Tiny Marfa, Texas, is one of the most distinctive places in the United States. Nearly three hours southeast of El Paso, in the middle of nowhere, you'll find an art community like no other. Formerly a stop on the railroad for refilling steam engines with water, in the 1970s, something started brewing in Marfa. Minimalist artist Donald Judd moved into town and led a movement to transform Marfa into a world-renowned art mecca. He and some of his buddies bought up property, including an old military base from the 20s, and created an art enclave in this small high desert town that no one had ever heard of. Today, for those who appreciate modern art, it’s one of the most fabulous, fun, quirky, and cool places to visit in the United States. As well as appreciating loads of mind-bending art, we’ll enjoy wine tasting, creative and delicious food, and a goat cheese class. Weather in El Paso and Marfa at this time of year sees highs of 60°F and lows of 40°F at night.
Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the trip.
Arrive early enough to check into The Stanton House and enjoy a relaxing spa treatment (included), choosing either a float or a facial. We’ll meet for drinks and dinner at 7 pm to discuss the long weekend.
Overnight: The Stanton House
After a relaxing breakfast, our driver will pick us up, and we’ll head out to Marfa. We’ll stop outside the town after the almost 3-hour drive to take pictures in front of the iconic Prada Store installation as we watch tumbleweeds roll by.
Once in town, we’ll have lunch at The Waterstop, a local favorite. Weather dependent, we’ll dine outside.
After checking in and taking a rest, we’ll head out for a walk about town to visit some of the smaller art galleries and boutiques and learn a bit about the history of this fascinating small town.
Tonight, we’ll dine at the hotel at their cooler-than-cool restaurant, La Venture.
Overnight: Hotel St. George
Today, we’ll rise early and start the day with optional yoga. Then, we’ll mosey over to the Chinati Foundation for a guided tour led by an art expert. Revel in the permanent collection that spans the massive complex with works from Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Robert Irwin, Ilya Kabakov, Claus Oldenburg, and more. You will walk away in awe. We’ll make a pit stop at Marfa’s Burrito for a quick lunch because there is much to do today. This afternoon, we’ll head over to La Mansana de Chinati and the Block with access to Donald Judd’s residence. With enough time, we’ll strive to visit his studios as well. We would like to include a selection of Juddʼs downtown spaces, like Architecture Studio, Art Studio, and the Cobb House and Whyte Building. These spaces contain Judd furniture, his early paintings from the 1950s and 1960s, an extensive collection of modernist and period furniture, and works by other prominent twentieth-century artists and designers. Whatever we cannot cover today, we’ll leave for tomorrow. Late afternoon, we’ll savor a wine tasting at Alta Marfa winery and vineyard. This will be followed by dinner at Cochineal for our prix-fixe meal.
Overnight: Hotel St. George
This morning, we’ll take a short drive to devour some of the best donuts you’ve ever had.
After all the visual stimulation over the past two days, it's time for a hands-on activity. We’ll head to Marfa Maid Goat Cheese for a milking, goat care, and cheese workshop at the farm. Of course, we’ll enjoy a goat cheese tasting after class.
Then, we’ll follow up with whatever we missed of the Judd Foundation buildings and tours. If time allows, we’ll stop into Building 98, an international women’s foundation.
Late this afternoon, we’ll walk to Planet Marfa’s Beer Garden for some nibbles and ale. Then, we'll venture out to the observatory for our very own private Star Party. Because it is so dark here, you'll see more stars, planets, and constellations than anywhere you've been.
Overnight: Hotel St. George
It’s Monday, and all of our fun sadly must end. After breakfast, we’ll pack up and depart for the trip back to El Paso. Plan to fly home after 2:30 p.m.
The Stranton House, where form and function meet to create a thoughtfully designed hotel in the heart of El Paso.
Doni Belau is the creator and founder off Girls Guide to the World. She is an inveterate traveler. She has been to nearly 70 countries (and counting). She comes alive when she travels, when she is exploring, and when she is seeing, tasting and feeling something new. She loves to help other women experience this sensation as she truly feels it helps us see a larger world of possibilities within ourselves.
Real beauty starts with Texas
Today, Marfa is a tourist destination and a major center for minimalist art. Attractions include Building 98, the Chinati Foundation, artisan shops, historical architecture, a classic Texas town square, modern art installments, art galleries, and the Marfa lights.
4 nights accommodation in fabulous hotels
Two glasses of wine or beer with dinner
All excursions, classes, tastings and entry fees
Experienced art guides
All in-state transport, except your transfer in El Paso
One Spa service at the Stanton House
A wine tasting plus a cheese workshop
Roundtrip airfare to El Paso
Additional wine, beer, or spirits beyond what is offered at meals
All personal souvenirs or additional spa services
Yoga class fee
Travel and Medical Insurance (required)
The trip officially starts on the afternoon of November 30th. Consider arriving a day early so you have time to relax before the trip starts. If you do decide to arrive early, please let us know and we will take care of your booking and make sure that you stay in the same room until the trip starts.
We will have a zoom call about 6 weeks before the trip starts to discuss all that information and give you a packing list.Here is a great website that we love that will help you with packing and travel trips.
In Marfa during December average daily high temperatures decrease from 62°F to 57°F and it is overcast or mostly cloudy about 36% of the time.
Doni Belau will be your trip leader. Doni Belau is the creator and founder off Girls Guide to the World. She is an inveterate traveler. She has been to nearly 70 countries (and counting). She comes alive when she travels, when she is exploring, and when she is seeing, tasting and feeling something new.