Marfa, TX

welcome to marfa (1 of 1)welcome to marfa2 (1 of 1)Marfa is a little town located in the middle of the West Texas desert. With a population of less than 2,000 people, the town is kept alive through its thriving contemporary art scene and nomadic tourism. Most of Marfa can be seen in a day or two and is the perfect destination for a weekend girls trip. If you want to get the full Marfa experience, make sure you go on a weekend because most everything is closed during the week and the town is pretty deserted. prada marfa1 (1 of 1)prada marfa2 (1 of 1)prada marfa3 (1 of 1)One of the must see attractions in Marfa is the infamous Prada Marfa store, where you can’t go in or buy anything. It lies right off the highway 30 min from Marfa in a little town called Valentine. There is nothing around for miles, which is why the art installation has gained so much attention. Out of all the places they could have put this, they chose to put it in the middle the West Texas desert. This is just one of the strange but amazing things that makes Marfa, Marfa.see mystery lightsmystery lights viewing center (1 of 1)The Marfa mystery lights, also known as the Marfa ghost lights is another must see. Rumor has it that if you go out to the viewing center late at night you might see the unexplainable, paranormal lights that appear in the distance. People have claimed the lights to be things such as ghosts and UFO’s. Scientific research suggests the lights are just atmospheric reflections of automobile headlights and campfires. Either way it is still fun to go check it out. Even if you don’t see the mystery lights, the viewing center provides the best view of the incredible West Texas stars.marfa burrito (1 of 1)marfa burrito2 (1 of 1)For breakfast you have to go to Marfa Burrito!! This quaint little breakfast spot is run by a women named Ramona out of her kitchen inside of her home. She speaks no english so you need to brush up on your spanish before you go. She makes everything from scratch  daily, including the tortillas. This was seriously the most delicious breakfast burrito I have ever had. This is Matthew Mcconaughey’s favorite spot so if you are lucky enough you might even run into him while you’re there.

If you need a little morning pick me up Do your Thing is the cutest coffee shop with really good coffee imported from San Fransisco.

food shark2 (1 of 1)food shark (1 of 1)food shark4 (1 of 1)While you are in Marfa you absolutely have to go eat at Food Shark. I got the marfalafel with hummus and it was hands down the best taco I have ever had. It was filled with fried falafel balls, fresh romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, tahini, yogurt and harissa sauces and hummus. We made the mistake of waiting until Saturday to try it. After we ate it we wanted it atleast one more time before we left but they are only open Wednesday through Saturday from 12-3. hotel el paisano4 (1 of 1)hotel el paisano2 (1 of 1)hotel el pasino1 (1 of 1)jetts grill2 (1 of 1)Most of the places in Marfa are casual but if you are feeling a little fancier and looking for a really good dinner head over to Jett’s Grill at the El Paisano Hotel. It has a great atmosphere and really good food and drinks. The hotel is famous for being the headquarters for the filming of the 1950’s movie GIANT with Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean.pizza foundation (1 of 1)wine (1 of 1)If you are craving pizza you need to stop by the Pizza Foundation. This was one of the best pizzas I have ever had (I know I’ve said that a lot but the food in Marfa is seriously the best). Come hungry because the pizzas are HUGE. We got the white pizza which had spinach, ricotta cheese and olive oil and black pepper instead of tomato sauce. They are only open Friday-Sunday from 12:45-9. We made the mistake of going right at 8 and had to beg them to make one more pizza. They say they are open until 9 but they stop taking orders at 8 because each pizza takes an hour to cook. If you call ahead you can go pick it up and take it to go or eat it there.late night grilled cheese5 (1 of 1)late night grilled cheese4 (1 of 1)late night grilled cheese1 (1 of 1)late night grilled cheese2 (1 of 1)The Museum of Electronic Wonders and Late Night Grilled Cheese Parlour. This place is SO Marfa-y that it’s almost too much. Almost. It is probably the strangest place I have ever been but the grilled cheese is worth the trip. When you pull up you will be very hesitant to go inside because the outside doesn’t look very inviting. It is located in the smallest run-down building but when you go in you can’t help but be intrigued. You walk in and there are old school electronics everywhere. All of the old TVs and radios are on different random channels, some that work and some that are static. Very strange. It is only one guy that runs the whole place and man does he make a mean grilled cheese. beer garden (1 of 1)door wreathsplanet marfa (1 of 1)beer garden2 (1 of 1)beer garden bus1 (1 of 1)If you are wanting to get drinks somewhere with a fun atmosphere the Planet Marfa Beer Garden is a must. They have a small menu of appetizers and a large selection of beer. They also have an old vintage school bus that they decorated and turned into an area where you can hang out and drink. katie st john2 (1 of 1)After reading this post you are probably wondering if all we did on this trip was eat and the answer is yes, pretty much. For such a small town in the middle of no where the food options are amazing. Maria is definitely a one of a kind place, there is really nothing else like it. The fact that they chose to put such an interesting, artsy place in the middle of no where is what makes it so cool. I would say the two best things about Marfa are the food and the art. Being the foodie that I am my main focus was making sure I hit all of the restaurants rather than going to all of the art museums. If you are into art click the link to check out all of the art Marfa offers ——> Art in Marfa.

