According to the 2015 U.S. Tourism Quality Performance Report, El Paso ranked 11th out of 121 cities as one of the top American cities to visit.
Cities were judged on the following six categories: culture, entertainment, sightseeing, sports/adventure, culinary and lodging. Some cities El Paso was behind include: Chicago, New York City and Los Angeles. I decided to do a top 10 list on why I think tourists visit El Paso.
10. The El Paso Chihuahuas- As of last year, El Paso earned the minor league baseball team. The newly built stadium is beautiful and located in downtown El Paso. The Chihuahuas staff markets games and activities for military families, pet owners, the gay and lesbian communities, etc.
9. Bowling Tournament- El Paso hosted the USBC Open Tournaments from March until July. Bowlers from around the country gathered to bowl in downtown El Paso’s Convention Center.
8. Ciudad Juarez, Mexico- Although Juarez is still considered dangerous, tourists and El Pasoans continue to visit the city. The reasons may include: Visiting family, eating authentic Mexican food, shopping, attending a concert, going to a doctor or dentist appointment or all of the above. Juarez is a 30-45 minute drive away from El Paso.
7. Wine festivals- El Paso is also very close to Las Cruces, New Mexico (a 45- minute to one hour drive.). Las Cruces hosts a Memorial and Labor Day weekend wine festival every year. The festivals feature wines from around New Mexico. Local musicians and entertainment from El Paso, Las Cruces and other New Mexican cities perform.
6. The Hyundai Sun Bowl- Every December, El Paso hosts the college football game at the University of Texas-El Paso. This year’s game will be played on December 26. The game is televised nationwide. The game features teams from the ACC and PAC-12 conferences.
5. Amusement and Water Park – El Paso is close to Wet N Wild Waterworld and Western Playland. The parks are located in Anthony, Texas and Sunland Park, New Mexico…which leads me to my number 4 reason.
4. Casinos – El Paso is home to Speaking Rock and very close to Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino. Sunland Park Casino will soon open its own hotel. Speaking Rock Entertainment features numerous concerts and events.
3. Shopping- El Paso has numerous malls and stores to shop at. I recommend: Cielo Vista Mall (there’s an Apple Store, Coach, Macy’s, Dillard’s, JC Penney, etc.), Bassett Place (there’s a Target, Kohls, New York and Company, I-Max Theater and soon a Dave & Buster’s arcade/ restaurant ), The Outlet Shoppes at El Paso (there’s a Tommy Hilfiger, Coach, Guess, Nike, Reebok and tons of other stores!). We also have numerous clothing and shoe stores downtown, along with The Fountains at Farah Mall (the mall features a T.J. Maxx, Nordstrom Racks and various restaurants).
2. Concerts/Shows- El Paso has had a lot of great concerts and events this year! Some I enjoyed or would’ve liked attending: The Eagles, Cirque de Soleil, Wicked, the Plaza Theatre yearly Film Festival, Pitbull with Enrique Iglesias, Marilyn Manson, Godsmack, Neon Desert Music Festival and Sun City Music Fest.
El Paso is known as one of the safest and friendliest cities in America 🙂
1. Food! If you don’t want to go to Juarez, El Paso has some of the best tasting authentic Mexican food! My favorite Mexican restaurant is Carlos and Mickey’s. I usually order red enchiladas or flautas (rolled beef tacos). The margaritas from here are amazing! Chicos Tacos isn’t really Mexican food. They are well-known for their ground beef rolled tacos soaked in tomato sauce and bright orange cheese. If Mexican food isn’t your thing, I recommend Grimaldi ‘ s Pizzeria, Nona’s Pizza and The State Line brisket (this is very close to Sunland Park Casino.).