48 hours in Marfa, TX
I went to the moon and back one weekend in June. That’s what Marfa, Texas reminded me of as we were landing on this vast lunar-like landscape. I went from not knowing this town existed to being obsessed with wanting to visit and find out what the hype was all about. I felt like I was in the twilight zone, a good twilight zone.
When we drove into the little town of Marfa, 5 miles from the airport, I felt immediately transported to an alternative universe. Marfa is not easy to get to…you really need to want to go! The closest city is El Paso, almost 3 hours away. Austin is a 6.5-hour drive. Typically, Marfa is a stop in the middle of a road trip or people fly in by private plane. There is no commercial airport. The population consists of local ranchers and cowboys, international art lovers, a few very cool celebrities, including country singers and actors, bohemians, people who want to escape the real world, people who are not afraid to be alone or get to know themselves intimately, truckers driving through, and of course the handful of people born and raised here. What you won’t see are timid tourists who don’t know how to appreciate “rough around the edges” adventures.
"The landscape and sky are mesmerizing. Where the one ends the other begins. They work together in creating the most beautiful ever changing intangible piece of art."
Marfa Dining Guide
Driving into this wild west town and going straight to The Water Stop with my tres amigos and our husbands for lunch and lots of roseˊ. I had the ridiculously delicious rotisserie chicken, and my mostly vegan husband had the fried chicken sandwich which was equally as amazing and worth the cheat!
Restaurant Cochineal is a sophisticated yet super casual farm to table restaurant plopped in the middle of West Texas. It felt like we were at a dinner party with a bunch of interesting people from all corners of the country and possibly around the world that we didn’t know. The chef/owner is a James Beard semifinalist and creates some of the most incredible dishes I have ever tasted. You don’t order, you just let them bring course after course to you, each one better than the next. The fresh house made ancient grain bread with cultured sea salt butter, roasted garlic, and black-eyed pea bacon tallow was sinful! As far as I could tell, the woman owner/chef and her adorable woman sous chef were the only ones in the tiny open air kitchen creating masterpieces with what the fertile soils provided.
Marfa Art Scene
Donald Judd, a minimalist artist moved to Marfa in 1971 and created the Chinati Foundation - one of the country’s most famous exhibition spaces for contemporary art. Ballroom Marfa is another huge draw. It features art, music, films, lectures and workshops. Unfortunately, I couldn’t experience either of these because they were closed, but it gives me an excuse to return. Both definite highlights and the primary reason a lot of people go to Marfa in the first place!
We made a little road trip to the Prada Marfa. This is a 32 minute desolate drive from Marfa to Valentine, Texas. I think we could have walked the entire way in the middle of the road and never seen another soul!
We checked out a couple of awesome stores in Marfa and missed Francis McDermott by seconds. I guess she’s Fran to the locals and they adore her. I scored at Raba Marfa some amazing high desert vintage finds!
Where to Stay in Marfa, Texas
Take the time to drive 3 miles out of town to visit the spectacular Ranch 2810. The property blends into the landscape so beautifully that it is virtually invisible until you are pulling up to the house. The entire setting of this ranch is beyond what I imagined, not in a materialistic way but in how it fits into the landscape. The house is built around a serene courtyard and swimming pool with a small orchard a few yards away. The perfect spot for wining and dining.
El Cosmica, a Liz Lambert Property, is on my bucket list to stay at. Yurts, teepees, trailers, airstreams all tricked out by the queen of travel!
I was only in Marfa for 48 hours, so my time was limited and precious. My absolute favorite takeaways were spending cowgirl time with my tres amigos, slowing down and adapting to the stillness, watching my husband give in to the relaxation, and finally, discovering a place that gives everything and nothing at the same time. A trip to Marfa asks that you find the connection and embrace the space.