Texas Road Trip: Marfa & Big Bend

livvyland-blog-olivia-watson-marfa-valentine-texas-big-bend-road-trip-weekend-getaway-prada-art-27Hello sweet friends! First off, thank you for the unbelievably kind words about our wedding reveal post from yesterday…I don’t think I stopped smiling all day – y’all are the best! I am very pleased to close our wedding chapter and forever fondly look back. 🙂  Second, it’s a miracle, buuuut I am actually getting better about sharing travel wrap-ups (well sort of…Greece is still on the way, ah!) within a timely manner, so before the week is up, I am SO excited to share my west Texas road trip! One of my besties, Kayla, and I drove from Austin, to Marfa, to Big Bend National Park and back to Austin last weekend. It was quite the four day journey, and so so so incredible! (Yes, worthy of THREE “so’s” 😉 )…

For those who are unfamiliar, Marfa is an itty bitty art city in west Texas (population 2,000) that rests smack in the middle of the desert. It has a very hippie, Austin vibe to it, but feels like you’re in the middle of nowhere…(because you kind of are…it’s a 6 and a half hour drive from Austin, 3 hours from El Paso). Marfa is truly fascinating, beautiful and absolutely wonderful – it very much exceeded all of my expectations! Definitely a great place to go and disconnect for a few days.

We drove in on a Friday midday-evening-ish (it got dark about halfway through the drive) and stayed in Marfa until Sunday morning, then drove to Big Bend to finish out our trip at the national park. While in Marfa, we stayed at El Cosmico – THE coolest, retro trailer/teepee/yurt/hotel. This place is a community of its own and definitely feels like you’ve stepped straight back into the 60s. Honestly, if you go to Marfa – you MUST stay at least one night here (…more if you can!), it’s an unforgettable experience.

Kayla and I stayed in the El Amigo trailer (you’ll see it below) and though it was literally TINY (I kept referring to it as our “little peanut”), it was seriously awesome. Enough space to fit your belongings and the bed fit us both comfortably. One thing to note: this one came with a shared outhouse and outdoor shower (…and yes, it’s 20 degrees at night….not exactly a pleasant bathroom sitch at 2am haha!), so if you’re like me and prefer to use the restroom in the comfort of your own trailer (…with the heat on), I recommend spending a little extra to stay in one with a bathroom inside. If you’re cool with community living, then I highly recommend our teeny trailer, it was adorable!

**Outfit details for photo above: top – FREE PEOPLE / jeans – LEVIS / handbag – GUCCI
hat – BRIXTON / open back sweater – DREAMERS / jeans –LEVIS / necklace – BP

poncho – FREE PEOPLE / thermal long sleeve tee – FREE PEOPLE / jeans –LEVIS / shoes – SEYCHELLES / sunglasses – CELINE (similar lower priced option HERE) / handbag – CHLOE

poncho – FREE PEOPLE / thermal long sleeve tee – FREE PEOPLE / jeans –LEVIS / shoes – SEYCHELLES / sunglasses – CELINE (similar lower priced option HERE) / handbag – CHLOE
dress – FREE PEOPLE / boots – similarNORDSTROM

dress – TOPSHOP / boots – similar NORDSTROM / denim jacket – MADEWELL / tote bag – MADEWELL / necklace – BP / sunglasses – CELINE (similar lower priced option HERE)

dress – TOPSHOP / boots – similar NORDSTROM / denim jacket – MADEWELL / tote bag – MADEWELL / necklace – BP / sunglasses – CELINE (similar lower priced option HERE)

open back sweater – CHICWISH / jeans –LEVIS / booties – SEYCHELLES

jeans –LEVIS / plaid flannel – BP / shoes – VANS / tee – MADEWELLlivvyland-blog-olivia-watson-marfa-valentine-texas-big-bend-road-trip-weekend-getaway-11
cardigan – BILLABONG / satin cami – REVOLVE / jeans – TOPSHOP / belt – REVOLVE / necklace – BP / hat – BRIXTON / handbag – FURLA / sunglasses – CELINE (similar lower priced option HERE)
cardigan – BILLABONG / satin cami – REVOLVE /jeans – TOPSHOP / belt – REVOLVE / necklace – BP / hat – BRIXTON / handbag – FURLA

