Home » Marfa Texas: Art, Culture, History, Mystery, Land & Sky

Marfa Texas: Art, Culture, History, Mystery, Land & Sky

by JonPharr

An oasis of art, culture, history, mystery, land, and sky, MARFA, Texas is a bucket-list destination with opportunities to escape the crowd or discover something unexpected kicking off.


MARFA is world-renowned as the home of artist Donald Judd, and his influence can still be felt today. Reserve a tour at Judd Foundation and Chinati to view the museum he established to house large-scale works of art. You can also set up an appointment for a studio visit with one of the many artists currently residing in MARFA.


With a tight-knit community of around 1,800 residents, MARFA is a walkable West Texas destination where the pace slows down and you find yourself appreciating the simple things in life. You will find a great selection of restaurants, from food trailers to fine dining, Texas BBQ to international cuisine. Leave yourself plenty of time for browsing the independently owned bookstores, art galleries, and specialty shops. The Central Marfa Historic District was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places. The newly listed district encompasses the city’s core, including 183 significant locations in MARFA.


West Texas encompasses an incredibly rich history. Geologic time scale is on full display in the mountains that surround the area. Archaeological evidence of early Native people exists in the nearby state and national parks. Stories from early settlers have become legend. Cavalry forts, military bases, army airfields, and German POWs have all had a home in MARFA. The MARFA and Presidio County Museum holds an incredible archive of historic objects that is a must-see for history buffs. You can also visit the Blackwell School, America’s newest National Historic Site, to learn about an important and often painful era of our national history.


MARFA, Texas. You’ve probably heard of it, but have you been? It’s where ranchers begin the day at dawn and artists lay down roots. It’s where Anthony Bourdain dined, Rick Bass wrote, and Beyoncé went to unwind. It’s where land as far as the eye can see meets more stars than you can count. When you arrive at this peaceful desert plateau surrounded by mountains, sprawling ranches, and stunning sunsets, you’ll know the journey to get there is well worth it. The Marfa Mystery Lights have been observed for over 175 years, yet no geologist, meteorologist, or ranch hand has found an explanation – can you? Open to the public 24/7/365.


MARFA is located in the high plains of the Chihuahuan Desert, sitting at an elevation above 4,500 feet. Experience big, vibrant skies and rolling landscapes for miles in every direction. A sunset drive down Pinto Canyon Road gives uninterrupted views from horizon to horizon into the Chinati Mountains. MARFA is a gateway to the entire Big Bend Region.


MARFA is part of the Greater Big Bend Dark Sky Reserve boasting incredible opportunities for stargazing, even within city limits. A short jaunt outside of town will present you with more stars than you thought possible. Nearby, at the McDonald Observatory, world-renowned astronomers will unravel the mysteries of the night sky at one of their wildly popular star parties. Be sure to book ahead!

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