For years, my husband and I have been meaning to make the drive to West Texas and see all that Marfa has to offer. From Dallas, it's about an 9 hour drive and it has always been hard to commit to the long haul. However, in the year of pandemic 2020, we decided it was time for a road trip.
I am SO glad we did this because I fell in love with Marfa over our four day weekend trip. Even during the pandemic with several restaurants and art exhibits shutdown, we still had the best time.
MARFA IS A VIBE
and I like it. Here are our top three reasons why Marfa should be on your travel list.
THE ART & SCENERY
You've probably heard of the iconic Prada Marfa art installation and, to be honest, this was one of the biggest reasons why we chose Marfa over any other road trip destination from Dallas. As a travel photographer, I wanted to have this in the 527 Photo art print collection. If you visit, I suggest going at sunrise because there was only one other person there when we arrived, making it easy to get our pics. Plus, the light was spectacular. It's also in the town of Valentine, which is about 30 minutes outside of Marfa.
This pop art architectural land art project was installed by Berlin based artists in 2005. It's in the middle of nowhere (literally!), but people from all over travel to see it. This "store" has real Prada bags and shoes from the 2005 collection that were donated by Miuccia Prada.
Do I qualify as a cowgirl since I'm wearing flare jeans and a bandana? :)
Other art exhibits to visit when they're open:
Marfa is a super small town but it's bursting with character. Spend a day walking around town to take in the sights.
I couldn't believe how scenic the area was. It's mountainous with desert terrain. A photographer's paradise!
Other sights to see:
THE STAR PARTY at the McDonald Observatory. It sold out for the rest of 2020 when we were there, so book in advance!
THE MYSTERY LIGHTS. These lights are a strange phenomenon in Marfa and no one can explain where they're coming from.
I mentioned before a lot of the restaurants were closed, but the ones we hit were delicious! Our favorite for tacos was Al Campo and their garden patio was picture perfect. They allow dogs, too!
We hung out at The Sentinel twice because doggies were allowed and the ranch water was the best! If you're unfamiliar with ranch water, it's simply tequila, lime juice and club soda. Add salt to the rim for an extra kick.
The Hotel Paisano has a lovely patio with bistro lights and a fountain for ambient evening dining. And, you guessed it, it's dog friendly. We both ordered the burger and it was fantastic.
Other restaurants to eat at if they're open:
Marfa is small, so spend a day or two venturing out because there's a lot to see in West Texas. Since we were coming from the East, we stopped at Monahans Sand Hills State Park on the way to Marfa. It's really pretty and, for the adventurous, you can sled down the hills.
Other day trip ideas for hiking and scenery:
BIG BEND STATE & NATIONAL PARKS
Marfa was a blast and there really is something for everyone whether you're outdoorsy or more of a patio gal. I hope you make it to beautiful West Texas!
HOTEL SAINT GEORGE - Modern & artsy. We stayed here and loved it. It has a restaurant and bar that was only open for guests at the time of our visit.
HOTEL PAISANO - Authentic West Texas decor
THE LINCOLN - Renovated apartments
THE BRITE BUILDING - Ultra modern penthouse apartment
AIRBNB - Tons of cute little apartments around town
15 minute walk into town
EL COSMICO - Yurts, airstreams and tents
HOW TO GET THERE
Drive if you can because you'll need a car to get around but if you need to fly, you'll fly into Midland and then rent a car to drive about 3 hours west to Marfa.