The El Capitan Hotel was begun in 1927 and opened in 1930. It was built by Charles Bassett based on a design by the famous El Paso Architect Firm of Trost and Trost. Trost and Trost designed five hotels in West Texas and East New Mexico in the 20s and 30s. This is a fine example of their expertise in design. The hotel has undergone renovation and still functions as a hotel. Additional improvements, like improved Wi-Fi are ongonig. Prices are $69 to $129 for a room, not a bad price to experience a piece of West Texas history.
The current Culberson County Courthouse replaced the one from 1912 which was much prettier. This one was built in 1964 using a Modern design by Pierce, Norris, Pace & Associates. They do have a nice Veteran's Monument out front honoring Culberson County World War 2 Veterans.
The courthouse from 1911 to 1912 was upstairs. The courthouse was then converted to an "opera house" which specialized in shows for kids. The opera house/courthouse is being renovared as money is available. There is also a recreated hotel room and several rooms with artifacts from area families upstairs.
The building housing the Clark Hotel Museum was the first permanent structure in town. It was started in 1901 and the main portion was completed in 1905 to 1906. When the county was organized, the Clark Hotel served as the county courthouse from 1911-1912 until a permanent courthouse could be built. The building was converted into a hotel in 1918 by Fred Clark. Today it houses a museum holding a large quantity of displays and artifacts that show the history of Van Horn and the surrounding area. Make sure you check out the old western style saloon with bar and mirrored back bar which has been in the same room since the early 1900’s. Other displays in the museum show the importance of mining, ranching, the railroad, and other early life activities to the area. There are also some personal items and other memorabilia on display. Hours are 1 PM to 5 PM Monday through Friday. Admission is free.
The real attraction of Chuy's isn't the food -- it's the bizarre shrine to sports announcer John Madden. Sports memorabilia interspersed with photos of Madden in various stages of his career ring the walls. In the center of the dining room is a massive seat emblazoned with his name. Best of all is the mural depicting Jesus smiling over the restaurant and Madden's tour bus pulling into the parking lot. If you like roadside weirdness, this is a good bet.
There is a visitors center/thrift shop located next to the Clark Hotel Museum. They have a nice Veterans Monument by the door.
There is a nice picnic site with covered picnic areas and a scenic viewpoint North of Van Horn. Worth a stop.