The Ultimate Wheelchair Accessible El Paso, Texas Travel Guide

  • asked me to share my experience in El Paso and accessibility suggestions, so I’m thrilled to bring you this article!

El Paso is a city in the far western portion of Texas, which offers a complete city experience for all visitors. This unique destination is very close to the Mexico border and is a bustling and busy city. Visiting El Paso is the perfect way to experience the mixing of cultures and get a sense of the community. There’s plenty to do in El Paso and almost everything is wheelchair accessible. 

This ultimate wheelchair accessible El Paso, Texas travel guide highlights all of the fun and exciting opportunities the city provides and details each location’s accessibility. From catching a baseball or soccer game to visiting the theatre, participating in a block party, or going to the zoo or an art exhibit, El Paso has something for everyone.  

Where to Stay While Visiting El Paso

When planning a trip to El Paso, the first thing you’ll likely research is an accessible place to stay. Three potential hotel options are detailed below, but there are a variety of accommodations in El Paso to consider. Just be sure to call and check their accessibility before going.

1: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Downtown El Paso

This hotel has 3 different types of accessible rooms: a king size with a roll-in shower, king size with accessible tub, and a 2 queen with accessible tub. These rooms are located strategically within the hotel to provide the necessary access you’ll need throughout your stay. 

2: Hotel Indigo, an ING Hotel

Also located in downtown El Paso, this hotel has a unique metro vibe and has a total of 7 accessible rooms and accessible parking. This is a good option if you’re looking for a trendy hotel experience beyond the usual chains or big hotels. 

3: Hotel Paso Del Norte by Marriott

This last hotel is quite the luxury experience. This hotel offers very elegant and trendy rooms that rival the vibe of many upscale apartments. Each room is specifically designed with elegant decor for an elevated experience. There are four different room sizes, each with their own unique amenities for a completely different hotel experience. The hotel is a bit exclusive, so it’s best to call before setting up a reservation to ensure you can reserve an ADA compliant room.

Wheelchair Accessible Things to Do in El Paso

1: Explore the unique location of El Paso

El Paso is in a unique location in the United States because it’s located very close to the borders of New Mexico and Mexico. When you look at a map of the United States, you’ll see that El Paso is tucked in the corner of Texas, between New Mexico and the U.S. border, giving you a unique opportunity to visit the edge of two countries and stay near 3 states, New Mexico and Texas in the U.S. and the state of Chihuahua in Mexico.

While you’re in El Paso to explore the city and enjoy the destination, this may be the perfect opportunity to visit Juarez while you’re in the area. In one trip, you can visit two different countries. The center of Juarez is only 30 minutes from El Paso, making it an easy trip across the border for a few hours or the day’s event. Be sure to bring your passport, as you will be traveling to another country and crossing a border. 

In El Paso, you can also visit Chihuahuita, or “Little Chihuahua” which is one of the oldest neighborhoods in El Paso. Last year the neighborhood turned 200, as it was established in the early 1900’s and is considered the “Ellis Island of the American Southwest.”

2: El Paso Chihuahuas Baseball

The El Paso Chihuahuas are the local minor league baseball team. If you’re visiting El Paso during the season, it’s the perfect opportunity to enjoy a night at a game, from the food and the atmosphere to the wheelchair accessible accommodations. Seeing a minor league game is often more fun than a major league game because of the smaller, local crowds with all the big league fun. It’s also a great opportunity if your hometown doesn’t have a minor team, you can see more of El Paso, enjoy the traditional stadium fare, and root for the home team.

In terms of accessibility, the baseball stadium is ADA compliant and offers wheelchair and companion seating in 7 of the seating sections. ADA parking is available in three different lots, including the Union Pacific Transit Terminal. The local city bus, SunMetro, can be used to attend a game, along with a car service. There are two drop off locations for car services. One drop off location is for ADA guests only, at Durango St. & West Franklin Ave. All the stadium entrances are wheelchair accessible and there is an elevator to access upper level tickets. Tickets can be purchased in advance to ensure you receive ADA seating.

3: El Paso Locomotive FC Soccer

If soccer is more your style, you can try and catch an El Paso Locomotive FC game. The soccer team shares a stadium with the minor league baseball team, giving visitors a great chance to enjoy the stadium no matter their sport preference. Attending a professional soccer game is a great way for fans to experience the energy, intensity, and atmosphere some only get to see on television. If you’re a soccer fan and you haven’t had the chance to attend a game in-person like this, you need to do it while you’re in El Paso. Seeing a game in real-time is something that can’t be replicated on tv and it will add even more memories to your El Paso trip. 