striped top (just $25!! I’m obsessed!) – SOCIALITE /jeans – TOPSHOP / belt –REVOLVE / handbag –CHLOE / denim jacket –MADEWELL /sunglasses – CELINE (similar lower priced option HERE)

olive utility jacket – MADEWELL / thermal long sleeve tee – FREE PEOPLE / tote bag – MADEWELL / jeans – LEVIS

hoodie – OUTDOOR VOICES / tri-tone leggings – OUTDOOR VOICES (wearing size XS)/ shoes – NIKE / beanie – Blake’s from 3 years ago / sports bra – OUTDOOR VOICES (wearing size XS)

hoodie – OUTDOOR VOICES / tri-tone leggings – OUTDOOR VOICES (wearing size XS)/ shoes – NIKE / beanie – Blake’s from 3 years ago / sports bra – OUTDOOR VOICES (wearing size XS)

Where we stayed:
El Cosmico (the El Amigo trailer)

Where we ate:
Breakfast: Squeeze Marfa (to be honest it wasn’t my favorite – a little pricey for what you get in my opinion!), Buns N’ Roses (definitely recommend!! The owner was SO nice and our waitress was a doll, the food was wonderful, too. I had a breakfast burrito and it rocked!)

Coffee: Big Bend Coffee Roasters – delicious and wonderful baristas. The fella behind the counter chatted with us for about 45 minutes, everyone was so friendly and relaxed. They also carry dairy milk/almond milk/hemp milk/soy milk – so anyone with dietary restrictions is covered!

Dinner: All of the restaurants were closed by the time we arrived on Friday, so we just ate soup in our trailer and called it a night! On Saturday we walked from El Cosmico to The Capri and enjoyed some incredible cocktails, empanadas and butternut squash soup. Definitely a great little date spot or fun if you want to do something a little nicer than pizza, etc. – it has a swanky, trendy vibe to it!

What to do:
1. Chill at El Cosmico – the lobby/check-in area has a lovely fire burning all day/night with beer and wine available and plenty of comfy seating. There are a lot of folks traveling alone, so everyone is super friendly. We’d have a few drinks here and get to know everyone, it was awesome!

2. Stroll around the city – window shop & stroll through local and vintage boutiques, stop into Big Bend Coffee Roasters for a quick pick-me-up, then head back out for some art exhibit viewing.

3. Go to the art exhibits – a ton to list, you can view Google’s version here.

4. Prada Marfa – drive out to the Prada art installation (referred to as a sculpture, according to Wikipedia…) – this one is actually in Valentine, Texas – a 20 minute drive from Marfa. The Prada storefront was SO AMAZING and really just the coolest concept and story behind it. It’s literally on the side of the road (as in…you’re driving on a straight stretch of open road and all of sudden you see a random Prada store), which to me is the most beautiful part about it. I kind of fan-girl’d when we stepped out of the car and walked up to it, I’d see it on Pinterest a billion times so to actually be in its presence was an ‘ol check off my bucket list!


If you’re traveling to Marfa, I highly recommend you take a couple of days and venture to Big Bend National Park, too. It’s about a two and a half hour drive from Marfa, but it’s soooo beautiful the entire way! The “open road” is really the best way to describe it…long stretches of roads for miles and miles, in the middle of gorgeous hills and mountains.

Big Bend was SO peaceful, quiet and quite stunning. Always puts life in perspective to be surrounded by nature and mountains! Prepare to fully disconnect while here, there is no cell service or wifi except for in the lodge check-in area. We hiked a couple of trails before heading back to Austin – that said, I will 110% will be back, Big Bend was magical!! Crazy gorgeous and always feels so good to get some fresh air and hike to beautiful views.

Where we stayed: Chisos Mountain Lodge Motel – it has all the essentials: comfy beds, refrigerator, shower + bathroom IN the room (which was heavenly after the outdoor shower/bathroom situation in Marfa haha) and a really spacious balcony with a killer view! There is no TV/wifi in these rooms, so bring a book and some vino!

