- Drive to Fort Davis, Texas.
- Eat at Blue Mountain Bar & Grill.
- I camped in Davis Mountains State Park, although the Indian Lodge or Hotel Limpia seem like they would have a lot of character.
- Hike on one of the many hiking trails in the state park (I hiked the Indian Lodge and Montezuma Quail trails) and enjoy stunning vistas of the Davis Mountains and surrounding desert. Stop by the park's nature center as well.
- Drive the Scenic Loop Drive around the Davis Mountains, consisting of state highways 17, 166, and 118 (clockwise). Enjoy the breathtaking scenery and maybe even enjoy a picnic lunch. There is also hiking available at Madera Canyon.
- End up at the McDonald Observatory. Take a tour (must be guided) of the domes and see gigantic historic telescopes. Here, you're also at the highest point on Texas roads at 6791 ft/2070 m. After dark, return here for a Star Party, though I highly recommend booking tickets before your trip. The Star Parties are also only held on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, so plan your trip accordingly.
- You can hang around the McDonald Observatory until sundown, or you can head back to Fort Davis to kill some time before the Star Party. If you do, I recommend eating a greasy-but-tasty burger at the Fort Davis Drug Store followed by ice cream at Hebert's Caboose Ice Cream Shop. It's very good and is in an actual old train caboose!
- If you have even more time, stick your head in Wild Rose Gallery. This is really worth seeing, so if you don't have time this evening, visit the next day.
- Take some time to explore the actual Fort Davis. It's a cool (ruined) 19th-century frontier fort with a dramatic backdrop.
- In the town of Fort Davis, check out the colorful county courthouse and explore the Old Overland Trail Museum. I didn't get to go in while I was there, but it looks very interesting.
- Drive toward Alpine, Texas. On the way, explore the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute, with walking trails showcasing desert fauna and again, breathtaking vistas.
- Explore Alpine, with a neat downtown and the quite large Museum of the Big Bend explaining the natural and human history of the region. I had a great macchiato at Cedar Coffee Supply.
- Head toward Marfa. You'll drive right past the Marfa lights viewing area, but there's not much to see during the day. It's up to you whether to return at night and attempt to see the lights; I didn't.
- In Marfa, explore the downtown, with the beautiful courthouse and very picturesque Hotel Paisano. If you're into avant-garde art, check out the Chinati Foundation. Eat in one of the many hip restaurants in town, like The Kitchen, Aster Marfa, or Para Llevar.
- Drive back home. If you have more time in the area, you could explore Big Bend National Park and Big Bend Ranch State Park, a couple of hours south of Alpine/Marfa.
Overall, this is a chance to explore a beautiful area with a very different character from anywhere else in Texas. If you go in the summer, it's also a great place to at least partially escape from the brutal Texas heat!