"Marfa- an "experience" between LA and Houston" Marfa by BlaineandPat

Marfa Travel Guide: 19 reviews and 45 photos

Marfa: Tony Lama and.......Prada?

We went to Marfa specifically because it was starting to get press as an "emerging" destination. "The next Santa Fe" was one comment we read. Well, maybe. Truth be told it's to Santa Fe what a birdbath is to a swimming pool - but there are still some similarities. And if you're in El Paso (3 monotonous hours away) or driving between Houston and LA, we can wholeheartedly recommend stopping by (if driving 2 hours off the interstate can be considered "stopping by"). But we're purposely avoiding words like "retreat" or "vacation" because the city is more of an experience than anything else.

Marfa joined the list of destinations for the Conde Nast crowd because it's home to an enormous modern art museum - the Chinati Foundation.
If you've ever been traveling through the wilds of West Texas and thought to yourself "Gosh, I wish there were somewhere nearby that could make me feel like an unsophisticated hick" then you're in luck! Because the Foundation provides a little bit of Soho attitude right in the middle of nowhere! And as a result of its existence Marfa, a little town of just over 2000, has gained some amenities that would be at home in the trendy districts of LA or New York. Or Minneapolis.

The primary attractions of Marfa (or at least the ones we saw and used) are:
The Prada Marfa and their patron: Ballroom Marfa
The Chinati Foundation
The Marfa Lights

The primary amenities of Marfa are:
The Marfa Book Company (Book Store/Coffee Shop)
The Thunderbird Marfa (Hip Hotel)
Hotel Paisano (Historic Hotel)
- The host hotel for the cast of the movie "Giant"
Maiya's Restaurant
Brown Recluse Coffee Shop

In listing these we've come close to exhausting the things to see and do in Marfa. which isn't bad. There's enough to keep you busy for a full day, whithout being over or underwhelmed. We really enjoyed visiting. Once.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Genuinely unique and memorable. The unlikely love child of West Texas and Manhattan
  • Cons:An odd little town - the beauty of Lubbock, the warm personality of Paris (The one with French people everywhere - not the one in Texas)
  • In a nutshell:Go. You'll remember it a lot more than a weekend in Orlando
  • Last visit to Marfa: Jan 2006
  • Intro Updated Jan 31, 2006
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BlaineandPat

“Anywhere if it's cheap and unique”

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