Homey Inn in the Desert with Elegant Southwestern Style
Texas’s sweeping Big Bend region near the border of Mexico is considered to be one of the country’s last frontiers. Its rugged landscape, dominated by mountains and arid grasslands, has been the backdrop for many western films, including No Country for Old Men and There Will Be Blood. Situated in the heart of this wilderness, The Maverick Inn in the tiny town of Alpine also channels Old West spirit with cowboy-inspired decor in a 1930s adobe-walled building.
In a nod to vintage roadside motels, a large neon sign emblazoned with a horseshoe and yellow roses rises near The Maverick Inn. The rest of the hotel eschews kitsch in exchange for authentic southwest charm. Originally built in the late 1930s, the adobe-style inn features 20 individually decorated guest rooms, all set on Mexican terra-cotta tile floors. Framed prints depict scenes from Native American culture, and guests settle in among cowhide rugs and tapestries. Prepare home-cooked meals in the one-queen superior rooms, where full kitchens include refrigerators. In classic and deluxe rooms, you’ll find pine furnishings and flat-panel TVs.
The Maverick Inn calls itself "a roadhouse for wanderers," a testament to its laid-back southern attitude. During the week, the innkeeper whips up housemade kolacky and specialty granola during a complimentary continental breakfast. On Saturdays and Sundays, guests can get a full hot breakfast at The Maverick’s sister property, The Holland Hotel. The Maverick's outdoor pool is a popular spot during the day, and at night, guests gather around glowing fire pits.
Alpine, Texas: Tiny Desert Town with Mountain Views and Quirky Arts Scene
Situated at the edge of western Texas’s Chihuahuan Desert, Alpine is surrounded by massive mountain ranges and Rio Grande Canyons. At 4.1 square miles, Alpine is a mere pinprick in the larger Big Bend region. But it still nurtures an active music and arts scene, hosting the country’s second-largest cowboy poetry festival, which typically takes place in late February.
The town is a good jumping-off point for many of the area's biggest attractions. Two hours from the hotel, roadrunners, pig-like javelina, and mountain lions thrive in the 800,000-acre Big Bend National Park.Visitors can hike through desert mountains colored in shades of red, orange, yellow, white, and brown or float down a river that winds through towering canyons.
For a different kind of thrill, head to the neighboring town of Marfa and check out the infamous "ghost lights." These small, ethereal lights that float across the sky at night have been attributed to UFOs or ghosts, and some believe they are merely car lights reflecting off the atmosphere.
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