Friday, January 20, 2017

Road Trip: West Texas Adventure

Prada Marfa
While our visit to Big Bend National Park was our main objective we had lots of other fun places on our list to check out as well while we were in West Texas.


First on our list was Marfa, TX. Marfa is a small west Texas town known for it's hipster contemporary art cred, and for the mysterious Marfa Lights. The most well known contemporary art installation is Prada Marfa. It's technically not in Marfa, it's in Valentine, TX which is about a 45 minute outside Marfa. The creators of the project said that it was meant to be a "pop architectural land art project".

It can be a pretty popular spot with tourists, but we got lucky and got the place to ourselves.

Marfa proper is a really cute. It has bright mid-century and adobe homes buildings and an aesthetic that is a little like what I imagine Palm Springs to be.

Marfa Fire Station
 The first place to stop should be the Visitor Information Center. They have a great handout that lists places to eat and art exhibits and when things are open. Often times things are only open from Thursday - Sunday at least during the high season.

Trash can outside the Marfa Visitor Information Center
Highlights in Marfa, include the Chinati Foundation, Ballroom Marfa, Food Shark food truck, Squeeze for smoothies and juice, Hotel Paisano, the newly and beautifully updated Thunderbird Hotel and El Cosmico!

Pure Joy
Marfa lights viewing area
You can't go to Marfa and not watch for Marfa Lights! There is a viewing area just outside of town with bathrooms (no running water). There are not any food or drinks nearby so bring some hot chocolate or coffee and cozy up to see if you see any unexplained lights. We did!

  Fort Davis

We headed to Fort Davis to see the MacDonald Observatory. The MacDonald Observatory is an astronomical observatory atop Mt Fowlkes and Mt Locke. With the girls being so young and wild on our visit day we didn't get to enjoy a lot of it but we did get a cool and informative tour. This is another place we would love to revisit when the girls are a little older so that we can enjoy a night time viewing. 

Fort Davis is also home to the Fort Davis National Historical Site. The site was preserved as an example of a United States Army Fort from the mid 1800s.

Fort Davis National Historic Site


Terlingua has a definite mystique to it as artsy desolate desert town do. It is just outside the main entrance to Big Bend National Park. It is famous for it's Ghost Town  and chili peppers. We celebrated Evan's 40th birthday by eating Mexican food in Terlingua. Much to our disappointment we did not make it out to the historic part of the town, but will have to make it out next time. 


Alpine was our home base for our little adventure. 

Mural in Alpine, TX

Alpine is home to Sul Ross State University so it has a little more bustle than some of the other West Texas towns. You can find good coffee at plaine which also has a sister location called farma in Marfa. They have well stocked grocery stores and lots of different restaurants. We stayed in an Air B and B location in town and it was a perfect base for us. 

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed west Texas. We are already planning our trip back!   

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