Places To Go in Texas
Historic places on El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro National Historic Trail (north to south) in Texas for you to visit:
(updated September 15, 2014)
Keystone Heritage Park, El Paso
Location: 4200 Doniphan Drive. This 52-acre park is located 8 miles northwest of central El Paso and immediately west of Interstate 10 between the Sunland Park Drive and North Mesa Street offramps.
Hours: The park's wetlands are open (for birdwatching) at dawn and at dusk the last Saturday and following Sunday of every month, while the botanical gardens are open by appointment.
Historical Significance: The archeological site was first discovered in the late 1970s by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Runoff from a thunderstorm revealed a cut-away of an ancient pitch house. Preliminary research revealed the hut was part of a larger village, which according to some experts may be one of the largest and oldest villages of its kind in the United States.
Available Facilities: The park is an archeological site, an archaic wetlands, and a botanical garden. Located in El Paso's upper valley, the park is a city-owned property leased to a volunteer board of directors who are charged with preserving and developing the park. The park's wetlands are home to many species of birds and are a stop on a migratory route for even more. The botanical garden encompasses features such as a xeric demonstration garden, a children's garden, an amphitheater, a moonlight garden, and an ethnobotanical garden.
Exhibits: none related to El Camino Real
To learn more: www.keystoneheritagepark.org
City of El Paso Museum of History, El Paso
Location: 510 N. Santa Fe Street (at W. Franklin Avenue), El Paso, TX 79901. The museum is located between Interstate 10 and the El Paso Convention and Performing Arts Center.
Telephone: (915) 351-3588
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. except Mondays; evening hours on Thursdays; noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
Historical Significance: This museum was established in 1974 as the Cavalry Museum, but soon afterward broadened its scope and began to function as a local history museum. This facility promotes the understanding and significance of the rich multicultural and multinational history of the border region known as The Pass of the North.
Available Facilities: Due to a successful $6.5 million bond election in 2000, the museum moved away from its former facility in June 2007. The new El Paso Museum of History building is a 2-story, 44,000-square-foot facility in the heart of the El Paso cultural district.
Exhibits: Exhibits explore and display a wide variety of subjects related to both the El Paso area and its sister city to the south, Ciudad Juarez, Chihauhua, Mexico.
To learn more: www.elpasotexas.gov/history/
Ysleta Mission Church, El Paso
Location: 131 S. Zaragoza Road, El Paso
Telephone: (915) 859-9848
Hours: Frequent religious services held Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; church open to public at other times.
Available Facilities: Onsite facilities include the church, an adjacent school, gift shop, and administrative office.
La Purisima Socorro Mission, near El Paso
Location: 328 S. Nevarez Road, Socorro
Telephone: (915) 859-7718
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Available Facilities: Onsite facilities include the church and an adjacent administration office.
Casa Ortiz, Socorro
Location: 10167 Socorro Road, Socorro, TX
Telephone: (915) 859-4066 or (915) 859-6132
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week (bookstore hours)
Available Facilities: The building now houses an independent bookstore called The Bookery, owned by Margaret Barber, which "features the Southwest’s most extensive collection of children's books and puppets."
Los Portales (Casa Garcia), near El Paso
Location: 1521 San Elizario Road, San Elizario (adjacent to San Elceario Catholic Church)
Telephone: (915) 851-1682
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sunday 12-noon to 4 p.m.
Available Facilities: The building, which is owned by El Paso County, is operated by the San Elizario Genealogy and Historical Society. It is now called the Los Portales Museum and Information Center, providing historical exhibits and general information about the San Elizario community.
San Elceario Catholic Church, near El Paso
Location: 1556 San Elizario Road, San Elizario
Telephone: (915) 851-2333
Hours: Due to ongoing construction activity, the church's interior is temporarily closed to visitors except by appointment.
Available Facilities: Onsite facilities include the church and the adjacent Los Portales information center and museum.
Did You Know?
For 25 years (1821-1846), when New Mexico was part of the Republic of Mexico, El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro was the road that Missouri merchants - known as Santa Fe traders - used to reach Mexico's interior markets. Dry goods and hardware were traded for bullion and mules.