Median RentMedian Sqft
1 Bed$845628 sqft
2 Beds$1,048920 sqft
3+ Beds$1,6801,624 sqft


El Paso is a dynamic city of incredible contrasts. Geographically, the largest city in West Texas is undeniably one of the most beautiful in the state between the sandy landscapes of the desert flatlands that juxtapose against the majestic southern tip of the Rocky Mountain range. Culturally, it’s a mixture of customs and traditions from centuries of Latino and Hispanic settlers (the first Spanish expedition to the area took place in 1581), as well as a bit of cowboy culture leftover from the days of the wild, wild west—all blended with ideas from younger generations who have brought El Paso solidly into this millennium. This same combination of old and new can be found in its architecture, too, whether it’s office buildings, homes, or apartment complexes in El Paso.

With just under a million residents in El Paso County (865,657 in the 2020 Census) spread out across its 259 square miles, the city is divided in half by the mountains with a distinct West Side and East Side that locals refer to in order to quickly and easily distinguish where things are. Both the far west and east sides of town continue to be where much of the city’s growth occurs, though revitalization of existing buildings continues to thrive in distinctive neighborhoods, including Downtown El Paso, Cielo Vista, Montwood, Kern Place, Mesa Hills, Manhattan Heights, Resler Canyon, and Pebble Hills. El Paso is also home to Fort Bliss, a United States Army post that brings in thousands of temporary and permanent residents to the city.

Though the population of El Paso itself is creeping its way toward the million mark, the metropolitan area includes Ciudad Juarez across the Mexican border, adding an estimated 1.5 million residents (many of whom visit El Paso regularly, sometimes daily for work and shopping). Dubbed Sun City, El Paso is true to its nickname with more than 300 days of sunshine a year (including very-hot-but-not-humid summers), plus only a few inches of rainfall and the occasional winter snowstorm. Dust storms happen occasionally, but they’re typically isolated instances that don’t last too long.

When it comes to El Paso apartments, residents have a lot to choose from with several smaller, more affordable buildings from the mid-late 20th century in some parts of town to sprawling new developments of modern, amenity-laden communities. A revitalized downtown district continues to attract people to a growing number of apartments (including high-rise and loft options). In general, apartments in El Paso are far cheaper than every other major metropolitan city in Texas, so renters can get a lot for their money.

Getting Around

Nearly every Texas city has a car culture due to things being so spread out, and El Paso is no different. Though cars and trucks are the norm for daily commuting, a robust mass transit system served by Sun Metro and Brio buses, each under the same governing umbrella but serving different routes (some of them express). App-based rideshares are also plentiful, as are on-demand electric scooters and bicycles in areas where dedicated bike lines exist. Downtown also boasts a recently added $97 million El Paso Streetcar Transit System with vintage streetcars that connects people from the convention center to Downtown El Paso hotels and attractions, making it more used by visitors, but also viable for residents. It’s also the most walkable section of the city. El Paso International Airport offers daily nonstop flights on a handful of major carriers, as well as easy connecting routes to top Mexico destinations.

Food & Drink

El Paso has a unique setting at the western edge of Texas that borders both Mexico and New Mexico, so the food influences draw from each of those places. Mexican food in all its forms will always be the biggest draw, and one of the most common things you’ll hear when ordering is, “Red or green?” because enchiladas and other dishes can be topped with either type of spicy sauce. It’s always a great idea to order one of each (also known as “Christmas” in many restaurants) before diving into the complimentary chips and salsa that hit the table at every Mexican restaurant almost the moment you’re seated. Despite tacos, burritos, enchiladas, quesadillas, fajitas, and chiles rellenos dominating the food scene in El Paso, it’s also grown into a legit culinary destination for all types of cuisine. Especially in Downtown El Paso and near the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) campus, you’ll find chefs and restaurateurs experimenting with everything from pizza to Asian fusion.

Bars run the gamut from hole-in-the-wall mom and pops with dim lighting and well-worn seating to trendy nightspots with DJs and dance floors. El Paso now has several craft breweries for beer lovers, craft coffee shops that roast their own beans, and even a quartet of wineries in the neighboring towns of Anthony, Sunland Park, and Canutillo. Compared with other Texas cities, going out for food and drinks is a considerably less expensive experience with high value and high quality often existing in the same place. A cluster of LGBTQ bars can also be visited in Downtown El Paso.
For at-home cooking and dining, you’ll find plenty of national grocery stores in El Paso, including Albertson’s, Whole Foods, and Sprouts Farmers Market, as well as dozens of stores specializing in Mexican and Latin American ingredients.


Strip centers surrounding a big-box anchor store are the norm for most shopping in El Paso, but Cielo Vista Mall has defied the trend of the disappearing indoor shopping mall to be at nearly 100% occupancy year after year. Anchored by several national mainstays, including JC Penney, Sears, Dillard’s, and Macy’s, the mall is also loaded with small-business kiosks making this truly a one-stop shop for everything from apparel to a new refrigerator, with plenty of eateries to satisfy your hunger and thirst between credit card swipes. Downtown El Paso has a lot of vintage, thrift, and pawn shopping, but also a giant western wear store and a handful of boutiques.

Things to Do

Because of the Franklin Mountains that provide the dramatic backdrop to El Paso, there’s a great deal of outdoor activities available, including hiking trails off of Trans Mountain Road and in various desert locales throughout the city. Both Trans Mountain Road and Scenic Drive offer breathtaking—and dramatically different—views of the surrounding terrain. ATVs can also be rented from companies offering tours of the region’s deserts. Downtown, discover southwestern masterpieces at the El Paso Museum of Art, or catch the El Paso Chihuahuas minor league baseball team at their stadium nearby. The Sun Bowl at UTEP hosts an annual bowl game matchup, as well as UTEP football games, concerts, and other events. Because of the summer heat, El Paso has several neighborhood waterparks and the much-loved Wet ‘N’ Wild Waterworld in adjacent Anthony, TX. Art galleries, historic mission tours, and regional casinos are also popular diversions. Fewer residents and visitors travel across the Mexico border to Ciudad Juarez for shopping and dining than in years past because of continued cartel-related violence. Visiting this part of Mexico should be done with caution and Homeland Security travel alerts should be checked before considering. Short road trip ideas include White Sands National Monument (a spectacular oasis of dunes and trails 90 minutes away), as well as Hueco Tanks State Park and Historic Site (also a great place to camp and hike among ancient petroglyphs, 45 minutes away). Golf courses, live music venues, and music festivals round out the many options available for spending a few entertaining hours outside your living room.

Colleges & Universities

The main educational draw to the city is the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP), part of the University of Texas system and home to more than 23,000 students. El Paso Community College has eight campuses and more than 30,000 students. Meanwhile, the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso and the private Pima Medical Institute attract those seeking careers in the medical profession.

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