11 Amazing Things to Do in Alpine, Texas (+ Nearby) - Lone Star Travel Guide (2022)

As an isolated college town with sweeping views, few neighbors, and relatively mild weather thanks to its 4500 feet of elevation, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of quirky sights and things to do in Alpine, Texas.

Alpine is one of those towns that’s simply easy to love: situated in Big Bend Country, several hours from any of Texas’ major population centers, Alpine’s constant heartbeat of college kids paired with wide-open spaces leaves plenty of room for creativity and artistic expression.

As a result, downtown Alpine often feels like a mash-up of art class meets the wild west, in all the best ways.

Heading to Big Bend National Park and planning to visit Alpine when you’re in the area?

Here’s what to do in Alpine, TX!

  • The Best Things to Do in Alpine, TX
  • What to Do Near Alpine
  • Where is Alpine, Texas?

11 Amazing Things to Do in Alpine, Texas (+ Nearby) - Lone Star Travel Guide (1)

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The Best Things to Do in Alpine, TX

Check out the Museum of the Big Bend.

Dedicated to exploring and preserving the history and culture of the Big Bend region in both Texas and Mexico, the Museum of the Big Bend is one of the most interesting Alpine attractions and an excellent addition to a visit to Big Bend Country as a whole!

As the museum is located on the campus of Sul Ross State University, visiting will also give you a chance to get a quick look at campus life in this college town.

11 Amazing Things to Do in Alpine, Texas (+ Nearby) - Lone Star Travel Guide (2)

Take a historic walking tour of charming downtown Alpine.

From historic homes, churches, and shops to a railroad station to a post office to hotels, there is so much history in Alpine.

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Many of the buildings in downtown Alpine have a decades-long history and plenty of stories to tell–and with a little help, you can learn a lot when strolling through downtown!

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This self-guided historic walking tour published by the Alpine Historical Association is a fantastic addition to any trip to Alpine, Texas.

11 Amazing Things to Do in Alpine, Texas (+ Nearby) - Lone Star Travel Guide (3)

… and snap plenty of mural photos while you’re at it.

Alpine has a seemingly endless number of colorful murals to enjoy and snap photos of!

If you’re looking for the classic “Greetings from Alpine” postcard mural, you can find it in the food truck park at Holland & Fifth Street.

11 Amazing Things to Do in Alpine, Texas (+ Nearby) - Lone Star Travel Guide (4)

Check into the historic Holland Hotel.

Gorgeous and potentially haunted, we stumbled across the Holland Hotel on a whim when researching where to stay in Alpine, and absolutely fell in love with the hotel while we were there!

Built by local rancher JR Holland in 1928, the Holland Hotel boasts a bit of glitz and glamour that you frankly don’t expect when coming to Big Bend Country.

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The hotel was designed by architect Henry Trost, whose name you might see again when traveling through the area, as he’s also responsible for the Gage Hotel in Marathon and the famous Paisano Hotel in Marfa.

One possible downside was the earplugs left in each room in case the train noise from the tracks across the street bothered us at night–but for what it’s worth, I am a notoriously light sleeper and had zero issues.

We would absolutely stay at the Holland Hotel again on a return trip to Alpine!

Check rates & book your stay at the Holland Hotel!

11 Amazing Things to Do in Alpine, Texas (+ Nearby) - Lone Star Travel Guide (5)

Take yourself out to the ball game at Kokernot Field.

Want to enjoy a local taste of small-town Texas?

Head out to a ball game at Kokernot Field, which Sports Illustrated named “The Best Little Ballpark in Texas (Or Anywhere Else)“.

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(Okay, yes, they did that in 1989, but Texans don’t forget, and the ballpark has continued to collect accolades since).

A handful of teams now play at the historic park, you can check details and schedules here.

11 Amazing Things to Do in Alpine, Texas (+ Nearby) - Lone Star Travel Guide (6)

Leave a note at the desk on Hancock Hill.

Situated above Sul Ross University, featuring magnificent views of the sweeping countryside, is Hancock Hill.

And on Hancock Hill, there is a desk, and in the desk, a notebook.

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Sharing a few thoughts here and leaving them–anonymously or otherwise–for the hikers after you is a local tradition going back decades, and one of the best things to do in Alpine.

The climb itself only takes about 20 minutes (assuming you don’t get turned around, of course, which is easy to do)–and it’s absolutely worth the effort when visiting Alpine.

11 Amazing Things to Do in Alpine, Texas (+ Nearby) - Lone Star Travel Guide (7)

What to Do Near Alpine

With a population of about 6,000, there’s no denying that Alpine is small.

