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The vintage and the modern collide seamlessly outside the Planet Marfa Beer Garden in Marfa, Texas.

Photos by Ken Amorosano

There is quite a buzz about the sleepy Texas town of Marfa.  Major national fashion magazines such as Vogue have used it for shoots, raving about it as a bucket list, must-visit road trip destination. Maybe because Beyonce made a splashy visit and occasional sightings of a celebs from both coasts have circulated, Marfa has a certain mystique about it.  But arriving in Marfa after the arduous drive that it takes to get there, the casual observer might wonder…what’s all the fuss?

Tumble In RV Park

On any given day or evening, Marfa’s streets are, well, pretty empty.  For the uninitiated, one must dig deep to find the real jewels of this cultural treasure.  It’s behind the doors and facades where the real Marfa thrives.  Dotted with restaurants, infamous food trucks, galleries, RV parks, the El Cosmico (with its funky vintage–era trailer accommodations), the Chianti Foundation Art Museum, and the historic Hotel Saint George and Hotel Paisano, visitors who look beyond the surface will find much to do.

Marfa is off the beaten path—200 miles to the nearest major airport and 20 miles to the next town—so it is a road trip destination that takes considerable effort to reach.  Nestled in a vast expanse of desert south of Interstate 10 in the Texas panhandle, at the junction of US Highway 90 and 67, Marfa was established in 1883 as a water stop and freight headquarters for the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railways  Fittingly named after a character in a Dostoyevsky novel, Marfa has a history of attracting creative spirits.  Until the 1970s, Marfa was best known for the unidentified ghost lights, and the film location for James Dean’s final picture  GIANT.  The classically beautiful Hotel Paisano served as the center of activity during the making of the movie and today serves as a hub for the eclectic wave of visitors who descend on the town in search of its cultural treasures, fabled food trucks, hip eateries and engaging watering holes.

Start your exploration of Marfa with a Google search and a visit to visitmarfa.com 

Marfa water tower
The patio at Hotel St. George.
The Food Shark truck.