El Paso is located in the far west of the state of Texas. It’s the biggest of the three cities that form the El Paso metropolitan area (Las Cruces, New Mexico and Juarez, Mexico being the other two). Because of its location, it’s inherently influenced by a variety of cultures that gives it a sense of identity that’s, at the same time, both Texan and non-Texan in character. So if you’re moving to El Paso, you get the best of both worlds.
Our movers in El Paso created this moving guide to help you and your loved ones settle into your new life with ease. We hope that, by reading, you’ll learn about all aspects of living in this city. Let’s dig in!
Chapter 1: Things to Know
Chapter 2: Local Utilities
Chapter 3: Useful Phone Numbers
Chapter 4: Cost of Living
Chapter 5: What’s The Weather Like?
Chapter 6: How’s The Food?
Chapter 7: What Are The Locals Like?
Chapter 8: Getting Around – Transportation
Chapter 9: Colleges & Education
Chapter 10: Local Job Market
Chapter 11: Best Places to Live
Chapter 12: Family Fun
Chapter 13: Parks & Landmarks
Chapter 14: Nightlife
Chapter 15: Things to Do
Chapter 16: Additional Reading
Things to Know
Most people nowadays know of El Paso as the Sun City. However, in the 1800s, it was known by the more infamous nickname, “The Six-Shooter Capital.” With its many saloons, brothels, and gambling houses, crime and trouble were never far away. This would later change in the latter part of the century though. Thanks to its introduction to railroads in the 1880s, the city steadily transformed into a modern city with a thriving economy, leaving its seedy reputation behind for good.
Today, many people wrongly assume that living in El Paso is unsafe, being so close to Juarez. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth! In fact, violent and property crime rates in El Paso are lower than the national average. As a Texas city, El Paso has a couple of un-Texaslike quirks! For instance, it is the only major city in the state that is on Mountain Standard Time. Plus, location-wise, it’s unusual that it’s nearer to the capitals of 2 US states and 2 Mexican states than the capital of its own state, Austin, which is more than 500 miles away. Phoenix and Santa Fe (in Arizona and New Mexico, respectively) and Chihuahua and Hermosillo (in Mexico), by comparison, are all within the 350-mile radius of El Paso.
- 10 Colorful Facts About the West Texas Town of El Paso
- El Paso: The Sun City – 9 Interesting Facts
- El Paso’s Early History
- What is it like to live in El Paso, TX?
- Why El Paso, TX is a Great Place to Live
- 7 Reasons to Move to El Paso, TX
For cooking and heating needs in your El Paso home, you’ll have to get natural gas by setting up with Texas Gas Service. Water service, on the other hand, is provided by El Paso Water Utilities. You’ll have to go through them to set up garbage and recycling collection services as well.
For power, there’s no other choice than the El Paso Electric Company. They’ve been the sole electric provider in the city for more than a century. You’ll have a bit more of a choice though when setting up internet, cable, and phone services in El Paso. There’s two to choose from: AT&T and Spectrum.
Useful Phone Numbers & Websites in El Paso
For pertinent information about living and working in El Paso, the city’s official website is the ally you need! Here, you’ll know how the local government is working for you. The site also provides helpful resources on applying for local jobs, paying traffic tickets and water utility bills, and anything else you need to thrive in the city. Make sure to check the site to find out about local events happening, too!
If you need to reach out to a local department or find information on and report issues regarding public services, make use of the 311 Customer Service Center. Through this program, more than 20 City Departments are within your access! Take note though: the 311 Center is only for non-emergency requests.
To keep up with news and events happening around El Paso, read the only English-language daily newspaper in the city, the El Paso Times (there’s El Diario de El Paso, too, for Spanish-speaking folks!). Or if you prefer to consume news on the TV, check out KFOX-TV and KDBC-TV, El Paso’s Fox and CBS affiliates.
As a newcomer, you’re probably not completely familiar yet with all the exciting things that El Paso has on offer. Remedy that by perusing the Visit El Paso website. It’s targeted at potential tourists, but it’s a great reference for new residents as well. The site lets you know about the best places in El Paso to shop, wine and dine, relax, and more.
- City of El Paso
- Emergency Numbers | City of El Paso
- Contact | City of El Paso
- KFOX | El Paso News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News
- El Paso Times: El Paso News, Breaking News, Business, Sports, Entertainment
- KDBC: El Paso News Weather, Sports, Breaking News
- Visit El Paso | Destination El Paso
Cost of Living
Admittedly, the median income in El Paso ($43,322) is lower than the US national average ($57,617), but don’t discount moving to El Paso yet. You’ll be relieved to know that the low cost of living makes up for it. Practically everything costs cheaper in El Paso when compared to national averages. This includes costs for rent, utilities, transportation, and food. In fact, according to Forbes Magazine, you and your family can have a very comfortable life here with an annual income of only $50,150.
