Hello hello! It has been a while since I have updated here on the blog (you’ll find me most active on Instagram these days as we bounce around in our day to day…but recently we took a break from all the “hoops” life has us jumping through and ran away to South-West Texas for 10 days. Below you will find everything about our trip from our destinations/itinerary, stays, packing lists, and restaurant suggestions! So buckle up, it’s time to explore!
What to pack:
West/South Texas is a desert, but don’t let that fool you. During the “spring” months, the weather can vary from mid 80’s to 30’s in a day. with that being said, you want to be prepared for whatever the day will throw your way. I like to pack in “capsule” style wardrobes, which allows you to take minimal items that can be mixed/matched for the weather or daily activities. Below you can find some suggested packing lists and links to help you prepare for your trip.
Everything is pretty casual in the desert, and expect to get dusty! I opted to wear a lot of light, flowy clothes that can easily get me from brunch to dinner. Linen is always a good option, and think about packing items that can layer when the evenings get chilly.
- linen pants
- tank tops/short sleeve
- shacket/layering items
- jeans (and jean shorts)
- comfortable walking shoes
- lightweight skirts/dresses
Click HERE to shop links
Shackets, Jackets & Pullovers
Below you’ll find some of my favorite options for layering! Click HERE for the links to these!
We ended our trip at Big Bend National Park and did several days of hiking, so if that’s up your alley be sure to pack clothes you can sweat in:
- hiking boots/sandals (don’t forget tall socks if you pack boots)
- hiking pants/leggings/shorts (I prefer the kind that zips into shorts)
- lightweight long sleeve-if you are prone to sunburns
- tank top/activewear shirt
- cooler pack (with lots of water!)
- neck scarf
- snacks 😉
Click HERE for links
DON’T FORGET THESE ITEMS
- LOTION. I cannot stress this enough no matter how hydrated you think you are staying your skin will suffer.
- CONDITIONER. If your hair is picky, take your own. As stated before, it’s dry.
- Extra hair ties (I always manage to forget those and lose the ones I have).
We have started taking a much more relaxed approach to our vacations, and find we have the best time when we have an extremely loose schedule and explore when we get there-I highly encourage yall to try it! This is the best way to avoid vacation burnout and truly enjoy your time wherever you go! But below you will find where we ended up.
Day 1: Drive from Dallas/Fort Worth to San Antonio, Texas (approx 4.5 hours no stops)
- Stay at St. Anthony Hotel
- In the heart of Downtown, this hotel was perfect walking distance to pretty much everything we did. It’s a gorgeous hotel that was built in 1909 and has been designated as a national historic site with Italian marble, Corinthian columns, and beautiful chandeliers. We used our points to book this stay but it is definitely worth a splurge.
- Dinner and drinks at Playland
- WOOD-FIRED PIZZERIA BY CHEF STEFAN BOWERS.
- “Secret” bar downstairs with drinks and moody vibes.
- The pizza was really good, I would recommend it.
- WOOD-FIRED PIZZERIA BY CHEF STEFAN BOWERS.
Day 2: Explore San Antonio
- We slept in and then grabbed an early lunch at Schilos (German food): the oldest restaurant in San Antonio.
- Hands down the best food we ate in San Antonio. Homemade root beer, pretzels, schnitzel, and sausages. It makes my mouth water just thinking about it! Get there early and be prepared to wait- they only serve 8:30a-2p.
- Walk over to see the Alamo
- Tickets are free but you have to reserve a time in advance to go inside the church.
- If you’re lucky you’ll catch some street performers in the plaza!
- There are also plenty of tourist attractions in this area friendly for children.
- Go take a riverwalk boat tour! Pre-book your tickets online and you can get on your tour boat any time of the day. Highly recommend stopping into the Thirsty Aztec for a frozen margarita before you board your tour!
- Dinner at Maverick Texas Brasserie
- This was a recommendation from our hotel and I have to say it was not my favorite. It’s a French restaurant and the decor is cool but I did not enjoy the food.
