I’d been hearing about Marfa, Texas for a while (OK, I admit mainly through Beyonce) so decided to stop in this small West Texas town (population just under 2,000) while road tripping across the USA.
After driving hundreds of miles through sand, desert, blue skies and the open road, I arrived in Marfa. The place is so remote, it’s hard to believe that this quirky, charming town exists in the middle of nowhere. With it’s scenic mountains, never ending sky, abundance of stars and beautiful sunsets, this place is the perfect spot to get away (literally, you will feel like you are in an alternate universe.. in the best way!). Even better, it’s filled with delicious restaurants, quirky shops and tons of art! Marfa is, after all, best known as an art mecca.
Read below for my favorite things to do, eat and where to stay in Marfa, Texas.
WHERE TO STAY:
El Cosmico: The most charming campground under a sky full of stars with a collection of vintage airstream trailers, tents, teepees and a Mongolian yurt spread across the 18 acres on the edge of town. They have hammocks, wood-fired hot tubs and occasionally events (kimchi making classes, music festivals, and movie nights to name a few).
It was my first time “glamping” (we definitely weren’t roughing it!) and felt like we got the full Marfa experience getting to spend the night under the stars while drinking Lone Star beers by the fire.
WHERE TO EAT (+ DRINK):
First, let me say that Marfa marches at the beat of its own drum and shops can close or open when they feel like it (or not at all). It’s best to visit Marfa on a weekend (Thursday – Sunday) as places are more likely to be open.
- Food Shark: YUM. A food truck serving delicious Mediterranean food and a rotating menu. Get the ‘Marfalafel’ – my favorite!
- Museum of Electronic Wonders and Late-Night Grilled Cheese Parlour: This was maybe one of the most interesting places I’ve ever been to. It’s owned by the same owner of Food Shark and is only open (usually) on Friday and Saturday nights after 9:30pm. It’s filled with more than thirty vintage TVs from the 1950s to 1980s and serves inventive (and amazingly delicious) grilled cheese sandwiches.
- Marfa Burrito / Proper Taco: Brush up on your Spanish and bring cash to Ramona’s house for some of the best burritos and tacos you’ve ever had. There is also an abundance of Matthew McConaughey photos on the wall – apparently he’s a fan as well!
- The Get Go: We stopped by this little grocery store to get a few items for our stay. We were blown away by their selection of gourmet and hard to find brands.
- Do Your Thing Coffee: Great place for coffee! They brew Blue Bottle and Cultivar and have yummy pastries and toasts (recommend the Nutella + Sea Salt Toast).
- Lone Horse Saloon: The only bar open while we were there (apparently the other popular late night establishment, Padre’s, just closed down for good). This place is an amazing dive bar with cheap drinks, pool tables and a great place to meet the locals. Also, it’s owned by this guy.
We also heard good things about Boyz 2 Men Tacos and the Pizza Foundation from the locals, but neither place decided to open at all while we were there! Cochineal is also supposed to be an amazing, upscale restaurant (tip: make reservations in advance).
THINGS TO DO:
- Marfa Lights: Take your chances at seeing the mysterious Marfa lights. They can be seen from a viewing area at a rest stop along Texas Highway 90 about ten miles east of Marfa. We did see them 🙂
- Prada Marfa: This art installation (by artists Elgreen and Dragset) is actually located in Valentine, Texas (about 35 miles from Marfa). It is pretty surreal seeing the 2005 Prada collection in the middle of the Texan desert! Interesting fact: the bottoms of the purses were removed and only one shoe from each pair was included to dissuade people from stealing!
- Chinati Foundation: Artist Donald Judd moved to Marfa from Soho in the 1970s and you can visit this contemporary art museum to see his large-scale installations.
If you have any other Marfa favorites, I would love to hear them!