There is no room for boredom in Marfa, Texas, a town that offers a wide array of entertainment and local art. Check out Donald Judd’s collection at the Chinati Foundation or pose in front of Prada Marfa, the storefront at which you can only dream of shopping. Other great displays of art can be found at the Ballroom Marfa and the Rule Gallery, which is now featuring work by Margaret Neumann, titled Surface Tension. For live music, visit El Cosmico for an awesome outdoor atmosphere during their Sunset Soundtracks and Trans Pecos Festival.
Staying in Marfa is a dream especially if you stay where Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor and James Dean stayed while filming the legendary movie GIANT! The stylish Hotel Paisano is a historic hotel with a modern twist that is great for weddings or simply relaxing. Book one of the suites named for the actors and you’ll be in for a treat! If you want a more modern, luxurious experience, book a room at Hotel Saint George. There, you can find delicious local wines and decadent cuisines. For a more budget-boutique feel, stay at Thunderbird Hotel and hang out at the pool while you’re not exploring the town. If you’re looking for more of a outdoor experience, stay the night at El Cosmico in a teepee, yurt, or an airstream and rent a hot tub or a bike to explore Marfa.
Grab some prepared foods or veggies from The Get Go grocery to take back to your room or try some of the trendy restaurants around town. For breakfast and coffee, go to Do Your Thing or Frama. For daytime tacos and banh mi sandwiches, visit the food truck, Food Shark. For a late-night snack, hit up the Food Shark Museum of Electronic Wonders & Late Night Grilled Cheese Parlour. It serves exactly what its name implies - grilled cheeses to be enjoyed while surrounded by video art created by artist Adam Bork. For a more clubby type, visit Jett’s Grill at Hotel Paisano. Or finally make a reservation at Cochineal, Marfa’s most swanky spot!
Enjoy a few drinks on the patio or around the teepee campgrounds at Planet Marfa. If you’re in the mood for some live music and a cold drink, head to The Lost Horse Saloon for a little karaoke and kick-back music. Hang out under the stars or host an event in The Capri’s modern venue, located across the street from the Thunderbird Hotel.
When you’re not listening to live music or trying the local cuisine, explore the many shops in Marfa that have an array of gifts to take home. At Freda, you can find jewelry as well as unique apothecary. To bring home some house decor, go to Cast and Crew to buy furniture, Mirth for home goods, Marfa Brand Soap for glassware and fine soaps, or Marfa Book Company for a unique selection of books and accessories. Visit Cobra Rock Boot Company for a pair of leather shoes you can’t find anywhere else.
Make it a priority to go see the mysterious Marfa Lights during your stay. These moving orbs of light can be seen from the observatory deck right outside of the Marfa city limits, though their origin has yet to be determined. Many attribute them to extraterrestrial activity and others believe it is paranormal ghost activity. Whether or not you buy into the myths, this is a must-see attraction.
On your way out west, consider staying the night in Marathon, TX. The small town’s main street spans just over a mile, but there is plenty to explore and enjoy in this West Texas gem that has a great view of the Chisos Mountains. Your choices are clear when it comes to lodging, and none of the options disappoint. The Gage Hotel is located in the center of town and offers a luxurious, yet rustic atmosphere, accommodated with Texas Monthly’s “Best Hotel Bar,” the White Buffalo Bar and first class dining at the 12 Gage Restaurant. Other options include staying at the cozy Eve’s Garden Bed and Breakfast or at one of the many local adobe haciendas. For a hearty breakfast or simply a coffee and danish, visit Marathon Coffee. The Famous Burro Cafe and Bar opens for lunch until midnight and offers burgers, fried snacks, and a lively night time bar. And don’t forget to shop along the main street where you’ll find bookstores, galleries, and house decor vendors.
When in West Texas, you cannot pass up the opportunity to take in the natural beauty that the Big Bend National Park has to offer. The park is over 800,000 acres of diverse terrain, depending on the region of the park you’re in. Visit the Santa Elena Canyon and hike or kayak inside of the canyon where the the Rio Grande River runs between the US and Mexico border. For a longer hike, choose either the South Rim or Emory Peak trail, where you will experience the best views in the region. After a long day of hiking, visit The Langford Hot Springs, where you will find the remains of an old resort built in 1906 by J. O. Langford.
Don’t forget to add Balmorhea State Park to your list of West Texas destinations! The park features a freshwater pool fed by a natural spring that remains a constant 72°-76°F year round. This oasis in the middle of the desert is home to many species of endangered fish as well as other animals native to the region. Make it a day trip or bring a tent and stay a while at the onsite campsites.
Stop by the McDonald Observatory, located near Fort Davis to experience the night sky like you’ve never seen it before. The observatory is home to the fifth largest telescope in the world with breathtaking views of the solar system. Make it out to a star party, hosted every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday evening to get the best views of the constellations and planets.