Thanks for reading!

xo-kt

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El Cosmico Hotel

wagoneye (1 of 1)The El Cosmico is a nomadic hotel and campground located on 21 beautiful acres in Marfa, Texas. They offer renovated vintage trailers, safari tents, Sioux-style tepees, Mongolian yurts, and tent campsites for guests to stay in. safari tent2 (1 of 1)bed (1 of 1)jumping on bed (1 of 1)We stayed in one of the safari tents and it was seriously dreamy. This is definitely not your normal camping experience. I like to think of it more as glamping (glamours camping). All of the tents come with a queen bed, a bench, a fan, lighting and electrical outlets. They also provide towels to use at the bath house located on the campsite. There is no air-conditioning but you are in the desert so it gets very cool at night. I slept so good the whole time I was there, the beds were so comfy and the temperature at night was perfect.

tee pee1 (1 of 1)tee pee3 (1 of 1)^ How cute are the tepees??? They come with a queen bed, a love seat and a small day bed. purple trailer (1 of 1)purple trailer2 (1 of 1)blue trailer3 (1 of 1)blue trailer2 (1 of 1)blue trailer4 (1 of 1)pink trailer (1 of 1)yellow trailer (1 of 1)rainbow trailer (1 of 1)The vintage trailers are soooo dreamy. Next time I come to Marfa I am definitely going to stay in one of these. They have 10 of them on site that are all very different and unique. The trailers definitely taking glamping to a whole new level. Each one has AC and heating and comes equipped with cooking, dining, sleeping and bathing features.yurt2 (1 of 1)yurt1 (1 of 1)^ These are the yurts and they are so unique! There is only 2 of them so if you want one you better book it far in advance! They are pretty spacious and come with a queen bed, writing desk and a couch. car4 (1 of 1)car1 (1 of 1)car2 (1 of 1)spinning (1 of 1)

This is the communal outdoor kitchen area. It has a fridge, sink, several bar-b-cues and picnic tables. It is free for guests to use at all hours of the day and night. We saw a lot of people using it but we never did because there were so many good places to eat in Marfa and we wanted to try them all!

One of my favorite things about the El Cosmico was that there were hammocks everywhere. Perfect for getting up early and watching the sunrise or late at night looking at the stars. Y’all… The stars. WOW. Being from Dallas I have never seen stars like that in my entire life. At night the camp grounds are so quiet and peaceful and provide a perfect view of the West Texas sky.

The hotel also has dutch tubs that you can rent and they are awesome! I had never heard of these before this trip but now I seriously need one in my backyard.They are available to rent Wednesday through Saturday nights from 6-10pm. The tubs are $85 and they book up fast! They book up so quickly because they only have three of them so you need to reserve it pretty far in advance. We wanted to book one but waited too long and they were all already taken. Luckily we met some really nice people who were done with theirs and let us use it for the rest of the time! I highly recommend renting one for at least one night while you are there.girls weekend (1 of 1)Overall our stay at the El Cosmico was amazing. It’s the perfect weekend getaway and is very reasonably priced. We paid 190$ total for two nights in the safari tent. I had been so excited about this trip and hyped it up so much in my head that I was worried I was going to be let down but it definitely exceeded all of my expectations. There are several other places to stay in Marfa but none of them have a vibe quite like the El Cosmico. I am already planning my next trip back!

So pack your bags, get your girls and get in the car and go!

xo-kt

Mr.Holmes Bakehouse

DSC_0625DSC_0629DSC_0644DSC_0619The infamous cruffin!!!!! ^^^DSC_0646DSC_0639If you are big foodie like me you have probably heard of Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. Before I visit any city I do a lot of research on the best places to eat so I obviously had to check out the most hyped bakery in San Francisco. Mr. Holmes is known for their invention of the infamous cruffin. Y’all, it’s a croissant muffin and it is so freakin’ good. They bake everything fresh that morning and only have a limited number so you have to get there early. They open at 7 but the cruffins don’t roll out until around 9. We went on a Tuesday around 9:30 and there was only about 5 people in line but they were already starting to run out of stuff. I definitely recommend going on a weekday because they told us that on the weekends people get there right at 7 and wait in a line that wraps all the way around the building for 2 hours until the cruffins come out at 9. Every day the cruffins are a different flavor. When we went the flavor was huckleberry jam! Even though the cruffins are the most talked about thing on the menu let me just say that everything else is seriously just as good. We also got an artichoke feta danish, strawberry brioche bomb, ube puff (looks & tastes like a homemade pop-tart), coffee cardamom donut, blackberry bostock and a california croissant. And yes, we ate it all. In my opinion it definitely lived up to all of the hype. So if you are in San Francisco and willing to get up at the crack of dawn I highly recommend it!!

xo-kt

Napa Valley

Okay, let me start by saying if Napa is not on your travel bucket list it needs to be! This was my first time to Napa and it definitely won’t be my last. While we were there we went to 3 different wineries that were all very different but all amazing. Napa was my absolute favorite part of my trip to California, I wish we would have stayed for more than just 1 day.

