk and rock artists.
Cuisine of El Paso
One of the best places to try Mexican cuisine without coming to Mexico is, of course, El Paso. Here you will be served menudo soup with chili and, of course, obligatory burritos. Don’t order burritos in expensive restaurants – it’s pointless: take them in the most out-of-the-way eateries, where they are made on homemade tortilla with a filling of your choice. The most common flavors of El Paso and Juarez burritos are “chili con queso”, “barbacoa” with meat, or “dechebrada con chili colorabo” with meat and red chili.