By Carla Olivo, Marine Spouse
Many military families create a “Bucket List” of things to do and see each time they pcs to a new location. Here are our suggestions for those stationed at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.
Topping our list is the Wyler Aerial Tramway in Franklin Mountain State Park. This ride offers spectacular, panoramic views of the rugged Franklin Mountains. Visitors can ride the gondola from the tramway station to the top of Ranger Peak. It’s an exciting four-minute ride as the gondola soars above deep canyons and amazing rock formations. At 5,632 feet at the top of Ranger Peak, visitors can walk to the observation deck that offers a panoramic view covering 7,000 square miles.
Sun Bowl Stadium is home to the UTEP Miners of Conference USA and the Hyundai Sun Bowl on of college football’s bowl games in December. The stadium seats 51,000 and is nestled in the mountains that adjoin the UTEP campus.
The 52 acre Keystone Heritage Park and Desert Botanical Gardens is a bird lover’s paradise, with over 206 species of birds in the park’s wetlands! The botanical garden’s desert vegetation and the park’s Archeological Site are two highlights of the park.
Some Great Museums
The National Border Patrol Museum allows visitors to travel through the history of the U.S. Border Patrol reaching right back to Old West times, through Prohibition, WWII and into today’s technological times. The museum showcases the various types of vehicles the border patrol utilized or actually seized; for example, a man made a bike large enough to hold 9 people to transport over the border!
The El Paso Holocaust Museum, founded in 1994 by Nazi Holocaust survivor, documents the horrifying years of the Nazi regime. The museum honors those who died in the Holocaust, as well as those who survived. The docents are very knowledgeable and available to answer questions.
The Old Ironsides Museum features a great display of armor which includes a German V-2 rocket, some artillery pieces and several helicopters! The museum houses weapons, artifacts and other vehicles, together with plenty of information about the histories of the U.S. Army at El Paso as well as the 1st Armored Division. Next to the museum is the Old Fort Bliss which is a reproduction of the first post of that name.
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral is an El Paso historical landmark. The Cathedral was built in an attractive blended style of Byzantine and Romanesque architecture. Whether coming to worship or simply to admire the beauty, the Cathedral is well worth a visit.
Celebrate Your Adopted City
Viva El Paso is the city’s annual returning musical which celebrates its rich cultural history through drama, dance, and songs. The two-hour outdoor musical includes 50 dancers performing the story of the early Indian settlement right up to the wild South West, taking in the Spanish conquest and Mestizo Mexican control. Throughout the performance the dancers perform acrobatics, cannon fire, with an Indian shooting a lit arrow to the mountain to illuminate the VIVA sign, which is then followed by the Parade of the Six Flags of Texas. This is a great and entertaining way to learn the history of the city.
For Your Inner Detective
Disaster Room 915 is El Paso’s escape room attraction. There are at least two pulse quickening scenarios that you and your family or team has to work out, with minutes to spare before disaster befalls! As you examine pointers (which ones to use and which ones that will put you off the scent!), decipher codes and solve mind stretching puzzles, you’ll bond and pull together like never before!
If you have anything to add to our Fort Bliss Bucket List, please comment below. For all your PCS needs, check out PCSgrades.com for reviews of on-base housing, local neighborhoods, moving companies, realtors, and mortgage lenders. Let your fellow military families know what you think about Fort Bliss, the housing, the neighborhoods, the schools.