- Post-dinner walk on the Riverwalk.
- We caught some mariachis playing and took in the nightlife on the riverwalk.
Day 3: San Antonio, TX to Marfa, TX (approx 6 hours no stops)
- We stopped halfway at the Caverns of Senora.
- The Caverns of Sonora is internationally recognized as one of the most beautiful show caves on the planet, and it did not disappoint. Allow about an hour and a half to walk through the caves led by a tour guide and learn about all the beauty Texas has to offer underground!
- You can buy tickets ($20) online, or when you get to the headquarters.
- Snag a late dinner at Dickey’s BBQ on your way in (everything closes around 8 on Sundays, so be aware of the days your are travelling) and Stay at Marfa Garden 2 (Airbnb)
- Relax under the stars and Milky Way and enjoy this contemporary casita (2 of 2) in a quiet, private garden (1.25 acres) filled with native plants and walking trails
- New, modern, clean, You have the whole house equipped to sleep two
Day 4: Marfa
- Sleep in and eat lunch at The Waterstop.
- Food and drinks here are good and you are surrounded by eclectic decor. Worth a visit.
- The weather was pretty cold and extremely windy this day, so we opted to stay in bed and watched The Last Kingdom on Netflix pretty much all afternoon. I can’t even give a dinner recommendation because we ate packed sandwiches and sat out to look at the stars.
Day 5: Marfa
- The weather was much better, so we ate brunch at The Sentinal- “A Marfa Restaurant Serving Coffee, Cocktails and News”.
- Take some time to shop the local goods you can find in the foyer, then grab a Mexican latte, a newspaper, and some tacos (whether you fancy breakfast or lunch, the tacos are great) and spend a relaxing morning in this cute coffee spot.
- While there aren’t a ton of shops open on Mondays or Tuesdays (again, be mindful on which days you are traveling for activities), you can still go walk the downtown strip by the courthouse and pop into what is open!
- Next, we headed to the iconic Prada, Marfa.
- Prada Marfa is a permanent sculptural art installation by artists Elmgreen and Dragset, located along U.S. Route 90, about a 30-minute drive north of Marfa.
- Perfect for getting those “Instagram” shots or just setting your eyes on the art piece-and yes, there are products and a security system .
- Head back into Marfa and stop in at the bar at Hotel Saint George for some ranch waters and a charcuterie board.
- Make sure to take a tour of the Marfa Spirit Co, a fairly new distillery specializing in Sotol.
- You’ll get a one-on-one tour of the up-and-coming distillery that is putting the old train store to use! Then get a complimentary flight of sotol, rum, & gin, as well as a drink (the ranch water was perfection) paired with chips and salsa.
- We hung out here chatting with the locals until it was late enough to head over to see the Marfa Lights at the official viewing area. These mysterious lights can appear anywhere from 11pmto 4am, and that being said.. we did not stay long enough to see the lights.
- “Accounts of the strange spectacle just east of Marfa began during the 19th century and continue to this day. Ranchers, Native Americans, high school sweethearts, and famous meteorologists alike have reported seeing seemingly sourceless lights dance on the horizon southeast of town, an area that is nearly uninhabited and extremely difficult to traverse. The mystery lights are sometimes red, sometimes blue, sometimes white, and usually appear randomly throughout the night, no matter the season or the weather.” -www.visitmarfa.com
Day 6: Marfa, TX to Terlingua, TX (approx 2-hour drive no stops)
- If you’re into burritos larger than your face, grab breakfast at Marfa Burrito before heading out-they’re huge!
- We stopped about halfway and took a private horseback tour of the Larremore Ranch. (Click HERE for Airbnb booking)
- On horseback, you will be guided by a 4th generation rancher through sections of the Chihuahuan Desert in Far West Texas. This 1/2 day tour offers a rare opportunity to visit a 3,200-acre private ranch, operational for over 100 years. Learn about the history of the Native Americans that once lived in this area, and take in the beautiful scenery.
