Drop off your bags at Hotel Indigo in DTEP (Downtown El Paso). This boutique hotel was specially curated to represent El Paso with the city’s architectural influence and local art. Opened in 2016, it offers amazing views of downtown and a handful of activities (like yoga) on the fifth-floor bar and pool area. Curb your hunger down the street at the local crêperie, Crepe + Co and get ready to explore downtown. Take a stroll and head over to Famous Dave’s Pawn Shop to explore the expanse of shelves containing nostalgia, oddities and the occasional samurai sword. Continue your walk down to Rocketbuster Boots in Union Plaza, a custom boot store/factory/studio that offers some of the most artistically unique boots you can find anywhere in the world. Then grab a bike from the bike share located across from San Jacinto Plaza. Sit on the rooftop patio and watch as the sun begins to fade and the lights turn on, washing the plaza in a golden-blue glow.
On the last Thursday of every month, you can walk around downtown for a self-guided “artwalk.” Grab a map from one of the art galleries and enjoy the colorful walk. Stops on the tour include: pop-up art galleries, shops selling local goods and historic landmarks. End your night at DeadBeach Brewery. Once you walk in, you won’t want to leave anytime soon. You come for the amazing local brews, but stay for the Smoke Wagon food truck. Now, in Texas, BBQ is a way of life and we do it better than anyone. Go all out, get the 4-meat plate, extra sauce, elote and another pint. Feeling slightly more adventurous? Check out West Texas Tattoo and the Red Door Vintage shop while you are in the area. A nice “El Chuco” tattoo would look great on you.
Start the morning off right with the most important meal of the day at Crave Kitchen and Bar by the university. Order their famous chicken and waffles. From the first bite, the crunch of the batter and the rich flavor of the chicken mingles with the sweetness of the waffle syrup—welcome to taste bud heaven. After breakfast, take a stroll up the road into the historic Kern Place neighborhood and bask in the architecture of some of the oldest homes in the city. Keep track of how many historic markers you come across as well!
Continue your expedition of the 915 and head over to the Montecillo Complex. This sprawling urban development houses an eclectic mix of shops, restaurants and bars. Start with a cold pint in hand at Tin Man. This local spot is the go-to if you are looking to support Texas brews. With over 20 beers on tap they will have something that will tickle your fancy. The shop across the way, Chuco Relic, hosts art and designs from various artists around the city. Get your hands on a “Chucolandia” or a “Just the Tip” shirt, but maybe don’t wear it around grandma. Wander your way through the maze of shops and you will find yourself at Hillside Coffee and Donuts. Enjoy the sweet aromas of fresh roasted coffee beans while indulging in a homemade donut.
Then make it out to Ode Brewing Company, with a menu that covers everything from beet and blue salads, to a beef wellington benny. Grab a Senator IPA and head out onto the patio that offers a breathtaking view of the Franklin Mountain Range, and challenge your friends in some corn hole (loser buys the next round). Lastly, El Paso, being one of the oldest settlements in the region, has with it some haunted history you should definitely check out. Go on one of the many Walking Ghost Tours with Ghosts915.
There are places to be and food to eat! Lucy’s Café is an El Paso staple, and you can’t leave without having their world famous machaca plate, a favorite of celebrity chef, Aarón Sánchez. Once you’re full, book an afternoon at Operation Breakout—El Paso’s escape game—and put your mind and puzzle-solving abilities to the test. Lunchtime calls for some fish tacos at Little Shack. The name is not a faux ami—it is a small shack in the middle of a parking lot with beach and coastal city regalia hugging the walls and ceiling. One bite of the fish tacos and you are already thinking of asking for another order. Austin may have the title of “Live Music Capital,” but we are on their heels. El Paso has a host of live music venues that have seen artists such as: The Killers, Two Door Cinema Club, Green Day, and a plethora of local artists trying to make a name for themselves. Anywhere you go on a weekend night, you can find a range of different styles of music being played. From Monarch and the Prickly Elder downtown, to Love Buzz in the 5 Points District, you can get your music fix. When walking into the Prickly Elder, you will feel like you stepped into your great-grandparents’ house, but with a rock band belting out chords and riffs. The scene is a mix of backgrounds and styles, where people-watching is an activity all on its own. About 20 yards away is Monarch, another re-purposed house that offers live music, and a patio for you to enjoy the cool El Paso nights.