El Paso

For other places with the same name, see El Paso (disambiguation).
El Paso skyline

El Paso is the sixth largest city in Texas, on the United States-Mexico border. The city on the other side of the border is Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua. El Paso is often called the Sun City. Collectively, the city of El Paso and other nearby cities, such as Juarez and Las Cruces, New Mexico are referred to as The Borderland.

Understand

Spanish for Travelers

The Spanish language is an important part of life to El Pasoans. It's not always necessary to know Spanish, but it can help in some situations! To say yes is Si, No is No. Gracias is thank you in Spanish. Given that Spanish tends to be a more formal language than English, you will be even better received if can manage "Si/no, señor/señora/señorita" ("Yes/no, sir/ma'am/miss"), and "No, gracias" ("No, thank you"), rather than a curt "Si" or "no." To ask for the restroom, say ¿Dónde está el baño?. When asking for directions, you might need a mapa, or map. The calle or street you are looking for may be izquierda (left) or derecha (right). You may want to take an autobus which is cerca de la plaza, or the bus is near the town square.

And if all else fails, and communication is at a stand still, smile and say Lo siento. No hablo Español.

El Paso is geographically divided into several parts with the Franklin Mountains and Fort Bliss cutting the city into distinct sections. Each area has its own style and culture.

History

El Paso was formerly known as El Paso del Norte (The Pass of the North) and was named by Spanish travelers in 1581. The area wasn't colonized by Europeans until 1598 when Don Juan de Oñate led an expedition into the territory. In 1848, El Paso formally became part of the United States and a military post was erected there which eventually became Fort Bliss. The city was actually incorporated in 1873. El Paso Public Library was the first Public Library in Texas.

Talk

El Paso is a diverse community featuring many different kinds of people. The largest language spoken at home is Spanish, followed by English. Many older El Pasoans speak Spanish regularly in public and it is helpful, although usually not necessary, to understand the language.

Climate

 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
 
Daily highs (°F) 57 63 70 79 87 96 95 93 88 79 66 58
Nightly lows (°F) 31 35 41 49 58 66 70 68 62 50 38 32
Precipitation (in) 0.4 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.3 0.7 1.6 1.5 1.4 0.7 0.3 0.6

El Paso is part of the Chihuahuan Desert. It receives on average about 8.5 inches of rainfall a year. The sky is usually clear and cloud-free. Summer temperatures can reach 100°F (37.7°C) or more. Winter rarely sees snow and temperatures drop to around 40 or 50°F. During periods of rain, flash flooding can occur.

Get in

By plane

By car

By bus

By train

Amtrak services El Paso with the tri-weekly Sunset Limited, running between Los Angeles and New Orleans, and the Texas Eagle from Chicago.   El Paso Union Depot is located Downtown.

Get around

By car

This may be the easiest way to see what El Paso has to offer. Since many sites of interest are quite far apart from one another, renting a car may afford visitors the most flexibility. Cars can be easily rented at the Airport or on Fort Bliss.

By taxi

Must be called for pickup in most areas.

By bus

By trolley

Historic tours by trolley.

By foot

Once a traveler has reached certain destinations, walking will suffice. Much of what can be seen in the Downtown and UTEP area is easily accessed by pedestrians, for example. Because of the high temperatures it is not very recommendable to walk during summer.

See

El Paso museum of art
UTEP Sun Bowl Stadium

Museums and Art galleries

Theatre

Sports

Rio Bravo, border river towards Ciudad Juarez

Do

Scenic routes and treks

Walking tours

A number of walking tours of various parts of El Paso are available.

Buy

Have a look over the military surplus stores near Fort Bliss.

Eat

The following foods are popular in El Paso, but not necessarily recommended for everyone.

Drink

The legal drinking age in Texas, like all of the United States, is 21. However across the border in Mexico, the drinking age is set at 18.

The original Margarita recipe was invented in Ciudad Juarez-El Paso region (where Dos Lunas is headquartered) on July 4, 1942 by Francisco "Pancho" Morales. Morales was a bartender at a bar named Tommy's Place, according to The Old Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide (a book that professional and home bartenders alike call the "Bible of Booze"). Morales improvised the drink after a customer ordered a Magnolia, a drink recipe that he did not know, other than the fact that it contained Cointreau. The drink's popularity immediately grew after Morales, who was an instructor at the local bartender's school, began teaching the Margarita recipe to his students. The name Margarita is Spanish for "daisy."

El Paso has a very active nightlife that has something for everyone.

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

El Paso is rated the 2nd Most Safe City in the United States for its size. San Diego took the first spot. All records are based on latest FBI reports.

Most of El Paso is safe from violent crime, and El Paso has a very low murder rate for a large American city. El Paso is generally very quiet and peaceful during the daytime, take normal precautions at night. Areas to avoid at night may include near the international bridges, but curfews on both sides of the border have cut down on the number of aggressive, intoxicated juveniles at night.

El Paso is also has a good neighbor atmosphere, and is a military friendly city.

Environmental Dangers

Emergencies

911 will connect travelers with assistance.

Hospitals with 24 hr Emergency Rooms

Please remember that in the United States health care is private and going to an emergency room can be very expensive if the traveler does not have health insurance.

Veterinary Hospitals that run 24 hr emergency rooms are also extremely expensive. This is the sort of place you might take your sick or injured pet if they are seriously injured and cannot wait for medical care.

Cope

Consulates

Go next

Don't think that just because El Paso is in Texas, the rest of the state is close at hand. El Paso is actually closer to the beaches of Southern California, than it is to Eastern Texas. Be sure to check driving times and distances before exploring other places in the state. For example, Houston is 745 miles or 1,200 km via I-10.

If you must be somewhere at a certain time, don't forget the rest of Texas (except adjacent Hudspeth County and the Guadalupe Mountains) is one hour ahead (Central Time Zone). With the long driving distances and losing an hour, it can be a challenge to stay on schedule.

Routes through El Paso

Tucson Deming  W  E  Alpine San Antonio
Tucson Las Cruces  N  S  Van Horn San Antonio
END  N  S  → becomes JuarezChihuahua
END  W  E  Guadalupe Mountains N.P. Carlsbad
Deming Las Cruces  W  E  Guadalupe Mountains N.P. Carlsbad
San Jerónimo Santa Teresa ← becomes  W  E  END


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, December 20, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.