[Editor’s Note: This year has been a decade, right? So many things happened, lots of things were postponed, and houses continued to sell despite it all. While the SecondShelters..com team takes a hot minute this holiday season to recharge the ol’ Energizers, we’re serving up our very favorite stories from 2020. Enjoy!]
Mary Cate: If we’re being honest, the phrase “Best of 2020″ sounds a bit like an oxymoron. But! Even all of the sizable storm clouds this year had shiny silver linings. One of my favorite silver linings was the motivation to explore all of the beautiful and fascinating places in my own backyard. COVID-19 cut short my post-grad year living in Australia, but opened the door to traveling nearby (safely, socially distanced, and masked, of course!). When I took a little road trip to West Texas, I was in awe: of the beautiful scenery, of the vibrant artistic-cowboy culture, and especially of the fact that I had never ventured out there before, despite having been born and raised in Dallas. Marfa truly is an enchanting little town … I can’t wait to go back soon.
Maybe you’ve seen that Prada store installation in the desert and are wondering what the hype around Marfa is all about. Or maybe, this will serve as your first introduction. Either way, here are our top four reasons why this artsy, secluded West Texas town is the perfect place to buy property.
1. Wide Open Spaces
Whether you are eyeing a sprawling ranch outside of Marfa or a stylish house in town, a homebase in West Texas provides a unique escape from city life. While the eight hour drive from Dallas is a deal-breaker for some, the space provides a drastic change of scenery.
Somewhere along the voyage to Marfa, you trade the city concrete for desert, the smog for starry skies, the traffic for tumbleweeds, and the busy noise for deep tranquility.
2. The Art Scene
Since the 1970s, artists looking for fresh inspiration began to put Marfa on the cultural map. Most notably, minimalist artist Donald Judd played a huge role in the desert town’s renaissance when he left the New York art scene for West Texas.
The Chinati Foundation, a modern art gallery that Judd founded in 1986, remains a top attraction for art connoisseurs and novices alike who visit Marfa.
Beyond Chinati, the rest of the town is an art-lover’s dream as well. From the boutique galleries in artist’s homes to the surprisingly chic architecture of houses and storefronts, Marfa is not your typical tiny Texas town.
Good Food And Good Coffee
Many say that a meal from Marfa Burrito alone is worth the pilgrimage to town. On my part, I’d be willing to make the drive just for the pina colada-esque cocktail at The Water Stop called “The Rigmarole.” To each their own, but it cannot be denied that Marfa hits above its weight on the food and beverage level as well as the artistic one.
The town’s coffee-shop-per-capita ratio has to be record-breaking, as there seems to be one on every corner. Two of my favorites are The Sentinel, which runs in conjunction with a local newspaper of the same name, and Do Your Thing, which has a great toast menu.
While one of Marfa’s charming qualities is the whole “desert solitude” aspect, it’s not quite fair to say that it’s in the middle of nowhere. In fact, there are several day trips and interesting destinations close by.
Explore the vast, stunning landscape of Big Bend National Park, check out Terlingua Ghost Town (and pretend like you’re on set of an old Western film), head to Chinati Hot Springs, or take a dip in the cool waters of the natural spring-fed pool at Balmorhea State Park.