For an alternative Texas experience, consider El Paso. Located far from the bright lights of Dallas or San Antonio, in the state’s western corner along the sparkling shores of the Rio Grande, El Paso boasts a different feel than its eastern counterparts. A true melting pot of American and Mexican culture, the combination is noticeable everywhere. Visit the El Paso Museum of Art and see American works from the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as Mexican colonial art and retablos from the 1700s and 1800s. Restaurants serve authentic Mexican cuisine, Texas barbecue or a little of both. While this fusion of cultures draws some, the rock climbers who descend on El Paso have only one thing in mind: scaling the massive boulders of Hueco Tanks State Park. Those who prefer the ground can wander through the park’s interpretive center and see ancient Indian pictographs. Other popular El Paso pastimes include golf, mountain biking and our personal favorite, stargazing. El Paso is located at the western tip of Texas, where Texas, New Mexico and Old Mexico meet. It is the largest international metroplex in the world and seamlessly blends cultures and traditions: from the historic Old West to the colors of Mexico, from the heritage of Native Americans to the beauty of our desert sun.
El Paso has long been discovered. Since the early days when Spanish Conquistadors arrived at the banks of the Rio Grande in 1598, to today, with the millions of visitors who come here on a yearly basis.
What’s it like to live in El Paso, TX?
It’s easy to write off El Paso, Texas, as another Southern cow town. Sure, you’ll find an overwhelming number of steakhouses here, and you’re bound to come across someone sporting a wide-brimmed cowboy hat. But gone are the days when old El Paso was known as the “Six Shooter Capital” – a place known for its outlaws and vices.
Today, El Paso attracts a wide variety of residents with its array of recreational and cultural offerings. Festivals like the Hueco Rock Rodeo bring the community together, and outdoorsy residents are quick to join their peers in marathons and bike races. Meanwhile, El Paso’s rich Mexican heritage is on display in its local restaurants and the sombrero-shaped Abraham Chavez Theatre.
El Paso gets a bad rap for its proximity to Juarez, Mexico. But the metro area is safer than you might think, and job opportunities here can be found in a number of fields, from government to health care.
U.S. News analyzed 150 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people’s desire to live there.
What is there to do in El Paso, TX?
El Paso is a great place to live for those who like the outdoors. The metro area’s proximity to the Rio Grande provides opportunities to whitewater raft, canoe and fish, while Franklin Mountains State Park and Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site are great hiking and rock climbing spots.
The area holds a number of active events, including the Mighty Mujer Triathlon, Franklin Mountains Trail Run, Eagle in the Sun Triathlon and the Michelob Ultra El Paso Marathon. A lineup of festivals like the Neon Desert Music Festival and the Plaza Classic Film Festival also bring the community together, as do sports teams like the Rhinos of the North American 3 Hockey League and minor league baseball’s Chihuahuas, a Triple-A affiliate of the San Diego Padres. The Sun Bowl is a major college football event every winter.
El Paso also caters to culture hounds with art galleries, performing art venues and museums.
What’s the cost of living in El Paso, TX?
The cost of living in El Paso is lower than the national average, while the cost of housing is well below that of other major metropolitan areas, including Houston and Austin. The Central, Cielo Vista and Mesa Hills areas offer more affordable rental properties, while neighborhoods in the northwestern and eastern parts of the metro area have some of the more expensive housing inventory. The amount residents spend on everyday expenses, such as food and transportation, is slightly less than what the average American pays.
Who lives in El Paso, TX?
El Paso’s population is fairly young – 30% of its population is under age 20. Many residents in their early 20s reside on the west side of town, near the UTEP campus. But pleasant weather makes El Paso a viable choice for those looking to retire, so a portion of the city’s population is 65 and older.
Working parents in the area generally praise the cost of living, child care and quality of education. In general, families tend to settle down in the suburbs on the outskirts of El Paso. Single people who prefer the urban life take advantage of studios downtown and in the historic districts.