Texas Trips: 5 reasons to make the trip to Marfa
HOUSTON – There are some pretty amazing places to see in Texas. Our ongoing series, "Texas Trips," helps you discover what to do and where to eat and stay in these places.
About a 9-hour drive outside of Houston, Marfa definitely is not a one tank trip, but it sure is a spot that every Texan should plan a trip to see. The small town is known as an art mecca, housing many incredible sculptures, installations and pieces of talented world-renowned artists. Additionally, Marfa is the definition of “glamping.” While there are some fabulous hotels, visitors can also stay in a chic tent or RV for the weekend. There is a reason Marfa attracts thousands of visitors, including many celebrities and art collectors, each year.
Here are 5 places to check out in Marfa:
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Dan Flavin, untitled (Marfa project),1996. “Some of Flavin’s pieces are as discrete as any painting or sculpture, requiring only a wall or a floor. Most use part of a room. The show at Kornblee was one piece involving the whole room; the show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago was one piece involving the whole space of the main floor of the museum. Both shows are among the best things I’ve seen. In both, the rectangular space was articulated by the lights. These weren’t discrete. They were interior articulation but not interior structure; they made an interior exoskeleton.” Donald Judd, “Aspects of Flavin’s Work”, 1969. Photo by Alex Marks. #chinatifoundation #danflavin #donaldjudd
For those interested in art, The Chianti Foundation should be your first stop upon arrival in Marfa. The collection has impressive pieces from founder, Donald Judd and artists, John Wesley, John Chamberlain, Richard Long, Carl Andre and more. The foundation offers guided full collection and selection tours between $20-25 for adults and $10 for students. There are also self-guided and private tours. The foundation also has educational workshops for both children and adults along with a store providing limited editions, prints and books. They are open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
If you want the true Marfa camping or glamping experience, then check out El Cosmico, a 21-acre campground hotel. Part of the Bunk House Hotel family, they provide visitors a variety of options. Options include the cosmic kasita, trailers, yurts, teepees, safari tents, self-camping and the brite building. Depending on your chosen arrangement certain amenities are provided, but amenities for everyone include wood-fired Dutch hot tubs, a hammock grove, bath houses and a communal outdoor kitchen. They also have an apparel store with more goodies and gifts called El Cosmico Provision Co. The area is lively with festivals, events, concerts, movies and Saturday morning yoga sessions.
Be sure to check out this permanently installed sculpture and landmark about a mile outside of Marfa. This piece of art has brought in countless notable visitors and celebrity visits including Beyonce, Natalie Portman, Robert Pattinson and Jake Gyllenhaal. According to InStyle, “You can’t leave with one of Prada’s new crocodile bowling bags, but you can get a great Instagram shot. Contrary to some rumors, there isn’t actually a working Prada store on the dusty desert road from El Paso to Marfa. It’s actually an installation by Elmgreen and Dragset, supported by the Art Production Fund and Ballroom Marfa, whose existence fuels an ongoing dialogue about permanence, minimalism and consumerism. The door doesn’t work, but it never hurts to window-shop; the shoes and bags displayed inside are actually from Prada’s A/W 2005 collection.”
If you are looking for more active outdoor activities on your trip, Cibolo Creek Ranch has it all from ATV rides, guided mountain tours, gun ranges, mountain biking, fishing, hiking and wildlife viewing, bird watching and photography, boating, horseback riding and campfires under the stars. The luxury resort also features a beautiful outdoor pool and hot tub, a private airstrip and ranch airport, a fitness center and ranch-inspired dining. There are both hotel style and fort accommodations.
For those who want the authentic Marfa dining experience, Stellina is open from 5 to 9:30 p.m. each night with no reservation on a first-come, first-served basis. Menu staples include grilled flank, grilled bandera quail, wild salmon Veracruz, roasted broccoli and cheesecake.
Tips & Tricks:
According to Local Adventurer , “Like a lot of the small towns in West Texas, hours are limited. Visit between Thursday to Sunday for the best experience, but even then there’s no guarantee that all businesses will be open.”
According to Local Adventurer , “Be flexible with your schedule. Even with posted hours, some stores and restaurants may close. Some even run out of food and close once the food is out. They’ve adopted a siesta mentality and close whenever they feel like it.”
According to Local Adventurer , “The closest major airport is in El Paso (about 3 hours away). Take advantage of your location and see other surrounding sites in West Texas.”
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