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Skyline of buildings in Downtown El Paso.

15 Things to Know About Living in El Paso

Considering moving to El Paso? This Lone Star State’s up-and-coming 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 15 things to know about living in El Paso!

Take Advantage of Affordable Big-City Living

A view of downtown El paso, Texas, featuring skyscrapers and a central green space. @vftlphotos

Photo via @vftlphotos

Looking for big-city living without the big-city price tag? A major selling point for those moving to El Paso is its affordability—especially when compared to other Texas cities like Dallas or Houston. The cost of housing in El Paso is 30% lower than the national average—with a median home price of about $120,000 and median monthly rent under $800. Residents living in El Paso even have a first-time homebuyer program to make owning property in Texas even more budget-friendly. Plus, with no state income tax, paychecks go a little further in Sun City.

Find Ample Job Opportunities

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

Photo via @seanseansean

Searching for jobs in El Paso? The city has a steady economy with a relatively low unemployment rate and major industries in healthcare, education, trade, and business. Seek employment at the largest employers in El Paso like Las Palmas and Del Sol Healthcare or El Paso Electric Company. Pursue a career in technology at Phillips Consumer Electronic Company. Find opportunities in the medical field at some of the best healthcare companies in El Paso like El Paso Children’s Hospital, Bienvivir, or All Ways Caring. There’s also a strong military presence in El Paso, so you can find employment with William Beaumont Army Medical Center or Fort Bliss. Or if you work in higher education, consider employment at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).

Study at El Paso Universities

A group of El Paso Community College Students walking down a set of stairs on campus. @epccnews

Photo via @epccnews

There are ample opportunities available with El Paso’s higher education options! Learn about biological sciences, criminal justice, or nursing at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). Enroll in health administration, automotive technology, or radiology management at Southwest University at El Paso. Prepare for your next career as a dental assistant, pharmacy technician, or phlebotomy technician at Pima Medical Institute. Find studies like accounting, business administration, or computer networking at Park University in Fort Bliss. Study popular programs like advanced welding technology, diesel mechanics, or technical management at Western Technical College. Or take the community college route for fire science, law enforcement, homeland security, and more at El Paso Community College.

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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!

Utilize El Paso Public Transit

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

Photo via @seanseansean

Getting around El Paso—especially in a car—is relatively easy since traffic congestion is rare. But if you’re living in El Paso without a vehicle, traveling to your destination is still possible! For public transportation options in El Paso, consider the Sun Metro bus system, which has stops in several districts throughout Sun City like downtown, South Central, Mission Valley, and more. Hitch a ride on one of six vintage El Paso Streetcars —which operate on a 4.8-mile route through Uptown and Downtown El Paso. Or soar to international destinations through El Paso International Airport.

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

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 and ten inches of rain annually, which is far below the U.S. average of 38 inches. Summers can be hot, but the rest of the year is incredibly enjoyable, so you should take advantage of the beautiful El Paso weather by getting outside! And kite enthusiasts will love living in El Paso because of the city’s average wind speed of about 9.5 mph, well within the optimal range for flying a kite.

Explore the Great Outdoors

An exterior shot of moutnains that ar green with vegetation. @tobeseus

Photo via @tobeseus

Whether you’re a professional outdoor adventurer or a casual weekend enthusiast, El Paso has an outdoor activity for everyone! Go camping or mountain biking at Franklin Mountains State Park. Study nature, have a picnic, stargaze, or rock climb at Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site, one of the best outdoor bouldering destinations in the nation. Race utility terrain vehicles across the Chihuahuan Desert’s Red Sands in El Paso. Live out your Western fantasy with El Paso Trail Rides. Stop at El Paso’s Scenic Drive for breathtaking panoramic views of downtown. Or take the family to see incredible botanical displays at El Paso Municipal Rose Garden.

Enjoy Family-Friendly Attractions

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

Photo via @elpasozoo

El Paso has plenty of family-friendly activities! See giraffes, lions, Galapagos tortoises, and more—or complete the Copper Canyon Challenge Ropes Course inside El Paso Zoo. Shop for handcrafted home goods, local artwork, and food trucks every Saturday morning at the Downtown Arts & Farmers Market. Cool off at the Splash Zone, test your puzzle-solving skills in the Escape Room, or race through the Speed Zone track at Adventure Zone. Zip around on scream-worthy rides like the Fireball, El Loco 360, Pharaoh’s Fury, or Hurricane at Western Playland Amusement Park. Hit baseballs in the batting cages, compete in laser tag, or race around the go-karting track at Bob-O’s Family Fun Center. Or crawl through the foam factory, get creative with arts and crafts, or take your kids on bumper boats at Jungle Jaks.

Support Local Performing Arts

Catch an El Paso Live show, broadway production, comedic act, and more at venues like Abraham Chavez Theatre and Plaza Theatre. See local comedians during open mic nights or in El Paso Funniest Comedy Challenge at LaughterHours Comedy. Get front-row seats to classic shows like Alice in Wonderland, The Glass Menagerie, and Dracula, or participate in acting workshops at the El Paso Playhouse. Attend free outdoor concerts from local musicians in Downtown El Paso during Alfresco! Fridays. Watch a live theatre show like The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Full Monty, or The Prom, over a meal at the UTEP Dinner Theatre. Or find your next favorite live concert performer, magician, or comedic act at the outdoor amphitheatre in McKelligon Canyon.

