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28 Things You Probably Don’t know about El Paso, Texas

Planning a trip to El Paso? This Texas border town has a wide range of things to do and, delicious food, art, museums, beautiful street art, and fun outdoor activities. But, El Paso, TX also has some interesting facts and unique things you may not know! Keep reading to see how many things you probably don’t know about El Paso, Texas!  

El Paso, Texas

Where is El Paso? El Paso is a border town, sitting at the westernmost point of West Texas and straddles the Rio Grande on the U.S.-Mexico border. El Paso has many faces and on one hand, it’s steeped in wild west history. The high desert community of El Paso, Texas was established in 1850. 

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El Paso Texas Map

El Paso, Texas

El Paso History

El Paso officially became part of the United States when Texas joined the Union in 1845. Before this El Paso was part of Mexico. The first Europeans came through the Pass of the North in 1581 and before this, indigenous peoples lived on the land and can be traced for more than 500 years.

There are many tales of Billy the Kid making his way to Texas and according to legend, freed the only man to ever escape from the old El Paso jail. These interesting facts about El Paso TX got me excited to see what else I could find about this Texas border town. 

View of El Paso, Texas

El Paso also shares a culture and history with its south of the border neighbor, Ciudad Juárez. In fact, El Paso was the city people came to visit to watch the Mexican Revolution play out just over the border in Juárez in 1911.

 

Today, El Paso is known for its large military presence that is anchored by Fort Bliss, but on the flip side has an up-and-coming culinary scene. With a growing list of top-notch restaurants, museums, and theaters this is a town worth getting to know.

Here are a few of the more interesting El Paso fun facts, in no particular order.

28 Things You Probably Don’t Know About El Paso, Texas

 

Boot factory in El Paso

1. Before El Paso was nicknamed the Sun City, El Paso, Texas was known as the Six Shooter Capital.

2. El Paso, Texas is the boot capital of the world.

3. El Paso is one of the 10 safest cities in the United States.

4. El Paso is one of the sunniest locations in the United States, with 302 days of sunshine a year.

Related Content: Top Restaurants and Foods to Try in El Paso

Tacos in El Paso

5. The first Thanksgiving took place in the United States in 1598 in the town of San Elizario in El Paso County (long before the Mayflower pilgrim-landing in 1620).

 

6. Marty Robbins’ classic Country-Western song, “El Paso” about a love-struck cowboy who guns down another in a jealous rage was inspired by a stop at Rosa’s Cantina.

7. The Wyler Aerial Tramway was the third tram built in the United States and offers a 7,000 square mile view into three states and two countries.

8. The El Paso Mission Trail dates back to 1598.

El Paso Mission Trail

9. El Paso has the only Border Patrol Museum in the U.S.

10. El Paso is home to one of the 16 Holocaust Museum’s in the United States (and the only bi-lingual Holocaust museum in the U.S.).

 

11. The Magoffin Home, which is on the National Register of Historic Places is one of the oldest adobe homes in the region.

12. The Rio Grande River is one of the longest rivers in North America and the natural border between the El Paso, Texas in the United States and Juarez, Mexico.

View of Juarez, Mexico X

13. El Paso has a gigantic manmade star on the side of Franklin Mountain that is 400 feet tall and more than 300 feet wide. It’s lit up by more than 400 light bulbs.

14. 17-year-old Elizabeth Taylor visited El Paso in 1950  before her wedding to Conrad “Nicki” Hilton, Jr. And stayed in the penthouse of El Paso’s Hilton (plaza) hotel.

 

15. The city’s landmark Plaza Hotel opened in 1930 as a Hilton by hotel mogul Conrad Hilton. Hilton hotel mogul Conrad Hilton opened his first high-rise hotel in El Paso in 1930.

16. The only jail Billy the Kid ever broke into was San Elizario Jail (when he posed as a Texas Ranger).

17. Pat Garrett was a lawman from El Paso who lives in infamy for gunning down Billy the Kid.

18. El Paso Street, the city’s first and oldest street, has seen the footsteps of Wyatt Earp, Pat Garrett, Billy the Kid, President William Howard Taft, and Pancho Villa, and was the scene of the infamous Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight in 1881.

 

19. Concordia Cemetery is home to the grave of John Wesley Hardin who died in 1895 and is said to have killed more men than Billy the Kid or Jesse James. Legend has it, he once killed a man for snoring too loud.

20. The Buffalo Soldiers memorial in Concordia Cemetery is dedicated to the black soldiers who served in the military after the Civil War.

21. There are numerous haunted places in El Paso.

22. El Paso is said to be the birthplace of everyone’s favorite tequila mistake-maker, allegedly invented at Tommy’s Place Bar in 1945. Legend has it that everyone’s favorite drink with Mexican food, the tequila-based margarita, was invented in the El Paso-Juarez region at Tommy’s Place Bar on July 4, 1945, by Francisco “Pancho” Morales.