The soccer stadium is ADA compliant with wheelchair and companion seating in several sections. There is a public elevator to help guests reach their seats in the upper levels, but a ticket may be required to enter the elevator.  ADA parking is available in two locations including the Union Pacific Transit Terminal. There are two drop off locations, one of which is specifically for ADA guests. All stadium entrances are wheelchair accessible and tickets can be purchased in advance to provide ADA seating.

4: El Paso Zoo

Taking the opportunity to visit a new zoo, different from your local one, is a unique way to learn about local animals and how location specific ecosystems are showcased at the zoo. El Paso Zoo is broken down into Africa, Americas, and Asia, each showcasing interesting animals. The website highlights each animal specifically, giving you a preview and idea of how to tailor your trip. The Africa exhibithas Giraffes you can feed greens, all you need is a $3 token. The Americas exhibithas a wide range of exhibits from a Galapagos Tortoise and Inca Turn to an American Alligator and a Mexican Wolf. The animals of the Asia exhibitinclude an elephant, tiger, orangutan, leopard, and Sun Bear. 

In addition to a range of exhibits, there’s also several dining options, from the Passport Cafe with salads, sandwiches, burgers, and pizza to the Grasslands Cafe with sandwiches, tacos, nachos, and quesadillas. The Beastro Kiosk offers snack food and beverages including popcorn and ice cream. No stop at the El Paso Zoo is complete without a stop at the Safari Outfitters gift shop. It’s the perfect place to bring home a memento of your trip or shop for gifts. 

The El Paso Zoo is wheelchair accessible with wide walkways and even surfaces. There is ADA compliant parking in the general zoo lot. If needed, wheelchairs are available for rental for a fee of $10 and must be returned by 4:30pm. Zoos typically are designed for flat pathways and walking crowds, but there is space at the zoo for wheelchairs, scooters, and other mobility equipment as well as strollers. Guide dogs are welcome at the zoo for those in wheelchairs that need assistance as well as seeing eye and hearing dogs. Ticketsrange in price from $9 to $12 for adults.

5: El Paso Museum of Art

The El Paso Museum of Art offers a range of art exhibitions to cater to a broad audience. Exhibitions change through the year and with the seasons, but a full list of currently open exhibitions can be found on their website, complete with details about the specific exhibitions and the availability. This is a great way to plan your trip to El Paso with the EPMA in mind, as upcoming exhibitions are listed as well. You are welcome to plan your own trip and visit any day that fits your schedule, as admission is always free. If you’re looking for a guided tour, be sure to check the calendar, as there are exhibition and gallery tours on specific days. You can also call ahead to set up a tour if needed.

The museum is completely wheelchair accessibleand is welcoming to service animals. While the website doesn’t provide many details, they do offer a phone number to connect you with the museum to answer questions and provide specific accommodations. Wheelchair accessible parking is available in each of the 3 parking garages near the museum. The galleries are very open, giving everyone space to study and enjoy the art.  

6: El Paso Live Plaza Theatre

If you’re looking to visit a historic building while you’re in El Paso, why not plan a night at the theatre? The El Paso Live Plaza Theatre has amazing Spanish Colonial Revival architecture, detailed painted ceilings, tile floors, and decor throughout. It has a great atmosphere and is open for both seeing shows and theatre tours. If you’re interested in a tour, call the theatre beforehand to get an idea of what the tour entails and how wheelchair accessible it is. There’s also a 360 degree virtual tour available on their website, which can give you a good preview of the theatre before your visit. If you’re ready to see a show, check out the calendar. This theatre hosts concerts, shows, and plays, so there’s something for everyone. 

For accessibility,the theatre has seating for up to 21 wheelchairs and a passenger elevator for guests to reach the upper levels. There’s also assistive listening devices available at the box office. Wheelchair seating tickets can be purchased ahead of time online, and companion seats can be reserved as well. Parking for the theatre is mainly underground and secure.   

7: Alfresco Fridays at Arts Festival Plaza

In the warmer summer months, the Arts Festival Plaza, which is located between the El Paso Museum of Art and the Plaza Theatre hosts Alfresco Fridays!A street fair of sorts for the community to come together and celebrate. There’s usually a live band and food available to purchase, creating an exciting spot to enjoy in the evening most Fridays in the summer.

