February 20, 2020

Marfa, West Texas: Marfa Lights Viewing Center; things to do


Marfa Lights Viewing Center  On US. 90, 9 miles E of town, (432) 729-4772.  Open 24 hours.  Free.  Pets ok.

Marfa Lights Viewing Center in Marfa, Texas
Marfa Lights Viewing Center in Marfa, Texas

Marfa is famous for these elusive lights.  A viewing platform outside of town marks the best spot to view the phenomenon.  Bring a portable chair and some wraps for warmth at night.  Here, looking toward the Chinati Mountains, the mysterious mostly-colored orbs sometimes appear at night.  There is no rhyme or reason to which nights or at what time.  For more than 100 years--they were first reported in 1885--they have inspired much speculation and legend as to their origin and remain unexplained.  The night I visited, several locals shared stories about how they had seen the lights in the past and what their experience was like.  The lights are described as splitting apart, melting together, disappearing, reappearing, and more.  Once we determined that some lights we were seeing were car lights from the highway, and started looking in the right direction, we still didn’t manage to see those Marfa Lights.  However, this is all validated because the story has been told on TV’s “Unsolved Mysteries.”  The next week, when I visited San Antonio, I did, finally, see the Marfa Lights.  Restrooms, picnic tables, and campsites are available.





More things to do in Marfa.

Itinerary for road trip through West Texas.

Things to do in El Paso.

Great ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

images ©2020 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


February 19, 2020

Marfa, West Texas: Chinati Foundation; things to do


Chinati Foundation  1 Cavalry Row, (432) 729-4362.  Visitor center open W-Sun 9am-5pm.  Guided tours $10-$25; limited access self-guided tour $5-$10.  Reservations advised.

entrance to Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas
entrance to Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas

Founded in 1986 by acclaimed sculptor Donald Judd, who fell in love with the area’s light and shadows, this display space installs works on a permanent basis.  It displays enormous indoor and outdoor installations.  Judd’s 100 large-scale concrete boxes formed from aluminum are displayed through two stark, clean-lined, very large buildings.  Six former barracks display Don Flavin’s colored fluorescent light installations.  The facility encompasses 34 buildings on 340 acres of land that was formerly a military base known as Fort D.A. Russell.

gift shop at Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas
gift shop at Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas





Another building downtown displays John Chamberlain’s 22 sculptures formed from wrecked car pieces. 

exterior of downtown Chinati Foundation center in Marfa, Texas
exterior of downtown Chinati Foundation center in Marfa, Texas


exhibit of John Chamberlain pieces at downtown Chinati Foundation center in Marfa, Texas
exhibit of John Chamberlain pieces at downtown Chinati Foundation center in Marfa, Texas


More things to do in Marfa.

Itinerary for road trip through West Texas.

Things to do in El Paso.

Great ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

images ©2020 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


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