Marfa, Texas has been a bucket list trip on my list for longer than I would care to admit. It elicits responses in two very distinct camps – either “Never heard of it,” or “Wow, I’ve heard it’s absolutely incredible.” Tucked away on a remote strip of highway three hours from El Paso, it is no walk in the park to get to, but it is worth every second of road tripping. Read on for my travel guide to Marfa, Texas.
Don’t forget to follow the photo diary of my trip on Instagram at #caro_in_marfa!
General Notes – To get to Marfa, you will need to fly into El Paso and road trip from there. Book a car (preferably one with good gas mileage, gas stations are scarce), and prepare for a 3-hour road trip through uninhabited stretches of the Texan grasslands. Don’t forget to stop at the Prada Marfa installation along US-90 on your way into town.
Where To Stay
We split our time between El Cosmico and Hotel Saint George, and I could not recommend this combo more highly. El Cosmico is incredibly unique and feels like a can’t-miss experience. You can stay in a tent, teepee, yurt, or RV and wake up to the Texan sunshine right outside your door. Hotel Saint George is the newest hotel in town, and the most important thing to note is that it has a pool. There was nothing better than coming back to that pool after a day exploring in the Texan heat.
Where To Eat
The Capri – This indoor/outdoor restaurant space at Thunderbird Marfa is absolutely stunning, and offers modern Mexican cuisine with a twist. Don’t miss the hibiscus margarita, and the queso is an absolute dream.
Frama – Part laundromat, part coffee shop, part ice cream parlor. Go for an afternoon pick me up.
Food Shark – Popularized by none other than Bey herself, this little food truck serves up the “Marfalafel” and is the perfect lunch pit stop after a morning at the Judd Foundation.
Do Your Thing – We loved this breakfast spot so much, we were repeat visitors. They offer delicious coffee and a few specialty toasts that are out of this world.
Planet Marfa – This little outdoor beer garden is the ultimate happy hour spot. Grab an ice cold cerveza and their house nachos and enjoy the scene.
Stellina – Probably the most sought-after reservation in town, Stellina does Texan farm to table meets Italian cuisine in a light and airy space. Everything here was delightful.
Marfa Burrito – Prepare to be greeted by the owners from the kitchen as you walk into their home, also known as Marfa Burrito. You are told what burritos that have that day, given a glass of water, and you go to town.
What To Do
Judd Foundation – Tour Donald Judd’s compound in Marfa and be prepared to delve into the mind of a man who changed the 20th century art world as we know it. Book your tickets online in advance.
Chinati Foundation – Founded by Donald Judd (sensing a trend here?), this incredible indoor and outdoor space preserves large-scale installation pieces as objects in the Texan landscape. You can do a full guided tour (book in advance), or show up and do a self-guided version of selected areas.
Explore town – The entire town of Marfa can be walked in a day, and I highly recommend getting out to explore. Whether you stumble across Moonlight Gemstones and pick up some quartz or marvel at the sign typography at Get Go Grocery, there are new marvels and shops and galleries on every corner. Don’t miss Ballroom Marfa and Marfa Contemporary.