El Paso, TX

I describe El Paso as a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet.  It is crusted with history, rugged outdoors, seasoned personalities, and delectable food.

If you’re in town, I recommend starting off by learning about the culture of this “Boot Capital of the World.”  For history, start at the Magoffin Home, an 1874 adobe house built by the 4-time mayor of El Paso.  I don’t know of any other adobe homes in Texas that rival the interesting beauty of this one.  Next, trace your steps to the Wild West side of town and visit the historic Concordia Cemetery, holding the graves of the famous and infamous of El Paso, including gunslinger John Wesley Hardin.  Finally, for the modern culture of El Paso, learn about its boot-making heritage by visiting one of the Lucchese or Tony Llama stores.  And to see custom boots unlike any other, head to Rocketbuster Boots where they make custom boots that are basically art for your feet.

Being a border town, the influence of El Paso’s sister city of Juarez is everywhere.  You can see the Texas-Mexico line yourself at Border Monument Number 1.  Or you can simply eat your way through Mexican culture at one of the many AMAZING Mexican food restaurants all over town.  I highly recommend L&J Cafe where you can eat the same green sauce enchiladas they have been serving since 1927.  Or you can follow the masses of locals that swear by Chicos Tacos, a fast-food, rolled-taco joint serving up the most addictive food in the city.

If you’re like me, you’ll want to enjoy the natural side of town, so head to Franklin Mountains State Park and enjoy some of this amazing mountain range considered to be the southern-most tip of the Rocky Mountains.  A hike to the Aztec Caves is well worth the effort, or you can take the easy way up and enjoy the mountains (and city) from 5,632 feet high atop the Wyler Aerial Tramway.  Which is a must-stop on any trip to El Paso!