The city grew from settlements dating to the Juan de Oñate expedition in 1598 and a settlement by Juan Maria Ponce de León in 1827. Area missions predate Ponce de León's settlement by almost 150 years. It is the largest U.S. city on the Mexican border, and neighboring Ciudad Juàrez is Mexico's largest border city. Nightly on the west horizon, a 459-foot star with 459 lights can be seen from sunset–sunrise on the south side of the Franklin Mountains.
El Pasoans celebrate Thanksgiving in spring, marking when Oñate and his travelers crossed the Rio Grande near El Paso on April 20, 1598, and stopped to feast.
Professional sports teams are the El Paso Chihuahuas, Triple-A baseball; El Paso Rhinos Western States Hockey League Mid West Conference; and the El Paso Scorpions Rugby Club. Sun Bowl Stadium is home to the annual Sun Bowl Football Classic.
For a two-pound steak, inquire about the Indian Cliffs Ranch/Cattleman's Steakhouse, 30 minutes east of the city on I-10 (915/544-3200).