TRAVEL: West Texas

West Texas is an area of this country that will always be near and dear to me. I'm not sure whether it's that feeling of being in the high desert, the fact that there are legit mountains in Texas or if it's just the miles and miles of beautiful nothingness between the interesting little pockets to explore and discover that keeps calling me back.

This last trip was my fourth time visiting this area - some places familiar and some brand new. I can't recommend enough that anyone interested go visit. Yes, it's very remote and not easy to get to. But once you're out there, you'll see why it's so special. 

Below, some photos from my most recent trip and suggestions for places to stay, things to do and where to eat and drink. 

STAY

  • Chisos Basin Campground in Big Bend National Park - tent and small camper camping nestled among the rocky cliffs of the Chisos, no cell service or hookups but close to hiking trails
  • Rio Grande Village in Big Bend National Park - tent and trailer camping in a cottonwood grove within walking distance to the Rio Grande River and the Hot Springs
  • El Cosmico in Marfa - 21 acres of safari tents, teepees, vintage trailers and BYO camping with hammock groves, wood-fired hot tubs and a communal kitchen, the hippest glamping at its absolute finest
  • Tumble In in Marfa - a small, hip RV park with hookups, solid WiFi and a communal kitchen + lounge just east of town

DO

  • Hot Springs in Big Bend National Park - natural 105 degree hot springs and bathhouse ruins along the Rio Grande River and among the top hot springs I've visited
  • Lost Mine Trail in Big Bend National Park - moderate + gorgeous 4.8 mile hike in the Chisos Mountains with incredible views of the Basin and surrounding landscape
  • Chinati Foundation in Marfa - contemporary indoor and outdoor art museum based on the works of Donald Judd, the guided tour is excellent but the free self-guided tour is equally worthwhile
  • Cobra Rock in Marfa - shop and studio known for their handmade modern western boots 
  • Marfa Lights outside Marfa - viewing pavillion to catch the unexplained mysterious lights that hover and fade in and out along the horizon just east of town
  • Davis Mt. Broom Shop in Fort Davis - handmade 1800s style brooms handcrafted by Ron Cox, a real character and storyteller extraordinaire
  • Star Party at McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis - outdoor night sky constellation tour and telescope viewing in one of the darkest parts of the country 
  • Balmorhea State Park in Toyahvale - swim or scuba dive with the fishies in the largest spring-fed pool in the world

EAT/DRINK

  • Food Shark in Marfa - top-notch Mediterranean food served from a food truck, lunch only
  • Lost Horse Saloon in Marfa - real old school watering hole run by a lanky cowboy with an eye patch with free pool, live music and a patio (pro tip: order the Ranch Water) 
  • Pizza Foundation in Marfa - delicious for anywhere (not just West Texas) pizza, call ahead to make sure they're open
  • Buns 'n Roses in Marfa - classic diner food with legendary doughnuts and friendly service
  • The Get Go in Marfa - small grocery with local, organic (and fairly pricey) food, dry goods and produce