The Big Bend (View All)

 

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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.

SANDERSON

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

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

SHAFTER

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

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.

PRESIDIO

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

SUL ROSS STATE UNIVERSITY

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

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.

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.

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.