This article is a part of the 2023 Fall Travel Guide, a sponsored collection brought to you by our travel advertising partners. You can find more fall travel destinations and events here.

Bless your heart if you call yourself a Texan but you haven’t taken a road trip out to the Big Bend region. Escape the heat and crowds with a journey through time to the high desert towns of Alpine and Marfa. At nearly 4,500 feet elevation, the grasslands of the Chihuahuan desert boast average August temps of 87 to 63 degrees. Spend clear sunny days hiking the national and state parks and cool peaceful nights kicking back under the world’s largest dark sky reserve.

With plenty of family friendly adventures, summer is one of the best times to visit the region. Get tickets to the Viva Big Bend music festival, book a star party at the MacDonald Observatory, and don’t miss taking a chilly dip in the crystal clear water of the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool at Balmorhea State Park. Skip the lines and come feast on stars, barbecue, sotol spirits, and unobstructed views in West Texas.

Alpine Has Something For Everyone

The Museum of the Big Bend leads you on a journey through the past and present of the Big Bend region. Featuring art, historic exhibits, and a killer gift shop, the museum is a great first stop to connect with the region.

Behind the Museum, Hancock Hill rises above the Sul Ross State University campus. A network of rough trails gives you and the family a desert wilderness experience just minutes from the parking lot. Determined hikers can seek out “The Desk,” a quirky tradition full of local history.

Grab a bite or a beverage in our vibrant downtown. Enjoy browsing through boutique shops and art galleries along historic Holland and Murphy streets.

When you arrive, stop in at the Alpine Visitor Center for a menu of activities to explore for kids of all ages, including a tour of downtown murals and historic buildings. Find more information at

Marfa Offers a Wealth of Regional Culture

For a taste of the locally-distilled high desert spirit sotol, visit Marfa Spirit Co. A close cousin of mezcal, the Indigenous People of the Chihuahuan Desert have been brewing and drinking sotol for centuries. 

Blackwell School is America’s newest historic site. From 1909 until the integration of Marfa schools in 1965, the school provided education to Marfa’s children of Hispanic descent. Open Saturdays and Sundays, visit the museum to learn more about Texas’s complicated history.

Donald Judd brought big ideas to Marfa with large-scale, site-specific artworks. His outdoor sculpture, 15 untitled works in concrete, at Chinati Foundation is a great way to start a conversation about scale, light and shadow, and how art interacts with the world around it. Sorry pet parents, no dogs allowed.

Stop by the Visitor Center, sited in the historic USO Hall, for maps, business hours, and to hear about Marfa’s rich history from a local. Plan ahead at

Visit for more information.