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.

Two decades later, the beginnings of the Chinati Foundation took root when New York artist Donald Judd bought a former military post on the town’s outskirts to display his sculptures and works of his peers. Today, Marfa offers a singular mix of galleries, restaurants, and shops—but at its heart, it’s still a Chihuahuan Desert ranching town, with some of the best sunsets in the state.

“You can’t find a more unique area … from beautiful natural views to ‘off the wall’ modern art.  You can either meet interesting local characters or spend some quality alone time.”

For more information, contact the Marfa Chamber of Commerce, 432/729-4942, or visit the Marfa Visitor Center, 432/729-4772; www.visitmarfa.com.

From the January 2014 issue
The March 2024 cover of Texas Highways Magazine

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.