20 Best Things to Do in El Paso, TX: Top-Rated Attractions 2022
El Paso is located on the Rio Grand, in the extreme west of Texas. Across the border from Chihuahua, Mexico, you can imagine how many Mexican influences exist in the city, anything from delicious spicy food to a generous portion of cultural food.
The inhabitants of El Paso number approximately 700,000 as of 2015. There are many things to see in this interesting city that is surrounded by incredible desert and diverse flora and fauna. From vibrant art galleries to famous historical monuments, why not follow the path I’m about to guide you?!
1. The Mission Trail and the Ysleta Mission
As you begin the Mission Trail, be sure not to miss the oldest of all, Ysleta Mission, built-in 1682 by the Tigua Indians. It is certainly worth a visit now, a historic landmark. You’ll learn all about the history and mix of cultures and why it’s considered to represent more than 300 years of Texas history.
As you drive through the area, you can see some of the stunning desert scenery that surrounds the area. In fact, why not stop and enjoy a picnic along the way at one of the many picnic areas available?
El Paso is located in Rio Grand, on the western edge of Texas. Across the border from Chihuahua, Mexico, you can imagine how many Mexican influences exist in the city, and everything from delicious spicy food to great portion food attractions The inhabitants of El Paso number approximately 700,000, as of 2015.
There are many things to see in this interesting city that is surrounded by incredible desserts and a diversity of flora and fauna. From vibrant art galleries to famous historical landmarks, why not follow the path I’m about to guide you through?!
2. Wyler Aerial Tramway
A wonderful way to see the city is from a great height! Half the fun will start with the drive on the paved road through stunning scenery. At the tram station, buy your tickets for the gondola that travels on a 2,600-foot-long steel cable that takes you to the top of Rangers Peak.
The amazing four-minute ride includes:
- In-depth narration from the cabin attendant.
- Pointing out the different cacti.
- Abundant wildlife.
At the top of the Peak, which is 5,632 feet above sea level, you can enjoy the magnificent view of 7,000 square miles spanning three states and two nations!
3. Hueco Tanks State Historic Site
This historic site is a sacred desert shrine in honor of the fact that for thousands of years, people walked these hills to collect rainwater in natural rock basins. Today visitors can hike, climb, study nature, picnic, and bird watching.
An interpretation center within the park is located in a historic ranch house and guided and self-guided tours can be arranged there. There are also memorable gifts to buy too. If the family enjoys camping, why not spend the night at one of the 20 available campsites?
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You should first watch the site’s video that describes how the park protects its sensitive resources. Remember to bring your supplies as there are no stores on site.
4. El Paso Museum of Art
The Museum houses not only various beautiful and unique works of art but also offers exciting hands-on activities for children. Built in 1959, it’s the only accredited art museum within 250 miles, attracting approximately 100,000 a year.
Exhibitions regularly showcase famous artists, so there is always something new and interesting to see here. Kids will love the Museum’s kite-building workshop, one of the many attractions on offer! Admission is free, although donations are gratefully accepted.
5. Theater Square
This historic building is much loved by its inhabitants and is known as one of the best-known monuments in the city. The theater’s original owner, Louis L. Dent, had brought the property back in 1927, stating that he wanted to “do something good for the city.” The theater still puts on wonderful shows, including Broadway productions, concerts, and exclusive artists.
One of the most enjoyable things about the theater must be its extravagant furnishings, including the Spanish mission-style exterior and three-tiered vaulted tower, as well as its mosaic floors and wrought-iron railings. Treat the family to a visit to the theater, old-fashioned!
6. Funtastic Punch
If your family includes members ages 1-8, this is your place. Funtastic Punch is the kind of informative play center that builds on its awareness of the importance of imaginative play, hence the many toys and imaginary play areas within it, with no video game in sight!
There are different play platforms for children, including a library, a real-life scenario, an animal hospital, a post office, a fire station, and even a science lab. There are also special workshops and programs geared toward parents and children, so expect a full day for everyone!
7. National Border Patrol Museum
This fascinating free-to-enter Museum is a must-see for the whole family! The Museum will allow you to travel through the history of the United States Border Patrol, dating back to the days of the Old West, through Prohibition, World War II, and into today’s technological times.
