The temperate climate of the verdant Davis Mountains, south of the junction of I-10 and I-20, makes them a popular summer destination for sweltering urban Texans. The eponymous state park, with its pleasant hiking trails, draws the most visitors to the range, while the McDonald Observatory to the northwest lures with the promise of world-class celestial views. South along Hwy-17, tiny Marfa is a windswept art community in the middle of the West Texas desert.
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MARFA, a small, but thriving community 21 miles south of Fort Davis on Hwy-17, is the kind of place that it’s at once hard to imagine existing where it is but also existing anywhere else. It is very much a desert oasis, with a respected art scene pulling artists and the curious from afar in increasing numbers. It’s also a decidedly offbeat town, where chic designer shops and prefab galleries are offset by historic buildings that attest to its former role as a ranching centre. It all makes for a fascinating mix. Much more ethereal, the Marfa Lights, a few miles east of town, consistently draw crowds, even if the lights don’t always cooperate.