Inside Valentine Texas Bar Is a West Texas Fairy Tale

February 8, 2024 | By Sarah M. Vasquez

It’s easy to miss Valentine Texas Bar. The building on State Highway 90 looks just like any of the other remote West Texas town’s crumbling adobe, especially with the restoration work at the adjacent HiWay Cafe.

Send Your Love a Valentine from Valentine, TX

January 31, 2024 | By Marisa Charpentier

Roadside Oddity: The ‘Marfa Payphone’

January 10, 2024 | By Sarah Vasquez

Pay phones are a relic of the past. With the emergence of cellphones, the public phones that let you make a call for a quarter became obsolete starting in the early 2000s.

Where to Stay in 2024: West Texas

January 2, 2024 | By

The Solar Eclipse Lent an Air of Magic to Marfa’s Annual Bike Race

November 1, 2023 | By Kathryn Lundstrom

As the moon crept between the sun and the Earth, an unexpected chill ran through the air along Ranch Road 2810 in Marfa.

A Look Back at El Cosmico’s Trans-Pecos Festival in Marfa

September 25, 2023 | By Sarah Vasquez

Last September was the first time Cody Caddell traveled from Kerrville to attend El Cosmico’s Trans-Pecos Festival of Music + Love, a weekend-long festival with camping, music, and baseball in Marfa.

West Texans Rally to Save a Sacred Lipan Apache Cemetery

July 5, 2023 | By Sarah Vasquez

Growing up, Christina Hernandez spent the summer with her grandparents in the West Texas border town of Presidio, 60 miles south of Marfa.

If You Didn’t Post a Selfie From Marfa, Were You Ever Really There?

October 27, 2022 | By Lauren Hough

A West Texas Photographer Chases Nature’s Constant Change Through Art and Photography

August 25, 2022 | By E. Dan Klepper

Marfa Film Shop Revives the Art of Film Photography in West Texas

August 5, 2022 | By James Hernandez

For lifelong film enthusiast Sara Button, photos taken on a phone just don’t do a memory justice.

The Trost Trail Offers a Look at West Texas’ Gorgeously Crafted Hotels

June 29, 2022 | By Melissa Gaskill

Celebrating Pride Month in Small Town Texas

June 17, 2022 | By Natalia Gonzalez Blanco Serrano

Coming out of two long years of canceled events and public gatherings due to the pandemic, people all around Texas are getting back on the party saddle.

A Close Call in the Davis Mountains

January 14, 2022 | By Ali Montag

The Texas Travel Industry Is Making A Comeback

October 28, 2021 | By Michael Hardy

One West Texas Community Aims to Restore a Historic Local Church

October 21, 2021 | By Sarah M. Vasquez

“The philosophy behind the current restoration is that we want it to be an active and alive building,” Clara Bensen, the organization’s fundraising strategist, says.

The Cosmic Vibes Are Back: El Cosmico’s Trans-Pecos Festival of Music + Love Turns 15

September 18, 2021 | By Justine Harrington

Picture this: You’re standing on soft green grass, swaying gently to the jaunty sounds of live alt-country music.

5 Small-Town Grocery Stores to Shop During Your Next Road Trip

July 26, 2021 | By Jill Coody Smits

These markets carry everything you might need for a successful stay, whether it’s in a lakeside cabin in East Texas or a rustic teepee in West Texas.

3 New Things to Check Out This Month in Marfa

April 16, 2021 | By Heather Brand

The small West Texas town of Marfa has blossomed into a mecca for art lovers since the late minimalist sculptor Donald Judd settled there in the 1970s and started organizing art installations and events.

New Year, New Marfa: Which Texas Towns Are Ready to Eclipse the Tiny Art Haven?

January 5, 2021 | By Michael Corcoran

Traces of Texas’ Throwback Thursday: Rebuilding the Anderson Gift Store in Marfa

November 19, 2020 | By Traces of Texas

Gail Smith sent in this photograph of her grandfather, W.A. Oatman, rebuilding the Anderson Gift Store after a 1920 fire in downtown Marfa.

My Favorite Texas Trip: Witnessing the Mysterious Marfa Lights

September 23, 2020 | By Judith Fein

My husband, Paul, and I are travel journalists who follow a few rules while we are on the road.

Photographer Mabry Campbell Gives a New Perspective on Familiar Texas Landscapes

August 27, 2020 | By Mabry Campbell

How Two Small-Town Radio Stations Are Serving Their Rural Communities During COVID-19

July 17, 2020 | By Joe Nick Patoski

Community radio was made for times like these. Not-for-profit and listener-supported public radio stations exist to provide critical information in times of emergency as well as to entertain. During the COVID-19 pandemic, two Texas stations are living up to that mission statement. 

