Texas has one of the most tumultuous histories of any state in America – and at the heart of that is the west Texas town of El Paso. Incredible enough to inspire a couple of songs from Marty Robbins, and old enough that the first people who lived there had the land five hundred years ago.
Here are four of the best historical places to add to your list of must-sees when you’re in El Paso.
Historic Mission Trail
The first three churches of Texas got built in a nine-mile stretch of land. This stretch eventually became known as the Historic Mission trail. The missions dated back to the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and although only two remain, it’s still a popular destination. El Paso is a very religious city, and this nine-mile streak of land helps solidify some people’s faith as they travel it.
Tigua Indian Cultural Center
Indigenous people settled this land hundreds of years ago, so they started the birth of El Paso. This cultural center celebrates the lives and heritage of the Tigua people, and works to keep that culture alive. Learn interactively, through dance or pottery, or take the time to walk through the museum they have on-site. Outside, a beautiful statue honoring the community welcomes you in.
Although a cemetery isn’t usually what makes people want to visit a town, the Concordia is a cemetery like no other. Founded in the middle of the 19th century, this historic cemetery is the final resting place of multiple gunslingers and celebrities. There are endless Texas Rangers buried there, as well as infamous ones like John Wesley Hardin, who was famous for being on the other side of the law. This cemetery is also famously haunted, so if you want a little thrill during your trip, stop by at night and look around.
Mt. Cristo Rey
Nearly thirty feet tall and made entirely of limestone, this statue of Jesus in El Paso has been a landmark of faith since 1940. Carved by Urbichi Sola, it has been a beacon of hope and inspiration for the very religious-minded city. Even if you’re not religious, there’s something intensely beautiful and striking about the sculpture that will make you want to find El Paso real estate for sale so you can stay close to that energy.
In cities as steeped in history and passion as El Paso, there’s something new around every corner that will make you want to stay. Whether you’re charmed by art, or drawn in by a haunted cemetery, it can help finish off your bucket list. If you want to disappear into a city that can also feel like a small town, El Paso has something for everyone.