The Big Texan Steak Ranch
One of the prime examples of ‘everything is bigger in Texas’ is The Big Texan Steak Ranch. It’s both a restaurant and motel located in Amarillo, Texas. They focus largely on the sheer size of their food and take special pride in serving the largest, juiciest steaks. You can either watch or partake in the 72 oz. steak-dinner-in-one-hour challenge. If you can finish it within the time limit you get eat for free, and it’s been said only true cowboys can handle the challenge.
Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site
Hueco Tanks State Park & Historic Site leaves visitors in awe after witnessing this amazing historical landmark. Only 70 people are allowed at a time in order to better preserve the park, and you can enjoy fairly private self-guided tours through the boulders – just don’t forget to ask the staff members where to take pictures. There’s Native American paintings on the rock walls, water-holding depressions in the boulders, and the park is also one of the best places in the world for bouldering (rock climbing without harnesses).
In Midland, TX lies the historical Fort Concho. Constructed during the building of the Texas frontier and once the home of nearly 500 men, the fort closed in 1889 after the last of the soldiers left. The 23 original forts now take the proud label of National Historic Landmark and there’s even a museum showcasing the fort’s historical significance to Texas.
Terlingua Ghost Town
Near Big Bend National Park sits one of Texas’ most popular ghost towns. Once a bustling mining town with a population of 2,000 people, Terlingua is now completely abandoned. You can still visit the disintegrating structures like the once agreeable hotel or the old Chisos Mining Company building. It’s both an eerie and interesting stop to make while in West Texas.
Cadillac Ranch will only take up a small portion of your time but it’s well worth it. The destination is actually a public art installation. You can create your own art or sign your signature on the piece, take the requisite Instagram shot, and be on your way to the next adventure.
The Peasant Village Restaurant
This is a great option for a more upscale food stop along the way. The Peasant Village Restaurant serves gourmet sandwiches for lunch and fine dining for dinner including racks of lamb, steak, and seafood. The restaurant is located in an old home complete with unique art pieces throughout, and the stop will make for a nice treat after a day of traveling.
Once home to a Texas rancher, Gage Hotel is now a beautifully restored hotel. The mission-style building makes you feel like you’ve stepped back to the wild west while the modern touches give it real class. The historic hotel offers modern amenities like wifi for convenience but sits in the middle of the small Texas town of Marathon where the star gazing is phenomenal – the town actually holds one of only six Dark Sky Park designations. Their sky is ideal for astronomers and anyone looking to experience the best stargazing. The hotel also conveniently provides guests with a 24″ Dobsonian telescope.
Big Bend National Park
Drive along Big Bend National Park’s dirt roads that lead through canyons, creeks, boulders, and past settlements. If you plan on camping for the night make sure to hike up to the top of the canyons for the most scenic views of Texas you’ll ever witness.