So you want to make the road trip to Marfa, to drive across hundreds of miles of desert just to get to a one-stoplight town in literally the middle of nowhere?! Well, we can’t say that we blame ya! Here’s how to hack it:
Download a good audio book (we recommend Wallace Stegner or Paulo Coelho for this sort of journey). If it’s winter, rent a car with four-wheel drive (those high desert ice storms are dicey!); if it’s summer then definitely go for a convertible. Make a reservation to stay in one of the great vintage campers at El Cosmico. If they’re booked, pitch your own tent on the property or instead shack up at the Thunderbird Hotel (pictured above) just down the road. Both options are ace. Prepare to spend your days simply. I set up my travel easel and did a ton of drawing, taking breaks throughout the day to go out and get inspired by the artwork of others. A trip to the Chinati Foundation (above) is absolutely crucial, but be sure to check out Ballroom Marfa and Eugene Binder galleries as well. You’ve got all the time in the world, so drive out to the Prada Marfa store for that classic Instagram moment. Shopping at Wrong Store is a major highlight. Camp Bosworth and Buck Johnston, the couple that run it, are a creative treat. Freda is also really special, wonderfully curated. Tienda M and Cast + Crew both hit that unmistakeable Marfa aesthetic (minimalism-meets-bohemian-meets-Mexico) right on the head. And Moonlight Gemstone (known more commonly around town as ‘The Rock Shop’) is absolutely mandatory.
Plan your meals ahead of time, if not you’ll get caught more often than not in those all-too-common hours when literally nothing in town is open. Make dinner reservations at Maiya’s and Cochineal (omigod their chicken & dumplings!) for sure. Get your juices at Squeeze, your breakfast tacos at Boys2Men food truck (when they tell you they’ll take anywhere between 5-40 minutes to make, it’s not a joke), your hangover-healing grease platters at Mandos (the salsa is legit), your gourmet lunches at Capri Kitchen (a walk-up window across the street from the Thunderbird) or Food Shark ~ and your organic groceries at The Get Go when all other options are closed.
Come nightfall, grab a couple Lone Star beers and gather a few favorite desperadoes around the bonfire. Soak in the sparkle of that wide, West Texas, star-smattered sky. Breathe deeply the cedarwood and sage, and let the expansive stillness of this desert oasis fill your soul.