Last Updated on May 19, 2023
When it comes to traveling to Texas, the sky’s the limit. It’s no wonder, because everything truly is bigger in Texas, including travel adventures. The Lone Star State offers endless opportunities for exploration and pleasurable delights. From sampling unique wines in Wimberley, horseback riding at the Dixie Dude Ranch in Bandera, or “keeping it weird” in Austin…Texas is a full-on showdown destination that is sure to please every traveler’s appetite.
Texas is vast. It is multicultural. It dishes out jaw-dropping natural landscapes and equally impressive hotspots that serve up sass, style, and panache. So with all the expansive possibilities Texas presents, why would you want to visit a tiny town sporting a funky name like Marfa with a population of 1,800? There is no short answer to this question. That’s why this post lays out all the reasons to visit Marfa, Texas (and why you will love every minute of your trip there).
Getting the Lay of the Land in Marfa, Texas
Marfa enjoys sunny scenes and warm, arid conditions. It is situated atop the Chihuahuan Desert plateau in the Trans-Pecos region of far West Texas. The little town is surrounded by the majestic Davis Mountains and breathtaking Big Bend National Park. The rustic, rocky terrain is peppered with prickly pear cactus and mesquite trees. The totality of the landscape is bold, stark, stunning, and thoroughly wild.
Multicolored stone, arid breezes, and technicolor sunsets make Marfa a feast for the senses. Like many tiny towns in Texas, Marfa started out as a watering hole for various commercial railways in the late 1800s. This sleepy little town was mostly cattle ranchers and tumbleweeds until, like a phoenix from the ashes, Marfa rose to reinvent itself into a magnet for artists, foodies, musicians, and celebrities.
Things to do in Marfa, Texas
Explore the Art Scene
Today, the town is heralded for its thriving art scene. This is just one aspect among many that make Marfa ironic and quirky. In the middle of seemingly nowhere, the art scene in Marfa has attracted international attention and has been a host to celebrities such as Anthony Bordain, Natalie Portman, and Beyoncé Knowles. Marfa owes its artistic dustup to New York native, Donald Judd, a minimalist artist who was so inspired by the enchanting desert beauty of the area, he established a solid art community there in the 1970s. Since then, the quiet town has become a mecca to creatives and art enthusiasts around the world.
Music festivals & live music
From April to November, Marfa kicks up its heels to locals and tourists alike with colorful festivals featuring jam-tastic live music, scrumptious food, and incredible entertainment. Local bars such as the Lost Horse Saloon and Bar Saint George are also venues for eclectic live music, fantastic foodie delights, and bodacious boot-scootin fun.
The Marfa Mystery Lights
As if the little town wasn’t enchanting enough with its wild-west charm, sizzling art scene, and awe-inspiring views…it ups its game with a phenomenon known locally as the “Marfa Mystery Lights.” These are random, eerie spheres of light that grace the desert landscape. Sightings of these spectral lights have been recorded as early as 1883 when a lone cowhand witnessed bedazzling, sparkling lights while herding his cattle home. Since then, there have been many sightings. But there is a caveat. Nobody knows when exactly the lights show up in Marfa. There is no distinct season or weather condition that conjures the illuminations, but that’s part of the intrigue!
Soar high in the sky above Marfa
Get a bird’s eye view of Marfa while coasting cirrus-streaked skies in the seat of a glider! Marfa’s wind conditions and dry air is the perfect storm for gliding and soaring the scenery 2,000 feet in the air. If you’re not a big fan of heights or hanging out in high altitudes in a glider, that’s okay. Glide vicariously by visiting Marfa’s National Soaring Museum which is a goldmine of history and a treasured landmark for the town.
Soak up the eccentric vibe
If you get a kick out of quirk and are looking for a walk on the idiosyncratic side of travel, then Marfa is sure to satisfy your taste for the eccentric. The polarizing contrast of the wild west frontier with the contemporary art scene is a merry mix sure to please. Whatever your travel fancy may be, Marfa will surely aim to quench your thirst for an authentically unique travel experience.