The United States Border Patrol began its journey in 1928, with 450 patrol inspectors deployed to secure the borders between inspection stations. The Museum displays the various types of vehicles the border patrol used or seized; for example, an artificial bicycle big enough to hold nine people to transport across the border!
8. The El Paso Holocaust Museum
For a sobering yet enlightening visit, visit the El Paso Holocaust Museum, founded in 1994 by Nazi Holocaust survivor Henry Kellen. The museum documents the horrific years of the Nazi regime with interesting artifacts and history from which you can learn about the Third Reich, whose mission is to educate the public in the hope that similar acts will never be repeated.
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The Museum also pays tribute to those who died in the Holocaust and those who survived. The docents are very knowledgeable and available to answer questions.
9. Municipal rose garden
Suppose you plan to visit the city between March and October; set aside free time to visit the fragrant Municipal Rose Garden! The variety of the gardens, 1,460 rose bushes made up of more than 320 assorted scented roses, will be amazing and impressive. New roses are added each year after being evaluated for their adaptability to climate.
Volunteers carefully tend the roses, keeping the garden a welcome oasis in the scorching desert heat of El Paso. Benches are placed throughout the garden to sit and enjoy a moment or have lunch.
10. Western Playland Amusement Park
Best Things to Do in El Paso, TX: Top-Rated Attractions
Kids will love this amusement park if they love roller coasters, and what kids (and many adults) can resist the thrill of one? Enjoy the popular El Bandido y el Tsunami roller coaster, which shoots 50 feet, generating a gigantic 70-foot tidal wave! (Prepare to get a little wet!)
And don’t worry, plenty of toddler games are available, suitable for ages 1-8, so everyone can have fun! There are also great snacks, like hamburgers, hot dogs, and nachos.
11. Sun Bowl Stadium
Known for its fun family experience, Sun Bowl Stadium is home to the UTEP Conference USA Miners and the Hyundai Sun Bowl in the late December college football game. It’s a great place to spend a nice afternoon watching American football outdoors!
The stadium has a capacity of 51,000 and is located in the mountains that adjoin the UTEP campus. Although now quite old by modern standards, some refurbishments have kept the stadium a comfortable setting.
12. Fort Bliss and Old Ironsides Museums
This is an amazing place for those in the family interested in all things military. Before entering the Museum, you’ll see the impressive armor display that includes a German V-2 rocket, some artillery pieces, and several helicopters!
The Museum houses notable exhibits, including weapons, artifacts, and other vehicles, along with much information on the histories of the United States Army in El Paso and the 1st Armored Division.
You can even touch the outside of most of the tanks (no hands or on the screens, though, sorry, kids!). Next to the Museum is the Old Fort Bliss, a reproduction of the first post of that name.
13. Bob-O’s Family Fun Center
Bob-O offers a fantastic variety of fun and entertainment for the whole family. From Go-Karts to Double Go-Karts, an 18-hole miniature golf course, kiddie rides that include dizzy drums, mini Go Karts and a little train, bumper boats, and batting cages with ranges from 45 mph to 80 mph for teens and adults.
There will be no chance to get bored for a minute! Complete the fun with some of the delicious pizzas of the place.
14. Live El Paso
If you’re in town at the time, treat your family to the Viva! El Paso is the annual musical that returns to the city and celebrates its rich cultural history through drama, dance, and song.
The two-hour outdoor musical features 50 dancers interpreting the story from ancient Indian settlement to the wild Southwest, absorbing Spanish conquest and mestizo Mexican control.
Throughout the performance, dancers perform stunts and fire cannons, and an Indian shoots an arrow into the mountain to light up the VIVA banner, followed by the Texas Six Flags Parade. Presentations are shown Thursday through Sunday in June, July, and August and enjoy audiences of more than 25,000 each year.
15. Disaster Room 915
When you and your family are in the mood to test your powers of deduction, why not spend some time working on the clues in Disaster Room 915, the escape room attraction from El Paso?
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There are at least two pulse-racing scenarios for you and your family or team to solve, with minutes to spare before disaster strikes! As you examine the pointers (which ones you’ll use and which will make you lose your scent!), you’ll crack the codes and solve the puzzles, bonding and uniting like never before! This is best for mid-teens and adults.