Where we ate: Chisos Mountain Lodge Restaurant – the food is SO GOOD here! You really can’t go wrong, everything we saw come out of the kitchen looked incredible and our food (I had soup + salad bar, Kayla got the steak dinner…then we both had the breakfast buffet in the morning) was so yummy, too. The dining area is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass windows, so you get to soak in the views while you eat!

Trails we hiked: Given that we were only there for a night + a day (we got in at sunset on Sunday evening and left around 1pm on Monday afternoon – super quick trip, but wanted to see it while we were so close in Marfa!), we had time to hike two trails.
1. Lost Mine Trail – highly recommend! Beautiful and stunning views throughout…you’ll definitely feel the burn with this one, I am still sore three days later, ha!
2. Chisos Basin Loop Trail – fairly easy and quick, we did this one first thing in the morning and it was lovely.

Aaaand that’s a wrap! Fellow Texans, if you were like me and completely ignorant to just how stunning west Texas is (totally guilty over here, this state has it all!), then you muuuust go immediately! I honestly had no idea how beautiful it is (…even the drive was lovely!). If you’re in need of a relaxing getaway, I can’t recommend the Marfa + Big Bend trip enough.

If you have questions or recommendations that I failed to mention (or didn’t get to), please comment below! I’m sure potential Marfa-travelers and LL reader would love to hear your thoughts! 🙂


  • This looks like such a fun, hip trip! I absolutely adore every outfit you wear! So cute, Olivia!! Have a great weekend 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • livvy says:

      Aww, thank you so much!!! We had a wonderful time – I definitely want to go back and take Blake next time, something everyone should experience! Thanks for stopping by, XOXO!

  • Kahla Sansom says:

    Looks like such an amazing trip and I have the biggest heart eyes over how cute those trailers are.


    • livvy says:

      Haha! Oh girl, me too! The trailers are cute in photos but it’s definitely a sight to see in person – nothing does them justice like that! Thank you for reading, XO!!

  • Megan says:

    Planet Marfa is such a cool bar! Also, I love staying at Hotel Paisano. It’s where Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean stayed while filming Giant. They have an amazing gift shop!

    • livvy says:

      Oh that sounds awesome! We got to peruse the gift shop at Hotel Paisano and it was amazing!! SO many cool finds, definitely the biggest gift shop I have ever been to, haha! I’ll have to add Planet Marfa to my list next time we go – thanks for sharing!! XOXO

  • Lindsa says:

    that free people top in your first picture is so cute, but if you don’t mind me asking, what do you wear under it? on the website it looks like its pretty sheer on the top. love your blog 🙂

    • livvy says:

      Hey girly! The front part is sheer – so I’d recommend wearing a bra top under it! I would normally wear one with this top, but I loved the back so much that I didn’t wear one for this shot (…and luckily no one was around haha!). Here’s a bra top that would be super cute with it (in white or nude): http://rstyle.me/n/cef4j2ba99f

  • Lindsay says:

    thanks for linking a recommendation!

  • Jonathan says:

    We loved your blog and are taking the same trip as you but over 2 weeks in April 2018 and flying to Austin from UK. Out of interest did you drive there and back on I10 or go South on 90?

  • Hi Olivia! I love your post. I discovered Marfa when I moved there from LA to run the Marfa Film Festival. Since then, my husband and I purchased an abandoned building on the square and turned it into a very small, boutique hotel. We just opened and are trying to get the word out. I would love for you to check it out next time you visit. If you want to see pics you can find them on our website or on Instagram – http://www.105Lincoln.com / @105Lincoln / #105Lincoln Please, come back soon!

  • Linda L Bramblett says:

    Just wondering if that was enough time for the trip from Austin, given all of the travel time?

    • livvy says:

      Hi Linda! I think we spent enough time in Marfa (two days/two nights is plenty in my opinion!), but I would have liked to stay longer in Big Bend. We stayed for one night there and I think two or even three would have been really lovely. There are so many trails and the lodge has great food + is really pleasant, definitely would have been worth it to stay a little longer. 🙂 Hope that helps!!

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