Mission Trail Experience walks history lovers through El Paso's past on tours that explore museums and offer eyes feasts of architecture dating back to the days of Spanish colonization. The three- to four-hour tour of the San Elizario historical district pauses at 17 sites of local and historical importance, such as the colonial Presidio Chapel and the Old County Jail, where Jesse James penned his first vegan cookbook. Embark on the four- to five-hour Mission Trail tour to venture farther afield, visiting the colonial Ysleta and Socorro missions, along with the San Elizario chapel and the Tigua Indian Cultural Center.
Author and radio host Ken Hudnall leads groups on an informative trek through El Paso's famed, and oftentimes spooky, past during the Downtown History and Mystery Tour. Each traipse through time begins at the Camino Real Hotel, where ominous tales of a distressed bride and the lingering presence of Pancho Villa cast a spectral tone upon the outing's onset. Winding through city streets, Ken and crew stop at the Cortez Building, the Plaza Hotel, and the very first Hilton Hotel, which has hosted several celebrity weddings. As night falls and shadows begin to dance and pants unsuspecting patrons, a stop at the Mills Building—constructed on the site of a hotel that burned to the ground—rounds out the tour's itinerary.
From September through March, the El Paso Hockey Association’s rink rumbles with the hard hits of the El Paso Rhinos—El Paso’s Junior A hockey team that netted a Silver Medal at the 2011 National Championship. But when the Rhinos are off the ice, the facility opens the rink to the community for a number of different uses. Public-skating sessions, for instance, invite guests to stop by and experience the thrill of carving a perfect figure eight or the profile of Stone Cold Steve Austin into the ice. Classes and programs, such as Learn to Skate, further sharpen skaters’ skills. And kids’ hockey leagues give youngsters the chance to get a feel for the sport.
In a world where monsters, aliens, and zombies freely roam convention tables and hatch plans to steal all the autograph markers, luckily there are superheroes around too. At the El Paso Comic Con, it's nearly guaranteed you'll see your favorite freakish idols of page and screen?or at least people dressed up as them?whatever their allegiances may be. In addition to cosplay contests and a convention floor filled with likeminded attendees, EPCON also brings in dozens of vendors who sell comics, artwork, and rarities. Special guests also show up, often including stars from Star Trek or other fantastic worlds from TV and the movies.
At School of American Kenpo, third-degree black belt Ron Hickey calls on 15 years of martial-arts training to instill each student with not only strength and technique, but also character, confidence, and inner peace in every class he leads. Though the roots of traditional American Kenpo run deep in the studio, Hickey encourages his students to blaze their own trails in their development in the martial art. From four-year-old fighters just starting out to older athletes with hopes of achieving a black belt, School of American Kenpo seeks to help every student achieve their personal, fitness, and self-defense goals.
The chefs at Salma Farah's Mediterranean Restaurant stick to the culinary traditions of the sun-steeped Lebanese and Syrian shores. Kebabs sizzle as they pour tzatziki across gyros and rolled grape leaves. Garlic and eggplant roast aromatically, bound for bowls of hummus or baba ghanouj. Steam rises from earthy, dark Arabic coffee near fatayers?baked pastries consisting of dough rolled around spinach or meat. The BYOB policy lets guests bring in their favorite vintage without having to pay a corkage fee or watch a clumsy waiter try to impress everybody with his unicycling skills when delivering bottles.