Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Top Attractions in El Paso Accessible by Public Transport

Travelling is undoubtedly a luxury, but I am a firm believer that it can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. The easiest way to cut travel costs is to catch the local public transport. It is less convenient than hailing a taxi or renting a car, but it does mean that your dollar can stretch a lot further.

This guide details some of the top attractions in El Paso, Texas, that are accessible by public transport. From my experience, the USA has some of the cheapest public transport fares I have ever seen. It is unfathomable that for $3.50 a day I could take unlimited rides around a city. Back in Sydney, the same cost would cover a 20-minute bus ride!

Located in the far western corner of Texas, El Paso is the sixth-largest Texan city and borders New Mexico and Mexico. The two countries are separated by a natural border, the Rio Grande. If you intend to catch public transport, it is crucial to select a centrally located hotel, especially one that is close to bus stops. For further information about routes, consult the Sun Metro website.

Chamizal National Memorial

Entrance sign
Image via Flickr by daveynin

Chamizal National Memorial commemorates the Chamizal treaty that ended the 100-year-old border dispute between the USA and Mexico. It features a museum about the history of the dispute, along with "Nuestra Herencia," a series of murals created by Carlos Flores.

Bus line: Route 61
Time from downtown: 15 minutes

Franklin Mountains State Park

Celebration of Our Mountains
Image via Flickr by VisitElPaso

Franklin Mountains State Park is part of the Chihuahuan Desert and is a great destination for hiking, camping, biking, rock climbing, and bird watching. It is also the largest urban park in the USA.

There aren't any buses that will take you directly into the park. However, there are a few routes that take you very close to the start of trails. Alternatively, Route 90 passes through the state park, which is a cheaper alternative for visiting the scenic route.

Example: Lost Dog Head Trail
Bus line: Route 18
Time from downtown: 1.25 hours

The Substation

THRILLED that traveling artists @greetingstour have come to #ElPaso, thanks to local coordination by @3rdshifters! El Paso will soon join other major cities including Chicago, Denver, and Seattle, as home to a “Greetings From…” postcard mural. 🎨 #WIP
Image via Flickr by VisitElPaso

Located in the upper valley, The Substation is a new retail development that opened in 2017. It is a village-style shopping area spanning 24,000 square foot (2,230SQM) and features the iconic "Greetings From El Paso" mural.

Bus line: Route 18
Time from downtown: 1 hour

Keystone Heritage Park

Keystone Heritage Park | El Paso Desert Botanical Garden
Image via Flickr by VisitElPaso

The 52-acre park encompasses three distinct areas: desert botanical gardens, wetlands, and the archaeological site of an ancient village. The site was discovered accidentally in the late 1970s, and it is believed to be over 4,000 years old.

Bus line: Route 15 then Route 20
Time from downtown: 1.25 hours

Stanton Street Bridge

A part of this attraction is technically outside of El Paso. In fact, it is in another country! This is one of many bridges in the city that connects the USA to Mexico. Pedestrians can walk across the bridge into Mexico and there is a novelty in being able to visit another country on foot. Of course, make sure you have the right documentation required. Whether you simply want to cross the border or continue further is entirely up to you!

Bus line: n/a
Time from downtown: 15 minutes walking to U.S. Customs and Border Protection checkpoint

What are your tips to save money while traveling?

This post is sponsored by InterContinental Hotels Group. For full disclosure, I have not visited El Paso. With a full-time job and limited holiday leave, it means that I spend a lot more time researching and wanderlust-ing about destinations than actually having the time to visit said locations. It simply boils down to this: I love to research, plan, and become inspired.

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