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But, once you enjoy all the fun things to do in Alpine itself, there is plenty to enjoy in the surrounding area–starting with the attraction that draws visitors to this region of neverending wide-open spaces in the first place.

11 Amazing Things to Do in Alpine, Texas (+ Nearby) - Lone Star Travel Guide (8)

Explore Big Bend National Park.

Without a doubt, Big Bend National Park is the main attraction of the region and the reason that a large percentage of visitors find themselves in Alpine!

From the stunning views of the Chisos Mountains from the Lost Mine Trail to the gorgeous views of the Rio Grande cutting through Santa Elena Canyon to the mesmerizing views from Emory Peak and the Windows Trail, there is no shortage of incredible things to see in Big Bend National Park.

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Keep in mind that Big Bend is one of the largest and most remote national parks in the USA, and visiting from Alpine means lots of time in the car!

Plan on long and exhausting, but memorable and exciting, days when exploring Big Bend National Park.

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… and Big Bend Ranch State Park.

Big Bend National Park’s less-famous neighbor is a fantastic destination in its own right!

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While you’re there, be sure to hike Closed Canyon (one of the few accessible slot canyons in Texas), admire views of the Rio Grande (and maybe get in it!), and drive El Camino del Rio, the park’s scenic drive that is frequently ranked one of the top scenic drives in the country.

If you make it all the way to the western edge of the park, Fort Leaton State Historic State is also worth a visit.

11 Amazing Things to Do in Alpine, Texas (+ Nearby) - Lone Star Travel Guide (10)

Snap photos at Prada Marfa.

As one of the most popular roadside attractions in Texas, Prada Marfa is a must-visit when exploring the best things to do in Alpine.

Set up as an art installation in 2005, this Prada has never been open for business–but that doesn’t stop eager visitors from glancing at the bags and shoes through the window every day!

Prada Marfa is not, technically speaking, in either Marfa or Alpine, but in the blink-and-you’ll-miss-it town of Valentine.

11 Amazing Things to Do in Alpine, Texas (+ Nearby) - Lone Star Travel Guide (11)

Admire the night sky at the McDonald Observatory.

As one of the top attractions in West Texas, there’s no doubt that the McDonald Observatory should be on your radar when visiting Alpine, Texas!

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As one of the premier centers for astronomical research and public outreach in the world (fun fact: the Davis Mountains are home to some of the darkest skies in the continental USA), the McDonald Observatory is affiliated with the University of Texas.

Plan aheadif you have your heart set on visiting–but it’s well worth the advance planning in order to see the night skies as you likely never have before.

11 Amazing Things to Do in Alpine, Texas (+ Nearby) - Lone Star Travel Guide (12)

Visit Fort Davis National Historic Site.

The entire town of Fort Davis, located a short drive north of Alpine, is well worth a visit, but Fort Davis National Historic Site deserves a special mention!

Active from 1854 to 1891, Fort Davis is set dramatically against the Davis Mountains and is considered one of the best-preserved frontier forts in the country.

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During its time as an active fort, Fort Davis was tasked with protecting mail deliveries, freight, and travelers as they passed through the desert.

Today, the remains of more than 100 buildings can be seen at the site, with some having been rebuilt to reflect the fort as it stood in the late 19th century.

11 Amazing Things to Do in Alpine, Texas (+ Nearby) - Lone Star Travel Guide (13)

Where is Alpine, Texas?

Alpine is located along US-90 W in southwest Texas, in the area known as Big Bend Country.

It’s located roughly halfway between Marfa (which is about 30 minutes, or 26 miles, west of Alpine), and Marathon (which is roughly 30 minutes, or 30 miles, east of Alpine).

The Chisos Basin Visitor Center in the heart of Big Bend National Park is about 2 hours (106 miles) south of Alpine.

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The town of Fort Davis is set about 25 minutes (24 miles) to the north.

Despite the long distances, Alpine is among the best places to stay when visiting Big Bend National Park (especially for those hoping to stay in a town rather than camp).

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Exploring the best things to do in Alpine is a fantastic addition to a Big Bend Country road trip!

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FAQs

Is Alpine Texas worth visiting? ›

Despite the long distances, Alpine is among the best places to stay when visiting Big Bend National Park (especially for those hoping to stay in a town rather than camp). Exploring the best things to do in Alpine is a fantastic addition to a Big Bend Country road trip!

