If you are planning on visiting West Texas, here are a few suggestions to add to your itinerary.
Big Bend National Park - definitely worth the drive from Alpine, Big Bend National Park offers desert, mountains and the river...three parks in one. Over 800,000 acres of land to hike, explore, and camp. Visit the Big Bend National Park website at http://www.nps.gov/bibe/index.htm.
Big Bend State Park - just around the corner from Big Bend National Park lies this 300,000 Chihuahuan Desert landscape filled with more hiking, camping, and exploring ready to be experienced. The largest state park in Texas, Big Bend offers fishing and rafting down the Rio Grande and much more. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/big_bend_ranch/
Terlingua Ranch - situated north of Terlingua between Big Bend State and National Parks is Terlingua Ranch. The Ranch offers Terlingua Ranch Lodge as well as hiking and camping and the enjoyment of the Christmas Mountains. http://www.terlinguaranch.com/index.html
Lajitas Resort - located between Big Bend State and National Park is Lajitas Golf Resort. Enjoy a quiet and relaxing weekend lounging by the pool and taking in a massage at the spa. Lajitas offers an equestrian center with horse back riding, star gazing sites, and delicious dining. http://www.lajitasgolfresort.com/
Trappings of Texas - held during March and April of every year, the Trappings of Texas includes the longest and largest exhibit of western art and cowboy gear. The Trappings of Texas can be found at the Museum of the Big Bend at Sul Ross State University. http://www.sulross.edu/museum/events.html
Art Walk of Alpine - Gallery Night is held every year the weekend before Thanksgiving on the downtown streets of Alpine. Local artists and vendors line the street with art, music, and food. Artwalk is the highlight of the year and should not be missed. http://artwalkalpine.com/
Cowboy Poetry Gathering - a two day event usually held in February of every year celebrating the tradition of the cowboy including music, poetry, and stories. http://texascowboypoetry.com/
Big Bend Ranch Rodeo - this event usually takes place in August of every year and is an exciting opportunity for cowboys to show off their skills and traditions. Another thing to enjoy is the chuckwagon cookoff where visitors can enjoy traditional cowboy cooking. http://www.bigbendranchrodeo.com/
Big Bend Balloon Bash - every Labor Day weekend, visitors can take part in the Big Bend Balloon Bash located in Sierra la Rana just 2 miles south of Alpine. http://www.bigbendballoonbash.com/
Sul Ross State University Rodeo - Sul Ross University and other colleges take part in college rodeo competition during October.
Chihuahuan Desert Institute - discover and learn about the Chihuahuan Desert with educational tours and demonstrations. Located on Fort Davis Highway north of Alpine and just a few miles south of Fort Davis. Open year round. http://cdri.org/about/
Davis Mountains Resort - enjoy camping and hiking in a beautiful pine forest setting just a few miles from Fort Davis. Tons of wildlife including varieties of deer and hundred of bird species. http://www.davis-mountains.com/pages/Davis%20Mountains/dmr.html
Davis Mountains State Park - located outside Fort Davis with most extensive mountain range in Texas with tall pines, gorgeous views, rock climbing on over 2,700 acres. Lodging available at Indian Lodge. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/spdest/findadest/parks/davis_mountains/
McDonald Observatory - located north of Fort Davis with the greatest views of the dark skies available. Star parties are held every weekend. Remember to take a jacket. http://mcdonaldobservatory.org/
Museum of the Big Bend - found at Sul Ross University, the museum offers visitors a history of Big Bend, artifacts, and exhibits on tour all year of varieties of cultures and topics. Open all year and free to the public. http://www.sulross.edu/museum/
Marfa Lights - an unexplained phenomena between Alpine and Marfa that tourists must see. Seen on Unsolved Mysteries as described as alien lights, ghosts, or natures secret these lights are amazing to see if you can catch them on a clear night. The Marfa Lights Festival is held in September to celebrate the phenomena. http://www.wintertexansonline.com/marfafest.htm
Chinati Hot Springs - a magical oasis located south of Marfa with healing hot springs that allow visitors to heal ailments and relax in the warm waters. http://www.chinatihotsprings.com/home.html
Areas to Visit:
Alpine, TX - http://www.mtnviewproperties.com/AlpineChamber
Marathon, TX - http://www.mtnviewproperties.com/MarathonTX
Marfa, TX - http://www.mtnviewproperties.com/MarfaTX
Fort Davis, TX - http://www.mtnviewproperties.com/FortDavisTX