Marfa, Texas is a city literally in the middle of the desert in far West Texas. The only way to get there is to drive and it's a 6.5 hour drive from Austin. It’s a small city with less than 2000 people!
You may have heard of Marfa before thanks to Prada Marfa! I kind of think this art installation put them on the map - yes, it's an art installation not an actually Prada store!
Prada Marfa is a permanently installed sculpture by artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset. Though called Prada Marfa, it's actually located 30 mins (or 10 mins if you're speeding, Oops!) outside of Marfa in an even smaller town called Valentine, Texas, with a population of 217 people! The installation was done on October 1, 2005, the artists called the work a "Pop Architectural Land Art Project". The sculpture cost $80,000 and was intended to never be repaired, so it would slowly disintegrate back into the natural desert landscape. It looks like a free standing store in the middle of the desert with purses and shoes inside from the 2005 Fall collection, you just can't go in but you can take photos outside of it and that's what everyone does! Luckily when we were there, there was literally no one in site just an occasional car passing through, I felt like I was at the edge of the earth!
So besides wanting to see Prada Marfa and it being amazing, it’s not the only reason why I wanted to visit Marfa, it really is one awesome place!
Here are some of the places we visited while we were there;
We stayed at El Cosmico which is a super rad logging property in the desert where you can stay in a luxury tent, which we did the first night. A tepee, a yurt, an airstream or vintage trailer which we did the second night, as we almost froze to death in the tent the night before! We did not pack warm enough clothes! Who would have thought a desert could get so cold?! El Cosmico is also just a 10-minute walk from the main street where most of the shops, restaurants and galleries are.
Another place that looked good was the Thunderbird hotel, only thing is if you're not staying there you can't go in. :( Boo So not sure what the inside was like.
Then there was The Hotel Paisano, it's a nice almost European looking hotel, I wouldn’t say it's as fun or eclectic as El Cosmico or The Thunderbird but it was nice. We had drinks and a great dinner there one night.
There are also some great AirBNB options in Marfa as well.
As for food, it's surprisingly not the easiest to come by in Marfa. We didn't realize this before we got there but it makes sense, since it's so remote. BRING SNACKS!
So besides eating at the Hotel Paisano which was great, we ate at Pizza Foundation a couple of times. Honestly it was some of the best pizza I've ever had! I wish it was here in Toronto. You're also able to buy alcohol to go there, which was great as that was also hard to come by.
We also ate dinner one night at The Capri which is across the street from the Thunderbird, it was a beautiful modern looking restaurant with great food and drinks.
If you did want to get some groceries while you're there you could go to The Get Go, which is a really cute little grocery store, where we got some snacks…finally!
If you're looking for shopping, well Marfa isn't the place but they do have some cute little shops. We loved Freda’s; the shop carries locally handmade crafts along with some clothing, home goods, candles (which I bought, of course!) and jewelry. We also loved Mirth, which was a really unique shop with some great stationary and home goods.
Marfa is also known for their many art galleries, here are some of the ones we visited.
We really liked them all; they were all different and unique in their own way. Most of them don’t take long to get through so if you do visit they're worth checking out.
Some other tips if you do decide to visit Marfa beside, packing warmer clothes if you don't visit in the summer and bringing your own snacks and alcohol. 2-3 nights is a good amount of time to visit and make sure you go between Thursday and Sunday, the town kind of shuts down late Sunday to early Thursday and many places aren’t open.
I loved Marfa and would for sure go back! I think it's definitely worth the drive. It's for sure one of the more interesting and unique places I’ve ever visited and I highly recommend it. Thanks for reading and stay tuned next week for Texas Part 3, Austin!
Check out more pics below : )
More of El Cosmico and inside our trailer…