Lauren DeFilippo | Lifestyle Photography + Design

journal

desert beauty: marfa, texas

since moving out to colorado, road trips have become our primary way of getting from place to place. living back east, we would drive to the mountains to ski or hike, but it was rare to plan vacations via car. this was our longest road trip - a solid 12 hours from denver through new mexico, through the guadalupe mountains national park to the desert town of marfa, texas. a blink of a town really, nestled in the high chihuahuan desert, surrounded by dusty landscapes and eerie night skies. i had wanted to check out this artists' haven for a while, but wasn't exactly sure what to expect there.

marfa was discovered in 1971 by minimalist artist, donald judd, who relocated from new york city and began to permanently install his art. from there, scores of artists followed and there has been an influx of culture since - galleries, boutique hotels, bookstores and coffeeshops pepper the streets. the mix of old and new is what gives marfa its charm - run down buildings and ghost lettering give way to unique eateries and bars. 

scroll to the bottom of the post for my favorite spots in marfa.

note: marfa is a total weekend town. some shops and restaurants are only open fridays and saturdays (and most things are closed mondays and tuesdays), so be sure to check on hours before planning your trip. *indicates pictured above.

to stay: bohemian pick - el cosmico motel* / pampered pick - hotel saint george / local pick - airbnb / historic pick - hotel paisano* / contemporary pick - thunderbird hotel

to eat: food shark food truck (get the marfalafel! go early as they close when they run out)* / museum of electronic wonders & late night grilled cheese parlour (delicious late night grilled cheese, go early to beat the rush)* / pizza foundation / marfa burrito (incredible homemade burritos in ramona's kitchen - literally. knowing some spanish will help here!) / the get go (this small grocery store packs a punch - from organic produce to locally-crafted goods) / farmstand marfa (a local farmer's market saturday mornings in summer, located across the tracks from marfa saint george)

to drink: do your thing coffee (unique space, perfect coffee, delicious toast and porridge for breakfast) / bar saint george (sit outside on the sidewalk for great people watching - best margs, great beer selection - pair it with the charcuterie plate!)* / planet marfa (our favorite experience in marfa - perfect to grab beers on a beautiful summer evening) / lost horse saloon (dive bar with bands and free pool)

to see: chinati foundation (where it all started) / marfa ballroom (contemporary art space - creators of the famous prada marfa on the way into town)* / marfa lights (a mystery, even to the locals)

to shop: cobra rock boot company (beautiful desert boots with a long waiting list, see where they are made)* / freda (tiny shop with a curated selection of jewelry, clothing and housewares) / marfa book company (fantastic selection of books in gorgeous space in the hotel saint george) / el cosmico provision co. (even if you don't stay at el cosmico, check out the shop in their lobby for local and desert-inspired products) / cast & crew (unique furnishings) / marfa brand soap (yucca root and campfire scents!)