The West Texas city of El Paso is a great place to go to escape the winter blues for a weekend or a week or even longer. Even though there are a lot of things to see and do, El Paso is not packed with tourists like some other warm-weather destinations. So, everything feels so much more authentic.
While there, it’s important to find a hotel like the El Paso Marriott that’s close to the action yet far enough off the beaten path to be quiet and comfortable. Like many Texas towns, El Paso is rather spread out, so it’s also important that the hotel have a good courtesy shuttle service. Amenities like free Wi-Fi and smart TVs are very nice as well.
Franklin Mountains State Park
This 24,000-plus acre park lies entirely within the El Paso city limits. That gives you some idea of how big this city is and how much it has to offer. It’s no surprise that Franklin Mountains is the largest urban park in the country. It’s almost thirty times bigger than New York’s Central Park.
People have lived in the Franklin Mountains area for over 12,000 years. Almost just like those ancient residents, today’s visitors can enjoy hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, and other exciting activities. There are also lots of wildlife and plants in this park that you can’t see anywhere else.
This large rock formation is very important to local Native Americans. In addition to the outdoor activities and diverse wildlife that are abundant in a desert environment, this site has a number of intricate pictographs that date back over a thousand years.
Chamizal National Memorial
This memorial on the U.S.-Mexico border is a really cool place. It commemorates the peaceful resolution of a border dispute that had simmered for decades. It reminds us all that it’s possible to work out or differences with one another in a mutually respectful way, almost completely regardless of our backgrounds or values.
If you visit El Paso, you absolutely have to go on the Wyler Tram. The gondolas take visitors over 900 feet in the air from ground level to the top of Ranger Peak, which is about a mile high. On a clear day, you cannot quite see forever, but you can see three states and two nations.
El Paso Zoo
The city zoo is nearly always a hit with visitors young and old, especially if it’s a really exotic one like the El Paso Zoo. The sprawling facility is home to over two hundred species, including the rare and endangered Aruba rattlesnake and Amur leopard. Fun attractions include the Hunt Family Desert Spring and the newly-added African Star train.
This church dates back to 1682, making it the oldest continually-operating parish in the United States. Locals also claim that the mission sits on the oldest continually-operating cultivated plot of land in the U.S. The church was almost completely rebuilt after a 1907 fire, and most of that structure still stands today. Serious preservation efforts began in 1990, and now, the old church sees only limited use. If you come to El Paso for a winter break, you may consider coming back in July for the Ysleta Mission Festival.
Book your travel plans now and take advantage of everything that El Paso has to offer.