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October 15, 2017

1200x628 A Christmas Fair
This annual shopping gift market has officially kicked off the holiday season in El Paso for over 40 years. Recognized as an El Paso tradition, the fair is staggered with over 200 merchants and features special events throughout the weekend.
A christmas fair %2824%29 WinterFest
Downtown El Paso comes to life every November with lights, food, holiday shopping, festivities and the coolest thing of all, an outdoor ice skating rink. The festival runs till January.
Winterfest   brian wancho photo 3 Tamaladas
Many El Pasoans will attest that one of their favorite holiday memories growing up was making tamales. Family and friends gather around to take on the day long task that deliciously pays off in the end. Fortunately for those with limited time (or patience), El Paso is home to numerous locally owned hot spots that sell them by the dozen.
Img 1580 Luminarias
The holiday season kicks off with hundreds of glowing brown sacks known as Luminarias. These traditional Christmas lanterns date back 300 years and adorn El Paso’s churches, homes, and streets. To experience the beauty of luminarias we recommend a drive thorough the historic mission trail or Scenic Dr., neither will disappoint.
San eli luminarias %2849%29 Posadas
From Dec. 16-24 it is custom to hold a posada party every evening. These nine days of posadas leading up to Christmas Eve are marked by traditional rituals and filled with food, tamales, piñatas, and joyful socializing. Experience what an authentic posada has to offer by taking advantage of the many public gathering held throughout the city.
Photodune 18906705 family together christmas celebration concept xl Rosca de Reyes
Also known as king’s cake, the rosca is a wreath shaped Mexican bread decorated with slices of candied fruit and hides a figurine of a baby baked inside. But beware, the one who has the figurine in their slice plays host to a party on Feb. 2nd! Locally owned Bowie Bakery is a sure win for some of the best Roscas in town.
Celebration of Lights Tree Lighting Ceremony
Known as one of El Paso’s most celebrated holiday traditions, the tree lighting ceremony and parade have been part of El Paso’s history for over 100 years. Every year San Jacinto Plaza comes alive with over 400,000 lights and more than 100 trees. Fun for the whole family, the ceremony and parade are defiantly must-see events!
Familia en la plaza Misa del Gallo
Interrupted by the ringing of bells and celebrated around midnight each Christmas Eve, Misa del Gallo or Mass of the Rooster is widely celebrated throughout the city. This famous mass is one of the most delightful traditions embraced by dozens of local churches. With so many historic churches in the area, finding a church to experience Misa del Gallo won’t be a challenge at all.
Hyundai Sun Bowl Game
Since the first Sun Bowl played in 1935, this popular game has grown into one of El Paso’s top national attractions. Known as the second oldest bowl game, the Sun Bowl is a long standing and highly anticipated event. Visitors are also invited to take advantage of the Fan Fiesta, a family friendly event featuring bands, dance groups, face painting, mascots and more. Sun bowl %285%29

Visit El Paso

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Visit El Paso

Welcome to the official Visit El Paso blog, your leading source for all things El Paso!

October 1, 2017

It is truly rare to feel the rush of accomplishment that can only be described as conquering. As humans, there are many things present that whisper to us, that call us to true daring. But often, circumstance and obligation require us to give up these romantic notions and fall to compromise.

In El Paso, it’s hard to ignore this when one looks up at the majestic Franklin Mountains. Sitting in the middle of our beautiful city, while they are not the largest or most mysterious, they hold a majestic exquisiteness that’s all their own. There is a hidden beauty in the landscape of a mountain. Something beyond the slopes and undulations. It is a sensation that can only be felt in that whisper, in that call heard in the deepest part of our souls – the truest plea for discovery, for adventure.

Trailrunning in the franklin mountains.3set

As we go through the everyday tasks and chores that are our own, they sit in waiting. Holding secrets told only to the few who dare to venture to them, to seek and find what lies beyond. Many have already heard this call.

Here in the Sun City, we explore the Franklins and the surrounding areas three fantastic ways: hiking, running and biking. With numerous ways to find your footing for a good hike or run, there are a few great trailheads that can take you through the rambling foothills of the Lost Dog Trails, up McKelligon Canyon, or you can start at the top and get a truly grueling aerobic workout climbing high to the high top of the mountain.

If you are looking for more of a rush, the Franklin’s do not disappoint. These trails don’t just make great hiking trails; they make even better biking trails. And you don’t have to go it alone! El Paso is home to two premier bike clubs that will award you the camaraderie and challenge you have been craving.

