El Paso, Texas
This border town sits in the high desert of western Texas, and despite nearly 700,000 inhabitants, it still manages to maintain a small-town vibe nestled in the hills overlooking the possible future site of a certain much-discussed wall.
Most of the year, it’s an ideal town to walk around in the evening hours. The summer’s heat can be oppressive, but temps are still downright balmy at night -- and after a day of being cooped up in the AC, El Paso knows how to get out and party in a nocturnal-desert-creature kind of way.
We in the US don’t always realize it, but really we’ve been largely hosed when it comes to tequila, largely limited to the whims of distributors. In El Paso, the taste for tequila is a bit more refined and much better educated. This used to be Mexico, after all. You’ll be hard pressed to spend so much as a weekend drinking here without encountering multiple fantastic agave-based spirits that are wholly new to you.
Speaking of tequila, legendary patio bar the Hope & Anchor invites you to take in the Southwestern sun and savor Mexican-inspired flavors: such as a chili-infused margarita made with fresh juice. Meanwhile, Mas T’Kila Bar can offer you a tequila tour of the good stuff, right within its four walls. Order your precious agave nectar served in a shot glass molded from a fresh jalapeño. It’s one of the finer things in life, and El Paso is the place to get it on this side of the border.
Slightly out of town you’ll find legendary Rosa’s Cantina, where you can live out your cowboy fantasies and pay homage to one of the best country-and-western songs ever penned. And while we all love our Lone Star sometimes you want to get crafty. In such inevitable circumstances, get yourself to the The Hoppy Monk, whose impressive beer selection is equaled only by the comfort of its welcoming patio.
If you’re in need of some hair of the perro, you should hit up the Borracho Brunch on Sundays at Aceitunas Beer Garden, where you’re bound to find just the elixir and sustenance you need to get yourself back on track from a wild weekend of wandering the hot streets of El Paso. -- Megan Frye, contributing writer