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Head to Fort Davis TX for Art, History, Hiking, Food, Music, and More!

One of our favorite places to visit when we want to get away from the “hustle and bustle” of Alpine is Fort Davis TX. It doesn’t matter if we have two hours, a day, or two days, there’s no shortage of activities, food, art, and fun.

Selfie of two people

Texas’ legendary blue skies

Fort Davis is the highest town in Texas at 4900 feet, and just like Alpine (425 feet lower at 4475 feet) this desert region is a lot cooler than most of Texas. Temperatures average about 10 degrees lower than in cities like Houston, Dallas, Austin, and San Antonio. Add humidity that hovers around 15%, and it seems like an oasis! The Big and Blue Skies of Texas are legendary, and Fort Davis proves it. The Big Bend area’s lack of humidity and the location on Earth’s axis really do make a difference.

Fort Davis is less than 30 minutes from Alpine so it’s a destination we always recommend to our guests. The first thing we do is give a map of the Fort Davis Loop to everyone heading that way. The majority of the loop consists of 75 miles of incredible scenery and photo opportunities during the 2-hour drive, but there is so much more.

Chainsaw carving of a cowboy with the artist standing next to him

Doug Moreland, Chainsaw Woodcarving Artist and Musician

The entire tri-county area of the Big Bend of Texas is known for its talented artists, and Fort Davis is a wonderful part of that. One of our favorites is Doug Moreland who creates chainsaw carvings as well as plays the fiddle and writes songs. You can see his passion for what he does in every piece, whether whimsical or realistic.

There are several galleries throughout the town, and you can get more information at the Big Bend Galleries and Artists website.

Do you need gifts for friends and family back home? You’ll find everything you need on State Street in locally-owned shops such as the Davis Mountain Nut Company and Javalinas and Hollyhocks.

Historic building in the fort davis historic national park

Fort Davis National Historic Park

The history of the area might not be well known throughout Texas or the US, but it’s strong. Fort Davis National Historic Park is one of the best surviving examples of an Indian Wars’ frontier military post in the Southwest. From 1854 to 1891, Fort Davis was strategically located to protect emigrants, mail coaches, and freight wagons on the Trans-Pecos portion of the San Antonio-El Paso Road and on the Chihuahua Trail. We absolutely love this park for many reasons. First, they’ve done so much to restore and recreate the fort, so you can see what life was like back then for the servicemen, officers, doctors, and support people. Second, if you like to hike there is a wonderful trail that goes up to the observation platform and across the ridge for incredible panoramic views. It’s 2.5 miles if you go straight up to the observation platform (a bit more to take a “less strenuous” route), but you can add another 2 miles (or even more) and cross over to the Davis Mountains State Park.

Salvadoran food with avocado, meat, cheese, lettuce

Traditional Salvadoran food from The Munchies Salvadoreños

Your belly will be full for quite a while if you stay with us at Alpine Bed and Breakfast because we’ll start your day with a gourmet breakfast, but we’ll still give recommendations for places to eat because you just never know. As I write this I think of so many in Fort Davis that I will write a new post just focusing on places to eat there and why. So for now, here’s a quick rundown of some of our favorites:

Be sure to check out Facebook for special musical events sponsored by the Fort Davis community as well as local businesses.

Sign at Chihuahuan Desert Research Center showing directions to the cactus museum, botanical garden and pollinator garden

Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center

Are you looking for hiking, walking, and/or birding? Fort Davis is the place to be! In addition to the Davis Mountains State and Fort Davis National Historic Parks, the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center & Botanical Garden is a wonderful place to explore. The center boasts moderate to strenuous trails (we like the 2.5-mile Outside Loop that starts with the Modesta Canyon and continues to the Quarry View and Clayton’s Overlook & Geology Exhibit), as well as a Botanical Garden with a Hummingbird and Butterfly Trail and a bird blind. You can even make a reservation for a guided tour for groups of 10 or more.

Aerial view of the McDonald Observatory

The McDonald Observatory

Just another 25 minutes from downtown Fort Davis as you continue along Hwy 118 N is the McDonald Observatory. Part of the University of Texas and known for its nighttime Star Parties, the Observatory is also an amazing daytime destination with solar viewings and self- and facility-guided tours. Check out their calendar for more events.

Chateau Wright award-winning wines on display on an outdoor bar

Chateau Wright Award-Winning Wines

Keep heading north on Hwy 118 and then switch over to Hwy 166 as you continue your journey on the loop, and just 10 miles before you get back into town you’ll find Chateau Wright Winery, where you’ll find award-winning artisanal wine made from 100% Texas grapes. Or, just take a left on 166 when you get to Fort Davis for a quicker, more direct route. Either way, once you’re there you’ll enjoy local wine, excellent food from the food truck, and views that will soothe your soul. And perhaps even some live music.

Alpine is the perfect hub for day trips to Fort Davis and the rest of the Big Bend area, and the fall and winter seasons are great times to join us. Give us a call today, and we can help you plan your time here, or check out our Things to Do and Events page on our website.

Sharon & Tom

View of West Texas mountains and plains

View from the Fort Davis Loop

Alpine Bed and Breakfast

(432) 538-7032

403 N 8th St., Alpine TX 79830


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