15 In Texas/ Travel

Bohemian Vibes in Marfa, Texas

A couple of years ago now, my friend Liz wrote a post that I shared about El Cosmico in Marfa, Texas. Since seeing the amazing photos she found of this funky, boho, hippie campground. When my dad and I decided to go to Big Bend National Park together, I started researching the surrounding areas and found out that the town of Marfa itself is supposed to be funky in its own right.

⋙ The Town of Marfa ⋘

On the Visit Marfa website they say it’s ‘Tough to get to. Tougher to explain. But once you get here, you get it.’ I have to say after my first trip to Marfa, I don’t know that I got it, but I do know that I’m definitely intrigued enough to go back.

There are a two things to consider with my Marfa visit: I was only here for about 24 hours & it was a Sunday/Monday. I had read in researching this trip that you can’t really depend on the Marfa restaurants to be open and we found this to definitely be true. On Sunday night we only found two local restaurants open and we chose Foundation Pizza. It just recently opened and served up some truly delicious pizza. The crust was unbelievable.

The next morning we set out to get Marfa Burrito. Online I had read that they opened at 7am, on the restaurant paper that El Cosmico gave us it said they opened at 6am. When we drove to it eagerly awaiting a delicious burrito at 7:30am it still wasn’t open. That was a major bummer. We opted to eat breakfast in to save money and when we drove by later it was, of course, open.

I have heard nothing but good things about the food in Marfa, so when I come back for a longer stay with Matt I hope that we can experience a more of their food culture. However, as we passed the Food Shark bus I couldn’t help but crack up at their ‘Always Closed’ sign. Talk about a forcing spontaneity!

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El Cosmico

This campground isn’t your normal campground because its forms of accommodation aren’t just areas to pitch your tent (although, that is available), it’s a collection of safari tents, campers, yurts and – our personal accommodation of choice – teepees! We checked in at El Cosmico and were greeted by an extremely friendly woman who showed us the way to our teepee, explained what we needed to know and told us about the Marfa Lights – I’ll get back to those in a bit. My dad and I put our bags in our teepee and strolled around the grounds a bit taking photos of this place. It’s seriously the epitome of funky, boho charm. Follow me to El Cosmico…

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The inside of the teepee was truly magical. From some of the photos I had seen of them made them look a lot bigger, but they were the perfect size. However, getting inside was a bit of a crawl.

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I love all of the boho details like the rainbow blankets, the american flag draped across the wall, the mini-bar made from an old tool box and funky pillows on the couches. It’s seriously just so dreamy.

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I love the idea of staying in one of these decked-out campers. They’re funkily furnished inside, have a deck and some even come with a shower outside (like the one pictured above. I think one of my favorite parts about the campers is that they have nicknames – this beauty is Spartan Manor.

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Meet Kozy Coach

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This is Little Pinky – be still my heart

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Branstrator is his name.

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Their yurts look unbelievably dreamy as well. I think when Matt and I come back we just might have to stay in a different “room” each night.

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The bath house is simple, but surprisingly nice. This is the place to wash up, shower & use the toilet for the complex. Even on cool mornings it’s not so bad because they have little space heaters warming the seats up for you.

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The office – where wifi is available & there are loads of tables to congregate under the cozy lights.

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Even if the nights dip down below freezing, you will definitely be warm. The beds have electric blankets on the bottom and these glorious fire pits in the middle of the teepee.

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Up before the dawn and having a blast already.

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The camper beauties

Marfa20 Inside the lobby is a nice communal space. Coffee is offered in the mornings from 8 – 10 and a gift shop. Be sure to pick up an El Cosmico tee or other trinkets. This lobby is decorated so hippie-ish and inspired me. Aside from a fun place to stay, El Cosmico also has “happenings” that range from concerts, to classes to retreats. I would love to attend one sometime. Although this wasn’t my typical budget option (the teepee was $150 – prices vary through the year) it was well worth the money to have this unique experience and I can’t wait to do it again! Well, are you convinced? It’s time to follow me to El Cosmico! 

The Mysterious Marfa Lights

When we checked into El Cosmico, I asked the girl at the desk if she had seen the Marfa Lights. She told me that she loves going to look at the lights and each time is different. She explained to us that they aren’t like the northern lights or anything like that (which a lot of people expect), instead they’re orbs of light that sometimes hover & go out or will shoot across the landscape. I lean a bit more on the skeptical side of things, but I decided to be a believer. My dad and I bought our pizza from Pizza Foundation and drove out toe the Marfa Lights Viewing Center where we parked our car and looked for the lights. For a while we didn’t see anything but the lightening of the storm rolling in and what we both thought maybe might have been small lights popping up in the vegetation, but we never saw the same light. Suddenly, and from seemingly nowhere this big red orb appeared over the mountains. Hovering silently. Then rising a bit. Falling a bit. After 20 seconds or so it suddenly went out. My dad and I finally stopped ferociously pointing at it to verify if the other had seen it and looked at each other. We had just seen a Marfa Light. We were glued to the horizon. It took some waiting but by the end of the night we saw just shy of a dozen different orbs illuminate. Some hovering peacefully near the same spot, some darting across the sky, some red, some a whilte-blue color. 