As with the rest of home values in the West Texas region, real estate properties in El Paso are cheaper than national standards by a large margin.
- El Paso has lowest cost of living, Forbes says
- Cost of Living in El Paso
- Things You Should Know Before Moving to El Paso, TX
- How Much Do I Have to Save to Retire in El Paso, Texas?
- El Paso Home Prices & Values
- Average Rent in El Paso & Rent Prices by Neighborhood
How’s The Weather?
If it isn’t obvious enough, El Paso earned the nickname “the Sun City” because it’s blessed by rays of sunshine 302 days on average every year.
Summer days here are hot, but with low humidity. Depending on your tolerance for heat, you might want to escape the city in July and August, when temperatures reach their peak. Winters, on the other hand, are a breeze with daytime temperatures in the 50s and 60s, lowering to 30s and 40s when the moon and the stars come out.
If you never want it to rain on your parade, then El Paso is the perfect place for you. The rain and the snow come in low supply here. Annually, it gets 10 inches of rain and 7 inches of snow on average. Compare that to 39 inches of rain and 26 inches of snow that the rest of the country gets!
- Average Weather in El Paso
- Climate El Paso – Texas
- Climate for El Paso, Texas
- El Paso, Texas Climate
- Air Quality – El Paso
How’s The Food?
When it comes to cuisine, El Paso is certifiably a “melting pot” of food. Whether you prefer casual barbecues or fine dining, you’ll always be able to find restaurants that can whet your appetite. Go to Cattleman’s Steakhouse to chow down on steaks considered best by locals and voted “manliest” by Men’s Health Magazine. Or expand your horizons and try something a little out of the ordinary: authentic Vietnamese food at Pho Tre Bien or vegan beers and eats at Eloise.
But culinarily speaking, where El Paso truly shines is Mexican food. Not surprising, as it’s a stone’s throw away from Juarez, Mexico. The city has a long list of Mexican places you can choose from. Not only are they many, they are damn good, too. Possibly the best in all of Texas. Try Kiki’s Mexican Food Restaurant or H&H Car Wash and Coffee Shop if you don’t believe us.
As for drinks, with no shortage of sunshine in El Paso, the city has historically been among the best wine destinations in the country, particularly in the 1800s. Today, you can find some of the vineyards in the region here, such as Zin Valle Vineyards, Sombra Antigua Winery, and La Viña Winery to name a few.
If wine isn’t for you, perhaps a margarita instead? This tequila-based cocktail is said to have originated right in the El Paso-Juárez area. Try a variety of margaritas, whether classic or with a twist, in any one of these hotspots: Julio’s Cafe Corona, L&J Cafe, and Cantina Malolam.
- El Paso, TX Local Flavor Overview
- The 10 Best Cultural Restaurants In El Paso, Texas
- A Summer Weekend in El Paso
- 5 Dishes to Try in El Paso, Texas
- Eat and Drink Your Way Through El Paso in 48 Hours
- 36 Hours in El Paso, Tex.
What Are The Locals Like?
With a population count approaching 700,000, El Paso is the 22nd most populous city in America and 6th largest in Texas. As you may have guessed, the majority of the locals (about 80%) are of Hispanic and Latino origin. Nearly 70% of its people are Spanish speakers.
With El Paso being in a different time zone than the rest of Texas and with it being 8 hours away from the next major Texas city, you might think that El Pasoans don’t quite consider themselves Texans. You couldn’t be more wrong! Texan pride is in full swing here. Sure, locals have a love-hate relationship with this city, but it’s still home, flaws and all.
- 10 Things Only People From El Paso Will Understand
- 10 Things People From El Paso Are All Too Familiar With
- El Paso, Texas Population 2019
- What the Locals Love: 11 Things El Pasoans Love
- 5 Favorites of El Paso Locals
Going around downtown El Paso is convenient, thanks to buses and paratransit service provided by the Sun Metro Mass Transit Department. However, if you want to roam the city after dark, taxis are a better option as most bus routes shut down at night. Popular taxi companies include Yellow Cab and Checker Cab, and yes, there’s Uber, too!
Honestly though, you’d probably need to drive your own car to have free reign of El Paso. Not only would going to and from work and school be more convenient, you can take a day trip to the surrounding desert areas or have a mini-vacation across the border. Ordinarily, parking won’t be an issue, even in downtown areas.
