Marfa, Texas is a weird f@&$ing town. Phew, had to get that off my chest. Besides the fact that the whole town is closed Monday and Tuesday of each week, it's ultimately just one giant, quirky, off-beat place....and really, I say that with genuine admiration. It's not every day that a town can dance to the beat of its own drum and get away with it. Like having only one stoplight in the whole town. Or some of their most popular restaurants only open on Saturday and Sunday. Or maybe the whole Marfa lights mystery highway stop that you can't help but notice when you're coming in from Alpine.
So, Marfa is odd as sh$&. But there's also a ton of charm. I did some research before our arrival, and found that some of the guides and/or lists of things to do weren't that great. Or, they were really basic and obvious. That only meant we had to dig a bit deeper. Which of course, we did.Take a look at what to do in Marfa, Texas that isn't necessarily art related.
1. Stay in a yurt at el cosmico.
Have you ever stayed in a yurt? Do you even know what it looks like? It's this.
And at El Cosmico, there are two of them that you can stay in. Not to mention teepees, Safari tents, and old renovated airstreams and trailers. This place is like boho-chic paradise. Driving in, you're welcomed by quirky art and decor.
There are lights hanging everywhere, and a building surrounded by a cafe/outdoor stage and theater. The building is where you get checked in, along with where the wifi is, the community fireplace is, the old record player where you can sit and jam, not to mention their gift shop filled with unusual bohemian, hippie items like leather booties, hand-crafted quilts, and modern campfire essentials.
The prices were outrageous in all honesty, but there were some really neat things I would've bought if I weren't on a cross-country budget.
Anywho, we checked in around 3:15pm. The girl at the front desk was so extremely helpful the entire stay. Super nice, very knowledgable, always willing to help. (We even watched from a hammock as she tried to wrangle an escaped dog from a teepee and almost got bit). Our yurt wasn't ready yet, so she told us to pick out a bottle of wine or champagne on her in celebration of Vanessa's birthday. This we thought was an extremely sweet gesture.
The yurt itself was glorious. As authentic and odd as we had hoped. But it was also romantic and completely charming. Not to mention spacious. The bed was very comfortable, with a heated mattress pad that I reveled in all night (the temp dropped to the high 30s).
We also rented a wood-fire hot tub for the evening, which is the coolest looking thing ever. It's like sitting in a giant guacamole bowl filled with hot water. I definitely suggest renting one, simply for the experience BUT be warned. There is no electricity heating this thing, it's really wood and fire. We made the mistake of going to dinner before the hot tub. Even though the gentleman from El Cosmico made sure it was stoked and ready by 4pm, we had it from 6pm-10pm. Dinner reservations were at 6:30pm, so we thought we'd come back by 8pm and have a soak.
By the time we came back, the fire in our tub was out. Nobody at El Cosmico had stoked our fire, and the embers were now minimal. The water was tepid at best. Because it was about 40 degrees out by then, we didn't want tepid bath water to sit in. The girl from the front came to help us add more logs on the fire. Which we did and got the fire going again, but it takes a very long time to heat. She suggested jumping in another one that was still very warm (because those people went to dinner AFTER). So we had a decision. Either stay in tepid water for two hours and freeze, OR go sit in someone else's tub which was about 20 degrees warmer.
We choose the other tub. Not extremely thrilled with how that turned out since we did pay for the experience of our own tub. With that said, I do recommend renting one, especially on a colder night. Just make sure the fire is forever stoked so you won't run into our same problem.
El Cosmico is a place to stay for anyone looking for a bit of a change. It's not your average hotel stay. There is a hammock garden where you can swing from the trees. A community kitchen. Outdoor showers and bathrooms. And free coffee in the morning. It's worth it if you want an experience.
Note: El Cosmico did reimburse us for the hot tub debacle. Extremely classy move and we thank them kindly.
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Marisa & Vanessa have a whole "About Us" blurb that they are dying for you to check out.