Nestled at the base of the Franklin Mountains alongside the Rio Grande, El Paso is a West Texas town on the rise.

In 2012, voters approved a nearly $475 million Quality of Life bond and the city began work to improve the zoo, create pedestrian paths, start a streetcar project, enhance the performing arts center, build a new baseball park, and more. Streetcars, saved from the ‘40s and restored, should be operating by 2018 and many other projects are currently in the works.

Cactus makes the Chihuahuan Desert come alive.

El Paso boasts approximately 300 days of sunshine each year and, best of all, it is just a quick two-hour flight from Houston.

Enjoy the Indigo’s view!

Stay
Hotel Indigo
With more than 100 rooms, a brand-new rooftop pool and bar as well as the Downtowner restaurant, Hotel Indigo is the perfect place for any El Paso stay. The hotel is both historic and modern as it was once the Downtowner Motor Inn in the 1960s but has since been transformed into a modern-day desert oasis. Hip vibe. Laid-back style. To learn more, visit ihg.com/hotelindigo.

Do
Southwest University Park
Watch El Paso’s minor league baseball team, the Chihuahuas, knock one out of the park! This Triple A affiliate of the San Diego Padres were named the Pacific Coast League champs last year while Southwest University Park, home to the Chihuahuas, was named 2014’s Ballpark of the Year. It should also be noted that the Sun Kings Saloon at Southwest University Park is available to rent for receptions and the like. To learn more, visit southwestuniversitypark.com.

There’s NOTHING like a pair of Lucchese boots. This El Paso-based company has been making boots by hand since 1883.

Lucchese Boot Company
What could be more traditionally Texas than boots? And when it comes to quality boots, no one does it better than Lucchese Boot Company. They have not only outfitted legends like Johnny Cash or celebrities like Blake Shelton, but they’ve also put boots on the feet of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders and Texas Rangers. Ross Perot even just recently purchased three pairs of their 125th anniversary alligator boots. At Lucchese, quality is key and 125 pairs of hands go into the making of every pair of boots. While public tours of the facility are not offered, private tours can be booked by appointment only. To learn more, visit lucchese.com.

El Paso Zoo
Feed the giraffes at the El Paso zoo! For just $3, help a zookeeper feed lettuce to a giraffe as it uses its long black tongue to enjoy the tasty treat. The zoo sees more than 350,000 visitors annually who come to admire the wide array of animals that are housed here, such as meerkats, zebras, elephants, orangutans, etc. Staff at the zoo provide premium care to the animals with two full-time vets on the premise seven days a week. To learn more, visit elpasozoo.org.

Breakfast for zebras at the El Paso Zoo, a 35-acre facility that houses animals representing over 220 species.

Wyler Aerial Tramway Tour at Franklin Mountains State Park
You’ve seen the mountains from afar, now it’s time to see them up close! Drive along the east side of the mountains from the intersection of McKinley and Alabama Street as you make your way toward the parking lot for the tramway. Once there, take a ranger-led tour via the Wyler Aerial Tramway for $8. The ranger will point out the various flora and fauna on the way up. When you reach the top, enjoy the peace and quiet and stay as long as you want. Make sure to check out the observation deck as it offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding area. For more information, visit tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/wyler-aerial-tramway.

Cattleman’s Steakhouse
For an authentic experience, visit Cattleman’s Steakhouse, a working ranch, to enjoy a fabulous steak and spectacular El Paso sunset. You’ll feel as if you have been taken back in time to the Old West. Proof to the authenticity of Cattleman’s Steakhouse and Indian Cliff’s Ranch is the nearby old mail trail that dates back to 1858 when passengers traversed the rugged terrain. For more information, visit cattlemansranch.com.

The Wyler Aerial Tramway has excellent views of El Paso and Juarez and is well worth the $7 trip to the top of the Franklins. You can stay for as long as you like until closing, and there’s a gift store and photos at the top.


Zin Valle Vineyards

Visit El Paso’s only vineyard and winery. Here you can enjoy a complimentary tasting, sip wine on their patio, or enjoy a scenic picnic overlooking the vineyard. On Sunday afternoons, live music is offered by local musicians. To learn more, visit zinvalle.com.



Explore the City
Take advantage of the updates the city has made. Purchase a daily, weekly, monthly or annual bike pass and pick up a bike from one of 15 solar-powered stations in order to peddle your way across town. Or, alternatively, use the Sun Metro Brio system to catch one of their buses running every 10-15 minutes. Choose your preferred mode of transportation and set off for the El Paso Downtown Arts District, see a movie at the restored Plaza Theater, or take the kids to the Children’s Museum. To learn more, visit visitelpaso.com.

The Chihuahuas are the El Paso Triple A baseball team.


Fast Facts:

• Safest City in the United States with a population of 500,000+
• Top 10 Best U.S. Cities to Live
• #16 on the list of Top 20 Best U.S. Cities to Start a Business
• #4 on the list of Large Cities for 1st Time Homebuyers
• El Paso is the only city in Texas running on Mountain Time.
• El Paso sits at 3,740 feet in elevation.

This fabulous mural is inside the stadium.

 

Cynthia Calvert
Author: Cynthia CalvertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Owner
A trained journalist with a masters degree from Lamar University, a masters from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, as well as extensive coursework toward a masters of science in psychology from the University of New Orleans, Calvert founded the Tribune Newspapers in 2007. Her experiences as an investigative, award winning reporter (She won Journalist of the Year from the Houston Press Club among many other awards for reporting and writing), professor and chair of the journalism department for Lone Star College-Kingwood and vice president of editorial for a large group of community weeklies provides her with a triple dose of bankable skills that cover every aspect of the journalism field. Solid reporting. Careful interviews. Respect and curiosity for people and places.