Best Things to Do in Marfa, Texas: Art, Outdoors & More

Advisor - Adriana Baco
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Adriana Baco

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  • USA

  • Texas

  • Domestic Travel

  • Arts & Culture

  • Road Trip Travel

  • Desert

  • Outdoors

  • Shopping

white building on the side of a street during daytime
Curator’s statement

Marfa Texas, a small desert city in West Texas with special energy, has become a hot spot for contemporary art. It's a cool spot throughout the year, but its main yearly event, MARFA INVITATIONAL, typically held in May, provides an unparalleled platform for viewing and experiencing some of the most exciting artists. Nestled in the Big Bend region, a trip to Marfa can offer a fun balance between hiking/star gazing and happening gallery openings. Bring hats, plenty of sunscreen, lots of lotion and a jacket, Marfa is almost a mile high and somewhat of a desert climate so temperatures drop once the sun goes down.

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Where to stay in Marfa, Texas

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Cibolo Creek Ranch

Spanning across 30,000-acres, Cibolo Creek Ranch is a stunning, luxury property for those who want a peaceful escape yet in a modern, comfortable setting.

Fora Perks
  • $100 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Hotel Saint George

Marfa institution with a locals’ vibe and a stellar art collection in all minimalist 55 rooms, the lively French restaurant, and beloved indie bookstore.

Fora Perks
  • $50 hotel / resort credit.

  • Breakfast daily.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

The Lincoln Marfa

Located in the heart of Marfa, just steps away from shops, restaurants and galleries, this boutique hotel consists of fourteen unique homes built around four communal courtyards.

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Things to do in Marfa, Texas

mountains during daytime

Check out some stellar art

  • The Chinati Foundation - Right in the center of town, you can't miss it! Founded by artist Donald Judd, displays huge indoor and outdoor installations on an old army base.

  • The Ballroom Marfa - Always hosts beautifully curated exhibitions and events. Check out their website for the most up to date info and head over to check it out!

  • “Prada Marfa” by Elmgreen & Dragset - You've seen it on your Instagram, now it's your time to showcase your best influencer moment. Get out there to the unique site-specific art installation by Elmgreen & Dragset.

  • Wrong - Beautiful shop-gallery that will have you reimagining your collection.

Do some shopping

Marfa absolutely has a vibe and trust me you want in on it.

  • Raba Vintage - The store that specializes in “high desert” vintage. Raba is a highly curated shop carrying an electing mix of all things cool to elevate every aspect of your wardrobe and life!

  • Communitie Marfa - Hats, men's and women's apparel, western wear, jewelry, home goods and accessories. The area's exclusive seller of Stetson and Resistol hats.

  • Ocotillo Botanicals - Main street apothecary on main street that is not to be missed. Their collection and creations always have me coming back to nourish my mind, body and soul.

  • Garza Marfa - For the most amazing collection of textiles and furniture.

Hit the road

Star party at the McDonald Observatory in Fort Stockton - Get away from light pollution and take in the night sky. The McDonald Observatory hosts star parties where professional and amateur astronomers set up their telescopes and invite people to come learn about the night sky.

Day Trips from Marfa

Big Bend National Park - PLAN AHEAD! It's about a 2-hour drive just to get to the park so again, PLAN AHEAD. Scope out the trails before you go and bring plenty of water, snacks and sunblock. Make sure you download a map before you head out of town, coverage is spotty and you want to make sure you know where you are going and how to get home.

Places to eat & drink in Marfa, Texas

colorful sign on an orange wall
  • Cochineal - Beautiful restaurant, recommend reservations right now open Friday and Saturdays with a prix fixe menu.

  • Aster - Has the most delicious baked goods, wonderful for brunch but small do not recommend it if you have a big group.

  • Jett’s Grill at the Hotel Paisano - Hit the bar or patio for some happy hour drinks and some pre-dinner snacks. The margaritas are amazing and they taste even better in their courtyard.

  • Do Your Thing - Wonderful coffee and some grab-and-go goods. Perfect for a slow easy breakfast.

  • The Sentinel - Another beautiful coffee shop with amazing food! The chilaquiles and pozole are some of the best I've ever had. They also have a beautiful collection of books and home goods, it's not to be missed.

  • Margaret's in Marfa - Really fun and lively dinner spot! Grab a seat in the long counter order yourself some wine and take it all in, including some terrific food!

  • Planet Marfa - Eclectic and FUN! Hit up this bar for some fun drinks and some dancing. It's a big patio with lots of areas to explore. Relaxed, laid back and electric.

  • House Bar - This is how Marfa does a dive bar. Tons of character and flair!

  • The Water Stop - American food with an eclectic twist. Voted best burger in Marfa 2021!

  • Convenience West - When in Texas, BBQ is a must! A former convenience store turned barbecue restaurant, order up some brisket, ribs and Frito pie sausage.

  • Marfa Spirit Co - Check out their tasting room and sip one (or a few) signature cocktails, see the distillery, and enjoy an authentically Marfa time.

Need to Know

Mondays and Tuesdays are not the best days to visit as shops, restaurants and galleries are all closed and it's almost a ghost town. The best description I've ever heard: "Marfa is subtle. Generally, everything is closed every day of the week. You must give in, relax and let things come to you because there's a whole lot of stuff just bubbling under the surface."

Check out my guide to Austin — Best Hotels, Food & Attractions in Austin, TX for SXSWand make it a road trip!

Advisor - Adriana Baco

Travel Advisor

Adriana Baco

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Texas.