If you need to go somewhere farther than your wheels could take you, catch a flight at the El Paso International Airport. Serving over 3 million passengers each year, this airport’s busiest routes include Dallas and Houston in Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; and Los Angeles, California.
- Sun Metro
- El Paso: Getting Around
- How to Get Around El Paso
- Fewer El Pasoans use public transit, carpools
- Junk a car for cash in El Paso
- El Paso International Airport
Colleges & Education
Nearly 80% of El Paso’s population (aged 25 and older) have at least a high school diploma or higher, while about 23% have pursued higher education. This is because high quality education is within reach in El Paso. Four highly ranked school districts (El Paso Independent School District, Canutillo ISD, Socorro ISD, and Ysleta ISD) and several accredited private prep schools serve the local youth.
For higher education, locals have a spread of options: El Paso Community College, International Business College, Vista College, Western Technical College, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, and, most prominently, the University of Texas at El Paso, which has consistently been among the country’s best universities.
- El Paso school districts get A-F grades from Texas Education Agency
- Best School Districts in the El Paso Area
- El Paso, Texas School Districts
- 5 Reasons to Study Abroad at the University of Texas at El Paso
- Four El Paso schools rated “improvement required”
Local Job Market
There are over 70 Fortune 500 companies that have set up offices in El Paso. Among these are Hoover, Eureka, Boeing, and Delphi.
Job opportunities are aplenty in robust local sectors like health care, military, oil and gas, retail, international trade, tourism, and civil service. Education is a major contributor to the economy too. Some of the largest employers in the area are in this sector, such as the Independent School Districts of El Paso, Ysleta, and Socorro, the University of Texas, and the El Paso Community College. Other major (non-education) employers are Fort Bliss and the local city government.
The average income in El Paso is $20,050 per annum. It’s lower than the national average income ($28,555 per year), but the good news is the unemployment rate in El Paso (4.8%) is lower than national rates, too (5.2%)!
- El Paso, TX Top Employers
- These are the 100 highest-paying jobs in El Paso, Texas
- Best Career Opportunities in El Paso, Texas
- El Paso: Economy
Best Places to Live
The Sun City has been ranked among the safest cities in America multiple times in recent years. Its location (right at the crossroads of Texas, New Mexico, and Chihuahua in Mexico) means everyday life here is influenced by multiple cultures, making for a vibrant and interesting place to live.
Have your pick of El Paso’s areas, each having a distinct character and flavor: Central El Paso, East El Paso, Mission Valley El Paso, Northeast El Paso, Northwest El Paso and West Central El Paso.
If you prefer to stick closely to the hustle and bustle, the downtown area in Central El Paso is ideal – in particular, the historic district of Sunset Heights! If not, several other great neighborhoods exist throughout the city:
- If you’re raising a family: Mission Hills, Castner Heights, Park Foothills
- If money isn’t an object: Emory Road/West Sunset Road, Silver Springs Village, Redd-Mulberry
- If you like nature and the outdoors: Mountain View (favored by military men and veterans), Via Hermosa
- Best Neighborhoods in El Paso, TX
- These Are the 5 Best Neighborhoods in El Paso
- What are the good and bad neighborhoods in El Paso, TX?
Families with young children can have lots of multicultural fun and entertainment in El Paso!
For animal lovers, the El Paso Zoo is a fail-proof destination. At only 35 acres, this zoo is definitely small kid-friendly. The young and the young at heart can appreciate up to 240 species of animals up close and learn about wildlife in attractions like the Asian Endangered Walk, American Biome, Reptile House, and Forest Atrium.
If you get a hankering for some mini-golf, Go-Karts, and laser tag, spend some time at Bob-O’s Family Fun Center. When it comes to play, it is THE place to be. Boredom isn’t a possibility here for kids of any age. Make sure to have some of the great-tasting pizza!
Of course, we would be remiss not to mention the Wet-’N’-Waterworld, which has the distinction of being the third oldest waterpark in the country AND having the biggest wave pool in the entire state. Big kids can have fun on rides like the Raging Rapids and Alien Vortex, while there’s always Katch a Kiddie Creek and King Kiri’s Fountains of Fun for the smaller ones. The park really comes alive during the summer though as it hosts music festivals like the Balloon Fest and Norteño festival. Worried about the scorching Texas sun? Don’t be! The water park has over 200 trees to give you plenty of shade, even in the harshest of summer days.