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Archaeologist and avid hiker, Rick Kelly commented on the beauty he finds in the Chihuahuan desert. “Whether you are traveling, trying to get in shape, or just new to the area, there are arranged hikes all throughout this region. Yes, there’s the Franklin’s in town but there is also Hueco Tanks and if there is anything world-class about El Paso, that’s the place to see.”

El paso texas jen fleming at hueco tanks state park %c2%a9andy mann

And there is truly a lot to see in this region. So don’t wait. Answer the call and get outside and conquer the trail, mountain, and world you have yet to see.

Directions: The park is in the northernmost corner of the city of El Paso. You can access the park by one of three entrances: the first, on the east side of the mountains taking High way 54, exit on Fred Wilson and then turn west. The second, on the west side of the mountain take I-10 to Transmountain and exit and turn four miles down, you will see the entrance. The final access point is at the top of Transmountain, which is clearly seen from the road. Each of these routes will take you on the hike, run or bike of your life up the crown jewel of West Texas.

Visit El Paso

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Visit El Paso

Welcome to the official Visit El Paso blog, your leading source for all things El Paso!

September 5, 2017

Highway 28 is an old fashioned, two-lane road that runs from North El Paso to Old Mesilla, New Mexico. Lined with pretty pecan orchards that stretch for miles, Highway 28 offers you the unique opportunity to journey back to a simpler time. As you traverse the winding path, chile farms, wine vineyards, and horse and cattle ranches set on idyllic pastures open up before you. It’s a steady, relaxing ride over a beautiful bucolic landscape. So take your time and take in the scenery. But be cautious; you’re likely to pass a tractor or two along the way.

Hwy 28

While the ride itself is a breathtaking spectacle, Highway 28 has a diverse collection of alluring attractions to offer. The road is lined with celebrated wineries, authentic Mexican restaurants and important historical sites that you don’t want to miss out on. Here’s a few stops that you just have to make when riding down Highway 28.

Zin valle

Zin Valle
Nestled just off the side of the road, you’ll find Zin Valle Vineyards, a family-owned winery and vineyard serving up award-winning bottles produced both locally and abroad. Grapes for a variety of popular wine favorites like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon grow in manicured rows right out front alongside sturdy willows, which provide perfect shade for the picnic tables. Upon entering the tasting room, you’ll be greeted by the friendly host, one of the family’s sweet dogs. And the equally welcoming staff will suggest three wines for your sampling pleasure. At Zin Valle, you can purchase exquisite wines by the glass, bottle or case, and you can view the on-site barrel room as well. Live musical acts perform weekly at the vineyard, and with a packed picnic in tow and a tasteful glass in hand, Zin Valle is the perfect place to spend a relaxing Sunday afternoon.

Chopes

Chope’s Bar and Café
Chope’s Bar and Café is another must on your journey down Highway 28. Located in La Mesa, New Mexico, this beloved eatery has been serving up 100% authentic Mexican cuisine for the past century. Founded in 1915 by Longina Benavivez and named after her son, Chope’s stands today as a testament to family, tradition, community and of course, good eating. The bar and the café are located in separate buildings adjacent to one another, each offering a distinct, but equally satiating experience. Popular among bikers and beer lovers, the Chope’s bar is a favored hangout spot. The edgy, yet intimate interior encourages close communion while the friendly bartenders and hardy cocktails bring about the signature satisfaction that keeps locals and travelers alike coming back. The restaurant is just left of the bar. The layered aroma of fresh salsas, fried tortillas and simmering meats pervades throughout the cozy dining space. Seating is limited, so there’s usually a small wait, but it’s well worth it. Mexican food aficionados will find traditional menu items that recall home. And for those newer to the cuisine, the menu includes a list of favorites that won’t disappoint. Chope’s is famous for their family-recipe rellenos, tamales, enchiladas and burritos, but every plate they have to offer is delicious. Follow up your spicy Mexican meal with a sweet treat. The sopaipillas – soft, fried pastries – are drizzled with honey and make for the perfect finish to a delicious lunch or dinner at Chope’s.

