I've only been living in El Paso for a year now but it did not take me long to learn how unique this city is! From cultural celebrations, art galleries and massive parades to live local music any night of the week, El Paso is exploding with culture! Don't ever let anyone tell you El Paso is boring. Here are some of the coolest things I've experienced since I've been here!

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1. The Lowbrow Palace!

El Paso is home to some talented people and it shows in its passion for music. Almost every night of the week you can find all genres of live music playing at some very unique venues all over the city! It doesn't matter what you're a fan of, El Paso's local music scene has you covered

Jamal Streeter at the Lowbrow Palace
Jamal Streeter at the Lowbrow Palace
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PIE Sisters at The Lowbrow Palace
PIE Sisters at The Lowbrow Palace
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One of the first places to mention is The Lowbrow Palace! 

It's one of the most popular venues for local and national music acts! The Lowbrow Palace brings in some of the most talented musicians in the city while at the same time bringing in performances from nationally known stars. If you're new to the city and love live music, this is a space to keep an eye on! Especially if you consider yourself a music aficionado, as you will find every genre of music playing at The Lowbrow Palace.

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2. International Bar and Lick It Up!

Everyone loves free things! El Paso has so many awesome experiences for anything from date nights to chill hangs with the homies.

If you're looking for some unique spaces to hang out and unwind, El Paso's Downtown has you covered!

Every Thursday in El Paso is Jazz Night! There are quite a few interesting places in El Paso offering their spaces to the Jazz Legends that call this city home.

One of the coolest by far is a unique three-floored bar and restaurant called The International Bar!

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Every Thursday night, you can find local Jazz greats like Pianist Billy Townes or Drummer Eddie Provencio tearing it up! International Bar is also home to the delectable local staple, Lick It Up. You can get great drinks, amazing food, and free live music all in one place!

Lick It Up offers a wide variety of meals for any vibe!
Lick It Up offers a wide variety of meals for any vibe!
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3. Aaron and Georges Film Cafe

Maybe you're not much of a drinker and you're looking for more of a cozy cafe feel. Don't worry, El Paso has you covered! Check out one of the most unique spots in the city, Aaron and Georges Film Cafe!

Located on Texas and Mesa, a block away from San Jacinto Plaza
Located on Texas and Mesa, a block away from San Jacinto Plaza
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Aaron and Georges is an El Paso classic, a place where you can get a delicious home-cooked Mexican meal just like your grandma makes! Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are all served here with love as well as some of the best Cafe de Olla in El Paso! And on the weekends you can come down in the evening for screenings of everything from classic cinema to pop culture favorites!

And if ya do like a little drink with your movie, don't worry, A&G has ya covered with their cozy selection of wine and beer!

4. The Barbed Wire Open Mic!

If you're new to the city and you're an up and coming musician, comedian, or writer, you HAVE to check out The Barbed Wire Open Mic! This traveling open mic series pops up all over the city every single week, opening its stage for free to any performer brave enough to take it on!

And if you're not a performer, that's fine too! The Barbed Wire Open Mic pops up in bars, cafes, restaurants, and venues all over the city! From unique places like Mona the Modern Art Bar to cozy local favorites like Joe, Vinny & Bronsons, or Old Sheepdog Brewery, this local open mic is everywhere and will definitely satisfy anyone looking for some original local art in some really cool spaces!

Follow them on Facebook and Instagram @elpasobwoms to find out more!

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5. Arts and Culture!!

If you're new to El Paso you may not have experienced all of the incredible events that El Paso has to offer just yet, but you will!! The Museum and Cultural Affairs Department of El Paso does so many amazing things for the city, and cultural events are some of the biggest for MCAD.

As the year rolls on, Downtown's historic San Jacinto Plaza will be taken over by several different seasonal events that are way too interesting to ignore! These are iconic El Paso celebrations and you can't call yourself a true El Pasoan if you don't get out to at least one!

There is El Paso's most unique local event, Chalk The Block! A huge celebration of art and culture where local artists from all over the city come down to create incredible masterpieces out of chalk! Not only that, but the city is opened up for all of the creatives out there both young and old! Downtown becomes a designated Chalk Zone where anyone can pick a spot and create their own works of art. Not only that but Chalk The Block brings in some incredible local live music to perform while you munch out on the best food trucks in the city.

Local artist chalking the block, from 9news
Local artist chalking the block, from 9news
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Looking for something a bit bigger? That's okay, El Paso can do big.

San Jacinto Plaza doesn't just do Chalk the Block, it also has some of the biggest parades and seasonal celebrations around! Visit downtown during Dia De Los Muertos to see all kinds of local artisans and vendors, to take part in the culture and make offerings to community ofrendas, and of course, see the incredible Dia De Los Muertos Parade!

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A massive float for the Dia De Los Muertos Parade 2023
A massive float for the Dia De Los Muertos Parade 2023
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And if that's not enough for seasonal celebrations, well this last one is the literal icing on the cake that is San Jacinto Plaza. In December, not only does El Paso see ice, but we see an entire WinterFest! San Jacinto Plaza is covered in lights, there is an ice skating rink, food trucks for almost two whole months, AND a massive parade to kick things off before Thanksgiving!

Photo of San Jacinto adorned in lights, 9news
Photo of San Jacinto adorned in lights, 9news
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I might be new to El Paso but it didn't take me long to learn how much there is to do here and this is just the tip of the iceberg!

The El Paso Art of Storytelling Is A Work of Art!

The Sunset Parlor hosts a monthly show called The Art of Storytelling that combines music, dancing, storytelling, and so much more to support local organizations through out the city!

Gallery Credit: Grizz

El Paso Spray Parks, Splash Pads

Gallery Credit: Courtesy: elpasotexas.gov

Cool Canyon Nights 2024

Gallery Credit: Courtesy: Angel Munoz