|Destination Airport IATA Code||ELP|
|Destination City Name||El Paso|
On the border between Texas and Mexico, on the banks of the Rio Grande, lies El Paso, a city where two cultures collide. It might be off the beaten track but El Paso is a city on the up, with friendly locals, killer Tex Mex food and plenty more to offer.
Nicknamed Sun City, El Paso has more than 250 days of sunshine a year, and this desert city offers an oasis of culture with museums including the impressive El Paso Museum of Archaeology and botanical gardens.
There is plenty to do outdoors as well. El Paso boasts the largest urban park in the US with hiking and cycling routes and the Hueco Tanks State Park is a great place to explore.
The summers in El Paso are hot: temperatures hit 100°F in June. It is cooler in spring and fall and this can be the best time to visit, but it makes sense to plan ahead at these popular times of year. There can also be dust storms in the spring. Winter can be chilly, with the chance of frost and even snow.
There are events throughout the year that can increase demand for flights, including the El Paso Rodeo in June, the Texas Showdown tattoo and music festival in July and the Sun City Music Festival in September.
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Optimal flight times from US cities to El Paso include:
El Paso International Airport is just six miles from downtown El Paso. It’s an important gateway between the US and Mexico and handles three million passengers a year. Its location on the border means it is well served with flights from around the country.
Although the passenger terminal is not large compared to the huge cargo area it has a good selection of food outlets. There are plenty of car rental options at the airport, and buses and taxis can take you into the city center.
The airlines that fly to El Paso form US cities include:
Public transport is somewhat limited, but it’s possible to walk between many of the downtown attractions. Sun Metro buses operate around the city and airport. There is also a free ‘circulator’ service that operates in the downtown area during the day. A streetcar system between downtown and the University of Texas at El Paso is under construction.
The best way to explore beyond the city center is by hire car, and there are plenty of options at the airport.
El Paso offers great hiking. Head to the Franklin Mountains State Park, the largest urban park in the US spread over 24,000 acres. Here there are biking and cycling trails, rock climbing routes and plenty of wildlife.
Visit Hueco Tanks State Park to admire the rock formations and Native American markings.
The National Border Patrol Museum honors the work of the US Border Patrol from the days of the Old West to the modern era.
To learn about life before the arrival of Europeans head to the El Paso Museum of Archaeology. The area around El Paso has been populated since ancient times and there are fascinating artefacts and displays about the local history.
You can’t get more Tex Mex than El Paso, so find time to enjoy the local tacos, fajitas, enchiladas and ribs.
Don’t forget your passport, you might be tempted to cross the border to Mexico and spend a few hours exploring the markets and plazas of Juarez on the other side of the Rio Grande.
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