Posted May 11, 2015

6 Things to Do in El Paso for 20-Somethings

El Paso, Texas, is a border city. It’s the last bit of the U.S. you’ll see before entering Mexico, and it says “hello” to those driving in from New Mexico. However, El Paso isn’t just about borders; it’s also full of great attractions for 20-somethings.

6 Things to Do in El Paso for 20-Somethings

What’s more, 20-somethings are bound to enjoy their time in this dusty, country metropolis. Whether you’re a millennial in town for a couple nights, or you’re moving in, check out these things to do in El Paso especially geared for our generation:

1. Enjoy Live Performances at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater

Whether you’re a Shakespeare fanatic or you can’t hear enough live music, the McKellingon Canyon Amphitheater is sure to entertain you. This outdoor venue is surrounded by the Franklin Mountains, providing a stunning view– not that you’ll be looking at mountains when you’re watching your favorite band or play.

6 Things to Do in El Paso for 20-Somethings - Enjoy Live Performances at McKelligon Canyon Amphitheater

The amphitheater’s 1,500 seats all slope up and away from the stage, ensuring you can see everything that happens. Plus, with such warm weather, who wouldn’t want to be entertained outdoors?

2. Dine and Drive at H&H Car Wash and Coffee Shop

When you have to stop and get your car washed, you usually sit in a lobby, listening to the clock tick and wishing the mechanics would hurry up already. That’s not the case at H&H Car Wash and Coffee Shop. Since it first opened in 1958, this El Paso institution attracts dirty cars and people alike.

6 Things to Do in El Paso for 20-Somethings - Dine and Drive at H&H Car Wash and Coffee Shop

You can drop your car off for a quick wash, and go inside to enjoy some of the best Tex-Mex food you’ve ever had. The classic diner atmosphere may fool you, but with dishes like burritos and caldillo, you won’t be disappointed.

Not only that, but locals stop by to visit owner Maynard Haddad, whose gruff, no-nonsense attitude is just as much a staple as his establishment is. Twenty-somethings will love H&H for its unique feel, well-known owner and authenticity.

3. Drink at Hemingway’s

If you’re looking for a place to drink craft beer and smoke cigars while brooding about days spent hunting game in Africa, then Hemingway’s is your place– OK, you don’t have to mimic the famous writer’s life to hang out at this bar, but you get the picture.

6 Things to Do in El Paso for 20-Somethings - Drink at Hemingway's

Hemingway’s always has specialty beer on tap, and you can order imported bottles. Occasionally, your trip will also reward you with live music. The bar is located near the University of Texas at El Paso, so it can get pretty crowded on weekends. The locals like going during the week to avoid college students. Of course, if you are a student, then by all means, enjoy your Friday and Saturday night outings.

4. Hike at Franklin Mountains State Park

Franklin Mountains is the largest mountain range in Texas, and the state park is a must-see. From hiking to camping to rock climbing, the Franklin Mountains State Park is full of activities for active travelers and nature lovers.


Plus, the view from the mountains can rival that of any skyscraper apartment. Let’s be real: Hitting the gym for a workout is all well and good, but building those thighs and calves will be more fun when scaling the Franklin Mountains paths.

5. Visit the El Paso Holocaust Museum

One of the hardest things about being a 20-something? We always seem to be strapped for cash (at least, my budget is always tight). I look for free, educational and fun things to do, and El Paso has that.

6 Things to Do in El Paso for 20-Somethings - Visit the El Paso Holocaust Museum

The El Paso Holocaust Museum may not be fun, per-se, but it is an important experience. The museum is free, and it’s full of exhibits that teach you the events that took place during the Holocaust. Additionally, the museum has a reference library where you can check out documents that relate to the tragic event.

Go with friends, and, who knows, maybe you’ll want a drink at Hemingway’s after.

6. Go Shopping

When you do have money, you can stop at a number of malls to spend it in El Paso. From Bassett Place to Cielo Vista to Sunland Park, the city is full of shopping malls. You’re sure to find a new outfit for work, decor for your El Paso apartment and more at one of these locations.

6 Things to Do in El Paso for 20-Somethings - Go Shopping

With so many things to do in El Paso, you’ll stay entertained no matter how long you stay. Both residents and visitors alike can check out these attractions, along with others. Because the university is in town, there are tons of bars and restaurants to keep 20-somethings busy.

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6 Things to Do in El Paso  for 20-Somethings

Jen Jackowski


Jen Jackowski is a graduate of Illinois State University, where she studied theater and English. Her experiences in the theatrical arts left her with a love for storytelling that she breathes into her writing. She’s also passionate about art, gaming, sustainability and fashion. Her work has been published in the literary magazine, Euphemism.

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