Celebrate El Paso’s Pride

multiple people walking down a street wearing pride color, and signs that suppor the LGBT community. @epsuncitypride

Photo via @epsuncitypride

Be loud and proud for a month of LGBTQ celebrations in El Paso! Show up for the annual PrideFest and Sunday Splash Party—the largest pool party in El Paso—during Sun City Pride. Root for the El Paso Locomotive (USL), wear Pride-themed clothes, and enjoy specials at Pride Night at El Paso Locomotive FC. Support local LGBTQ vendors and see performances from DJs, drag queens, and more at the Annual Pride Market. Enjoy outdoor entertainment, shop for crafts, and talk with healthcare professionals who are LGBTQ-affirming at the Spring Fling Fun Fair. Enter a safe space and find community resources for mental and physical health at Borderlands Rainbow Center. Or go bar-hopping in six different LGBTQ-friendly spots in Pride Square—and be sure to use the rainbow crosswalks along the way!

Check Out the El Paso Festivals

You’ll never be short on fun things to do in El Paso, especially with the many festivals happening throughout the year! Down brews from all over the country, compete in giant yard games, and munch on delicious street food at the Sun City Craft Beer Festival. Jam to local, regional, and national country artists at the Way Out West Fest—and be sure to stick around for the Chili Challenge and the Best Margarita Contest. Get your skates on, marvel at more than 400,000 holiday lights, and shop from local vendors at Winterfest. Or attend outdoor film screenings, meet regional filmmakers, and be dazzled by celebrity guests at the free Plaza Classic Film Festival.

Visit El Paso Museums

One of the best ways to experience El Paso culture is by visiting Las Plazas Arts District. View permanent exhibits like Changing Pass: People, Land & Memory or traveling exhibits like Hubble: The Space Telescope at El Paso Museum of History. Take ceramics or printmaking classes at El Paso Museum of Art. Learn about the Paquimé And The Casas Grandes Culture or wander the Chihuahuan Desert Garden & Nature Trails at El Paso Museum of Archaeology. Explore the history of the Chihuahuan Desert, walk through Desert Garden, or step into Bhutanese wonder The Lhakhang at Centennial Museum and Chihuahuan Desert Gardens. Admire collections like Western Art Gallery, Mexican Revolution, African Art Gallery, and more at the International Museum of Art. Or let your kids interact with exhibits about water conservation and desalination at TecH20.

Cheer for El Paso Sports Teams

A hockey player hitting the puck on the ice rink while looking ahead. @el_paso_rhinos

Photo via @el_paso_rhinos

Tailgate before the UTEP Miners football game at Tony the Tiger Sun Bowl stadium. See the El Paso Chihuahuas (MiLB) slide onto home plate—or stick around to watch your favorite El Paso Locomotive FC (USL) players battle it out on the pitch at Southwest University Park. Wave your foam finger and watch the El Paso Rhinos (NAHL) charge the ice at El Paso County Coliseum. Cheer on the all-women American Football team Sun City Stealth (WFA) as they score touchdown after touchdown.

Fill Up on Tex-Mex…

El Pasoans love their Tex-Mex, a combination of American and Mexican cuisines created by Tejanos (Texans of Spanish or Mexican descent). And though similar, Tex-Mex and Mexican food are not the same. Learn the difference at restaurants that serve some of the best Tex-Mex in El Paso. Stop in for breakfast Tex-Mex favorites like Huevos Rancheros, Enchiladas Montadas, or Ham & Cheese Tortas at Jalisco Cafe. Try Chile Con Queso, Fajitas, Pollo en Mole, or Flautas at L&J Cafe. Consume Carne Asada Tacos, Eggs with Chorizo, or Carnitas Tortas at El Chihuahuitas Tacos Al Pastor. Or dine on Gorditas, a Mexican Steak Sandwich, or Butterfly Jumbo Shrimp at Forti’s Mexican Elder Restaurant.

…Or Enjoy Other Popular Food in El Paso

Yes, Tex-Mex is high on El Paso’s food rankings, but there are plenty of other stars in the city’s food show. Try the Baklava Pancakes, Croissant French Toast, or Midnight Express for breakfast at Salt + Honey Bakery. Chow down on Chilean Sea Bass, Roasted Half Chicken, or Grilled & Fried Calamari at Cafe Central, one of the best restaurants in El Paso. Dig into Jalapeño Corn Bread, Smoked Spare Ribs, and Smoked Turkey at Hallelujah! BBQ. Grab a quick lunch of Greek Village Salad, Zorba Tacos, or Zino’s Fries at Zino’s Greek & Mediterranean Cuisine. Or stop in for a sweet rolled ice cream in flavors like Coco Pineapple, Chunky Taro, or Strawberry Cheesecake at Ice & Pan.

Hit the Town at Night

Need somewhere to unwind after a long week? El Paso nightlife has a little something for everyone! Jam out to live music while snacking on Fried Mushrooms at Rockhouse Bar & Grill. Pull on your cowboy boots for line dancing lessons at Little Bit Of Texas. Head over to The Briar Patch for local DJ performances, karaoke nights, dance parties, and more! Order Burro Wings, Caldo de Res, or Carnitas Pork Tips while singing your heart out with El Paso musicians at Los Bandidos de Carlos & Mickey’s. Catch a breathtaking Texas sunset from the rooftop, and enjoy signature cocktails like the Nitro Carajillo, Spiked Peach Tea, or Vara Negroni at INTL. Or sip on beverages like Left at Albuquerque, Smoke and Mirrors, or Summer Sangria with a side of Bar Nachos or Pulled Pork Tacos at Hope and Anchor.

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