The Big Bend (View All)

 

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PRESIDIO

Where the Big Bend began, Fort Leaton, the Rio Grande, the International Bridge, and the Chihuahuan Desert.

MARFA

Bigger small town: courthouse, galleries, motels, restaurants, stores, vistas, civic buildings, Victorian homes, the Chinati Foundation, the railroad, excellent grazing, an NPR radio station, a liquor store, and the Marfa Lights.

RUIDOSA

No services. One intersection. Closed businesses. Eat before you come.

LANGTRY

Yes -- THE Judge Roy Bean, The Pecos River, a world renown saloon, a Heavyweight Championship, the railroad, and whisky.

SUL ROSS STATE UNIVERSITY

On the hilltop overlooking downtown Alpiine. Home of the college rodeo. And -- Hoss Cartright's alma mater.

TERLINGUA

Not even a small town: just mountains, desert, scattered ruins, wacky homesites, a Ghost Town, outdoor recreation, a bank, a few places to eat, some motel type joints, a gas station, and that International Chili Cookoff thing.

REDFORD

Agriculture, the River Road, Churches, and the oldest continuously populated area in the U.S.

MARATHON

Classic cowboy small town: the railroad, a historic hotel, galleries, motels, a bookstore, churches, parks, vistas, a gas station, a walk-in BBQ smoker, and an intersection.

FORT DAVIS

The essential small town: downtown mountains & cliffs, a real cavalry fort, the actual Overland Trail, a historic hotel, the McDonald Observatory, dirt roads, assorted tall tales, and a drug store counter that still serves Sarssaparilla.

VALENTINE

Population 217, the highway, two cemeteries, a great school, a dentist, distinctive postmarks, a Prada store (sort of), and a spectacular Valentine's Day Celebration -- of course.

BIG BEND PARKS

Where Mother Nature goes to get outta town: pre-primitive, canyons, mountains, deserts, lava-flows, fossils, wildlife, the Rio Grande, and an actual Pterodactyl. The Big Bend National Park & the Big Bend Ranch State Park are side by side along the Rio Grande.

LAJITAS

Barely a small town: the Rio Grande, a cemetery, some rocks -- plus an actual high-end resort with dining, shopping, an international airport of sorts, and golf. Mexico adjacent. It's the last stop of the fabled road to Presidio.

ALPINE

Bigger small town: galleries, shopping, a historic hotel, civic buildings, a university, churches, parades, restaurants, rodeos, a downtown mountain, athletic fields, saloons, an Amtrak station, and an actual traffic light (blinking only).

CANDELARIA

The end of the road, but worth the ride. A hilltop cemetery overlooking a church, a school, and what's left of the town.

SANDERSON

Old-timey small town feel: civic buildings, motels, stores, mountains, parks, churches, railroad settings, an Open Road Race, and the obligatory water tower.

SHAFTER

A long dead silver mine, a few hardy survivors (33), a classic old cemetery, and a role in The Andromeda Strain.