although it has a reputation of being a sleepy town, there are actually a lot of fantastic ways to explore marfa and its nearby sites. one fantastic stop i’d recommend before you even hit the city limits is balmorhea state park.
we absolutely fell in love with this swimming hole. the park’s entry fee is $7/person, so plan to bring a picnic and a deck of cards, because you’ll want to stay awhile. the water is so clear and you are literally swimming alongside little fishies (don’t worry, they’re of the harmless minnow variety). if you’re planning to go over the weekend, get there early, because once the park is at capacity, they switch to a one in- one out line of cars.
before you embark on all of these adventures, i’d recommend stopping by the get go. this cozy grocery has just about everything you’d ever need. the basic toiletries of course, but they also offer a spectacular variety of beer and wine, healthy and organic produce and ingredients for cooking up a feast, and of course lots of snacks. we stopped by here once a day to stock up on goodies.
once you arrive in marfa, there are lots of gallery options to explore by day. also, if you dig photography like me, your walk through town will be littered with stops because basically all of marfa is a perfect backdrop.
marfa is saturated with artists. some have lived there for decades, and some that are just passing through. that said, you can expect a wide (and i do mean wide) variety of art displayed throughout town. i won’t pretend that i loved it all, in fact there were some features that looked like people wearing the label to make a quick buck, but what i truly can appreciate is a town that celebrates and embraces creativity in all forms. and i tip my hat to those true marfa artists that fill their days with the dedication and intention it takes to create something that genuinely speaks to them and resonates with the world around them [steps down from soapbox]. let us continue…
ballroom marfa was probably my favorite gallery. the exhibits are ever-changing, but i truly loved their feature at the time. they also sell old screen printed posters, so naturally we picked up a few for our newly remodeled spaces. we didn’t have time this trip, but plan on touring the chinati foundation on our next trip.
cast + crew and mirth are two small, but incredibly curated shops that stole my heart. featuring home goods and quirky knick knacks, it’s hard to walk out of these shops empty-handed. tienda m is also another wonderful spot worth visiting.
marfa book company is also quite the treat. the books alone are worth it, but there is also a small gallery in the back that is easy to miss, but definitely worth meandering through. planet marfa is the perfect spot to unwind between shops. it’s basically located in someone’s backyard, and they have just about every bar game under the sun.
our last and final suggestion, is a must. go to star party. it is incredible. only offered on tuesday, friday, and saturday nights, star party is an interactive two hour tour of the night sky held at the mcdonald observatory. it’s about 40 miles outside of town, but the drive up the mountain alone is worth it. i’m telling you if you do one thing during your marfa trip, it should be star party.