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

Smack dab in the middle of the Big Bend region of Texas the small towns of Alpine, Fort Davis, and Marfa are reminiscent of an era when life was simpler and time moved a little slower. Put traffic jams in your rearview, breathe in the fresh air, grab a seat with an unobstructed view, and give vacation mode your undivided attention. These family-friendly recommendations are a few of the must-dos for your next visit.

Whatever family looks like to you, you’ll find a place to unwind, unplug, and reconnect in one of these timeless West Texas towns. See y’all out there.

Alpine, TX – Population 5,815

The Museum of the Big Bend leads you on a journey through the past and present of the Big Bend region—and it’s entering a new era today! Be among the first to see its just-opened expansion.

Behind the Museum, Hancock Hill rises above the Sul Ross State University campus with a network of rough trails that give 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.

Wassermann Wranch isn’t a zoo. It’s an extended family of kangaroos, alpacas, donkeys, and a camel. The Wassermanns became their accidental stewards, one at a time, and have gradually developed a mission to welcome visitors in a way that equally honors the animals and their guests.

When you arrive in Alpine, stop in at the 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

Fort Davis, TX Population 1,067

The Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center spans over five miles of trails through the Davis Mountain foothills. Explore the botanical garden’s collection of cacti and native plants stretching from northern Mexico to southern Colorado, including a 250+ year-old Madrone tree.

The Nature Conservancy’s Davis Mountains Preserve towers nearly 8,500 feet and is open select weekends throughout the year, or find access to mountain wilderness year-round at the Madera Canyon Trail with its sky-island Ponderosa and Pinyon forests gazing at Mt. Livermore.

Kick off the dust and recap stories of your trip at the award-winning Chateau Wright Winery and stay at a historic hotel in the village center. Don’t forget to find an event for you and your family at

Come by the Fort Davis Visitor Center for information on family-fun activities or rent a bicycle and discover the mile-high village on your own. Learn more about what is on offer at

Marfa, TX – Population 1,750

The Marfa Mystery Lights have been observed above this grassland plateau for more than 175 years, yet no geologist, meteorologist, or ranch hand has found an explanation. Form your own hypothesis at the Marfa Lights Viewing Area, open free of charge 24/7/365.

Marfa Maid Dairy makes small batch goat cheeses found in local grocery stores and markets. Reserve a spot on one of their dairy tours to learn the process, hug a goat, and sample some of their delicious products.

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

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