A city in southern Texas, close to the border with Mexico, El Paso is actually continuous with Ciudad Juarez in Mexico, while it’s also just to the west of New Mexico. The city itself is home to a large Mexican immigrant community and, as such, has the feel of a typical Mexican city with American influences. It is lovingly known by locals as ‘the Sun City’, owing to its perennially warm climate.
In El Paso, you can explore the nearby desert, learn about how the city has become an important crossing point for people coming into the US and visit nearby national parks. At night, you can kick back in one of El Paso’s many bars with a margarita in one hand and a spicy burrito in the other, should the mood take you.
For urban and country driving, a hatchback would be suited to both, especially when you feel like crossing the border into Mexico.
The Chihuahuan Desert Gardens in the city centre are a great place to learn about local plant life. They have over 600 native species in the grounds and every April, there’s an event called FloraFest where visitors can buy and see rare plants.
If you feel like seeing a little bit more, then heading into the desert yourself could be a good way to explore the Borderlands at large. You’ll find mountains, sand dunes and remote villages where Mexican and American culture blend almost seamlessly.
At the Centennial Museum, you can learn about how life has been in the Borderlands throughout the centuries. The museum has galleries which are made up of artworks and artefacts created and found by locals from El Paso.
At the local university, the UTEP Theatre is the best place in El Paso to catch a quality play. Many plays here are performed by local drama students, although some touring companies stage productions there from time to time.
There are often traffic jams on the bridges from Ciudad Juarez into El Paso, particularly during the morning rush hour.
Most of the major attractions in and around the city are far apart and can only be reached quickly by car.
From east to west, the I-10 Interstate is the quickest way to get in and out of El Paso via New Mexico and southern Texas.
El Paso International Airport is around two miles northeast of the city centre. It exclusively serves destinations in the US, where passengers can change if wanting to travel from Europe. It presently has one passenger terminal.
The airport is close to Montana Avenue, which goes west then south onto the I-10. Then, you can drive towards the city centre where there are various exits leading to major attractions.