Texas (West)

The wide-open landscape near Big Bend National Park is the Texas you see in movies—characterized by cowboys and canyons and the languid bends of the Rio Grande.

You can hop on your horse (or bike) and ride for days through the grasslands and roads deserted by all but the odd roadrunner or tumbleweed. Hike to see pictographs, raft down the Rio Grande, rest in a riverside hot spring, or try to spot the mysterious Marfa lights.

When it’s time to kick off your boots, stay at the Gage Hotel in Marathon, with its adobe rooms, pool, spa, and delicious Texan cuisine. Or visit Marfa—a town now famous for contemporary art thanks to the Chinati Foundation and the late artist Donald Judd. Stay at sprawling Cibolo Creek Ranch, the modern Thunderbird Hotel, or the classic Hotel Paisano. Don’t miss dinner at Maia’s and lunch at the Pizza Foundation in Marfa.