Visit El Paso.

While this spread-out city has much to explore, start things out in downtown El Paso at San Jacinto Plaza. Long-known as the happening, central plaza of the city, this bustling area is filled with locals who stop by the park for a bite or a moment of respite in the plaza’s abundant outdoor seating. Travelers can cool off or snap a picture near the plaza’s centerpiece fountain—which at one time held live alligators. Today, though, there’s merely a statue built in tribute to those gators and the enduring local nickname “La Plaza de los Lagartos,” or Alligator Plaza.

Right around the corner, visitors can enjoy some of the city’s finest cultural institutions. The El Paso Museum of Art houses more than enough to keep art buffs busy for an afternoon. Explore a formidable collection of early modern European art as well as an impressive display of contemporary pieces from artists in the surrounding Southwestern United States. Visitors can take in more of the region’s history at the nearby El Paso Museum of History. Recently constructed, this city-run museum features 44,000 square feet of exhibits covering over 400 years of history, with a focus on the goings-on of the U.S.-Mexico border.

These indoor attractions can be balanced with outdoor adventures. In northern El Paso is Franklin Mountains State Park, the largest urban park in the U.S. It offers ample hiking trails among its 24,000-plus acres that range from easy out-and-backs to strenuous summits—and many of these come complete with arresting views of the city below. Head a little further north, just across the New Mexico border, and you’ll run into stunning White Sands National Park. One of the nation’s newest national parks, it won’t take long to understand why this place ought to be preserved. The park’s 275 square miles of desert are filled with bright white gypsum sand dunes that possess an almost otherworldly beauty, certain to leave a lasting impression.

Of course, the New Mexico border is not the only one you can cross while you’re here. Passport-holders can make their way into Mexico from El Paso and enjoy a visit to Ciudad Juarez, Mexico’s fifth-largest city. But no matter which side of things you decide to see, Southwest® can get you there with ease. Explore affordable flights into El Paso International Airport and start plotting your itinerary today. Book your flight and see what else your trip with us has in store by learning about the Southwest® Experience.

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Things to do in El Paso.

Pristine parklands
  • Franklin Mountains State Park
  • Guadalupe Mountains National Park
  • White Sands National Park
Enriching outings
  • Chamizal National Memorial
  • El Paso Museum of Art
  • El Paso Museum of History
Neighborhoods to explore
  • Downtown El Paso
  • El Segundo Barrio
  • Kern Place