The city of El Paso, Texas borders New Mexico and Arizona, which means there are plenty of exciting nearby towns ideal for a weekend getaway. Look forward to nature explorations in Guadalupe Mountains National Park in Salt Flat, Texas; snow skiing in Ruidoso, New Mexico; and horseback riding in Tucson, Arizona. Book a stay at El Paso vacation rentals that put you in proximity to the foothills of the Black Range in Winston, New Mexico, or near a horseshoe-shaped reef in Salt Flat, Texas. Consider these cities for your next weekend getaway.

1. Carlsbad, New Mexico

carlsbad cavern
Source: Flickr/Earl Ray Saathoff

A two hour and 40-minute drive puts you in a cozy cabin vacation rental adjacent to the Carlsbad Caverns National Park in New Mexico. Spend your weekend getaway touring the caverns, hiking the trails, and admiring the rich, natural history of the park. Refresh and cool off from the warm heat of the summer with a dip in Sitting Bull Falls or treat the kids to a trip to the Living Desert Zoo and Gardens State Park during your stay. Carlsbad also hosts a variety of entertainment venues, such as the Carlsbad Community Theatre and the Carlsbad Museum and Art Center to keep the entire family entertained.

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2. Salt Flat, Texas

guadalupe mountains texas
Source: Flickr/Brandon Satterwhite

Explore Guadalupe Mountains National Park, dubbed as one of the best-kept secrets in America, after just an hour and a half drive from El Paso. See stunning geological wonders when exploring the park’s reserves that include a horseshoe-shaped Capitan Reef and exposed fossils. With more than 46,000 acres to explore, you and the family can spend your weekend horseback riding the trails or climbing to Guadalupe Peak, which is the highest point in the great state of Texas. After a rigorous climb or hike, satisfy your hunger with lunch at the Salt Flat Cafe or dinner at the Cornudas Cafe.

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3. Ruidoso, New Mexico

ski apache ruidoso
Source: Flickr/optictopic

Ruidoso, located two and a half hours from El Paso, is a hotspot for adventure in every season. Try your hand at skiing the slopes at Ski Apache or venture from your vacation rental hideaway to see live horse racing during the summer months at the horse racing track that is home to Billy the Kid Casino. When you’re feeling lucky, pull the slots at Casino Apache, or thrill the history buffs with a stop in at the Hubbard Museum of the American West. The surrounding Lincoln National Forest is a popular attraction for outdoor enthusiasts and features the peak of Sierra Blanca.

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4. Tucson, Arizona

cactus mountains tucson

Find yourself surrounded by the Sonoran Desert when booking a vacation rental in Tucson, located just four hours from El Paso. This vibrant city offers outdoor adventures in Saguaro National Park where you can hike and bike the trails or stop in at the Tucson Zoo to see the exotic animals. Take a scenic horseback ride with Spanish Trail Outfitters or sightsee at Sabino Canyon to see the natural wonders of the city. The Pima Air and Space Museum draws in history and astronomy buffs whereas the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and Art Gallery is popular with the creative types.

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5. Winston, New Mexico

emory pass gila national forest
Source: Flickr/Gila National Forest

Explore the outdoors when settling in Winston, New Mexico, for your weekend getaway. In just a little over two hours, you can reach this city in the foothills of the Black Range and explore the Gila National Forest when traveling from El Paso. Stop in at the Chihenne Ranch to wander through elevations of more than 8,500 feet at the tops of the mountains and see the 12 miles of ranch grounds that house horses and working cattle. Sign up for a gold and silver mine visit at the ranch or thrill the adventure seekers with a horseback ride or four-wheel off-road trip. Before retreating to your vacation rental, stop in at the Pioneer Store Museum for an authentic souvenir to remember your weekend getaway.

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6. Odessa, Texas

odessa stonehenge replica
Source: Flickr/joevare

Indulge your quest for knowledge when making the four-hour trip from El Paso to Odessa for the weekend. Start your sightseeing tour when visiting the ancient ruins of the Stonehenge Replica before snapping a photo of the Chris Kyle “American Sniper” Memorial. This vibrant community rich in culture offers the Ellen Noel Art Museum for the art enthusiasts and the Permian Playhouse for those wanting to see a live play or musical performance. Get in some retail therapy at the Music City Mall or enjoy the warm Texas weather with a walk, jog, or hike through McKinney Park.

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7. Las Cruces, New Mexico

the organ mountains
Source: Flickr/Jim Staley

In less than an hour, you can find yourself just over the Organ Mountains and in the heart of Las Cruces, New Mexico, a city known for Aguirre Springs. Relax in the shade of the park or paddle down the streams that flow year round. Get some exercise when exploring the hiking trails of Mesilla Valley Bosque State Park that offer a challenging climb through the Organ Mountains for the adventurous types in your crew. Las Cruces is also a mecca for railway history with the Railroad Museum that features interactive exhibits and model trains. When you want to see the history of the farming and ranching industry of the city, head over to the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum that boasts gardens and livestock.

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