Tumbleweeds, two lane roads and trucks come to mind when imagining West Texas. While those images aren’t untrue, there’s also a desolate beauty to the vast wide open country and a hidden gem or two to discover. Andrew and I took a 10 hour detour from Austin over the holidays to explore a few of these gems.
First stop: Terlingua, TX. More accurately, an Airbnb in ‘Tin Valley’, located 45 minutes outside of the bustling town of Terlingua (population 58). Ronda, our Airbnb host, gave us GPS coordinates of her location and advised following her detailed directions to a ‘T’ lest we end up lost in the desert and /or in a sand pit. So with screenshots of the directions in our trusty iPhones and crossed fingers our GPS would continue to work, we set off for ‘Tin Valley.’
Ronda, our Airbnb host, bought 90 acres of land out here and is creating a funky little compound of vintage RVs, trailers, buses and maybe even a boat…
Second Stop: Big Bend National Park. We only had time to spend a day here, but it definitely wet our appetite for a future visit!
Third Stop: Marfa, TX. Marfa is a an art and foodie hub in the middle of the West Texas desert. (And by middle I mean if you turn on the radio and hit ‘scan,’ it will just come back to the same FM station-Marfa Public Radio.) It’s home to minimalist art foundations, trendy restaurants and hip coffee shops. Beware though, the operating hours are suggestions and there may only be a handful of servers at any given restaurant (AKA don’t be surprised by a 30 minute wait for your morning cup of joe). If you’re looking for a slow paced lifestyle, you won’t have to put much effort into achieving it here. You really only need a day here to sample the eats, view the art and walk all of two streets with shops and businesses. Also, be sure to take an evening to visit the McDonald Observatory. We unfortunately were there on a cloudy night, but on a clear night I’m sure the stars would be incredible!