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El Paso: History, Nature, Culture and 302 Days of Sunshine

Sun City certainly earns its name, but there's more to El Paso than blue skies.

By Elite Traveler

With an average of 302 days of sun annually, El Paso, Texas more than deserves its nickname of ‘Sun City.’ At the edge of the US/Mexico border, the town has a unique fusion of history, nature and culture that is best enjoyed in the warm sunshine.

Lace up your sneakers and visit Franklin Mountains State Park. The highest peak reaches 7,192 ft, and it is one of the largest urban parks in the nation at over 24,000 acres. Pack a picnic and enjoy the scenery.

Rock climbing is permitted in the park, but keen rock climbers will know that Hueco Rock Ranch hosts the annual Hueco Rock Rodeo. Considered one of the world’s best bouldering competitions, it is a beloved El Paso event. There’s competitions for all abilities, including children, and guests can sign up to attend workshops and sharpen their skills. Animal lovers should head to the El Paso Zoo, a 35-acre park with 220 species, such as the critically endangered Amur leopard and the Aruba rattlesnake.

El Paso
El Paso’s close ties with Mexico run deep / ©Shutterstock

For a bit of culture, visit the El Paso Museum of Art. Founded in 1959, it is the only accredited art museum within a 200-mile radius. It has a number of interesting permanent collections encompassing American, European, Latin American, modern and contemporary art. It also hosts events such as art classes for adults and children. Learn all about local history at the El Paso Museum of History; it has six galleries examining 400 years of border life through artifacts, photographs and videos.

Mountain road
The Franklin Mountains / ©Shutterstock

Where to sleep

Located in a stately red-brick building that dates back to 1912, Hotel Paso Del Norte oozes historic charm. The hotel underwent a careful three-year renovation and reopened in October 2020 with a bipolar ionization system to neutralize viruses and bacteria. The elegant old-world beauty still remains — check out the glass-domed ceiling in the lobby.

Where to eat

El Paso is known for lip-smackingly good Tex-Mex cuisine. Taft Diaz can be found within the Stanton House hotel; it elevates Mexican dishes to delicious new heights. Arrive hungry; the taco options are tantalizing — tempura artichoke with aioli, or the ‘sea donkey’ with shrimp and scallops. Contact 209 N Stanton Street +1 915 271 3600,

Where to fly

The latest addition to the Million Air family, the new El Paso FBO is open for business. It has 10,000 sq ft of VIP lobby space, 20,000 sq ft of hangar space, a dramatic aircraft porte-cochère, and expansive ramp space capable of supporting any aircraft type. Inside the new general aviation terminal, guests will find a refreshment bar, pilot’s lounge, snooze rooms, a state-of-the-art flight planning room and a multimedia conference room serviced with Million Air’s concierge approach to fine service.

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