El Paso, Texas… the wild, wild west! El Paso is underrated as a top destination spot, but we are here to change all of that! There are so many wonderful gems in this city that could keep you entertained for weeks! PS, it is a perfect way to end your South West American Road Trip, that’s exactly what we did! V and I go to El Paso at least twice a year (V actually was born and raised in El Paso) and EVERY time we go, we find something new to do or somewhere new to explore. PLUS they have amazing food, and the mountain views are pretty great too. 😉 There are so many reasons to visit the Sun City, but these are what we consider to be the TRUE GEMS OF EL PASO.
Gem # 1
Greetings from El Paso! Hello! When in El Paso, it is a must to get a picture with this sign! It is located in the Substation area, and there are plenty of restaurants, shops and bars nearby too. Make sure to get a cool jumping photo and have the whole crew join in for fun. You can see within the letters a lot of the gems I am going to tell you about as well. Here is the address: 145 E Sunset Rd, El Paso, TX 79922. See more on what there is to do at the Substation here.
Gem # 2
Hike Hueco Tanks! This place was amazing and one of my new favorite spots in El Paso. This place is great for the whole family. You go at your own pace and choose your own route. So if you have kiddos with you or people who need to take it easier, this is perfect. If you want to go fast pace and love mountain climbing, well guess what?! Hueco Tanks is ALSO perfect for you! Not only are there great trails, but Hueco Tanks is full of history. Take a guided tour if you want to see pictographs and find out more about it’s 10,000 year history. For more information on how to get to Hueco Tanks, or their hours/guided tours, click here.
Gem # 3
Hike Cristo Rey! On the note of hiking… Cristo Rey was a spiritual, and heart warming journey to the top. The hike up took about an hour and a half, but the pace was pretty steady.Luckily it is a paved path, so it again is kid friendly and manageable for most. As you can see the view of Christ at the top is incredible. On the way up they have lots of little stops for you to pray or alters to visit. FUN FACT: From the top, you are actually overlooking 3 different states in 2 different countries! This was a great hike for us, and something I plan to do again on my next trip to El Paso. You do NOT want to miss out on this one of a kind experience. For more information, click here.
Gem # 4
Visit UTEP. UTEP is the University of Texas in El Paso, and is a gorgeous campus. It is home to the famous Sun Bowl, for all you football fans. If you are a hiker or just an amateur hiker (like me), you can climb up the mountain behind the Old Main Building and get the beautiful view of the stadium like pictured above, and a great view of the city of El Paso. El Paso is also home to a couple of unique museums, which are free and worth checking out! One is the Centennial Museum, which has a diverse collection of the region’s history. To find out what exhibits they have when you are visiting, click here.
Gem # 5
Speaking of visiting UTEP…. Make sure you visit The Lhakhang. The Lhakhang is a Bhutanese temple located in the center of campus. FUN FACT: It is the ONLY Bhutanese temple located outside of the small Himalayan Country. How incredible and rare is that?! Go and see the beautiful detail inside and be sure to get some photographs. The Lhakhang is only open to the public on Wednesdays from 11am-1pm or the first Sunday of each month from 1pm-3pm. For more information, click here.
Gem # 6
Want to know where to see the BEST view of El Paso?! Go to the overlook at Scenic Drive. Here you can overlook the entire city of El Paso, and see parts of Juarez, Mexico. It is the perfect spot to watch the sunset and get great photographs with El Paso as your background. Access to Scenic Drive closes at 10 pm, so be sure to go earlier than that. Address: Scenic Dr, El Paso, TX 79902.
Gem # 7
Another great spot for pictures is Tom Lea Park. It is just a few miles West from Scenic Drive, and has even better views of Down Town El Paso. There is also a nice green patch of grass and trees, making it perfect to read a book or have a picnic if you have the time for it. Down the road from Tom Lea Park, you can take some beautiful pictures of downtown El Paso and have yourself a very picturesque scenery. Look for the big rocks so you can stand on them or jump off them so you can have some amazing pictures! Here is the address: 900 Rim Rd, El Paso, TX 79902.
Gem # 8
YALL… Like this is ACTUALLY someone’s house!!! Isn’t it beautiful? I swear that it is worthy of being a Museum, or displayed as part of a Cathedral, it is that magical. This is the Sugar House. A husband and wife actually built this by their own hands and it took them over 2 decades to complete. The detail in each pillar and alter are so exquisite, I could have spent all day here. This is a CANNOT MISS when in El Paso. Drive by and get out of the car so you can see all the little hidden features within. Here is the address: 4301 Leavell Ave, El Paso, TX 79904.
Gem # 9
When in El Paso you MUST stop by one of the most famous bars in the world, Rosa’s Cantina! If you are a Marty Robbins fan, or a country music fan, you’ve probably heard the song that helped put this place on the map. If not, you can listen to it by clicking here. Go in and ask your server to play the song for you, and don’t worry, the locals are used to it. While there, check out the Marty Robbins signed records and enjoy a drink or a bite. 🙂
Gem # 10
Go out on the town to Kern Place. This is an area on the West Side of El Paso, near UTEP. We actually took the trolley there from downtown(click here to find out more about the super cute trolley – it’s free during the summers). There are lots of fun bars to go into and cool restaurants to try. One of my favorite restaurants in El Paso is located right here, Crave Kitchen & Bar! (Click here to see their menu… the chicken & waffles and their hatch chili mac and cheese are what dreams are made of!) Be sure to go to Kern Place if you want a night on the town or want to try something new to eat.
When visiting El Paso, I highly suggest you walk over the bridge and go visit our neighboring country, Mexico. Juarez has so much amazing food and is extremely rich in culture! My favorite time we have ever gone to Juarez is during Christmas time. They decorate the entire down town and it is so festive. Also, Juarez is home to the Original Margarita at Kentucky Bar. When in Juarez, going to Kentucky Bar and ordering margarita is a must! We also highly suggest getting cheap street food- like vapor tacos or gordita de nata (with caramel). Don’t forget to bring your passport in order to cross back over.
THERE ARE SO MANY MORE things we are missing…. but these are just a few of the gems of El Paso we had to highlight! El Paso is such a unique city, rich in blended culture. I am genuinely surprised it isn’t more of a tourist destination, but it is on the way! Make sure to add this to your bucket list, especially if you are doing a Great American Southwest Tour like we did… It’s the perfect place to end or even begin your tour.
Please comment below your favorite Gems of El Paso! Let us know what we missed, so when we are back in December we can check it out! 🙂
We would like to dedicate this Blog to those who lost their lives too soon in the El Paso shooting… We love you and we are El Paso Strong! <3
Until next time…. XOXO <3