- Be aware: you have to put the GPS coordinates into your maps before leaving cell service-or you will get lost.
- After our tour, we kept driving and stopped for lunch at a local cafe: the Chili Pepper for some Mexican/southwest style eats.
- We then headed to our final Airbnb of the trip: The Local Chapter
- “The untouched desert landscape of The Local Chapter sits high above neighboring Terlingua and Study Butte on Maverick Mountain and is densely filled with native ocotillo and cactus plants. Unobstructed 360° views from each private yurt begin with the Chisos mountain range and extend to the famous Rio Grande. The Local Chapter is located in a designated International Dark Sky Area, which provides a distinguished quality of starry nights that can be seen from the comfort of the bed through the center dome of each yurt.”
- Pick up a pizza at Long Draw Pizza then head back to stargaze the night away.
Day 7: Terlingua/Big Bend National Park
- We woke up early and headed to a half-round of golf at Black Jack Crossing at Lajita’s Golf Resort (8:30a tee time).
- You can only book a week out at a time and tee times do fill up, so be sure to plan for this one!
- Lunch at Candellia Cafe
- The Carne Guisada was AMAZING
- After changing, we headed into Big Bend National Park ($30 car fee but it is good for 7 days)
- Hikes we did:
- Lower Burro Mesa Pour-off Trail
- *Santa Elena Canyon
- The Dorgan-Sublett Trail
- Hikes we did:
- Dinner at the Starlight Cafe
- They are “open” until midnight but they stop seating at 10p. Get there early to ensure seating!
- ‘Texas and Mexican cuisine with a full bar and frequent live entertainment. The Starlight is the center of the local community around Terlingua. If there is no live music inside, the adjacent Terlingua porch almost always has a group of pickers and players doing their thing and enjoying the great view of the Chisos Mountains”
Day 8: Terlingua/Big Bend National Park
- Sleep in and have lunch at DB’s Rustic Iron BBQ before grabbing a self-guided walking tour of the Terlingua Ghosttown which used to be home to more than 2000 miners in the early 1900s.
- Head back to Big Bend National Park for some more hiking:
- We opted for a longer hike called Lost Mine Trail. This took us about 3 hours with a 45-minute break at the top. (4.8-mile round trip)
- After your hike, you’ll be ready for dinner. Before heading down the mountain, stop at Chiso’s Mountain Lodge Restaurant and catch a sunset before heading back to your stay and cozying up for an evening by the fire and under the stars.
Day 9: Terlingua to Odessa, TX (approx 3.5 hours no stops)
- As we made our way home, we stopped at two state parks:
- Balmorhea State Park
- “Dive into the crystal-clear water of the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool. Swim, scuba dive, or just relax under the trees at this historic park in arid West Texas”.
- Monahan Sandhills State Park
- “Out west lies a mystical place where the wind sculpts sand dunes into peaks and valleys, sometimes overnight. Monahans Sandhills State Park offers a Texas-sized sandbox for kids of all ages, as well as a close-up view of a unique desert environment”.
- Balmorhea State Park
- Once we got into Odessa and showered off all the sand we grabbed dinner at Flair Taverna.
- High-end, high-quality food with an extensive wine list. Great appetizers.
Day 10: Odessa to DFW (approx 5 hours no stops)
On our last day, we hauled booty back home, and it took about 5 hours because there aren’t many places to stop from Odessa to Dallas.
Overall, we needed this trip badly. We had become overly stressed, and honestly, I cannot remember the last time Harley and I had a conversation that wasn’t revolving around the house build. It was a much-needed getaway that gave us the opportunity to reconnect with each other and relax away from all the loops and hoops of life.
As much fun as we had, we are so excited to be back home! We have a lot of prep to do before our new farm additions come in and I cannot wait to share.