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.
Take the El Paso Mission Trail to get a glimpse of this cow-town's frontier past. This nine mile (14.5km) stretch has the famous missions Ysleta and Socorro alongside the San Elizario Presidio and Chapel. The trail originated back between the 16th and 17th Centuries. In fact, these churches are some of the oldest in the country. Check out the pioneer county jail which housed the infamous Billy the Kid or the exhibit on the Salt War of 1877. The Tigua Cultural Center chronicles five centuries of history, from Indian origins to the Spanish conquest. Each of these historic sanctuaries will transport you to a different era. If you want to know the real El Paso, then this trail is an interesting place to start.
In the midst of the scenic Franklin Mountains lies the McKelligon Canyon Amphitheatre, a venue that holds over 1,500 spectators. The theater hosts a number of events throughout the year, from plays and concerts to dance and opera, there is something for all ages. During the summer, the amphitheater presents its 'Cool Canyon Nights' series, it's free to public and always a nice entertainment option in the hot desert. See website for upcoming activities and a complete calendar of events.
The El Paso Zoo, though modest in size and means, aims to preserve and conserve as many species as possible. The 18-acre (7.28-hectare) grounds feature hundreds of different species, from Amur leopards, Asian elephants, Sumatran Orangutans, alligators, and a host of fish and birds. In the morning the tiny tykes can meet sea lions, and on the African Star train, kids can get a really close look at some of the smaller animals, like the African hedgehog or an opossum. Every autumn the zoo puts on a two-day Elephant Festival. Don't miss it!
This major green space in this Mexican town is great not only for biking or having a fun day out with your family, but it also has great historical importance. During the 20th century, this land was disputed between Mexico and the United States. Being at the border of the two countries, it is an exciting as well as a great way to unwind.
The Parque Central Hermanos Escobar is a pleasant park with recreational facilities for all ages. The park has a lot of greenery and a very relaxing ambiance with an artificial lake, where you can rent a boat or feed the ducks or maybe use the free exercise equipment available to get your daily workouts. They also have a kiddie train, perfect for the young ones to enjoy and is a family favorite.
Downtown El Paso may not be as intriguing as other centers like Manhattan or Chicago, but this southwestern Texas town has a charm all its own. The city center is small, however there are plenty of landmarks which beckon the visitor. Some include the Plaza Theater, the Anson Mills Building and San Jacinto Square. In addition to history and architecture, downtown El Paso also has plenty of upscale restaurants and shopping options as well.
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.
On the banks of the Rio Grande, across the border from the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, El Paso is Texas' westernmost city. At the cusp of the two nations, El Paso's local culture is a harmonious blend of Texan and Mexican traditions, best showcased at the El Paso Museum of Art and the city's many restaurants were authentic Mexican fare is served alongside the smokey, delicious Texas-style barbecue. But what the city is best known for is its stunning outdoors, from rock climbing at the Hueco Tanks State Park to the hiking trails of the Franklin Mountains State Park, one of the United States' largest urban greenspaces. For illuminating experiences indoors, there are museums like the Museum of Archeology, the Museum of History and the National Border Patrol Museum. Meanwhile, the El Paso Zoo is a great place to explore with the kids. For those who favor the arts, the Plaza Theater is a beautifully restored historic movie palace that now hosts concerts and live performances as well as film screenings. With its very own baseball team, the El Paso Chihuahuas, and the growing influence of the Monticello entertainment district, El Paso is a sleeping beauty that is awakening to modern times.
Nestled in El Paso High, you shall find the serene Houston Park overlooking the First Baptist Church. Here is the place from where the Pride parade begins taking important matters relating to LGBT into account.
The Sun Bowl Stadium is the hub for college football and local and cultural events in El Paso. The stadium was first opened in the 1960's and frequently hosts college football games, as well as the Sun Bowl game which is an annual highlight. Apart from football games, the Sun Bowl Stadium is also the venue for local events and international music concerts and has witnessed performances by greats like the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, U2, and many others. The stadium has a great atmosphere and has plenty of concession stands that serve delicious game-night food. This stadium is arguably one of the best in the region and a chance to watch a game here should not be passed up on.
Estadio Olímpico Benito Juárez is a multipurpose stadium opened in 1981. It is the home ground of various sporting clubs like El Paso Juarez Gamerocks and Indios de Ciudad Juárez. It is primarilyused for football games and also hosts musical concerts. The stadium is surfaced with green field and hosts regional as well as local tournaments for its home teams.