El Paso, TX's Quality of Life Keeps Improving

El Paso's amenities, natural beauty, safety rankings and a list of new projects now under construction make it one of the Southwest's hottest cities.

Kari Kynard Ridge
On Monday, November 25, 2013 - 12:35
El Paso, TX

It is no secret that El Paso is a city where people want to be. With a high quality of life and funding in place to maintain its vitality, the "Sun City" already attracts families and businesses and now has even more features to give them reason for putting down roots.

"We're doing things in El Paso," says Marissa Monroy, the city's economic development coordinator. "There's a buzz in the air as you walk around. Residents are excited about all the things to do and all the possibilities here."

As testament to their confidence in El Paso, voters overwhelmingly approved a $470 million "quality of life bond" that is funding more than 40 projects throughout the city. The money is earmarked for things such as a children's science museum, new neighborhood parks and a reptile house at the El Paso Zoo.

The first major project is a $1.4 million skate park at Northeast Regional Park, and the beloved San Jacinto Plaza is getting table tennis, chess courtyards, benches, landscaping and shade structures.

Finding Home in El Paso

Martin Bartlett says he knew he was home when he moved here a few years ago from Mississippi.

"The mountains, the big epic sunsets, the great restaurants, all the things to do -- it's a phenomenally beautiful city and it felt like home the second I drove in on I-10," Bartlett says. "There is a quality of life here that I haven't experienced anywhere else."

Safest City in the United States

El Pasoans say they are encouraged to get out and enjoy their city to the fullest in a place they feel safe. In its latest report, CQ Press named El Paso the city with the lowest crime rate in the nation among cities with a population of 500,000 or more. The city also has received top spots for low-crime rates for many years by Money Magazine and the National Crime Prevention Council.

"El Paso has the feel of a city that you want to walk around in," says Bartlett, who now works for the city's engineering and construction management department.

Endless Opportunities for Families

Already known for being family-friendly, the area has no shortage of options to keep all ages entertained. Jumpland, an indoor trampoline park, almost always proves to be popular with kids, as well as the El Paso Exploreum which opened in 2013 with its hands-on exhibits involving construction, aviation, high-tech and role play. More than 2,000 animals live at the El Paso Zoo, which features exhibits with animals of Asia, Africa and the Americas. And the El Paso Public Library System has 13 sites around the city that host events for adults and children, says Bill Lockhart, the library's head of reference.

Military and so Much More

Many people relocating to the area are coming to Fort Bliss, the U.S. Army post headquartered here. For those soldiers and their families, a new company, Military Relocation Support offers help with everything from finding housing to locating restaurants and learning why so many people never want to leave.

"My friends from other towns come to visit and they understand why I'm staying here," Bartlett says. "El Paso is just as much about the Franklin Mountains as it is about delicious food, and a thousand other things I love about this city."

Don't miss some of the top things to do in El Paso.