Thursday, January 14, 2016

Visit Marfa

As y'all know I went to West Texas over break {video here} and the first stop of our journey was the infamous Marfa, Texas. It is a haven for artists and tourists alike. There are adorable buildings, an equally adorable courthouse, and random art exhibits everywhere. Plus it is the setting of the 1956 movie, Giant -- which is now one of my favorite movies {Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean}.
We stayed at the historic Hotel Piasano, where most of the cast & crew for the film stayed during their time in Texas. The restaurant is named "Jett Rink" after James Dean's character. It is an adorable hotel with real keys and gorgeous tile. The store sells cute Marfa t-shirts as well as art from local artists. If you go and it isn't winter {hello bean boots} you can sit out on the patio or on a balcony and people watch. 
Our room was fairly large but the bathroom was tinier than a postage stamp. We had an enclosed porch that overlooked the back of a building, but it would have been perfect for the hot summers of West Texas. 
They offer a free continental breakfast each morning, and if you are in Marfa in the winter I would highly suggest you take advantage of that. It seems that a lot of the town shuts down and tourists are far and few to come. 
Since a lot of Marfa closes down, we ventured out to other things. First up was Fort Davis, a National Historic Site. It is a spread out fort, with ruins, homes, and an amazing nature trail. It's only a 21 minute drive from Marfa, and a good way to brush up on some frontier history.  
Plus they have some adorable horses & goats!
The nature trail is a little {more like a lot} steep but it offers amazing views of the site & miles out. For lunch, stop in at the Stone Village Market in the town of Fort Davis. 
While driving through the mountains, my family spotted some observatories high up. We pulled off and realized it was a UT site! How on Earth could this have happened? Apparently, it is kind of a big deal if you know about astronomy {to learn more about it, check out this article from the Alcalde}. 
You can get a tour of the facilities & in the evenings {on clear nights} they do star parties where you can learn all about the amazing night sky. The center has been working on keeping this part of West Texas free of harsh night lighting so people can continue to enjoy/learn about the stars. 
They happen to be situated atop the highest point on Texas Highways. 
A shot from the visitor's center, isn't it gorgeous?
If you haven't already seen my post about the amazing Prada Marfa, check it out here. 
Also, if you are looking to go see it, drive to Valentine, Texas, continue to drive through it & it'll be just outside of town on your left, on US-90. 

As I mentioned earlier, Giant was filmed in Marfa. So my dad wanted to find some of the filming locations. Jett's ranch, Little Reata, is very easily seen from US-90 {on the left} from Valentine on the way to Marfa. Or reverse it & on your way to Valentine from Marfa it will be on your right. Look for two windmills & a wooden rectangle that used to say "Little Reata" on it {see image below}. You cannot see Reata from the road {the Internet lied to us} but, here it is from above
Once we completed all of that site seeing we came back into Marfa to see their adorable county courthouse. You can go up in the top on certain days & it makes for really cute photos because it is pink! 
The iconic Marfa sign is right across the street {as is the hotel}. 
Something I do not have a photo of, but that I participated in is the Marfa Mystery Lights. There is a viewing center on the way to Alpine on US-90 & it is a total phenomenon {check out this Texas Monthly article for more info}. When we were there it was an extremely cold night with rain so we did not see anything but on clear nights, apparently, you can! 
Overall, I must say you HAVE to visit Marfa. I absolutely loved it & am looking forward to visiting in the summer one day! If you have any questions or suggestions for me, comment below-xoxo darling, Hayden.
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