Last Updated September 7, 2021 9/7/2021

13 Best Things to Do in El Paso, Texas

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El Paso is one of the biggest cities in West Texas. With its mountain desert environment, it has become a popular vacation destination for outdoor enthusiasts. However, camping, hiking, and biking aren’t the only things this city has to offer. From great museums to historical sites to top-notch live theater, El Paso is worth a visit. Have a great time in this West Texas city by experiencing these best things to do in El Paso.

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Franklin Mountains State Park
Franklin Mountains State Park

Franklin Mountains State Park

What Is It? One of the best places to go camping in Texas, outdoor enthusiasts visiting El Paso will love spending a couple of nights at Franklin Mountains State Park. 

Why Do It? This state park offers over 100 miles of trail for both mountain biking and hiking. Rock climbers will also find plenty of great spots to explore too. 

Good to Know: Since this desert landscape was once home to Native Americans, visitors love viewing the pictographs and petroglyphs made by Texas tribes here.

El Paso Zoo
El Paso Zoo

El Paso Zoo

What Is It? Families will love viewing and learning about the unique animals found at the El Paso Zoo. 

Why Do It? This zoo is located on 35 acres, which is full of natural habitat and lush greenery. Animals from Asia, the Americas, and Africa are all found here. Check the El Paso Zoo’s calendar of events to visit the zoo during special programs. 

Good to Know: You can enjoy an up-close and personal animal encounter with animals like monkeys, eagles, and turtles.

Magoffin Home State Historic Site
Magoffin Home State Historic Site

Magoffin Home State Historic Site

What Is It? The Magoffin Home, once a family home, is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Why Do It? Take a tour of this historic home where one of the most prominent El Paso families lived. The tours of this magnificent home usually last an hour, and a reservation for a tour is required. Built in 1875, the Magoffin family lived in the home for more than a century.

Good to Know: You’ll have a chance to see the family’s original furniture and another antique decor on display here.

Plaza Theatre
Plaza Theatre

Plaza Theatre

What Is It? If you’re looking for a great live show in El Paso, head to the Plaza Theatre. 

Why Do It? This theatre is a historic landmark in the city of El Paso. Built in 1929 and restored in 2002, the theatre showcases Broadway shows and live music concerts. 

Good to Know: Before enjoying a great show, check out the antique furnishings, painted ceilings, mosaic floors, and wrought iron details in this stunning historic space.

Hueco Tanks State Historic Site
Hueco Tanks State Historic Site

Hueco Tanks State Historic Site

What Is It? Hueco Tanks State Historic Site is another outdoor attraction perfect for those wanting to hike, rock climb, or simply enjoy the desert scenery. 

Why Do It? Hueco is Spanish for “hole.” Therefore Hueco Tanks was named as such because this area once held rainwater in its rock basins. Learn more about the area by visiting the ranch house full of interactive exhibits. 

Good to Know: You can enjoy the great outdoors even more by going on a guided or self-guided tour of the landscape and the pictographs and petroglyphs made by historic Native Americans.

El Paso Museum of Art
El Paso Museum of Art

El Paso Museum of Art

What Is It? Art lovers should flock to the El Paso Museum of Art. 

Why Do It? Founded in 1959, the museum’s permanent collection showcases works from both Mexican and American artists. 

Good to Know: There are approximately 5,000 works of art found here, ranging from photographs to paintings to drawings.

Wyler Aerial Tramway
Wyler Aerial Tramway

Wyler Aerial Tramway

What Is It? While visiting Franklin Mountain State Park, take in the incredible desert mountain views from the Wyler Aerial Tramway.

Why Do It? You can soar high above the Franklin Mountains on this gondola tramway. The four-minute ride takes visitors up to the top of Ranger Peak, located at 5,632 feet above sea level. 

Good to Know: Once you reach the top, soak in the panoramic views on the observation deck.

El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center
El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center

El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center

What Is It? The El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center in El Paso was created in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. 

Why Do It? Find exhibits on World War II, European life during World War II, and a gallery featuring Holocaust survivors. 

Good to Know: Founded by Holocaust survivor Henry Kellen, the El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center offers visitors workshops, presentations, and videos to learn more about this horrifying part of history.

El Paso Municipal Rose Garden
El Paso Municipal Rose Garden

El Paso Municipal Rose Garden

What Is It? Stop and smell the roses at El Paso Municipal Rose Garden. 

Why Do It? Open from March to October, this rose garden features over 1,400 different rose bushes in over 300 different rose varieties. 

Good to Know: Great for a picnic or a leisurely stroll, this rose garden in El Paso spans four acres and has become a peaceful place to explore in the city.

Chamizal National Memorial
Chamizal National Memorial

Chamizal National Memorial

What Is It? Located on the border of Mexico and the United States, Chamizal National Memorial commemorates the Chamizal Dispute, which was a 100-year-old border conflict between the two countries.

Why Do It? Now an urban park, this area is home to an amphitheater, art galleries, a museum, and nature trails. 

Good to Know: Head to this park for a picnic or one of the summer outdoor concerts.

Fort Bliss and Old Ironsides Museums
Fort Bliss and Old Ironsides Museums

Fort Bliss and Old Ironsides Museums

What Is It? Head to Fort Bliss and Old Ironsides Museums to learn about military history and view exhibits, artifacts, and military vehicles dating from as far back as 1849. 

Why Do It? The museum however is a great place to learn about the fort’s history and see some historic military machinery.

Good to Know: Fort Bliss actually operates as a combat training location and is home to the largest unrestricted airspace in the nation.

The Border Patrol Museum
The Border Patrol Museum

The Border Patrol Museum

What Is It? Learn more about the U.S. Border Patrol at the National Border Patrol Museum. 

Why Do It? From patrol vehicles to exhibits on weapons and uniforms, this unique museum has become a top attraction in El Paso.

Good to Know: The museum is great for budget travelers since admission is free.

El Paso Mission Trail
San Elizarios Presidio Chapel

El Paso Mission Trail

What Is It? Learn more about El Paso’s culture and heritage by exploring the Mission Trail. 

Why Do It? The Mission Trail takes visitors along El Paso’s oldest historic missions, including the oldest structure in Texas, Ysleta Mission established in 1681. 

Good to Know: The Mission Trail is located in El Paso’s lower valley and highlights Texas’ rich history.

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