Weekend Trips as Vast as the West Texas Sky

There’s a perfect balance of good food, fun activities and beautiful sights around the Big Bend area.

By Marika FlattMarch 24, 2016 9:33 am| ,

When you think of West Texas, you may think of desert and tumbleweed. But that’s not all it is – it’s also majestic mountains and a wide open night sky.

While many people drive to Lajitas and Terlingua as part of a road trip to Big Bend, you can also fly into the Midland/Odessa Airport, which is about a four-hour drive away. Direct flights into Lajitas from Dallas Love Field on a Charter Jet Service are available most Fridays. Return flights leave Sunday afternoons. At certain times of the year you can also fly directly into Lajitas from Houston Hobby and Midland/Odessa.

You’d might not think you’d find luxury accommodations in the desert, but Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa is exactly that. It sits on 27,000 acres in the rugged high desert overlooking the legendary Rio Grande River. It has the perfect combination of outdoor activities like horseback riding, ATV tours, solitude and pampering at the resort’s spa.

The Thirsty Goat Saloon in Lajitas serves a mean prickly pear margarita. The saloon’s name refers to the beer-drinking goat that serves as the town’s mayor. It’s been a tradition since the 1970s when the first beer-drinking goat, Clay Henry, was elected. That goat appeared in several movies and even drank a beer with Willie Nelson. These days, Clay Moore Henry is the mayor of record, a direct descendent of the first Clay Henry.

While you’re in the area, visit the Yates Longhorn Museum in the Historic Trading Post building at Black Jack’s Crossing. You might also try your hand at a five stand sporting clay shoot or cowboy action shooting in Stargazer Springs, the fictional town created just for this gunslinger activity. Wannabe cowboys can walk through the town shooting a single-action pistol, side-by-side shotgun or lever-action rifle.

The Terlingua ghost town is widely known for the annual world-championship Terlingua Chili Cook-off, held every year on the first Saturday in November. The old mining town is in the perfect spot for a day trip to Big Bend National Park just 12 miles down the road.

The Starlight Theatre Restaurant and Saloon in Terlingua is the gathering place every afternoon for locals and visitors who want to enjoy authentic Tex-Mex. There’s live music on the weekends. If you’re a history buff, the nearby ruins of the Chisos Mining Company offer good insight into the back story of this formerly abandoned town.