Hello, loves! This past weekend my husband and I snuck away for a belated anniversary trip. Marfa, TX has been on our Texas bucket list for some time, so we decided to take a 3-day weekend and make the drive. Everybody that goes tells you it’s magical and has an indescribable charm, and they are right! Tucked in the valley of mountains (yes, in Texas), the tiny town of Marfa will win you over in a heart beat. My husband even had a co-worker come to tears just talking about Marfa!
For those of you that have never heard about Marfa, TX, the New York Times wrote a great piece on it in January. Marfa, TX is a small town (about 2k people) located in the high desert of West Texas just between the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park. My husband and I joke that every Texas should be required to visit simply to see that mountains do exist in Texas!
Tackling Marfa in 3 days might seem like a challenge given it’s an 8 hour drive from Dallas, but we did it! Not only did we do it, but we got to see everything we wanted and didn’t feel rushed at all! Marfa has a saying that when you go you’re on “manana time.” That means, if things happen – great! If they don’t – great! It’s kind of crazy how quickly you adapt to this mindset, but it makes for a super relaxed trip.
Travis and I had a good list of recommendations from several people of things we needed to do and see. But, we took each day one thing at a time. We had such an enjoyable experience that we couldn’t resist sharing our itinerary with you all! So, scroll down and see and read about how to conquer Marfa in 3 days! We are sure you will fall in love with this tiny West Texas town just as quickly as we did!
So, grab a cup of coffee and keep on-a-reading!
NOTE: If you’re just here for outfit details form the trip, you’ll find it all here.
The first day started bright and early. We left Dallas at about 5:30 am and made the 8 hour drive. We are road trip lovers, but it really wasn’t that bad! Once you hit the mountains it’s so scenic! We got to Marfa, TX around 2 and checked into our lodging.
There are 3 main places to stay in Marfa, TX – Hotel Paisano, Hotel Saint George, and El Cosmico. We chose El Cosmico because of it’s charm and the lodging. At El Cosmico your options are air streams, trailers, teepees, safari tents, or tent camping. We wanted an air stream, but they book out way in advance. So, we stayed in a safari tent and loved it!
After soaking up the charm of El Cosmico and slipping to Manana, we walked to town. Oh, that’s the beauty of this small town…it’s so small you can walk everywhere. In fact, even on our driving days we clocked more than 10k steps each!
Our first stop was the Beer Garden. This hole in the wall place has the sweetest beer garden and in the center of it is a giant teepee. We both ordered a beer and had some chips and salsa (typical Texans). It is a must-do if you love beer or just need a place to sit down and chill for a bit.
After wetting our whistle as they say, we walked around town and explored a bit. We checked out the two hotels, some of the sweet shops like Freda, and spent a long while in the Marfa Book Co.
One we had worked up an appetite, we made our way to Cochineal for dinner. Y’all, this is a must. In fact, we found out Anthony Bourdain was just at Cochineal a couple of weeks ago! It’s a quaint little space with a great indoor and outdoor area. They serve small plates so you get to enjoy a good amount of their menu while you’re there. The two things we would recommend getting are their half loaf of bread (made in house) and the kale salad because, wow! I think we dreamed about the kale salad every night there, haha.
Once dinner was finished we walked back to El Cosmico for some live music. One of the neat things about El Cosmico is that they occasionally have live bands come perform. They also have karaoke the first Saturday of the month. I highly recommend planning your trip around one of these because it makes it so fun!
Our second day – and first full day – started out by waking up to go see the famous Prada Marfa. We had every intention to get there at sunrise for some neat photos. However, we had to take advantage of waking up with no kids, haha. Anyway, we still got to Prada Marfa around 8 and took some pictures. It’s really such a neat art installation in the middle of absolutely nowhere.
NOTE: Prada Marfa is not in Marfa. It’s actually about 30 minutes west of Marfa. So, take that into account when you’re scheduling.
By the time we made it back to Marfa we were starving! So, we stopped at Boyz 2 Men tacos and each ordered two. The tacos were pretty good, but what was even better were the employees. They are hilarious. They are super sarcastic and I honestly think we enjoyed listening to their banter just as much as their tacos. Oh, and don’t be fooled by the building. You could easily drive right by it as it looks so run-down. But, the tacos and the witty banter makes up for it!
After tacos we made a pit stop at El Cosmico to change and then headed north about 20 miles to hike. Davis Mountains State Park is just north of Marfa and has so many great hiking options. They have trails that vary in difficulty and length so you can pick what suits your hiking style. We opted for one of the moderate hikes – The Skyview Drive Trail. It took an hour or so, but the view from the top of the mountain were so worth it. Who knew West Texas was so pretty?
After our hike we headed back to Marfa and even though we weren’t that hungry, we knew we needed to try Marfa Burrito. Marfa Burrito is owned by this sweet catholic woman. Y’all – oh my word these burritos were good! Everything – including the tortillas – is made fresh daily and the burritos are massive. We ended up splitting one and it was perfect. Oh, and the home-made green salsa…to die for!
Once we finished lunch and changed back into normal clothes, we walked back into town for more exploring. We spent the afternoon strolling in and out of art galleries and little shops. We ended up at Hotel Paisano, which is right near the capitol. They have the sweetest outdoor courtyard and our friends strongly recommended their marg. Um…so glad we went because the margaritas were SO good. I highly recommend going! Also, the hotel has some really cute gift shops, too!
After enjoying some patio drinks, we headed to Hotel Saint George’s pool. We had a friend recommend this and we were so glad! It’s real easy to miss as it’s not in the same building as the hotel. It’s so worth it though – even if just for an hour. There’s a bar there that serves food and drinks, but the best part is just the aesthetic. It’s so relaxing and a truly beautiful area.
After the pool we headed to happy hour at Bar Saint George and ended up just eating dinner there. Their portions for the bar food were so big that we opted to just do an early dinner. Then after dinner we headed back to El Cosmico because it was the first Saturday of the month which meant…karaoke! Y’all know I cannot sing worth a lick, but Trav can and he was all over that stage! It was so fun sipping on cocktails, making new friends, and watching locals sing over…and over…and over again, haha.
On our third day we just eased into the morning. We slept late – late for parents…like 8am, haha. We got up, had some coffee and tea in the main building, and then packed up.
On our way out of town we stopped by the Chinati Foundation to see the “15 Untitled Works in Cement.” It’s such a neat exhibit and right by El Cosmico. We highly recommend it as it only takes a short amount of your time. It’s just so cool to us that so many minimalist art galleries and art installations exist in the high desert of Texas.
Well, have you finished your cup of coffee yet? Did you have to go for seconds just to get through this post? Haha. I hope you found this helpful. I am such a visual person and tried to capture a picture for everything we did. I’ll be posting a couple of more times about Marfa – budgeting, our play list, etc. – so stay tuned!