Arts Festival Plazais a very popular space for hosting a variety of events, not just Alfresco Fridays. During the Downtown Street Festival this space is turned into a music stage. For the Plaza Classic Film Festival, the space is transformed into an outdoor movie theater. It is also used to display art as an art gallery. The waterfall, trees, and unique location between two popular buildings makes this a great place for events, or to take a break and enjoy the natural space. 

Arts Festival Plaza is a large open space with low stairs leading to a raised level. One side of the space is a gradual ramp, allowing access to the space around the stairs. This space is mainly open concrete which is easy to navigate with a wheelchair, provided the crowds are  dense. This space is easily accessible from underground parking, the spaces visitors for the EPMA or Plaza Theatre may use. There is no covered space to provide shade, so some sunny summer days may be very hot and in direct sun depending on the time of day. 

8: Ascarate Park and Lake

If you’re looking for a break from city life, check out Ascarate Park and lake. This popular county park is located directly on the water and has wonderful views as well as docks for fishing and water sports. Ascarate Park is the largest public-use park in the county, highlights include: a golf course, lake, boardwalk, fishing space, aquatic center, playgrounds, picnic space, and walking paths. There is a small fee to enter the park, from $1 to $5 on an average day. Parking is $2 on most days with parking increasing to $5 or $10 for special events. 

The accessibility of Ascarate Park is average, as there are some paved sidewalks and walkways around the boardwalk. Throughout the greenspace, there are gravel walking paths which may be suitable to motorized wheelchairs but may be difficult with manual wheelchairs. The lake views can also be seen from the parking lot. Grass separates the picnic areas from the walkways, and most pavilions have concrete slab floors with overhead shade.

9: Flix Brewhouse

A great opportunity in El Paso is Flix Brewhouse, a cinema, restaurant, and brewery. This is the perfect place to enjoy a beer, catch a movie, or have a great meal while in town. Here you can do all three, watch a film, eat a meal, and enjoy a beverage all at the same time. The unique theater dining space offers seats at tables all facing the big screen. The menu offers something for everyone with a range of options from typical bar food to more elevated fare with quality ingredients and big flavors. They brew their own beer, offering 12 different pours, and dozens of other well-known craft options. You can dine at the restaurant without catching a movie.

The accessibility at Flix Brewhouse is very similar to any ADA requirements at a restaurant and theater. It’s recommended you call ahead to reserve wheelchair accessible seating, just to make sure there’s a table or theater space available during your planned visit. Menus and showtimes are available on their website for the El Paso location. 

10: ADC Farmers’ Market

Ardovino’s Desert Crossing Farmers’ Market has been a destination in El Paso for 20 years. The market is open every Saturday from 9:00AM to 1:00PM and has a range of produce as well as brunch, coffee, and home staples. This is a high quality farmers’ market that offers organic and free-range items. In addition to vendors there’s food literacy, cooking demonstrations, and activities for the kids. Gardening tips are also offered and there is a whole yearly calendar highlighting the big events. There’s a complete list of vendors and products on their website, as well as an interactive map. 

The accessibility is average for a traditional farmers’ market. You may want to plan to start the day with a reservation for brunch, as this is a full service restaurant, and explore the vendors leisurely. It may be less busy at the beginning or end of the Saturday timeslot. The restaurant may be useful in finding a slower time at the market or where weekends tend to be especially busy.

How to Get Around El Paso

A great company for accessible taxis in El Paso is Checkered Taxi. They have a great website, accept reservations, and have a fleet of handicap accessible vans. This company runs service to and from the airport as well as to Juarez, which is perfect if you were planning a day trip or wanted transportation to your hotel. Checkered Taxi serves the entire El Paso area, which means they can give you a ride to any destination and will be there when you’re ready to head home.

If you’d rather try public transportation, El Paso has SunMetro city buses with LIFT. SunMetro is their city bus provider, and the service LIFT is their paratransit service. LIFT offers curb to curb service with on demand transportation in the form of small buses with hydraulic mobility device lifts and tie downs in each unit. You can purchase your tickets or fare ahead of time through their website and understand more about the LIFT program.

As you can see, there is plenty to do and see in El Paso for wheelchair users. The public transportation or taxi service makes it easy to get around and the main attractions, from the ballpark to the zoo and even the Brewhouse and farmer’s market, are accessible. As a wheelchair user, you can feel comfortable and confident knowing you can travel to El Paso and have a great time.



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