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Marfa, TX has been on my bucket list for I don’t know how long. If you haven’t heard of it, allow me to explain.
It is a TINY town jam packed with the cutest buildings and style and culture, SMACK in the middle of the desert. For complex and strange reasons, it has become a design mecca and traveler’s destination, even though it isn’t accessible by plane (unless you have a private jet) and is far away from everything.
Marfa might be the weekend getaway for you if:
You like looking at pretty buildings and taking pictures of them.
You are obsessed with food and drinks and want to eat some of the best food you’ve ever had.
You enjoy wearing hats.
My BFF and I took the 9-hour drive from Dallas to Marfa and jam packed a week of fun into just under 3 days. This is possible because most of the town is literally about 3 blocks square. Just about everything is walkable. Read on for our weekend guide to this adorable city, soak up the beautiful design, and be sure to read to the bottom to get the Marfa look!
Disclaimer – in a small town like this, places do tend to open and close and have strange hours. Always check ahead before your trip to be sure things will be open!
This was technically just a half day for us, since we didn’t arrive in the city until 2 PM.
We stayed at the Hotel St. George, one of 2 major hotels in the town. We changed out of travel clothes and walked the streets and saw all of these beauties:
If only every fire station could be pink!
Then we headed back to the hotel bar, the Bar St. George, for a Mexican martini and a jalapeño margarita with spicy tagine rim that changed my life. All of my margaritas will now have this special feature.
Time for dinner! We walked (everything is within a 2-5 minute walk) to Al Campo for life changing queso and tacos.
I took no photos of this queso but did take a photo of this rosé because priorities.
Then off to the Lost Horse Saloon for a nightcap. This place is MUCH more Local Marfa and less Hipster Marfa. We bonded with the locals (and found out the bar owner is a Richardson TX native!) and drank regular person non fancy schmancy drinks. There’s also a beer garden outside and the most delicious brisket mac and cheese, which we know because we loved this place so much we went back for dinner on night 2. Can you tell that this trip is all about pretty things and food?!?
We woke up to complimentary breakfast pastries and coffee at the hotel (yay!) and spent the first part of the morning lounging with no children bothering us. We also learned (and this seems so obvious now) that the sun doesn't rise in Marfa until about an hour later than it does in Dallas, since it's in the same time zone but hundreds of miles away. So nothing seemed to get started in Marfa until about 9 AM.
Then we walked to The Sentinel for brunch. This is the old newspaper printing building that has been converted to a shop, coffee shop, and restaurant.
I wanted to buy everything.
The food is DELICIOUS, but be warned, the portions are small and it takes awhile as the kitchen is comprised of just one really talented chef working at his own pace. We ordered the tacoyos with barbacoa and it was one of the best things I’ve ever eaten in my entire life. But it was also so small that it didn’t begin to quench our hunger, so we left brunch and headed straight to lunch. LOL.
Another 5 minute walk took us to Para Llevar for lunch. I know I have said this before in this post, but the pizza we got here might have been the best pizza I’ve ever had in my life. It’s made in a wood fire oven and the bottom has the little black char spots that give it amazing flavor. And there was something special in the sauce that made it incredible. Chile oil? Flake sea salt? I have no idea but it was INCREDIBLE.
You'll see everyone walking around with these pizza boxes around town. This is a must-eat.
We then went back to the hotel for a power nap. Moms on vacation value rest. No regrets.
Now fully recharged we hopped into the car and headed to the only place that requires driving, Prada Marfa, which is actually just outside of Marfa about 30 minutes away. This is an art installation, and not actually a Prada store. It contains only left shoes to help dissuade people from breaking in.
This is such an interesting cultural phenomenon. We saw some young 20 something gals, a couple, a guy taking pictures with his car, and a group of women celebrating their 50th birthday. We were all this little Prada Marfa family for about half an hour. Wear your cutest outfit and straw hat, because this isn’t to be missed. If you don’t come here, you basically didn’t go to Marfa.
On the way to and from Prada Marfa is a giant set of art pieces (billboards?) depicting the stars of the movie Giant, a classic film featuring Rock Hudson, James Dean, and Elizabeth Taylor. It was filmed in Marfa and the crew stayed at The Paisano hotel that we visited our first day. It’s worth a stop and also a walk through the hotel in town!
We went to Mass at the local church, Saint Mary’s, where we experienced something I never expected to see – Neon Jesus. And also the sweetest little community of people who were so welcoming. They could immediately tell that we were visitors (because everyone else knew each other), and the priest welcomed us, asked us where we were from, and the entire congregation clapped and welcomed us. Brought tears to my eyes.
From there we walked down the road to El Cosmico – an outdoor camp ground where you can set up your own tent OR glamp in one of their tents, tee pees, yurts, or (my personal favorite) vintage camp trailers!
Then a stop that was completely unplanned but that could not have been more perfect, Cactus Liquors, A LIQUOR STORE THAT SELLS PLANTS! My two favorite things, all under one roof. Clearly this is where I picked up my one and only souvenir from the trip, a cactus that we lovingly named Nikki after our wonderful bartender at The Lost Horse Saloon.
We headed back to The Lost Horse Saloon for brisket mac and cheese and nachos and closed out our evening.
Then it was back to the hotel for girly time – a mesquite old fashioned we brought up from Bar St. George downstairs, fancy face treatments, and watching TV in our Marfa PJs!
Time to head home! On our way out of town we stopped by Buns and Roses for a breakfast burrito. One would think we shouldn’t have been able to eat anymore by this point, but one would be wrong.
If you’re coming from Dallas this will be an option for you! On the way home we stopped into Monahans Sandhill State Park and explored the sand dunes. It is like being in the middle of the Sahara desert, except 2 minutes off the highway. For 8 dollars you can visit (and visit any other state park for the same day!) and slide down the sand dunes. It was a really fun experience.
Be smarter than me and wear sandals and not sneakers, because the sand is the unexpected souvenir that I will have with me until the end of time.
And that’s our 3 day girl’s weekend guide to Marfa! If like me you are drooling over the design and architecture, fear not, because you can recreate the look at home.
GET THE LOOK
1. art print
3. deer head
11. shower curtain
12. leather chair
14. art print
15. cowhide rug
16. kilim rug
17. desert vase
18. decorative arch
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