This Isolated Small Town is One of America’s Most Unique Destinations

This Isolated Small Town is One of America’s Most Unique Destinations

Marfa, Texas is one of America’s most unique destinations. However, the town itself is fairly isolated from the rest of the United States. Today it makes for an interesting stop for art lovers and history buffs alike.

A Watering Hole

America's most unique destinations
Marfa’s start is like many whistlestop towns across the United States.

Marfa’s origins as one of America’s most unique destinations are rather banal. The town was formed as a watering hole along the railroads. It takes its name from a Jules Verne novel, which is a rather unusual departure from the usual Texan naming conventions.

Rapid Growth

America's Most Unique Destinations
This former bank building serves as a reminder of the rapid growth Marfa saw.

The early 20th century saw massive growth in Marfa. Business was booming, and agriculture helped sustain the community. It even served as a vital training ground for American airmen during the Second World War. Sadly, despite being one of America’s most unique destinations, prosperity wasn’t meant to last.

A Decline

America's Most Unique Destinations
All good things come to an end, and the pre-war boom at Marfa came tumbling down in the 1950s.

The post-war period saw Marfa decline heavily. A massive drought tanked agricultural output, and economic issues plagued the local populace. This resulted in a mass exodus in a town that didn’t have many people to begin with. While it was still one of America’s most unique destinations in the high desert, it was on life support.

Donald Judd

America's Most Unique Destinations
Judd was able to transform Marfa into a hip location for artists, thanks in part to minimal installations like this one.

What helped drag Marfa into modern relevance and cemented its place as one of America’s most unique destinations was the arrival of Donald Judd. Judd was a minimalist artist, and took to buying properties to renovate, turning Marfa into a mecca of sorts for artists.

Bohemian Appeal

America's Most Unique Destinations
Marfa has no shortage of art galleries and installations to be found.

Judd’s attempt to revitalize Marfa worked to some extent. While it might not have a booming population, the 1700 or so residents are a stable element. It serves as one of America’s most unique destinations thanks to its entrenched community of artists and musicians. Every the town plays host to Marfa Myths, which draws established and fledging performers to the area.

Pop Appeal

Marfa, Texas
Part of Marfa’s intrinsic charm for film and TV comes from its remote location.

Despite its remote location, Marfa enjoys popularity as a filming location. Classic films like High Lonesome and Giant were filmed fully on location in Marfa. It also served as the backdrop for modern classics like There Will Be Blood and No Country for Old Men. It seems there is something beyond just the call of the arts which makes it such an enticing location.

The Marfa Lights

Marfa Lights Viewing Platform
Marfa holds regular viewing festivals for visitors to catch the lights.

Every town has its local attractions and natural wonders. The Marfa Lights are arguably one of the most famous things surrounding the town. Historical record marks the first sighting of the lights to 1883, and it remains a popular past time to come view the lights even today.

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