El Paso

By Cole Clark

El Paso is the heart and soul of West Texas, a region of the country about which many songs have been written. Set at 3,740 feet above sea level in the foothills of the Franklin Mountains, (part of the Rockies) El Paso is indisputably a Western town. 

One of the biggest land border crossing points in and out of the U.S., it’s also home to a big military base and is drilled for crude at a clip of 133,000 barrels per day. Many people living around El Paso commute in and out of Mexico regularly, and you can too if you have a valid passport. 

For entertainment, the food and live music are excellent. The food will be geographically the closest you can get to being true Mexican food. West Texas music is a flavor of country infused with unapologetic simplicity, honesty and emotion. Check out The Panhandlers for a taste of what it’s like. 

Photo courtesy Visit El Paso (https://flic.kr/p/nP5Fth

You can also check out the UTEP campus. The architecture is not what you’d expect given the homogeny of the rest of the city. It was built based on the Himalayan-mountain fortresses in Bhutan. There is a noticeably high number of unruly dogs in this city, if that’s something that might get to you. Perhaps it has to do with its location in the Chihuahuan Desert. If not, head on down to Texas’s funkiest border town.