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Skyline of buildings in Downtown El Paso.

11 Things to Know About Living in El Paso

Are you considering moving to El Paso? The Lone Star State’s sixth-largest city is one of the most affordable places to live in Texas and offers a robust job market, top-notch dining and culture, and excellent outdoor recreation. Check out these 11 things to know about El Paso!

Find Job Opportunities

Skyline of buildings and houses in El Paso at sunset. Photo by Instagram user @seanseansean

Photo via @seanseansean

Curious about El Paso’s job market? The city has a sturdy economy with an unemployment rate of 3.7%. More than 70 Fortune 500 companies have offices in El Paso, including AT&T, Raytheon, Verizon, Walmart, and Wells Fargo. There’s also a strong military presence in El Paso, so you can find employment with Fort Bliss or William Beaumont Army Medical Center. Of course, there’s work in higher education, too, with The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). No matter what industry or field you work in—or want to move into—you’ll find great career opportunities in El Paso!

Take Advantage of Affordable Big City Living

Looking for big city living without the big city price tag? Recognized as the city with the lowest cost of living in the U.S., El Paso’s affordability is one of area’s major selling points for new residents. With no state income tax, paychecks go a little further with the local housing market as well. In fact, the cost of housing in El Paso is 30% lower than the national average with a median home price around $119,300 and median monthly rent around $770. El Paso even has a first-time homebuyer program available through the city. So if you’re thinking of buying a home, moving to El Paso might be worth it for you!

Keep Your Car to Get Around

Skyline of cars driving on interstate. Photo by Instagram user @seanseansean

Photo via @seanseansean

If you live and work in the same area of El Paso—for example, in the downtown area—you can probably get away without owning a vehicle. But for the majority of residents, having a car while living in El Paso makes life much easier. Though the city does have a public bus system available, there isn’t a rail system to supplement it. And considering how spread out El Paso is, biking or walking might not be practical.

Soak Up the Sun in “Sun City”

Green plants with yellow and pink sunset in background. Photo by Instagram user @downtown_kb

Photo via @downtown_kb

If you love the sun, you’ll love living in El Paso! There’s a reason why the city’s nickname is “The Sun City”—it’s one of the sunniest cities in the U.S. On average, there are 297 sunny days each year in El Paso with only about ten inches of rain and three inches of snow. Though summers can be hot, the rest of the year is incredibly enjoyable, which makes outdoor recreation a regular activity for El Paso residents.

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Explore the Great Outdoors

Aerial view of mountains at sunset. Photo by Instagram user @onthe1edge

Photo via @onthe1edge

Whether you’re a professional outdoor adventurer or a casual weekend enthusiast, El Paso has an outdoor activity for everyone! Go camping, rock climbing, or bike the trails at Franklin Mountains State Park. Head out with a group to Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site, where self-guided ancient rock imagery tours are the park’s claim to fame. Experience the full beauty of El Paso on the Wyler Aerial Tramway, a cable car system that climbs high above the El Paso landscape and offers a 360-degree view of the city. Or if you’re looking for a tamer outing, check out the El Paso Municipal Rose Garden, a perfect place to take the family to see some incredible botanical displays.

Experience the Local Arts & Culture

Some of the best parts about living in El Paso are the city’s vibrant arts and entertainment attractions. Explore the El Paso Museum of History, where you’ll find exhibits dedicated to the local United States-Mexico border region. Visit the El Paso Museum of Art, the only accredited art museum within 250 miles that showcases modern art, classic works, and more. Stop by the El Paso Museum of Archaeology, where you can learn more about the area’s Paleoindian and American Indian history. Catch an El Paso Live production at venues like Abraham Chavez Theatre or Plaza Theatre, which regularly feature world-class musicians, comedians, ballets, and more. Or if you need a kid-friendly option, check out TecH20, a cool interactive learning center focused on water conservation!

Check Out the El Paso Festivals

Like trying new things? Get into El Paso’s festival scene! Grab some friends and take in the Sun City Craft Beer Festival, where you’ll find brews from all over the country, gigantic yard games, and food trucks. Jam out at the Way Out West Fest, a premier live music event showcasing local, regional, and national country music artists. Take the kids to the El Paso Ice Cream Festival to try endless ice cream flavors and enjoy fun rides and family-friendly games. Listen to live music, spend the night dancing, hop on the fun rides, and dig into the fresh-boiled seafood at El Paso Lobster Festival. Or settle in for the parade, festival, and other LGBTQ celebrations at Sun City Pride.

Enjoy Family-Friendly Attractions

Male lion sitting on the ground. Photo by Instagram user @elpasozoo

Photo via @elpasozoo

El Paso has plenty to offer in the family-friendly entertainment department! Zip around on rides all day at Western Playland Amusement Park, which is packed with scream-inducing rollercoasters and other thrilling rides. Take the kids to the El Paso Zoo to see animals like giraffes, lions, penguins, and more. Spend a Saturday morning at the Downtown Arts & Farmers Market, where you can peruse the fresh produce, find amazing handcrafted home goods, and see local artists’ work. Get out the golf clubs and play a round of 18 at Painted Dunes Desert Golf Course. Take in a UTEP Miners college football game at Sun Bowl Stadium. Or cool off on a hot summer day at Adventure Zone‘s Splash Zone!

Know the Difference Between Tex-Mex & Mexican

El Pasoans love their Tex-Mex! What is it exactly? Tex-Mex is a combination of American and Mexican cuisines that came from the Tejano people of Southern Texas, who descended from Hispanic settlers in the Southern U.S. and Mexico. Though they share similarities, Tex-Mex and Mexican food are not the same thing. Tex-Mex cuisine includes lots of cheese, beef and pork, beans, spices, and flour tortillas. Where should you go to get the best Tex-Mex in El Paso? Head to Chuy’s to sample the Famous “Big As Your Face” Burritos or house specialities like Chile Rellenos. Try the fajitas, quesadillas, and amazing salsa at L&J Cafe. Or stop in for breakfast at Jalisco Cafe, where you can order Tex-Mex favorites like Huevos Rancheros and Ham & Cheese Tortas.

Get Your Eat On

Yes, Tex-Mex is high on El Paso’s food rankings, but there are plenty of other stars in the city’s food show. Celebrate a special occasion at Cafe Central, one of the best restaurants in El Paso, where the Central Cold Seafood Platter and Double R Ranch Ribeye are tough to beat. Switch gears and chow down on some of the best BBQ in El Paso at The County Line, known for their Big Daddy Beef Rib Platter. Grab a quick lunch with the Greek Salad or Zorba Tacos at Zino’s Greek & Mediterranean Cuisine. Stop in at Ice and Pan, a rolled ice cream shop that offers fresh flavors like Coco Pineapple and Chunky Taro. Or try the Baklava Pancakes and Croissant French Toast for breakfast at Salt + Honey Bakery.

Hit the Town at Night

Need somewhere to unwind after a long week? You’re in luck! El Paso’s nightlife has a little something for everyone! Jam out at Rockhouse Bar & Grill, a live music venue and bar known for its great rock shows. Want to be the entertainment? Head to Coconuts, a laid-back bar known for its karaoke, open mic nights, and massive margaritas. Maybe you’re in the mood for a stiff dive bar cocktail? Check out Monarch, a relaxing spot with a nice patio for chilling on summer nights. Dance the night away at LQ New York, a Puerto Rican-themed club where the Spicy Margarita is a hit. But where do you go to find the best margarita in El Paso (which is the home of this classic cocktail)? Carlos & Mickey’s has what you need. This restaurant and bar is known for their oversized traditional and frozen lime signature margaritas!


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