Downtown offers a lot of Cultural Activities
But on the cultural side of Downtown, you will find the fabulous El Paso Museum of Art right beside the recently restored Plaza Theater. There is also the Performing Arts Center for theatre/dance lovers. There is new construction ongoing at Mills Street and there is even a brand new Doubletree Hotel a little farther north…
I heard there was a Holocaust Museum and so I put it on my GPS, but for some reason it gave a downtown address which was a nostalgic looking hotel from the 1940’s…oh well, I just asked the guard if I can take pictures of the exquisite inside of the hotel, but he said I was not supposed to --- but I already had clicked my camera, hehehe…he just smiled….My photo turned out to have poor lighting though – not giving credit to the magnificent inside of the hotel….But what I just want to say is that architecture is awesome in this historic place on top of the availability of the cultural arts.
US National Cemetary-POW graves
On Fort Bliss is one of the national cemtaries. In a small section walled off the the main cemtary is the graves of POw's that died during detention at fort Bliss during World War II. There are Italians and a few Germans. It was iteresting reading the head stones.
The world's oldest living thing!
I stopped at I-10 rest area on New Mexico-Texas state line. I could see the Chihuahuan Desert that stretches from the southeastern corner of Arizona across southern New Mexico and west Texas to the Edwards Plateau in the United States. It also runs deep into central Mexico. The dominant plant species throughout the Chihuahuan desert is creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) which is well seen even from I-10 crossing El Paso. In April this evergreen shrub was in bloom. Its little flowers have five yellow petals.
Creosote Bushes are the world's oldest living things. Though each stem of the plant may live to be several centuries old, new ones are continually produced from the outer edge of the root crown, eventually forming a ring. There is a creosote bush ring in the Mohave Desert in California that is several thousand years old. It has been estimated that it started from a seed nearly 12,000 years ago.
The Creosote Bush is the most drought tolerant plant in North America. It can live for at least 2 years without any rain whatsoever, and will lose its leaves and even shed branches to reserve the last water and nutrients for the crown.
Big Bend National Park (330 miles) WOW!
My visit to Big Bend National Park was a blast! It's absolutely a must see for every fan of nature, hiking, mountains, and wildlife.
I especially enjoyed:
- magnificient and dramatic mountain views,
- vast space, fresh air and absolute silence,
- fantastic colours of rocky formations at sunset,
- powerful cliffs and dramatic canyons in the Chisos Mountains (above 7,800 feet = 2400 m),
- desert plants in bloom in April,
- green colour of the Rio Grande River and around - view over Mexico,
- adobe houses of Native Americans,
- wildlife (Virginia deer, bold eagles and many others), unfortunatelly I didn't see any bear or mountain lion.
Thia one of the largest, most remote, and least-visited national parks in the lower 48 United States is located in southwestern Texas, along Mexican border made by the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo River, 330 miles southeast of El Paso. The best way to get there is to hire a car in El Paso. The option is to get to Alpine by Amtrak (train) and then by Greyhound (scheduled bus) to the Park (some 100 miles).
More details in my Big Bend National Park VT-page.
Downtown El Paso: More To Do All The Time
Most travellers pass through El Paso without stopping to look around. They are missing our special culture and sights. Our core city is undergoing revitalization. If you like museums, we have the History Museum, Insights Science Museum, E.P. Art Museum and developing Holocaust Museum. The Civic Center has sweeping architecture and cross-border trollies. Nearby, the Union Plaza includes an old railroad depot. The expanded central library includes a superb regional research center. The City-County Courthouse mirrors the city and has fine views. Shop in discount and specialty stores that also cater to the Mexican shopper. Two central bridges handle border crossings for autos and pedestrians in and out of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The Rio Grande (River) is the border and is thoroughly tamed in concrete. There are many restaurants and some hotels downtown. I'm sure that I forgot more to do. Your views may include the Franklin Mountains that approach us from the North.