23. El Paso is the only major city in Texas that works on Mountain Standard Time.

24. El Paso’s official slogan is “You better El Paso Up”.

25. Fort Bliss, located in El Paso is the 7th largest military complex of the United States army.

26. Las Cruces, New Mexico is only 46 miles from El Paso.

27. The westernmost point of Texas is the Franklin Mountains in El Paso. There are more than 100 miles of trails to hike or bike on this range that runs 23 miles long, and 3 miles wide and extends into New Mexico.

28. El Paso del Norte (the Pass of the North), the location of the two border cities —Ciudad Juarez on the south or right bank of the Rio Grande, and El Paso, Texas sits on the opposite side of the river.

More Fun El Paso Facts & Info

What is El Paso Known For?

The city of El Paso is called “Sun City” because on average, it has 302 days of sun every year. El Paso is known for it’s delicious Tex-Mex cuisine and because it’s a border town to Juarez, Mexico. 

El Paso Texas Zip Code Info

There are currently 26 Zip Codes in El Paso, Texas. They include 79901, 79902, 79903, 79904, 79905, 79907, 79908, 79911, 79912, 79915, 79920, 79922, 79924, 79925, 79928, 79930, 79932, 79934, 79935, 79936, 79938, 79942.

El Paso Elevation

El Paso is surrounded by the Chihuahuan Desert. It is considered the high desert and the Altitude is 3,740′.

El Paso Texas Weather

The coldest months in El Paso are from mid-November to mid-February, with an average daily high temperature below 66°F. The coldest month of the year in El Paso is December, with an average low of 35°F and high of 59°F.

The El Paso hot season lasts for from mid-May to early September, with an average daily high temperature above 89°F. The hottest month of the year in El Paso is June, with an average high of 96°F and low of 70°F.

How Big is El Paso

El Paso is located in the far western part of Texas and the city spans over 258 miles. It is the 23rd-largest city in the United States. It also lands El Paso as the sixth largest city in Texas.

El Paso Texas Population

The El Paso metro area population as of August 2022 is 974,000. The El Paso Metropolitan consists of two counties – El Paso and Hudspeth – both near the western tip of Texas.

El Paso Texas Time Zone

El Paso is in the Mountain time zone.

El Paso Texas Airport

El Paso International Airport is four miles northeast of downtown El Paso, making it very convenient for visiting.

El Paso International Airport Address: 6701 Convair Rd, El Paso, TX 79925

Where To Stay In El Paso

During my trip to El Paso, I stayed at Hotel Indigo. The boutique hotel is located in the heart of downtown El Paso. It’s an easy walk to many restaurants, bars, and landmarks.

The hotel has a very hip vibe and mixes El Paso history through a great collection of art and photography with a modern updated feel.  The 5th-floor bar is a great open-air space that looks onto the pool and skyline. 

The rooms are large and offer a great view of downtown El Paso. The hotel does a turndown service and offers a delicious breakfast, great happy hour snacks and drinks.

Things to do in El Paso Texas

I have written a full article about my favorite things to do in El Paso.


Day Trips from El Paso, Texas & Top Tours

I love to do a combination of exploring on my own as well as a few organized tours when I travel. I love to learn about the history and culture in a new location and tours with local experts is a great way to do this.

I recommend Get Your Guide because you can cancel most bookings for free up to 24 hours before they start and their customer service is available 24/7 in multiple languages. 

 

Save Big on Your El Paso Vacation

Check out the Top Tours & Day Trips from Texas

Read Reviews of the Best Hotels in El Paso on TripAdvisor 

Know more fun facts about El Paso? Please share them below in the comments!


Read More About El Paso Texas

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4 Comments

  1. Item #5 regarding about 24. Things you didnt know about el paso tx is totally wrong. In 1598, San Eliza was in .Mexico, not the usa.

  2. Well Mr. Goodbar, you are missing Alexa’s point. And interestingly likewise according to your logic are also incorrect, as Mexico was not established as a nation until 1810, so there was also not a Mexico or USA (established 1776) in 1598. Moreover, the Treaty of Guadalupe had some issues such as due to the Rio Grande meandering and moving over time the two aforementioned Nations disputed rights to some places such as San Elizario. This issue was later permanently resolved with the 1963 Chamizal Treaty.

  3. The now Bowen Ranch House is the original stop on the Butterfield trail stage.
    It was a stop over for passengers to rest and a chang if animals , the stage did not always use horses as mules were much more hearty and abundant .
    It still stands today on the working ranch.

  4. There is also one cool place in El Paso tx that you need to visit that is not here and it’s Pancho Villa stash house

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