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.
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!
The Concordia Cemetery is a place of rest that is filled with historical characters of all types, from Mexican presidents and generals to Civil War Vets and even the man once known as the tallest in the world. There is also an interesting story about Chinese laborers buried here that glumly highlights the tumult of men working on the American railroads. A very interesting cemetery indeed, guests will also find the graves of Buffalo Soldiers, gunfighters, war veterans and during the Halloween season, don't forget to catch the Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festival.
The Misión de Corpus Cristi de Ysleta del Sur has a long history, going all the way back to 1682 when it was established by the Tigua Indians. The Tribal community sought refuge at this site while fleeing Spanish forces in 1680 and built a structure made of adobe. Over the next few centuries, the mission suffered casualties as fire and flooding ransacked the buildings. It was rebuilt and moved several times until it reached its present site in 1908. It is considered the oldest continuous parish seat in Texas. Boasting striking semblances of Late Victorian and Classic Revival architecture, the mission site bears a pristine white visage which gives way to most interiors including religious relics and motifs. Yet bearing an inextricable Tigua heritage, the mission shelters a church bell and a few statues which have braved the ravages of time. Spanning more than three hundred years of cultural, spiritual and religious history, this Spanish colonial mission is a stirring emblem of Christianity and aboriginal American ties.
The Cathedral of Ciudad Juarez located in the historical area of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico is also known as “The Our Lady of Guadalupe Cathedral”. The exterior of the cathedral is eye catching with three tiered bell towers and the interior is simple yet stunning with stained glass windows representing religious scenery. It is a must visit when in the city and is popular with visitors due to other significant attractions nearby.
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.
This 42 foot tall statue of Christ atop what used to be called 'Mule Drivers Mountain' (now Mount Cristo Rey) is a monument to those in the Catholic faith. Its location at an elevation of 4,675-ft. and the accompanying 4.4-mile trail (round-trip) is constantly traversed by hikers, the curious and almost everybody else who is in the area. Its original conception came from a parish priest who erected a wooden cross here in 1934. Thereafter in 1939, the church commissioned sculptor Urbici Soler to design the base and statue. And though the face on the statue resembles the one on the famous Corcovado in Brazil, this one is quite smaller and little less scenic, however once you reach the top, you can see into Mexico, New Mexico and Texas at the same time.
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.
The Chamizal National Memorial, with its large park, museum, gallery and a spacious amphitheater, is a vibrant multi-functional hot spot for culturally diverse events and activities. The museum educates visitors on the 1963 settling of the US-Mexico border dispute and the amphitheater hosts the annual Siglo de Oro Drama Festival. In addition to educational opportunities, the park also offers recreational activities such as picnicking, hiking, and birdwatching. The park's trails wind through desert landscapes and provide opportunities for visitors to observe local flora and fauna.
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 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.