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Also called the Plaza de los Lagartos, San Jacinto Plaza lies at the heart of El Paso's historic downtown district. In fact, the name lagartos roughly translates into "alligator" and at one time there were actual live alligators in a pond that was once here. When the park was established, the owners created a large area for these crocodilians, however they were removed finally in 1975 due to vandals harming them. Today, the plaza pays homage to the alligators in the form of a sculpture which replaced the pond. In December, the plaza hosts the official Christmas Tree Lighting and during the rest of the year, the shade under the trees provides ample refuge from the Southwest heat.
Located on the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) campus, this museum offers the perfect educational experience with a bit of fun. The museum focuses on the history of the area's native population, while the garden has over 600 species of plants native to the Chihuahuan Desert.
Memorial Park is one of the most scenic parks in the city and has a variety of attractions for all ages. The park is large and spacious and has plenty of trails making is great for walks or runs. Other features include a bridge that's perfect for photographs, tennis courts, a pool and a rose garden. The park also has an event area where parties and weddings are held. It is well maintained and clean and a great place for a fun day out with family or friends.
The sweet fragrance of these beautiful roses will allure you while you are in Memorial Park. The Municipal Rose Garden will fascinate you with its vibrant hues and the different types of roses it displays. The garden features 350 different varieties on more than 1600 rose bushes and it also has a lovely water exhibit in the heart of the garden. There is also a small fish pond that is perfect for kids and adults alike.
Located inside Keystone Heritage Park, the El Paso Desert Botanical Gardens is the home to the region's succulent plants. The gardens feature well-manicured grounds populated primarily with desert flora, however there are plenty of other non-succulent species as well. In fact, there are seven gardens in total, those of which are the Xeriscape, Butterfly, Culinary, Healing, Formal, Cactus and Children's gardens, respectively. The picturesque venue is also a popular site for private functions like weddings and Quinceañeras. See website more information and calendar of events.
Keystone Heritage Park is a site steeped in the history of the area. The grounds span 52 acres and harbors many see-worthy sites, including the Keystone Wetlands, the Desert Botanical Gardens and the Keystone Dam Archaeological Site. Many exotic animals and plants call this park their home and would love a visit from fellow nature-lovers.
Located on the southernmost tip of the state of Texas, the Franklin Mountains State Park stands at an elevation of 5,426 feet (1,653.84 meters) overlooking the semi-arid expanses of El Paso. Encompassed by the dominant Franklin Mountains, the park offers a virtually never-ending selection of mountain biking, hiking, climbing and cross country driving options. The territory covers nearly 24,247 acres (9,812.41 hectares) and is America's most expansive park within a city's limit. Wildlife includes barrel cactus, Mexican poppy, hackberry, cottonwood, golden eagles, black bears, pumas and ring-tailed cats. If you're here for the panorama, the Wyler Aerial Tramway offers some of the greatest views of the untamed wild west.
Have a bunch of charged-up kids that need to release some of that energy? Head over to White Spur Park. Located in the Zach White district of El Paso, this park is one of the best in the areas for kids. A spacious running area, a small play area that's covered with wood chips instead of sand, a few musical instruments, swings, slides, and many other types of equipment are scattered around the playground. There is plenty of shade for parents to relax under and lots of seating as well. The park is well-maintained and clean and is a great place for a day of family fun.