Last fall I had the opportunity to stay at my friend Cristina’s lovely Mountain View Desert Retreat in Alpine, Texas and I would make the trip again in a heartbeat. I’ve made a couple trips out to West Texas for yoga retreats to Marfa, and have enjoyed all of the sights to see in the well-known arts town, but I had yet to spend a significant amount of time in Alpine.
Cristina generously offered her sweet Airbnb up for me to stay at while the kids were gone over Thanksgiving break, and it was the cutest little RV I’ve ever stayed in. Her renovated trailer sits on 2 acres of land, with a great view of the mountains and the stars at night (which are big and bright). The property is close enough to the main strip in town, so I biked in during my first full day and poked around town.
It happened to be the town’s annual Artwalk weekend when I arrived, so I was pleasantly surprised to enjoy a weekend of art and live music. I ate most of my meals in town, but did a little cooking in the camper. My favorite spot for breakfast in town was definitely Judy’s Bread and Breakfast. I also ate at Century Bar and Grill in side the Holland Hotel, Penny’s Diner, and sipped on coffee at Cedar Coffee Supply and Plaine.
Artfest was the highlight of my weekend, which included an art car parade, and one side street blocked off with painted car hoods. I also peeked into the bookstore and bought a handful of used books at Front Street Books. I did drive out to Marfa one afternoon, and also out to the McDonald Observatory one evening for the Star Party. I’ve been out twice before to see the stars, and it was cloudy both times–third time’s the charm!
It’s difficult to convey just how much I fell in love with this town through simple descriptions of the things I did while I was there. It was unpretentious (which, admittedly Marfa can seem at times), and a beautiful mix of true small town Texas and arts & culture. It’s unassuming and welcoming all at the same time (and kind of reminds me of San Antonio vs. Austin).
As I was grabbing coffee on my way out of town, I met a young man who sat reading a copy of the Bhagavad Gita. He grew up in Alpine and had just returned from living in Colorado. To me, he seemed the epitome of the convergence of the deep thoughts and simple living that come in the spacious skies of small town, West Texas. If that just sounds like a bunch of gobbledegook to you, then you’ve probably never been out here–and I highly recommend it. Alpine Texas is certainly a place to get out and breathe deeper.
Ready to make your way to Apline? You can book Cristina’s Mountain View Desert Retreat, and learn more about all the things to see and do (including family-friendly excursions) here: Alpine, TX: My Heaven on Earth.