The only "bad elements" you have to worry about in El Paso are the hot sun and the occasional dust cloud. The FBI has rated the city the second most safe in the United States in its size category, so you can relax and enjoy the many fun things to do that El Paso offers to visitors.
For a no-pressure day out, walk the streets of downtown El Paso and admire the charming shops in the area, many of which call to mind the stores of nearby Mexico. To get a view of the city from above, jump aboard the Wyler Aerial Tramway, a cable car ride in Franklin Mountains State Park that stops at the observation deck at Ranger Peak. You can check out over 600 native plants of the Chihuahuan Desert at starkly dramatic Chihuahuan Desert Gardens. Or get close to camels, goats, parrots and zebras in the petting zoo at Licon Dairy.
For an educational and fun family outing, head first to the El Paso Science Center, which is full of interactive exhibits, then to Western Playland for a full afternoon of theme-park fun. Fort Bliss Army Base, the largest U.S. military installation in the world, is also worth visiting. Two other very interesting sites in the city are the Centennial Museum and the Museum of Archaeology at Wilderness Park.
If you're feeling active -- and the weather is cooperating -- you can take a hiking trip or guided tour along one of the many the scenic routes and treks in and around the city. Try the Rio Grande Valley or the Mission Trail. The winding roads and pathways of McKelligon Canyon are great for walking and biking and the area has picnic facilities so you can make a full day of it. For horse-racing and casino enthusiasts, the Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino is the place to go.
Shopping and Dining
The El Paso weather being on the warm side, malls are a popular attraction in the area -- for shopping or just hanging out somewhere cool. A few of the largest are Bassett Place, Cielo Vista and Sunland Park. For something more distinctive, there are many stores and boutiques in the charming downtown area around San Jacinto Plaza. For authentic Indian art, crafts and gifts, make a short drive the Native American village of Ysleta del Sur Pueblo. If you're feeling adventurous (and in a budget mood) cross the Rio Grande to Juarez, Mexico.
Texas knows steak and if you'd like an intimate introduction, go to the world-famous Cattleman's Steakhouse at Indian Cliffs Ranch for a 2-pound piece of beef. For burritos, menudo and other low-priced and authentic Mexican favorites, head to the restaurants and bars in the UTEP area on the Westside.
6645 Gateway West
1 Arts Festival Plaza
1506 N Lee Trevino Dr