Trip Ideas

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10 Things not to Miss in El Paso

10 Things not to Miss in El Paso

Zin Valle Vineyards
Zin Valle Vineyards
7315 Highway 28
915-877-4544 

Situated in the valley of the Rio Grande, the back road of Highway 28 leads visitors to locally owned and operated Zin Valle Vineyards, El Paso’s only vineyard and winery. They offer several different varietals from their estate vineyards as well as wines from California and Europe. Spend the day at Zin Valle and experience their complementary wine tasting, venture into the barrel room or simply enjoy a glass or bottle of wine on the patio or picnic while looking over the Zinfandel vineyard and the Franklin Mountains. For a unique experience visit the Vineyard on Sunday afternoons and enjoy the sounds of live music provided by local musicians. Bring a picnic, family and friends and enjoy the day in what was once one of the country’s premier wine regions.

Magoffin Home State Historic Site
Magoffin Home State Historic Site
1120 Magoffin Ave.
915-533-5147 

A striking adobe structure, Magoffin Home State Historic Site explores the stories of a multicultural family who actively participated in U.S. expansion and settlement, military service, trade on the Santa Fe–Chihuahua Trail, Civil War turmoil, and U.S.–Mexico relations. Built in 1875 for pioneer, politician, and civic leader Joseph Magoffin, the nineteen-room adobe home containing original family furnishings is El Paso’s only historic house museum and a prime example of Territorial style architecture.

Wyler Aerial Tramway
Wyler Aerial Tramway
1700 McKinley Ave.
915-566-6622 

When there is a time crunch, considering a gondola-ride alternative would be an excellent choice to appease a need for jaw-dropping scenic views. The Wyler Aerial Tramway pulls passengers in cable cars to one of the mountain’s look-out peaks in just four minutes. Visitors from all over the world can view two countries and three states as well as 7,000-square miles worth of territory from Ranger Peak. In 1959, a local broadcast pioneer, Carol O. Wyler, built the tramway to service a future transmitter antenna so that he could haul construction materials and workers to the top as he built the platform and tower. After falling in love with the beauty and splendor of the transmitter’s top-of-the world view, he opened it up to public access from 1960 to 1986 while simultaneously servicing his tower until the tramway closed. In 1997 however, the tramway was donated to Texas State Parks and reopened with renovated Swiss-made tram cars. So much can be seen from this vista including White Sands, Sierra Blanca Peak, and one of El Paso’s most notable Texas state parks, Hueco Tanks.

Butterfield Trail Golf Club
Butterfield Trail Golf Club
1858 Cottonwood Drive
915-780-5278 

Designed by world renowned architect Tom Fazio, this beautiful course is sure to meet all your golfing needs. The spacious 8, 800 square foot club house located north of the 18th hole features indoor and outdoor patio seating which can accommodate large groups. Guests can enjoy the Salida del Sol Restaurant which features a full service restaurant and bar in a comfortable and friendly seating. The History of Butterfield Trail dates back to 1858 when the Butterfield Overland Mail Company operated for three years carrying mail and passengers across the country from Missouri to San Francisco. Part of the original trail used still runs through the Butterfield Trail golf course property today, thus providing the perfect name for this emerald gem.

Historic Plaza Theatre
Historic Plaza Theatre
1 Pioneer Plaza
915-534-0600 

Dating back to the late 1920’s the Plaza Theatre re-opened its doors in 2002. It’s size, elaborate decor, and technical innovations certainly separate this atmospheric theatres from others. No expense was spared in creating this elaborate building, designed in Spanish Colonial Revival style of architecture. While the exterior facade was designed to be reminiscent of a Spanish mission-style parapet, patrons will be in awe by the interior, with its intricately painted ceilings, mosaic-tiled floors, decorative metal railings and sconces and, to heighten the effect, antique furnishings. With such grandiose rococo design, it is no wonder the Plaza was once known as The Showplace of the Southwest. Perhaps most impressive of all is the $60,000 Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, elevating from the orchestra pit to accompany vaudeville shows, sing-a-longs, and to entertain patrons before and after films. Home to El Paso’s Broadway Series and a variety of concerts and show, the Plaza Theatre is certainly worth a visit. In addition, the theatre holds weekly tours, open to the public on Tuesday’s at 12:00 PM. For additional information regarding shows and tours contact 915-534-0600.

El Paso's Mission Trail & Visitor Center
El Paso's Mission Trail & Visitor Center
9065 Alameda Avenue
915-851-9997 

Located in El Paso’s Lower Valley this Trail is rich in history dating back 400 years. Sure to take your breath away these three adobe churches remain as living testaments to the faith of our Spanish and Indian ancestors. Established in 1862 the Ysleta Mission is the cornerstone of the Ysleta del Sur Indian Pueblo. Two miles east lay the Socorro Mission. The architecture of this mission reflects the culture, politics and insurmountable spirit of the early settlers of this vibrant town. Established in 1789 the San Elizario Chapel is an amazing paragon of late adobe church architecture in West Texas and New Mexico. It is an exquisite reflection of European architectural styles on the earlier, simpler box-like missions of the region.

Concordia Cemetery
Concordia Cemetery
3700 E. Yandell Dr.
915-842-8200  
 

This Texas State Historic site is known as El Paso’s Boot Hill where over 60,000 have been buried. Amongst them are famous gunfighter John Wesley Hardin. This well-known outlaw was said to have more than thirty notches on his gun, evidence that no more dangerous gunman ever operated in Texas. So, don’t be afraid to go down to explore and snap a few pictures of the historic tombstones as well as sites like the Buffalo Soldier Memorial.

Chamizal National Memorial
Chamizal National Memorial
800 S. San Marcial St.
915-532-7273 

A unit of the National Park Service, the Chamizal National Memorial commemorates the 1963 Chamizal treaty that ended a century-old boundary dispute between the United States and Mexico caused by a change in the course of the Rio Grande. The memorial includes a museum, theatre and art galleries, and hosts many festivals and special events throughout the year. Admission is free.

Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site
Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site
6900 Hueco Tanks Road #1
915-857-1135 

Seen as a paradise for world-class climbing and archeological research, Hueco Tanks encompasses three low mountains that rise 6,787 feet above sea level. Its structure once sheltered tribes such as the Jornada Mogollan People, Mescalero Apaches and Tigua Indians, giving them a stronghold. Here, thousands of rock and cave paintings of masks and stories can be observed. The famous structure of this arroyo provides unique hollows, or huecos, that capture rainwater. For a dry and weary land, Hueco Tanks can hold pockets of water for months at a time while the Chihuahua Desert lays baked. Known as the best spot for bouldering in the world, the ideal time to visit is November through March when it is not as hot.

Franklin Mountains State Park
Franklin Mountains State Park
Transmountain Rd./Woodrow Bean
915-566-6441 

This high-desert mountain allows outdoor enthusiasts of all skill levels to explore almost 27,000 acres on over 100 miles of trails. Sitting in the center of the city, a trip to the park is never more than a 15 minute drive from any part of town. For the best view in town, hike your way up to North Franklin Peak, the highest peak in the park at 7,192 feet. With over 2,000 feet of elevation gain from the trailhead to the top, this is certainly a rite of passage for many hikers. Camping and guided hiking and biking tours available.


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