Hip and magnetic, El Paso, Texas, is one of the country’s most interesting and culturally rich cities. An open-minded place with lots of things to do, the Sun City is perfect for travelers looking for meaningful experiences—from enjoying local cuisine and long hikes to public art and yoga.
El Paso is a diverse destination overflowing with sensory delights just waiting to be savored. This millennial’s playground welcomes visitors with its many festivals, innovative culinary scene, and friendly people.
Explore the Sights, Sounds, and Sips of Downtown El Paso
If El Paso was your new home for the weekend, Downtown El Paso would be this vibrant city’s cozy living room. Comfortable, friendly, and full of activity, downtown is home to numerous gathering places, events, casual restaurants, cultural sites, and things to do.
A must-see is San Jacinto Plaza, the lively town square that saw a major overhaul in 2014. Enjoy its tree-lined pathways, shaded seating, public ping pong, chess games, and 16 historic markers that bring the city’s fascinating heritage to life. The park’s best-known feature is the contemporary sculpture, Los Lagartos, which commemorates the real alligators once kept in its pond.
One of downtown’s most popular events for young adults is the Sun City Craft Beer Festival, El Paso’s original and largest craft beer festival. Held annually at the El Paso Convention Center, this spirited festival offers more than 170 different brews and ciders, along with live music, a game zone, and beer-related art. Things are getting pretty hoppy around here!
Find Your Flow in El Paso’s Yoga Scene
In need of some mind-body renewal? Yoga has exploded in recent years in El Paso, inviting anyone, regardless of fitness level or experience, to feel the life changing benefits of this ancient practice. El Paso’s many yoga studios offer a variety of different yoga types, including hot yoga, yoga pilates, vinyasa, power flow, bikyasa, restorative hatha, kurunta (rope wall) yoga, and many others.
You can even find goat yoga, featuring cute baby goats eager for snuggles. One might even perch atop your back during cat-cow pose if you’re lucky! Some studios also feature meditation, life coaching, and other wellness workshops to help you live your best life.
Test Your Mettle on El Paso’s Hiking Trails
Stretch your legs and experience the awe-inspiring beauty of El Paso’s many scenic hiking trails. The city’s fascinating topography, a combination of desert and mountains, yields a big variety of trail experiences, from rugged switchbacks to gentle paths.
Visitors love Franklin Mountains State Park, considered one the country’s largest urban parks since it lies entirely within the city limits. The park features numerous hiking trails as well as rock climbing in the designated areas of McKelligon Canyon and Sneed’s Cory. Pitch your tent or hook up your RV for an overnight stay.
Another favorite among hikers and climbers is Hueco Tanks, a world-class bouldering and rock-climbing retreat. Take on the North Mountain to test your bouldering skills or hire a guide to experience the park’s other sites. The area is awash in ancient pictographs, rock paintings left by Native American tribes.
Pack your supplies, bring your binoculars, and strap on your boots for Instagram-worthy hikes like you’ve never seen.
Sink Your Teeth into El Paso’s Stylish Dining Scene
Inventive, global cuisine, traditional tacos, Texas-sized steaks, and American fusion are just the start of the many different culinary experiences El Paso offers. Check out Lola Rose, a hip Spanish and Mediterranean-inspired eatery located in a newly developed part of the city’s Westside neighborhood. It’s a great place to order tapas-style sharables.
El Charlatan Taqueria y Ramen-ya embodies El Paso’s wildly diverse culture with a menu that marries traditional tacos with ramen, the personal passion of founder and 2023 James Beard Award nominee, Enrique Lozano. For a taste of the upscale, experience Casa Pantera in El Paso’s Five Points, where a wood burning grill prepares sumptuous seafood, tomahawk steaks, and more.
Coffee culture is a big part of life in El Paso, attracting friendly people looking for fair trade sips and meaningful connections. Sample specialty coffee drinks and pastries at District Coffee downtown, and enjoy beverages made with organic beans sourced from Mexico at the family-owned, Kaffa.
Experience Vibrant Art & Entertainment
When you experience El Paso’s local arts scene, you put your finger on its energetic pulse. Hear live music, see fine art and grassroots art, and catch a show at the historic Plaza Theatre.
Music lovers won’t want to miss an evening at the Lowbrow Palace, where live bands play in a hip setting that includes both indoor and outdoor spaces. The Lowbrow also throws plenty of themed events too, like millennial favorite, the ever-popular Emo Night.
For inspiring public art, check out the El Segundo Barrio Murals, where dozens of masterfully illustrated murals adorn the buildings in a historic neighborhood that provides a window into the El Paso-lived experience. Stroll through the El Paso Museum of Art to see more than 7,000 works from the Byzantine era to the present, including an impressive collection of Renaissance and Baroque pieces.
Journey through the city’s downtown and uptown neighborhoods on one of several refurbished vintage street cars painted in the original color palette from the eras in which they originally ran. Hop aboard and soak in the vibe! El Paso is a city that embraces art with real flair.
Find Fun, Funky, & Affordable Accommodations
El Paso features a variety of places to stay, and it’s especially known for trendy, historic downtown hotels. Stanton House appeals to those who like a storied structure. The building, home to an edgy 42-room boutique hotel, was once a furniture warehouse built during El Paso’s turn of the century boom. The repurposed space is a favorite gathering place and includes the upmarket restaurant, Taft-Diaz, and a full-service spa.
Located in the Downtown Arts District, The Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park is situated in an art deco building and is an iconic part of the El Paso skyline. The stylish spot features a rooftop bar with magnificent views across the city and into nearby Mexico and New Mexico.
The historic Hotel Paso del Norte is conveniently located near many downtown amenities. Savor international cuisine at its 1700° Restaurant and enjoy a craft cocktail at the Dome Bar. The city also includes numerous chain hotels that offer a range of price points to fit every budget.
With its tapestry of perspectives, sights, sounds, and flavors, El Paso is a must for travelers, especially millennials, who crave authenticity. Check out Visit El Paso for more tips on planning the perfect El Paso getaway.