- Things to Do This Summer With Kids in El Paso
- Things to do in El Paso with kids
- El Paso Directory – Family Entertainment
- Five kid-friendly things to do in El Paso area
- Things to Do in El Paso with Kids
Parks and Landmarks
According to the local Parks and Recreations department, El Paso has more than 250 parks within it, so you’re bound to find one that’ll serve as your favorite weekend hangout! Try the Westside Community Park if your kids (or you) are into skating or the Yucca Park if you play ball sports like basketball and baseball, while dog owners can let their pets have their fun in the sun at Eastwood Park.
El Pasoans also have the fortune of having America’s largest urban park within reach. The Franklin Mountain State Park is open 365 days of the year and is a perfect spot for picnics, hikes, and bike trails – you can even go for a leisurely scenic drive through it.
Do you feel like admiring the flora and fauna on your off days? The Keystone Heritage and the El Paso Desert Botanical Garden should satisfy your need for all things nature. Spot over 200 species of birds, remnants of an ancient village, and varieties of the loveliest native plants. You’ll definitely feel like you were transported to an entirely different place.
As for notable landmarks, make sure to check out El Paso Street, the city’s first street EVER and the setting of the infamous 1881 Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight; and the Plaza Hotel, which is a characteristic feature of the El Paso cityscape – it was built in 1930 originally as Conrad Hilton’s first high-rise hotel.
- Best Public Parks in El Paso
- El Paso Parks and Recreation
- Parks Near El Paso
- Historical and Cultural Sites
- List of Famous El Paso Buildings & Structures
When the sun sets and the moon and stars come out, there are always somewhere in El Paso you can go to, whether you’re looking to party or chill for the night.
If you like swaying to the music, try any of these places for live music in El Paso: vintage-themed Pershing Inn, The District Pub & Kitchen (that has a bar straight out of Cheers), and The Lowbrow Palace, a nice underground place to spot up-and-coming bands.
For a more lively and upbeat time, dance the night away at The OP Nightclub. Depending on the day, you could enjoy pop, hiphop, or EDM music. You could even watch some drag and burlesque shows!
Want some laughs? Catch some stand up comedy at the El Paso Comic Strip Comedy Club. Every Wednesday, they feature nationally renowned headliners, but it’s a good spot to check out budding comedians, too. Comics like Ellen Degerenes performed here back when they were virtual unknowns.
The LGBTQ crowd, on the other hand, flock to EPIC Bar and Nightclub. It is located right smack in the Pride district and is often crowded on certain holidays, thanks to the fun atmosphere and great drink selections.
If you’re new to the city, it might serve you well to follow the Margarita Trail to get acquainted with El Paso’s nightlife. Have your fill of the city’s best margaritas at Los Bandidos de Carlos & Mickey’s, L&J Cafe, and Julio’s Café Corona. Pair it up with great Mexican food while you’re at it.
- The most popular bar in your neighborhood and 11 hidden gems
- The 10 Best Places to Grab a Drink in El Paso, Texas
- Top five music venues to hear local music in El Paso
- El Paso nightlife includes live music, bars, clubs, karaoke
- The 7 Best Places for Dancing in El Paso
Things to Do
We already listed a number of places and hotspots that should keep you busy on the weekends for months, but here are a few more to add to your to-do list when you move to El Paso:
- Visit the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, a Native American reservation settled by the Tigua tribe in 1682.
- Watch the Sun Bowl in December. It’s been played since 1935, making it the second oldest bowl game in the United States, after the Rose Bowl in California.
- Attend annual festivals like Fiesta de Las Flores, El Paso Balloonfest, Amigo Airsho, and Neon Desert Music Festival. El Paso has a thriving arts and culture scene that’s just dying to be explored.
Check out these links for more ideas to fill your calendar:
- The Top 10 Things To Do In El Paso, Texas
- Free Things to Do in El Paso
- Cool, Hidden, and Unusual Things to Do in El Paso, Texas
- 10 Quick Escapes From El Paso, TX
We’ve tried to include every little thing you need to know about El Paso in this moving guide, but in case we missed anything, read these other resources if you still need to know more.
- These Are The 10 Worst Neighborhoods In El Paso
- Website Ranks El Paso Among Top 10 ‘Best Places to Live’
- This Is Why You Should Live In or Visit El Paso, Texas
- El Paso: Best Place to Raise a Family
- El Paso ranked No. 1 lowest cost of living in Forbes article
- Life on the Line Between El Paso and Juárez
Now that you know all about the ins and outs of El Paso, you are more prepared than ever to make the move. Share this moving guide with friends and family who might need it. And when you’re ready, call on Low Budget Movers to help your belongings get to El Paso on moving day!