Out in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert is Marfa, the smallest West Texas town we know you’ve heard of. Population, 1,800, it’s an eight-hour drive from Dallas on some rough roads, but your hour-and-a-half flight with just enough time for lunch will make what’s usually a tough trek seem easy.
After you arrive, your first stop is Prada Marfa, the famous pop art installation that plays on both minimalism and architectural land art and brings a taste of high class to the high desert. It kicks off an afternoon of art gazing, with stops at local galleries as well as the AYN Foundation, featuring several large-scale projects including Andy Warhol’s "The Last Supper".
Check into your trailer — glamping-style — at the El Cosmico, where every home has been restored with wood interiors, worldly furnishings and AC/heaters. The 21-acre property provides for a comfortable camp experience, where the Wi-Fi intentionally does not reach the rooms (but is available if needed in the lobby HQ).
That night, try and catch a glimpse of the famous Marfa Lights, which randomly appear in red, white or blue along the horizon southeast of town in a nearly uninhabited area that is extremely difficult to traverse. Hit the hay before your second day, which will be filled with the adventure of the west at Fort Davis and the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center and Botanical Garden.
On your final day, take a private tour of the Chinati Foundation, where the permanent large-scale installations emphasize the way that art and the surrounding landscapes are inextricably linked. This pioneering institution is what makes Marfa an international destination for art, with more than 100 pieces by renowned artists including John Chamberlain, Dan Flavin and the Foundation’s founder, Donald Judd.
Before departing for the plane, grab a book at the Marfa Book Company for the trip. Make it a quick read, because 90 minutes after take-off you’ll be back home, no backroads required.