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Welcome to the wild wild west! If you’re looking for adventure and want to travel somewhere different, West Texas is THE ultimate secret tip you probably didn’t had on your bucket list already. No better terrain to plan your next road trip and E X P L O R E ! With its wide-open roads, star-studded skies, lonesome mountain peaks and endless deserts, you’d swear the sole purpose of this land is road-tripping. Come and follow me along…
1st stop: El Paso
El Paso is located at the western tip of Texas, where Texas, New Mexico and Old Mexico meet and is a unique and colorful mix of cultures and traditions: from the historic wild west to lively Mexico.
This also means: you will be blown away by the fusion food scene in El Paso. It has the most delicious Tex-Mex and Mexican dining scenes you can imagine and El Paso is the birthplace of the Margarita! If you love fajitas, chili or enchiladas, don’t miss the traditional Mexican restaurants like Los Bandidos De Carlos & Mickey’s for a truly unique night with “Texas-sized” margaritas (the name says it all). If you fancy something more stylish and modern, make sure to grab breakfast at Salt + Honey (highly recommend the baklava pancakes) and add some fish tacos for lunch at Mamacitas at Hotel Indigo – Insta #foodporn guaranteed!
Ready for some more tex-mex? El Paso also is the boot capital of the world! As a shoe-a-holic, you definitely need to take a look inside the famous Lucchese boot manufactory and – of course – get your hands on your own, handmade pair. A really special souvenir – and with these, you are now ready for the next stops!
2nd stop: Marfa
Tiny Marfa is by far the most famous town in far West Texas. It’s like an unexpected artist’s oasis in the middle of the desert where you might see working cowboys alongside art collectors from all over the world. Former gas stations have been transformed into modern art museums, you can sleep in a teepee or drink a beer while you look for the mysterious, unexplained Marfa lights – no town in the world quite like Marfa!
Must Dos: The Chinati Foundation by Donald Judd and, of course, Prada Marfa. The unique art installation on the highway outside Marfa, in the literal middle of nowhere houses actual Prada accessories and is a criticism of consumerism – and has become something of the most famous texan landmark.
Where to stay in Marfa? At the charming and historic Hotel Paisano – also Elizabeth Taylor’s and James Dean’s choice while filming Giants in Marfa.
3rd stop: Big Bend National Park
Big Bend National Park hugs the border where the Rio Grande dips south in a “big bend” formation, hence the name. There are 150 miles of trails in the Chihuahuan desert waiting for you, along Rio Grande and in the Chisos Mountains, along the cliff-side panoramic views of Mexico or bizarre volcanic formations. There is more to explore in Big Bend than can be seen in a lifetime – but let’s give it a start at Lajitas!
Lajitas in the northern part of the Chihuahuan Desert has a fascinating history as the best crossing of the Rio Grande between Texas and Mexico. In the 1980s, Lajitas became a beautiful resort (the Lajitas Golf Resort), where you can relax after long hiking days. Fun fact: the mayor of Lajitas is Clay Henry, a beer-drinking goat – no joke 😉 Lajitas is also the perfect place to start your Big Bend adventure on horseback. The sunset ride is an absolute must you will definitely never forget!
For some easy Big Bend hikes, there are two trails you shouldn’t miss. First, the Lost Mine trail: this pine-covered trail offers breathtaking views of the stunning rock formations and peaks that permeate Big Bend. An easy, about 20 minutes hike to the first viewpoint. Keep your eyes open: The area is black bear and mountain lion territory, so if you’re lucky, you may spot these beautiful animals in the wild!
The second trail you definitely should hike: The Grapevine Hills trail to Balanced Rock. About 3.1 kilometer out and back with a little steeper climb at the end, but the view waiting for you is definitely worth the hike!
To give your Big Bend trip an end with a bang, visit Terlingua Ghost Town for your last nights. Just a few exits past the end of the world, Ghost Town Texas is an abandoned quicksilver mining town and nowadays home to a community of desert denizens and a famous, annual chili cook-off. Make sure to stay at the Perry Mansion nestled high above the ghost town. Every single of the unique rooms has a different, super charming interior, huge bath rooms and cozy beds. But pssst, it is said that the hotel is a haunted manor so you better hope a ghost doesn’t pop up during your visit!