16. Artist Center and Farmers Market
If you’re in town on a Saturday, consider checking out the Downtown Arts Center and Farmers Market, held every Saturday morning from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 13:00. The market was established in 2011 and is very popular with locals and visitors interested in the original arts and crafts on display and the region’s fresh produce.
Live entertainment from local artists adds to the fun. Your kids will love the colorful sights and sounds and the free art activities available (including some face-painting opportunities from real artists!).
17. El Paso Event Center Ice Skating Rink
If you feel like getting out of the heat for a while, why not take the family to cool off at the event center’s ice skating rink? It’s a great idea for the whole family, a place for everyone to enjoy, and very affordable too.
As you glide across the ice, remember that there are great snacks and drinks to enjoy afterward. And if you like hockey, you’re in the perfect place to attend a Rhino hockey game! This semi-professional team certainly takes their ice hockey seriously!
18. Keystone Heritage Park and Botanical Gardens
Keystone Heritage Park and the 52-acre Desert Botanical Garden is a bird lover’s paradise, with over 206 species of birds located here in the park’s wetlands! And there are other interesting things to see, too, like the desert vegetation of the botanical garden and the park’s archeological site, discovered in the late 1970s by the Corps of Engineers when they were building dams for flood control.
Something much more interesting was discovered, a hut which, after preliminary investigation, proved to be part of a larger village at least over 4,000 years old. There are so many exciting things for the family to see and enjoy, so take a meander around the park to discover more!
19. H&H Cafeteria and Car Wash
First, don’t get me wrong; I’m not suggesting that your car look anything less than pristine! However, I suggest you visit the town’s coffee shop and car wash for one of their fabulous American breakfasts or famous Tex-Mex lunches.
As you delve into the plates of Colorado chili, chorizo-stuffed burritos, caldillo (a green chili steak soup), and mouth-watering picadillo, you’ll see what I mean! This famous spot will remind you of the old diners of the past, still attracting patrons from all walks of life, including doctors and lawyers who come to experience some real “home” food!
20. Jungle Jacks
Take your kids to this exciting indoor playground with all sorts of activities from rock climbing, bumper boats, go-karts, coconut tree baking, and an awesome mix of games for the littlest members of the gang! Family!
Jungle Jaks has its specials, like the Jungle Jaks Ladder and the Foam Factory, a 3,000-square-foot state-of-the-art playground for hoops, foam balls, and foam ball guns.
If your child is on the creative side, he’ll want to stop by the arts and crafts section for some face painting time! The location is very clean, with plenty of room for the kids to run around. And when they run out of energy, there is time to enjoy the delicious food of the place!
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Frequently Asked Questions: Best Things to Do in El Paso
Is El Paso worth seeing?
Its unique desert landscapes are home to diverse flora and fauna, and the city is rich in cultural attractions. Fun things to do in El Paso and great places to visit include the El Paso Museum of Art with its fine collection of pre-Columbian and Indian art, the Mission Trail, and the Magoffin Home State Historic Site.
Is El Paso a fun city?
When all the numbers were crunched, El Paso came in at 76 on the list with an overall score of 34.22. The city scored a 69 in the “Entertainment & Recreation” category and a 44 in cost and affordability.
Is downtown El Paso walkable?
El Paso is the 33rd most walkable large city in the US, with 649,121 residents. El Paso has some public transportation and does not have many bike lanes. Union Plaza, Chihuahuita, and Virginia are the most walkable El Paso neighborhoods.
Is El Paso, Texas boring?
According to new rankings by an online real estate website, El Paso is quite the snoozer. Motovo, known for its “fun” and “quirky” real estate-related evaluations, just named Sun City the 26th “most boring” city in America.
Can you see Mexico from El Paso?
The view is beautiful any time of day, but when the sun goes down, and all the city lights come on, it is completely breathtaking. The overlook is so amazing that you can even see Mexico and all of El Paso.
Why is El Paso called Chuco?
El Paso is notorious for being called Chuco Town and El Chuco because Chuco is derived from Pachuco. Pachuco has been said to have originated in El Paso by people migrating to the city and referred to Mexican-Americans who wore well-dressed suits called zoot suits.
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