El Paso, Texas, located at the western tip of the state, is a blend of cultures and traditions from the Old West, Mexico and the Native Americans. Its history dates back to the Conquistadors, who arrived at the banks of the Rio Grande in 1598; and evidence of their influence can be seen in old Spanish missions. El Paso also has a notorious side: The area was home to infamous outlaws, including Pancho Villa, John Wesley Hardin and Billy the Kid.
In El Paso, visitors can explore the historic, eight-mile Mission Trail in the city’s Lower Valley, which was built by Native Americans in the late 17th century. For a panoramic view of El Paso, the Wyler Aerial Tramway takes visitors to Ranger Peak. El Paso’s military legacy can be experienced at Fort Bliss, home to the annual Amigo Air Show in September, as well as four military-oriented museums. For sports enthusiasts, there’s plenty of golf, hiking, horseback riding, tennis and fishing. And shoppers can visit a plethora of boutiques, like the locally owned shops at Southwest Treasures. El Paso is also the Boot Capital of the World, with more than a dozen manufacturers and retailers offering boots in all styles. For arts and culture, El Paso offers a variety of museums and galleries, including the Rose and Crown Gallery, which supports established and emerging artists, and the Forum Arts and Culture, the city’s new contemporary art gallery.
Visitors traveling to this city get two destinations in one, with Ciudad Juarez just across the Mexican border. In Juarez, there is an abundance of dining, night clubs, cultural attractions and shopping for local crafts at places like the Old Mercado. There are also plenty of watering holes, where visitors can sip a Juarez concoction, the Margarita. In addition, visitors can experience many of Mexico’s rich traditions here, including mariachis and folkloric dancing.
Southwestern and Mexican fare are abundant in El Paso, from cheap eats to fine dining. Regional specialties also include barbecue, steak and Tex-Mex, a mix of Texan and Mexican foods that includes items like fajitas, sopapillas, fry bread and chili con carne.
Nine airlines serve El Paso International Airport, with nonstop service from 18 Western, Southwestern, Midwestern and Mexican cities. El Paso is located just off Interstate 10 and near I-25 and I-20. To get to Juarez from El Paso, visitors can park downtown and cross the Santa Fe Street Bridge or catch the Border Jumper Trolley in front of the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center for a guided loop, where they can hop on and off.
Despite the fact that El Paso is located in the Chihuahuan Desert, its climate is mild, due to the Franklin Mountains, which cut through the city. Daytime temperatures range from the high 50s during winter to the mid-90s during summer. Precipitation is minimal, making El Paso a great time to visit nearly any time of year.