Travel destinations in El Paso you can visit with a full tank of gas

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Gas prices have increased by almost 50% compared to last year. And airlines continue to impact travelers with flight cancellations and shortages of pilots who cannot keep up with demand.

Nevertheless, the people of El Paso, like many others across the country, still want to take advantage of the last weeks of summer and take a trip somewhere. With gas prices in mind, we’ve designed five places you can drive on a full tank of gas, using a standard 25 gallons per mile.

The following destinations range from 400 to 500 miles. At the lowest, we’ll start with a quiet stay in El Paso.

El Paso Staycation at Downtown Hotels

El Paso has several great hotels that will make you feel special without leaving town. If you want to wine and dine and enjoy great views of the city, consider staying at the Plaza Hotel Pioneer Park, 106 W Mills Ave. East. As a convenience, guests can grab a drink or two at the La Perla rooftop bar.

Another great option is Hotel Paso Del Norte, across from the El Paso Museum of Art, which has several dining options, from the Sabor restaurant on the first floor to its 1700 Steakhouse. The hotel recently launched High Tea events on Saturdays, so you can at least pretend you’re in London.

Since you are staying downtown, you can visit nearby museums or rent the scooters in San Jacinto Square and enjoy an afternoon on horseback.

Other downtown dining options include Elemi (reservation) for unique Mexican fare, 313 N Kansas St., El Paso, Ristorante Casanova at the Double Tree Hotel, 600 El Paso St. and Café Central, 109 N. Oregon St. .

If you’re looking for a kid-friendly hotel, try the Wyndham El Paso Airport Hotel and Water Park, which features a four-story corkscrew waterslide and kids’ pool with waterfall. Palm trees, lush landscaping and the Cabana Bar will provide a great retreat.

It is also near several restaurants such as Cattle Baron Steak & Seafood, Zino’s 6590 Montana Ave. Suite H for Mediterranean cuisine and Track One (for chicken wings), 1330 Robert E. Lee Road.

After: Ristorante Casanova in downtown El Paso impresses with Italian cuisine and homemade pasta

Romantic getaway to Riverbend Hot Springs

If you’re looking for something to do as a couple, you should consider planning the weekend to stay at Riverbend Hot Springs in Truth or Consequences. The site is approximately 118 miles from El Paso. The drive to and from the spa will take less than two hours on Interstate 25 North and it takes less than half a tank of gas to get there.

The bedrooms are comfortable with a firm queen bed, two bathrobes and towels waiting on the mattress. The rooms also have a small refrigerator and a television with Direct TV.

The adult retreat offers eight community natural hot mineral spring pools, all of which have the Rio Grande River as their backdrop. Each pool has a sign with a temperature ranging from 95 to 108 degrees. These communal pools are accessible via a one hour reservation.

The best plan is to book the two-night retreat (about $300) and walk to the communal pools as you wish. There are different terraces for those times when you’ve had just enough soaking time but don’t want to leave the panoramic view.

But also plan to pay for a private bath or two for a romantic couple’s moment. You can choose from seven private pools for an hour or two. There is a mister above the spa in case you want to cool down a bit and a seating area with lawn chairs. There are also curtains you can close if you don’t want to see nice people floating around and waving on the Rio Grande.

During the summer, private pools are $50 per hour for one or two people. Make sure one of the private pool reservations is in the evening so you can watch the beautiful lights in the trees and have a slightly different experience.

Dining options include ordering food to your room from Johnny B’s or visiting the Moon Full Kitchen outside the spa. Locals seem to flock to Johnny B’s, 2260 N Date St., so it made sense to have breakfast there. The French toast ($4.25) with a side of bacon was amazing, with very crispy and meaty bacon. Buttered, biscuit in sauce it’s the bomb. Husband had the chicken fried steak and eggs with hash browns ($8.75) and barely looked up.

Information: www.RiverbendHotSprings.com; 575-894-7625; https://www.johnnybsrestaurant.net/

Albuquerque/Santa Fe, New Mexico

If you continue on Interstate 25, you might want to do a weekend in Albuquerque and Santa Fe for the family. The drive to Albuquerque from El Paso takes nearly four hours and approximately 266 miles. So you’ll probably get there with half a tank of gas to use.

