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Not all travel is about fancy hotels and First Class flights using miles and points. You can find Big Travel with Small Money right in your own back yard.
This past December, a couple of friends and I hit the road for a weekend getaway to Big Bend National Park. The park is on the border between the US and Mexico. And the landscape is a magnificent mix of desert and mountains carved out by the winding Rio Grande.
Hiking in Big Bend National Park Index:
- Part 1 – Our VRBO House in a Ghost Town
- Part 2 – Hiking and a Journey Into Mexico
- Part 3 – Restaurants & Stops
Restaurants & Stops Along the Way
Here’s a look at some of the stops we made during our trip:
1. McDonald Observatory
The McDonald Observatory is owned by the University of Texas and contains several high tech telescopes operated by astronomers who study the stars.
We took a guided tour, which I highly recommend, of the high powered and VERY expensive research telescopes.
Self-guided tours of the telescope are free from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm each day.
The visitors center also has interactive exhibits and hosts solar viewings and Star Parties.
This is a terrific destination for families!
2. Marfa, Texas
On our way to Big Bend National Park, we stopped in Marfa, Texas. What once was a small rail stop, has become a hot bed for contemporary art.
Just outside of town we came upon a Prada store surrounded by nothing but desert.
The shelves were lined with expensive designer shoes and bags.
It’s an art installation by artists Elmgreen and Dragset. And due to vandalism and theft over years, the bags inside the “store” are now bottomless and contain security devices.
Next, we swung by the Food Shark food truck in the center of Marfa for a bite to eat.
So be sure to bring cash or checks!
I ordered the special of the day, lamb kabob with salad and hummus.
3. Terlingua, Texas
After a full day of hiking we stopped by La Posada Milagro. It’s a guesthouse, if you’re looking for a place to stay. But they also have a cafe and free internet.
4. Boquillas, Mexico
We eat a lot of Tex-Mex in Austin. So when we made it across the border to Boquillas, I was looking forward to trying some authentic Mexican food.
And Boquillas Restaurant sounded like just the place!
Ordering my meal definitely challenged my Spanish skills (there was lots of pointing and hand gestures involved).
Here, you feel like you’re at a friend or family member’s house for dinner.
The food and service was excellent, as evidenced by my cleared plate.
Taking a road trip to Big Bend National Park was a fun way to get away from it all!
I enjoyed spending time with my friends and trying new restaurants!
I may even return some day to get another delicious dish at Boquillas Restaurant!