Things to Do

Alpine, Marfa, and Fort Davis: A Tiny Taste of this Triangle of West Texas Towns

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A tour through Alpine, Marfa, and Fort Davis will give you only a tiny taste of what these Texas towns can offer, but it’s a delicious one at that. Take a drive to Alpine, and you’ll discover Holland Avenue, where you’ll find Big Bend Arts Council’s Gallery on the Square and not only a varied assortment of great art, but also an affordable selection. Paintings, sculptures, pottery and jewelry that have been created by local artists fill the space fully and completely. Featuring 24 different artists in a number of mediums, the gallery promotes creativity through regional art exhibitions, lessons, art supply discounts, workshops, guest artists, and a scholarship fund. There’s really more to this wonderful place, but that’s the tiny taste of it.

Alpine, Marfa, and Fort Davis: A Tiny Taste of this Triangle of West Texas Towns

Photo: Flickr/Jay Galvin

Also along Holland in Alpine is Front Street Books. Here you’ll find copies of the literature that have been on your list of “to buy” for quite some time now but you never really got around to finding it – some of them signed by the author, no less. They carry new, used, and out-of-print titles, based on what their customers request, and they favor history but carry a variety of other topics including science, children’s fiction and non-fiction, cookbooks, religion and spirituality, general fiction, and science fiction and fantasy. Now you can grab yourself some lunch and head west to Marfa.

Alpine, Marfa, and Fort Davis: A Tiny Taste of this Triangle of West Texas Towns

Photo: Flickr/Nan Palmero

Marfa has an eclectic variety of businesses that will catch your eye, including not only boutiques/shops, but also galleries (being an arts hub of West Texas), and restaurants that are all over the palate…er’ map. A quick trip to Highland Avenue and you’ll find the Hotel Paisano Gift Shop, which is quite extensive and also has a remarkable book and art section. Next, you’ll want to head over to Dean Street where you’ll find Cobra Rock. This is a leather boot and accessory company with all product being made in the USA. Started in 2011, they carry western-inspired footwear and leather accessories that are designed by store owners Colt Miller and Logan Caldbeck, and they also carry additional small, independent designer products and brands which are made-in-the-USA. And a tiny taste of Marfa wouldn’t be much without a visit to the infamous Prada Marfa art installation. So take a little side trip approximately five miles past Valentine on US 90, where you’ll see the structure which was built in 2005 and continues to attract curious tourists such as yourself (and us.)

Alpine, Marfa, and Fort Davis: A Tiny Taste of this Triangle of West Texas Towns

Photo: Wikimedia

There’s still time for a quick trip to Fort Davis. Hwy. 17 will get you there directly, but if you like to go off the beaten path, you can take a tour on Hwy. 166. This will wend its way through the Davis Mountains and offers a scenic drive with spectacular views to add to your agenda. Getting back to your tour, however, your first stop is at the Fort Davis National Historic Site. Here you can stretch your legs and take a short hike up to a view point that offers an amazing vista over the entire fort. Described as one of the foremost surviving examples of a frontier military post during a time when it was necessary to defend against Indian attacks in the Southwest, from 1854-1891, the fort was a strategic line of defense for mail coaches, emigrants, and freight wagons along the Trans-Pecos section of the San Antonio-El Paso Road and on the Chihuahua Trail. Next, you can take a spin out to Indian Lodge in Davis Mountains State Park. Here you can explore the park by day, and take up lodgings for the night at this full-service hotel, with its white adobe walls, historic aura, and refreshing pool. A word to the wise, however, that the hotel is scheduled for renovation work from September of 2017 through January of 2018, so check their website out for full alerts depending on your anticipated arrival. And that wraps up your tiny taste of the Fort Davis area and a look at three West Texas towns we’re sure you could spend a weekend at a-piece, and still find much more to do, eat, shop at or stroll through!