Photo by Vanessa Weste
his tiny West Texas haven, three hours from the closest airport and over 26 miles from the closest town, has a remarkable art scene that is drawing in creatives from everywhere. Marfa has become iconic for contemporary art and a must see while visiting Texas.
It gained popularity from the Prada exhibit that sits forty minutes outside of the town –which on a side note is worth the trek even if it is just for an Instagram photo, but this little gem of a town has much more than that to discover.
Written by Vanessa Weste
El Cosmico, Photo by Vanessa Weste
Inspired by the colors of India and the hippies & bohemians of America, El Cosmico is the perfect spot to unplug and embrace the beauty Marfa has to offer. Owned by the trendy hotelier Liz Lambert, who is also the force behind Hotel San Jose, Hotel Saint Cecilia in Austin and Hotel Havana in San Antonio –this commune filled with vintage trailers, safari tents, teepee’s and yurts is a destination in its own right.
Just over 2-years old, Hotel Saint George occupies Marfa’s original grand property which operated until 1929 accommodating railroad travelers and cowboys. Houston-based architecture firm Carlos Jimenez Studio designed the hotel to embody the modern aesthetic of Marfa’s emerging art and culture scene while staying true to its historical West Texas roots. Hotel Saint George prides itself in featuring collections of fine modern art from artists with connections to Marfa. The 55-room hotel is a bit more upscale to Marfa’s other hotels in design but not in price and they just added an outdoor pool, bar and grill.
Boyz2Men “Bad Hombres”
BEST breakfast tacos in town, I kid you not! Located right in the center of downtown Marfa in a little run down house or snag one from their airstream that posts up in a different spot daily around town. Fair warning the two dudes running the spot are a bit odd, but worth the weird interaction to get your hands on these tacos. Note they are CASH ONLY.
Local restaurant and bar in a beautiful concrete modern building towards the end of town. Everyone swears by their Hibiscus Margarita, but my personal favorite was the Oaxacan Old Fashion. Or ask for a local favorite, Ranch Water (tequila, soda and a lime) a classic cocktail among locals.
Located inside the Hotel Saint George, LaVenture restaurant offers a unique dining experience highlighting rustic American-style cuisine with French and Italian influence. LaVenture prides itself on using local ingredients and showcasing local flavors in each dish. Their handmade pasta will truly melt in your mouth and trust your server’s recommendations on wine pairings for your dish.
The Get Go Shop
Marfa Book Company
Located inside Hotel Saint George, this nationally recognized bookstore and publishing company houses a highly curated selection of art, literature and design books as well as locally produced objects, ceramics, and textiles. The Marfa Book Company also holds many talks, readings, and performances throughout the year, so make sure to pop in.
The boutique Mano Merchantile, run by a duo raised on opposite coasts. Mano is “ GG + BB’s love of the far east rooted in the far west”. Curated and designed by both, the shop holds reworked vintage kimonos and ponchos, sterling silver and turquoise jewelry, Indigo dyed bandanas, soap, incense and other various gems.
An added bonus to this little compound is their gift shop! Full of local artistry, branded apparel, books, local beauty products and trendy camping gear. Not to mention a number of locally made body oils, incense and blankets, sheets and kimono robes in a Mexican serape pattern.
Donald Judd was an American minimalist artist in the late 1970s residing in Marfa, TX and New York, NY. The Judd Foundation was created in 1996 to preserve the work, living spaces and libraries of the artist. You can check out the many properties around Marfa.
The Chinati Foundation is a contemporary art museum founded by artist Donald Judd and located in the heart of Marfa,TX with several permanent, large-scale installations including the 15 untitled works in concrete sitting just outside the museum in the desert valley.
Part of Ballroom Marfa’s contemporary collection, artist Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset’s permanent structure modeled after a Prada boutique including footwear and handbags from the Fall 2005 collection, located about a mile from Valentine,TX.