My Favorite Texas Trip: To Marfa and Big Bend with Low Expectations

June 19, 2020 | By Ciara O'Rourke

Small-Town Dispatches: Marfa Gives Back to Service Workers Affected by COVID-19

April 10, 2020 | By Sarah M. Vasquez

The touristy West Texas town of Marfa is reacting to the COVID-19 pandemic with a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for service workers whose finances are affected.

My Favorite Texas Trip: Two Couples Blaze Through Big Bend Country

March 31, 2020 | By John Lumpkin

In the fall of 2018, my wife, Eileen, and I invited two friends to the outer reaches of West Texas for our annual couples’ trip. Our pals, Terry and Anne Marie, live in Philadelphia—I came to know Terry when we were roommates at the University of Virginia in the 1960s. While Terry spent some of his high school years in Houston, it had been many years since he’d returned to Texas. While Eileen and I had been to Big Bend twice before (and to other parts of West Texas too many times to count), Terry and Anne Marie had never been.

Photo: The Old Stardust Hotel in Marfa

November 25, 2019 | By

Agave Festival Marfa Dives Into the Plant’s Historical and Cultural Significances

May 31, 2019 | By Shawna Graves

Now in its third year, the mostly free event features panel discussions, tequila tastings, art exhibits, live music, and reservation-only pairing dinners—all celebrating the plant that has contributed so much to the region’s culture.

Ranch Water Recipe

January 31, 2019 | By

Whip up some ranch waters at home with the Capri’s easy-to-recreate recipe.

What the Heck is Ranch Water?

January 31, 2019 | By Shawna Graves

You can belly up to any bar in West Texas, whether it’s a dark dive or a glamorous hotel, and, without even glancing at a menu, order a ranch water. Heck, these days, you can do that at pretty much any bar in Texas. The simple cocktail has developed quite the fan base, and it’s led to contested origin stories and bubbling debate about the proper ingredients.

An East Coaster Learns to Live in (And Love) the Wide-Open Space of West Texas

January 28, 2019 | By Rachel Monroe

Historian and Author Lonn Taylor on Growing up in the Philippines and Settling in the Big Bend

January 28, 2019 | By Wes Ferguson

Now 78 years old, Taylor is an old-fashioned raconteur with a bushy mustache, Stetson Open Road hat, and an assortment of snappy bow ties. He’s also the author of more than half a dozen books and a historian who draws inspiration from his adopted home of the Big Bend.

Marfa’s Stellina Pivots Menu Concept

December 7, 2018 | By John Lumpkin

Those making a return trip to the artsy West Texas town of Marfa will notice quite a big change at popular fine-dining destination Stellina. In August, the restaurant, which opened in 2016 in Maiya’s former space, converted its menu concept from “rustic Mediterranean” to offerings influenced by the cooking of Oaxaca and elsewhere in Mexico’s interior.

Austin Hotelier Liz Lambert Talks Texas—from Midland to Marfa to South Congress

November 28, 2018 | By Michael Hoinski

Penny the Chihuahua greets visitors with an inspection sniff outside the elevator leading to Bunkhouse, the Austin-based hospitality company owned by Odessa native Liz Lambert.

Where to Stay in Marfa

October 4, 2018 | By

What’s Better Than a Hotel with a Bar? A Hotel with Two Bars and a Bookstore

August 27, 2018 | By Clayton Maxwell

With two bars, a restaurant, and a bookstore, the Hotel Saint George has become a cultural and community hub of Marfa.

He likes to sit and drink and think.” That’s what one of Donald Judd’s interns told me about the New York artist, pioneer, and patron saint of Marfa’s contemporary art scene. We were standing by the bonfire, bagpipe song rolling over the Chihuahuan Desert. It was late winter in ’93, the year before Judd passed away, and I was a guest at one of the bonfires Judd regularly hosted at his Marfa art compound, The Chinati Foundation. He’d flown bagpipers in from Scotland; the burly, jolly Scotsmen in full kilt made a surreal contrast against the wide skies and pale grasses of this West Texas landscape. Even more surreal for me is the memory of Judd telling me why he likes bagpipes: They are, he said, the music that least reminds him of human voices.

Get a Concentrated Dose of Marfa’s Bohemian Counterculture at El Cosmico’s Trans-Pecos Festival of Music + Love

August 27, 2018 | By Matt Joyce

Arriving in Marfa, the high-desert ranching town with a lofty reputation as a mecca for modern art, first-time visitors sometimes find themselves wandering empty streets and wondering, “What’d I miss?” Those who come to love this creative outpost understand that it takes patience to get a feel for the town’s enigmatic allure.