First Stop: Domaine Carneros

DSC_0296DSC_0300DSC_0303DSC_0313DSC_0315DSC_0340The Domaine Carneros, was my favorite winery out of the three that we went to. The Domaine Carneros specializes mainly in sparkling wine. At first I was calling it champagne, but we quickly learned that you can only call it champagne if it comes from the Champagne region of France. Anything else that does not come from that region of France is technically called sparkling wine. We only had an hour here because we had a reservation at Larson at 12 but I could have stayed here all day. We ordered the sparkling sampler and it was amazing. We got to taste four small glasses which consisted of their Estate Brut Cuvee, Blanc De Noir, Brut Rose and Vermeil Demi-Sec. The service here was amazing and the servers are so knowledgeable about all of the wines. They do not allow you to bring in any outside food but they do offer a variety of cheese and meat plates that they have carefully selected to be paired with the different kinds of wines that they offer. The Domaine Carneros is definitely the place to go if you want to feel very classy and fancy for the day!

Next Stop: Larson Family Winery

DSC_0347DSC_0349DSC_0350DSC_0351One thing that we loved about Larson is that they allow you bring your own food. I suggest packing your own little picnic of assorted meats and cheese that pair perfectly with wine!! We went to Whole Foods and bought all of our stuff which ended up being way cheaper and way yummier than if we would have bought food from the winery. I suggest packing a variety of stuff so you can see how different things go good with different wines.

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 1.03.50 PMDSC_0391DSC_0400DSC_0413DSC_0417Larson was completely different from the Domaine Carneros. It was off the beaten path, more family friendly, the owner’s 3 dogs are just roaming around and it is a lot more casual and relaxed. Larson was what I pictured a typical winery to look like. We didn’t taste here we just bought a bottle and sat at our picnic table and snacked on all of the goodies we brought. I would suggest calling ahead or going online to reserve a picnic table in advance if you plan on packing your own food. This is definitely a great place to come and stay for several hours. We really loved that we could pack our own picnic.

Last Stop: ArtesaDSC_0425DSC_0445DSC_0427DSC_0432DSC_0437

Our last stop of the day was Artesa and it was the perfect place to end the day. The winery was built beneath the ground into the highest hill of the 350-acre estate. The reason they built it into the side of the hill is so that it can be kept naturally cool by the constant temperature of the earth surrounding it. We thought that was so cool! The view from the top of the winery is unbelievable. It is so high up you can see for miles. You can even see the Domaine Carneros right across the way! Inside they offer wine tastings and guided tours of the wine making facility. A tasting includes five wines of your choice for $25 and tours are $40 per person which also includes a tasting of five wines. Tours are available daily at 11AM and 2PM and can be booked through their website. I definitely recommend stopping at Artesa if you are in Napa! It is so convenient that it is right across the way from the Domaine Carneros you can easily do both in one day! Even if you do not go inside to taste the wine the view alone is worth the trip.

xo-kt

Santa Cruz/Capitola

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The Santa Cruz boardwalk is the place to be! There is so much going on and so many things to do. You can purchase a wristband for $45 that gives you access to all of the rides, games and attractions all day long. The boardwalk is also full of the best eats and treats like salt water taffy, cotton candy, ice cream and frozen chocolate dipped bananas. If you head over to the pier you will find beach shops, seafood restaurants and you can even see the sea lions that hang around at the bottom of the pier. When we were there one of the sea lions had just had a baby and it was seriously the cutest thing!

For lunch stop off at the Picnic Basket on Beach Street! It is a cute little cafe with an outdoor patio that looks right at the beach. They offer a variety of really good and healthy food. We got several things and split them because it all looked so good we couldn’t decide. Pictured is the chicken salad sandwich, daily grain salad and the mac and cheese which was amazing!

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When we got to Capitola we couldn’t help but have a full blown photo shoot in front of the famous colorful Venetian Hotel. I mean look how cute they are!! So bright and colorful!  When we got there we originally thought they were people’s actual houses but we figured out that they are little condos that can be rented!!! I am already planning my next trip back and I am definitely going to stay in one of them!! The condos can be rented through the Capitola Venetian Hotel. If you are going to Santa Cruz or Capitola I would definitely suggest staying here! Its only 10 minutes from Santa Cruz and right in the heart of Capitola. There is so much to do and so many places to eat that are in walking distance of the hotel, not to mention you are right on the beach.

DSC_0181DSC_0275Stop in for a drink and chips and salsa at Margaritaville (not Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville). They have the cutest outdoor patio that has the perfect view of the colorful Venetian Hotel and not to mention really good margaritas!!

gayleys

bagA trip to Capitola would not be complete without stopping at the famous Gayle’s Bakery. Everything is made completely from scratch every morning! They have everything from breads, sandwiches, pastries, pies, cakes, cookies and pretty much anything else you think of.

xo-kt