Marfa, the Best Small Town in Texas. Period.
Sorry Beyonce, but we did Prada Marfa first.
Marfa, Texas is quite literally in the middle of nowhere. It’s a three-hour drive to the nearest airport, it’s not on the interstate, and though trains pass through the center of town multiple times a day, they never stop. Situated deep in the Chihuahuan desert, the city (and you can barely call it a city) has one main road and a population just over 2,000. Marfa was founded in the 1880s as a railroad water stop and today it continues to fulfill its original purpose … blink and you’ll miss it, but if you keep your eyes open you’ll find that this West Texan city is an oasis of art, food, and culture.
Nothing beats a big, blue West Texas sky.
Marfa was once known only for its “mystery lights” (spooky flashing lights that can be seen in the distance at night) and for being the setting of James Dean’s last film, “Giant.” In 1971 minimalist artist Donald Judd changed everything. He sought refuge from the bustling streets of New York and settled on the open landscape of Marfa. The acclaimed artist went on land-buying sprees—eventually purchasing over 60,000 acres and using that land to create artist retreats and foundations. Marfa began to transform around him, as though he plucked the SoHo of the 1970s up into the sky and dropped it into the West Texas desert.
Everyone in West Texas has a pickup truck and riding in the back is highly encouraged. We once saw a policeman in the back and were certain we would be pulled over—he just waved and smiled.