A Visit to Marfa Brings Stylish, Otherworldly Experiences in the Tumbleweeds of West Texas

April 25, 2018 | By Michael Corcoran

That’s what attracted renowned Manhattan artist Donald Judd to Marfa in the ’70s. His large-scale installations, which meld sculpture and nature on an old Army base renamed The Chinati Foundation, made this far West Texas town a destination for the international art crowd. But in recent years, “The Capital of Quirkiness” (as CBS’ 60 Minutes dubbed it in 2013) has broadened its appeal to “bucket list” millennials and tourists who might think Donald Judd was Wynonna’s pop. A fascination for Hollywood in recent years, Marfa also enjoys frequent coverage in The New York Times—which ran at least eight stories with a Marfa dateline in the past two years (including four in the paper’s fashion supplement). All this attention has helped convert this tiny town with its own NPR station into the San Francisco of the Texas desert.

Wide awake with Big Bend Coffee Roasters in Marfa

September 18, 2017 | By Melissa Gaskill

On a recent jaunt to the Davis Mountains and Big Bend area, I enjoyed drinking coffee from Big Bend Coffee Roasters in a half-dozen restaurants, coffee shops, and lodges.

Sightseer: Right on Target

August 30, 2017 | By Jane Kellogg Murray.

What: Target Marathon
Where: US 90 between Marathon and Alpine
When: year-round

The Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railway first reached Brewster County in the 1880s—turning this isolated spot into a shipping and supply point for area ranchers.

Let’s Go Glamping!

March 28, 2016 | By Vicky Garza

Glamping: A combination of “glamorous” and “camping” that blends great outdoor adventures with the comforts of home or a hotel.

Viva Big Bend!

July 8, 2015 | By Matt Joyce

If there’s a description that comes up repeatedly when people talk about the Marfa lights, it’s the way they dance.

Big Luxury in the Big Bend

January 6, 2015 | By Kathryn Jones

When I first began traveling to Big Bend in the late 1980s, my introduction to lodging—other than a tent in the Chihuahuan Desert—was a room at the Gage Hotel in Marathon.

Playing Favorites

August 16, 2014 | By

The writers who contribute to Texas Highways exemplify a few traits in common: They’re experienced travelers guided by curiosity, adventure, culture, and hard-earned wisdom.

The Texas Cheese Tour

June 17, 2014 | By June Naylor

My first taste of the Texas cheese renaissance came at a farmers market in Dallas, where I nibbled a bite of Veldhuizen Texas Farmstead Cheese from Dublin.

Texas Top 40 No. 33, Marfa

January 7, 2014 | By

Ah, mysterious Marfa. Founded in 1883 as a railroad water stop, Marfa existed as a remote West Texas ranching town until James Dean and Elizabeth Taylor arrived in 1955 to make the movie version of Edna Ferber’s epic novel Giant, kicking off a slow trickle of tourism.

Texas Top 40 Travel Destinations

December 3, 2013 | By


Last fall, we asked Texas Highways readers to share their favorite places in the state for our Texas Top-40 Travel Destinations.

Daytripper with Chet Garner: Marfa

April 9, 2013 | By Chet Garner

Take a drive deep into West Texas, through the Martian landscape of the Chihuahuan Desert, and you’ll arrive at an oasis—not of water, but of art.

Where’s Martha? (Marfa)

January 9, 2013 | By Terry Toler

This exchange happens often, and because I actually worked to build tourism in Marfa, it still surprises me that many folks—especially Texans—don’t know about Marfa. After all, it’s mentioned regularly in The New York Times as well as in countless international publications. Marfa is a regular stop for art pilgrims and patrons from all over the world, and the town serves as a getaway for celebrities and experienced travelers.

Marfa Light

December 1, 2010 | By Charles Lohrmann

Even though Marfa’s population is small (2,400), the ideas are grand in this Big-Bend-region hideout, and like other “art towns,” Marfa can be mystifying for the newcomer.


February 1, 2009 | By Barbara Rodriguez

Mention the far-flung West Texas town of Marfa and most folks reference the mysterious lights that sometimes dance not far outside the city limits.

Minimalism to the Max in Marfa

October 1, 2001 | By Susan Kirr

Art takes kindly to the wide-open expanses of Marfa, Texas.

Get the Magazine

Save up to 62% off the cover price


Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Sign up for magazine extras, upcoming events, Mercantile specials, subscription offers, and more.