Rugged Outdoor Beauty and Unique Culture Meet in El Paso, Texas
Close to both New Mexico and Mexico, El Paso, Texas offers a unique blend of outdoors and culture.
Find out what makes El Paso so unique from other destinations in Texas. Local destination expert Veronica Castro shares the areas's top outdoor activities and authentic hidden gems with us. Come along for the trip!
#1 What three words would you choose to describe El Paso?
We’re a city where the people are so friendly and real. When you come to El Paso, you don’t know what to expect, and when you leave El Paso you are just in awe of all the opportunities, attractions, and what you were able to experience.
Even though you’re in Texas, you’re fifteen minutes away from New Mexico, and five minutes away from Mexico, so our culture is very unique in this area.
What is your destination's best kept secret or hidden gem?
I think because we are the only city in Texas with a mountain, people don’t expect to see a mountain right in the middle of our town. It is the largest urban park in the state.
You can access more than 100 trails for hiking and mountain biking. It’s just gorgeous, and when you get to the peak of it, you are able to experience three states and two countries from the top.
Where do you like to go to feel inspired?
Just walking the streets of Downtown El Paso you can experience over 400 years of history in the downtown. We have beautiful architecture and many murals. There are a lot of original 1940s and 50s buildings in the downtown area to admire.
What place is right in your backyard but also on your bucket list?
White Sands National Monument is about an hour and fifteen minutes from El Paso, and it's this beautiful moving sand that goes on for miles and miles.
The only thing that you’re missing and looking for is the ocean, which you’re never going to find because you’re in the middle of the desert.
Photo credit: Murray Foubister.
Where would you take your family for a picnic?
We have a lot of vineyards nearby in New Mexico and one in Texas, which is called Zin Valle. The vineyard is surrounded by pecan trees. It’s a beautiful area because of the big trees and the vines and you are able to listen to music and taste some wine from the area.
What local makers or brands are you known for?
Our Cowboy Boot Makers
We’re known for cowboy boot making, so we still have those small shops that are making handmade boots, but we are also home to Lucchese Boot Company, known as the “Cadillac of Boots.” We work closely with them to do private tours of their factory.
We also have Rocketbuster Boots, where a lot of high end individuals and movie stars order boots. They start around from $3,500 per pair and go all the way up to $10,000 for a pair, depending on what you want to have on the boots.
Where would you take a know-it-all local to in your destination?
We have the El Paso Museum of Art, which is incredible, like a museum you’d find in New York or a big city and it’s right in our backyard. We have the only National Border Patrol Museum in the U.S. where you can learn about the purposes of the border patrol and how they got started and why they’re here.
Also, we have The El Paso Holocaust Museum, and there’s only 13 museums dedicated to this topic in the United States, and we actually have one in our own backyard.
What else should we share with visitors to your community?
Food is a big deal in El Paso. If you’re looking for authentic Mexican food, obviously we have that, but now we also have so many other types of cuisines and dining experiences that our community has brought back from travel.
While you're here, head to the farmer's market to experience local flavors. Families will also enjoy Cattleman’s Steakhouse, a ranch outside of El Paso where they serve the best steaks in Texas. The food is amazing and you get to walk around the ranch area and take in the beautiful surroundings.
A destination organization is responsible for promoting a community as an attractive travel destination and enhancing its public image as a dynamic place to live and work.
We are looking for destination marketers who want to share the hidden gems and off-the-beaten path things to do in their hometowns.