Located in the farthest western corner of Texas, and surrounded by amazing desert and diverse flora and fauna, El Paso is a wonderland worth exploring. Intrepid tourists will find everything from vibrant art galleries to famous historical sites, delicious spicy food and many cultural attractions. What are some of the highlights of this southwestern city?

• The Mission Trail and Ysleta Mission: As visitors set out on the Mission Trail, they should make sure they don’t miss out on Ysleta Mission, built in 1682 by the Tigua Indians. Now a historic landmark of its own, it is certainly worth a visit. Tourists will be able to learn all about the history and mixing of cultures, and why it is looked upon as representing more than 300 years of Texan history. As people drive through the area, they can see some of the stunning desert scenery. In fact, why not stop and enjoy a picnic along the way at one of the many available picnic areas?

• Wyler Aerial Tramway: A wonderful way to view the city is from a great height. Half the fun will start with the drive up the paved road through stunning scenery. At the tramway station, buy tickets for the gondola, which travels on a 2,600-foot-long steel cable that takes riders to the top of Rangers Peak. The amazing four-minute ride includes an in-depth narration from the cabin attendant, pointing out the different cacti, abundant wildlife and bird life. At the top of the Peak, which is 5,632 ft above sea level, guests are able to enjoy the magnificent view of 7,000 square miles that takes in three states.

Rock art on the walls of a cave in Hueco Tanks State Park in Texas.

• Hueco Tanks State Historic Site: This historic site is known as a Sacred Desert Sanctuary, honoring the fact that, for thousands of years, people trekked through these hills to collect rainwater in natural rock basins. Nowadays visitors can hike, rock climb, study nature, picnic and bird watch there. There is an interpretive center within the park, housed in a historic ranch house, and from there guided and self-guided tours can be arranged. There are also memorable gifts to buy. And why not stay overnight at one of the available 20 campsites?

• El Paso Museum of Art: This museum not only houses a variety of beautiful and unique art, it also offers some very interesting hands-on activities. Built in 1959, it is actually the only accredited art museum within 250 miles and draws in approximately 100,000 visitors per year. The exhibits regularly showcase noted artists, so there’s always something new and of interest to see here. Admission is free though donations are gratefully accepted.

• Plaza Theatre: This historic building, much loved by locals, is one of the city’s best-known landmarks. Its original owner, Louis L. Dent, bought the property in 1927, stating that he wanted “to do something good for the city,” The theatre still puts on wonderful shows, including Broadway productions, concerts and sole artists. One of the nicest things about the theatre must be its extravagant furnishings, including its Spanish mission-style exterior and three-tier domed tower, as well as its mosaic tiled floors and wrought iron banisters.

• Municipal Rose Garden: Those planning on a visit to the city between March and October should make sure to reserve some free time for a visit to the fragrant Municipal Rose Garden. Visitors will be amazed and impressed at the variety of the garden’s 1,460 rose bushes, made up of more than 320 varied aromatic roses, with new roses added each year after having been evaluated for their climate adaptability. The roses are lovingly tended by volunteers, keeping the garden a welcome oasis in the searing El Paso desert heat.

The Sun Bowl football stadium in El Paso, Texas. Opened in 1963 and seating 51,500, this outdoor stadium was originally donated by the University of Texas El Paso to the city of El Paso. The stadium was built on a natural bowl shape and was commissioned after the previous sports “arena”, Kidd Field, could no longer expand beyond 15,000 seats. 

• Sun Bowl Stadium: The Sun Bowl Stadium is home to the UTEP Miners of Conference USA and the late-December college football bowl game, The Hyundai Sun Bowl. It’s a great place to spend an enjoyable afternoon watching some outdoor college football. The stadium has a seating capacity of 51,000 and is nestled in the mountains that adjoin the UTEP campus.

Love a great adventure in gorgeous surroundings? Head out to El Paso—an unforgettable experience is in the cards.

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