We researched them a bit and found that scientists recently stated that they were just the reflection off the passing cars behind us, but I’m not buying it and there are three reasons why: 1 – the lights appeared and stayed even without traffic passing by. 2 – the lights didn’t all shoot across the sky, which is how I imagine they would move if following lights from a car, instead most hovered in the sky for as short as 20 seconds & as long as 4 minutes. 3 – these sightings have been happening since 1883 – that’s three years before the first automobile was created in Germany. I’m not saying I know what they are, but I’m not skeptical anymore. [Click here for photos on the Marfa Lights official website]

Marfa is simply a place to feel free. Free to open up a restaurant, or not. Free to sleep in a teepee or a safari tent. Free to relax. Free to explore. Free to be inspired. Free to believe.

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    liz
    March 29, 2016 at 4:24 am

    Still dying to get there!! So excited for you that you made it there! It looks just as magical as I know that it is! xoxo

    • Reply
      PaigeBrown
      March 30, 2016 at 11:54 pm

      Thanks for reading, Liz. It really is magical. Matt and I are hoping to go in the next couple of years, and I know you’ll make it there soon! Xx

  • Reply
    Sarah from Tales From a Fork
    May 12, 2016 at 3:03 am

    That’s so funny only two restaurants were open, but glad that it was a good restaurant! That’s pretty much my biggest concern whenever I go someplace– good food.

  • Reply
    The Toronto Seoulcialite
    May 12, 2016 at 3:44 am

    That looks suuuuuper relaxing! I would stay in a yurt for sure – I’m in Korea and have taught about travelers in Mongolia and have always wanted to stay in one. What a rad experience! You guys look super cozy. Also – pizza with a good crust makes my day infinitely better.

  • Reply
    nycgingeronthego
    May 12, 2016 at 8:17 am

    Is that considered glamping?! Looks way fancier than what I envision when I think of camping!! Haha Almost cozy. The teepees are so awesome. My old boss had one in her back yard, fire pit and all. I was never brave enough to sleep in it though. And thanks for the heads up on the restaurants. Always good to know…and love the shark van. haha. Always closed…

  • Reply
    Amandas_Wanderlust
    May 12, 2016 at 8:20 am

    This place looks great – full of character. I would love to visit. However, I would not be happy if I had to miss out on a breakfast burrito (one of my favourite things in the world)!! In all seriousness though the campsite looks great. I would want to stay in Little Pinky (so cute) or a Yurt. They tipis and yurts look really well set up and furnished and I think it is great that you can have a fire. Nice post!

  • Reply
    The Thought Card
    May 12, 2016 at 8:45 am

    What a unique experience! Adding sleeping in a teepee to my bucket list!

  • Reply
    thewordhermit
    May 12, 2016 at 11:16 am

    I seriously knew nothing of this town before reading this. The world has been holding out on me, and I have to get to that campground. Or maybe I should create a campground just like this in New England? Anyway, awesome post, and awesome photos. I’m totally intrigued by the Marfa lights. I wish this wasn’t such a long road trip…

  • Reply
    Cassie
    May 12, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    I have always heard amazing things about Marfa, but I didn’t know about the lights! It’s right near the top of my US bucket list – it even makes camping (my least favourite activity!) look glam 🙂 love it!!

  • Reply
    Marie
    May 13, 2016 at 2:16 am

    I love the Teepee, so romantic. My neighbour does wedding receptions with loads of tepees! Very on trend in the UK.

  • Reply
    The Thought Card
    May 13, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    *expanding on my comment* Love that they added a heating blanket and fire pit – I still think sleeping in a teepee is pretty cool and something I never thought existed in this day and age

  • Reply
    Janna on a Jaunt (@jannaonajaunt)
    May 16, 2016 at 3:35 am

    Omg how fun! I’ve always wanted to do this. I’ve seen a few quirky places to stay in and this is one of them that I really want to experience! The teepee looks so cute!

  • Reply
    Safari Junkie
    May 16, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    I am so unhappy to see such interesting places around USA but since having Sudanese stamp in my passport i can only admire pictures on blogs like yours. Looks like a wonderful experience.

  • Reply
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