Highway 28

La Viña Winery
La Viña is another great family-owned winery that you should visit during your travels on Highway 28. Established in 1977, La Viña is New Mexico’s oldest winery. Today, they make and vend a diverse array of signature wines that are sure to please all palates. Check out they’re current wine lineup here. Friendly sommeliers offer daily tours of the grounds and facilities at 11:30 am. The winery has 2 beautiful acres speckled with patio seating and picnic tables awaiting you on a warm, peaceful day. The winery hosts a number of fun events throughout the year. Their Music on the Patio Concert Series is happening currently. Bring a few tasty snacks to accompany your wine and enjoy live music from the folk, country and rock and roll genres. The concerts take place most Sunday afternoons. Additionally, La Viña also hosts a Sunday Market throughout the warmer seasons offering wine tastings, fresh farm produce and artisanal crafts. There’s a lot to look forward to at La Viña, so plan to stop by sometime soon.

Old mesilla photo courtesy town of mesilla

Old Mesilla
Your drive down Highway 28 culminates with a trip to Old Mesilla, one of New Mexico’s most momentous settlements. Native American tribes have occupied the Mesilla Valley as a strategic camping site since prehistoric times, and their influence can still be seen in the well-preserved pueblos and adobe buildings that stand today. Around the sixteenth century Spanish conquistadors pursued the area for its trails to El Paso and Santa Fe, which were economic incentives for establishing trade. Eventually Mesilla became a Spanish colony, but was ceded to the US after the Mexican War. Today Old Mesilla continues to be a rich epicenter of history and culture, and there’s so much to do and explore in the quaint town. Make sure to visit the Billy the Kid Gift Shop, which you’ll find tucked on the corner of the plaza. The shop as well as Wild West Express-O, a popular coffee house and ice cream parlor, is located in the very building where Billy the Kid was convicted and sentenced to be hanged. Old Mesilla is bursting with activity all year long. Come out on a Thursday or Sunday for arts, crafts and produce in the plaza. And stay tuned for fun annual fiestas and festivals like Cinco de Mayo, the Mesilla Jazz Happening, Mariachi Sundays and so much more. Between the vineyards, the dining and the historic locales, you’re in for a great time everywhere you go on historic Highway 28!

About the Author

Chantel Britton

Chantel Britton has a knack for writing and a passion for food, fun and people. She recently received her BA in English and Professional Communications from Armstrong State University, and when she’s not writing she’s serving in the US Army Reserves as a Human Resources Officer. She loves NPR and is interested in food justice, sustainability, travel and international affairs.

August 21, 2017

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You’re gonna get thirsty out there…and hungry. Hiking or mountain biking in Franklin Mountains State Park is a great adventure. There are high peaks, thorny plants, and so much more wildlife than people expect.

After enjoying a GeoBetty tour you’ll be ready to refuel. Let’s finish the adventure off with a stop at an El Paso brewery for great beer and food! In conjunction with the folks at Visit El Paso we are offering a special Adventure is Brewing package from now until December 15, 2017.

Below are the details:

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OK, this doesn’t really count as rehydrating, but it’s still a great way to top off an adventurous day! (Photo courtesy of Ode Brewing)

Package includes:
Customized hike or mountain bike ride, tailored to you or your group. We’ll spend 2-3 hours on the trails exploring the best parts of the park on an adventure designed just for you.
Experienced and fun guide who knows the mountains and trails and can tell you what else you’ll see out there.
Pick-up at any El Paso area hotel (or meet us at the trailhead).
Lunch/dinner and a beer flight at a great El Paso brewery.
Wander the Franklins (WTF) souvenir sticker.
Photos from the trail to remember your adventure.
Mountain bike rental available for an extra fee.
Total tour time typically five hours.
Cost:
$135 per person. Includes pick up and drop off, tour, park entrance fees, entree/beer flight/gratuity at brewery, WTF (that’s Wander the Franklins) sticker.
Rent a high quality, dual suspension mountain bike with helmet for an additional $40.
10% discount for your group of three or more.

Reservations Required. Call 915-526-1091 or reserve at GeoBettyTours.com

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We have easy hiking trails and harder ones. Just tell us what you want! (Photo by Dennis McElveen)

Don Baumgardt

About the Author

Don Baumgardt

Don Baumgardt is a long time volunteer at Franklin Mountains State Park. He is also chief adventurer at GeoBetty.com and GeoBetty Tours. The company offers online and printed maps of hiking and mountain biking routes in the area as well as guided tours.

May 24, 2017

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Visit El Paso

About the Author

Visit El Paso

Welcome to the official Visit El Paso blog, your leading source for all things El Paso!

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