Albuquerque is a great place for families with young children as they will make the most of the Abq BioPark, which has the zoo, aquarium, and botanical gardens nearby. You should start the day early at the zoo and check out the polar bear, the Penguin Chill habitat with king and gentoo penguins, the Reptile House with its Grand Cayman blue iguana, and the primates.

Admission to zoo or aquarium and gardens: $14 for non-residents of New Mexico, $5 for youth 3-12. Be sure to take credit cards; no cash accepted at this time.

Once you’re done with the zoo, drive about a mile to the aquarium and botanical gardens. The aquarium is two stories tall but not large, and it’s easy to keep up with your kids as they go from exhibit to exhibit. They’ll love watching stingrays in an open pool, the expansive tank where they can see many different marine species, otters, and a small area where they can touch particular creatures with two fingers.

After:Grab a tasty bite at the best restaurants outside the city limits of El Paso

Take a lunch break at the cafe and stroll through the Botanical Gardens. Kids will love entering the fantasy children’s garden, where they’ll find oversized creatures and a giant pumpkin to hide in and find their way to the railroad garden and butterfly pavilion. For adults, there are plenty of quiet areas like Japanese Gardens and Rose Gardens.

Another day, spend some time biking at the attractions at Cliff’s Amusement Park, 4800 Osuna Road NE, which offers a range of rides from log rides and thrill rides to spinning ones and a park aquatic. Make sure kids pack their bathing suits or wear them under their outfits, so they don’t waste time enjoying the water feature.

Recommended places to eat in Albuquerque include the Cheesecake Factory and the Elephant Bar Restaurant, 2240 Louisiana Blvd. NE The latter offers a menu with dishes from around the world, including pasta dishes, Korean beef tacos and Mongolian beef. The Korean beef tacos ($11.95) were delicious, topped with pickled cabbage, avocado, jalapeňos, cilantro, tomatoes and a special salsa.

After a two-night stay in Albuquerque, consider heading to Santa Fe for the unforgettable Meow Wolf experience at 1352 Rufina Circle. Be sure to book and pay for your tickets online before your trip.

Kids will love exploring the interactive house, with over 700 rooms and unique portals, like a washing machine, fireplace and fridge. The House of Eternal Return, as it is called, can also be enjoyed by teens and adults who want to search for story-related clues in the house.

This is one of those attractions that can take an hour or more; it all depends on the visitor. Admission is $42 for adults and $27 for children ages 3-14. Beware, the gift shop is attractive, but stuffed animals and other popular souvenirs are pricey.

Fredericksburg/Johnson City, TX

Fredericksburg, Texas is just 500 miles or less, 498.2 miles from El Paso via Interstate 10. If you want a shorter day trip, head to State Park from Balmorhea, 188 miles from El Paso and only a 2- hour and 49 minute drive.

Be sure to make your reservations online, a change since the coronavirus pandemic. Note that day passes often sell out throughout the summer. Only the pool and day use areas are open. The rest of the park is closed for renovations.

The park offers a natural spring pool, which is very cold, but fun to swim in as the fish are in the pool. There are shaded areas under the trees for picnics, but they are taken early in the day.

After:What’s happening at restaurants, businesses in downtown El Paso

For a three-day weekend, continue to Fredericksburg, which is a fun town with German heritage. Couples who like to shop and dine will appreciate the myriad of shops along the main square. There are also wine tours, where you can learn about local vineyards and fun little places to eat. Among our favorites is Sozial Haus, 107 S. Llano St., for crispy fresh pizzas, cobb salads and sub sandwiches.

If you like to recharge your batteries outdoors and get up close to bison and camels, check out the Exotic Resort Zoo in Johnson City, TX. It is 35 miles via US-290 E.

The resort features eight cabins, an outdoor pool, and a personal fishing lake amidst 137 sprawling forested acres. It’s a great way to escape city life.

The property offers wildlife that roam the land and come to vehicles on self-guided or tractor-drawn tours.

The ranch has eight different themed cabins, accommodating four to eight people, all within one general area of ​​the resort. Cabins cost between $150 and $250 a night.

Travel-loving María Cortés González can be reached at 915-546-6150; [email protected]; @EPTMaria on Twitter.

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