Things to do / Travel Guide
El Paso & Western Texas Getaways
A very isolated, Mexican-flavored, corner of America with few roads and few visitors. The region's defining features are the Rio Grande and the High and Low deserts, offering hiking and biking, where you can explore remote wilderness areas. You can visit the unique white Gypsum "sands" and the impressive (and very accessible) caves in the area. Refuel and enjoy some small city life in El Paso, Texas before continuing on with your Western Texas and Southern New Mexico getaway. After a whole day driving across Texas, you may think you have hit El Paso, New Mexico. Not yet - you are still in Texas.
Texas Tourist Attractions
Two of the main tourist attractions in this region of Texas are Big Bend National Park and the city of El Paso.
Big Bend National Park, another of the big attractions and is located just at the Texas-Mexico border. The park is extremely popular amongst lone adventurists and families alike as it provides a huge range of activities, appropriate for any and all ages. There's the Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive, the hikes to view vistas of the Chihuahuan Desert, a hike in Santa Elena Canyon, white water rafting down the Rio Grande, biking trails, horseback riding, kayaking, and even some bubbling hot springs in the historic district of the park. It's basically your year-round outdoors family playground.
El Paso Tourist Attractions
Here's a city that attracts tourists from Texas, New Mexico, and Mexico since it pretty much straddles (or close to it) all three. And when you head over to El Paso, Texas, you'll immediately see the cross-cultural blend of American and Mexican flavors—whether it's in the food, the music, the language, or the friendly, diverse people who welcome you into their town.
In terms of things to do in El Paso, you've got your pick. It serves as a great place to refuel after being on the road for a long time—you'll find your grocery stores, shopping malls, hotels, amusement parks, museums, and pretty much any other city convenience that you may need for the rest of your journey. Kids will enjoy the Insights El Paso Science Museum, the El Paso Zoo, and Western Playland—don't you think they deserve it after all that hiking?
New Mexico Tourist Attractions
The sites in New Mexico are definitely worth a detour from your Western Texas adventure. In New Mexico, the Carlsbad Canyon and White Sands are the top tourist attractions.
The Carlsbad Caverns, and its underground network of caves, is located in the Guadalupe Mountains. The caves and fascinating rock formations have been developing for about 500,000 years. The caves are loaded with stalactites, stalagmites and…bats. Lots of bats. And believe it or not, the bats are actually a huge draw for many tourists.
White Sands is another popular vacation spot for travelers to this southern section of New Mexico. The attraction of the White Sands National Monument are—you guessed it!—the white sands. Located near the Tularosa Basin, these huge white sand dunes are truly a remarkable work of natural beauty. And since the wind is constantly changing the shape and direction of these dunes (which, by the way are part of the largest gypsum dune field in the world), you can visit the White Sands over and over again and the scenery will each time be just a little bit different. So grab a toboggan or a sled and enjoy some warm weather, snow-free sledding!
Still haven't gotten your fill of Southern New Mexico? The small city of Roswell is always willing to accept visitors—even visitors from light years away….
Other New Mexico hot spots include the college town and festival-filled Silver City; the semi-ghost town in the middle of the Black Mountain Range, Hillsboro; the old frontier town Mesilla; and the home of Billy the Kid, Lincoln, New Mexico.
El Paso, Texas Road Trip Getaway Planner
The most popular attractions, Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, and Big Bend National Park can be seen in a few hours apiece. Taking in the desert and mountain sights will take a few more days. The area is remote and there is little tourist infrastructure. One thing to remember when traveling through this region is that it is big. No, it is bigger than big; it's gigantic. Look at a map of West Texas and see for yourself. For example, a Houston to El Paso road trip, is about as far as from Houston to the Florida Panhandle, or Nashville, TN. In other words, it's far. You are, however, just a stone's throw away from Mexico.
Tourist Attractions and Highlights in El Paso, Carlsbad, Big Bend, Western TX and Southern NM