Marfa, Texas: This Tiny Art Town is More Than Meets The Eye

Marfa, Texas, a quirky and hugely-flocked to west Texas town. And although you might have seen hundreds of influencers (and Beyonce) posing in front of the Prada Marfa, there is much more to this hipster-haven town than you see on social media. Marfa is also a highly desired film location for country movies such as There Will Be Blood and No Country For Old Men.

Located seven hours west of Austin and three hours from both El Paso and Big Bend National Park in the crest of far west Texas, this artsy, small-town hub with a population of around 2,000 people sees tens of thousands of visitors a year.

A Brief History of Marfa, Texas 

The spark to the ember that created the burning sensation of this far west texas town starts when New York artist Donald Judd moved to Marfa in the seventies. He is the one responsible for turning a resolute Army base into what is now The Chinati Foundation, turning this town of Texan ranchers into an international art scene. This now-booming destination for worldwide tourists, art-loving fanatics, and curious travelers has its own NPR station, multiple annual festivals, and a slur of art galleries.

What to Do in Marfa

Marfa Lights: You cannot visit Marfa without attempting to witness the mysterious Marfa Lights, an unexplained phenomenon in the dark skies of the town. Every year, the Marfa Lights Festival takes place and people gather, listen to live music, eat great food, and watch the parade.

Food Shark

No trip to Marfa is complete without a meal at the most popular food truck in town, Food Shark. The Food Shark is open for lunch only and serves some of the best Mediterranean food around.

Presidio County Courthouse

In the smack-dab center of town lies the Presidio County Courthouse, which was added as a National Register of Historic Places in 1977.

Lost Horse Saloon

The most famous watering hole in town, the Lost Horse Saloon is a must on a hot Texas evening. A stop by this western-themed bar is a guaranteed good time.


The downtown area of Marfa is full of unique and local boutiques made by incredible crafters and creatives. Grab a pair of sawed-off cowboy boots at Cobra Rock or buy a book at Marfa Book Company.

Where to Stay in Marfa

El Cosmico

If glamping in a glamourized teepee is your thing, make a reservation at the coveted El Cosmico. This Instagram-famous Boho-Chic hotel for nomads offers vintage trailers with outdoor showers and colorful teepees you can lay your head in for a few nights.

Hotel Paisano

Hotel Paisano is a gorgeous historic hotel in downtown Marfa with 41 rooms and a seasonally heated pool. Their Galley and Gift shop is the prime place to buy a souvenir, while their in-house restaurant Jett's Grill is open every night for dinner at 5 PM.

Hotel Saint George

You cannot go wrong with a reservation at the illustrious Hotel Saint George. This beautifully restored hotel is where the cast of the movie Gaint stayed in the fifties (Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean!)

Art Museums in Marfa, Texas

The art world is strong in Marfa and people from all over the world come to see the wide variety of minimalist, contemporary, and quirky art that sprinkles the town. From the Judd Foundation to contemporary art at The Chinati Foundation (A.K.A. The Block) to the Ballroom Marfa art center, Marfa is booming with attractions for art lovers.

Be sure to check out Visit Marfa, which has a lot of wonderful information on anything regarding your trip and planning a vacation to this unique west Texas town.

Nearby Attractions

- The charming town of Alpine

- Exploring the Davis Mountains

- Big Bend National Park

- Camping in the Chihuahuan desert

- Cross the border into the Mexican town of Ojinaga

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READ MORE: 25 Cities, Parks & Attractions to Customize Your Texas Road Trip