What is Alpine Texas famous for? ›

Today it's the home field for the Sul Ross Lobos baseball team and minor league Alpine Cowboys. If you're looking for the full western experience, then stop into the Big Bend Saddlery and get a taste of what real Texas cowboys need to do their job.

How far is Alpine to Marfa? ›

26 miles is a driving distance from Alpine to Marfa. It takes approximately 36 minutes to drive from Alpine to Marfa.

How far is Terlingua from Alpine? ›

The distance between Alpine and Terlingua is 72 miles. The road distance is 83.9 miles. How long does it take to get from Alpine to Terlingua? It takes approximately 2h 4m to drive 83.9 miles from Alpine to Terlingua.

How far is Big Bend from Alpine? ›

There are 88.68 miles from Alpine to Big Bend National Park in southeast direction and 112 miles (180.25 kilometers) by car, following the Main Park Road route. Alpine and Big Bend National Park are 3 hours far apart, if you drive non-stop .

What tribes lived in Alpine Texas? ›

By the close of the seventeenth century Mescalero-Apache, Kiowa, Comanche, and other nomadic Indians of the western plains of North America inhabited the area.

How far is Alpine Texas from the Mexican border? ›

From the small city of Alpine, Texas, it's about 90 miles of driving to reach the U.S.-Mexico border, but the owner of Big Bend Saddlery says he feels proximity of the border in his customers' shopping trends.

How far is Alpine to Fort Davis? ›

& Fort Davis. Separated by 24 miles on Texas 118, the towns of Alpine and Fort Davis provide the perfect launch pad for Big Bend excursions.

Does it snow in Alpine Texas? ›

Alpine, Texas gets 17 inches of rain, on average, per year. The US average is 38 inches of rain per year. Alpine averages 2 inches of snow per year.

Is Alpine Texas A nice place to live? ›

Alpine is in Brewster County and is one of the best places to live in Texas. Living in Alpine offers residents a dense suburban feel and most residents own their homes. In Alpine there are a lot of bars, coffee shops, and parks.

Does Alpine Texas have mountains? ›

Alpine, city, seat (1887) of Brewster county, extreme western Texas, U.S., in a high valley with an altitude of 4,481 feet (1,366 metres), flanked by the Davis Mountains (north) and the Glass Mountains (east), 190 miles (306 km) southeast of El Paso.

How far is Marathon from Alpine? ›

There are 26.99 miles from Marathon to Alpine in northwest direction and 30 miles (48.28 kilometers) by car, following the US-90 route. Marathon and Alpine are 34 minutes far apart, if you drive non-stop . This is the fastest route from Marathon, TX to Alpine, TX.

Where is the Marfa mural? ›

The Building 98 POW murals are located at 705 West Bonnie Street in Marfa, Texas.

What's the best time of year to visit Big Bend National Park? ›

Fall and spring are the best times to visit Big Bend National Park. Temperatures are mild during the day and cool at night. March is one of the busiest months in the park, because of the great weather conditions and the influx of spring break travelers.

Why is Terlingua a ghost town? ›

The market for mercury mining steadily declined throughout the 1930s. The Chisos Mining Company, which employed virtually all of Terlingua directly or indirectly, filed for bankruptcy in 1942. After WWII, Terlingua's population declined so sharply that it became a ghost town.

What town is near Big Bend? ›

Terlingua and Lajitas are the towns closest to Big Bend National Park. It's 9 miles (14 km) from Terlingua and 21 miles (34 km) from Lajitas to the Big Bend park entrance at Maverick Junction.

Are Apaches Mexican? ›

They're known as Apaches, and they don't just live in the United States. They have homes and communities in the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Sonora, northern Durango, Nuevo León and Tamaulipas. They're alive, here and now, in the 21st Century, but officially they do not exist in Mexico.

What race is Apache? ›

The Apache (/əˈpætʃi/) are a group of culturally related Native American tribes in the Southwestern United States, which include the Chiricahua, Jicarilla, Lipan, Mescalero, Mimbreño, Ndendahe (Bedonkohe or Mogollon and Nednhi or Carrizaleño and Janero), Salinero, Plains (Kataka or Semat or "Kiowa-Apache") and Western ...

What do Apache call themselves? ›

The Apaches referred to themselves as Inde or Diné, meaning "the people." The Apaches arrived in the Southwest between A.D. 1000 and 1400.

How far is El Paso from Alpine? ›

The total driving distance from El Paso, TX to Alpine, TX is 220 miles or 354 kilometers.

What is Alpine Texas close to? ›

Cities near Alpine, Texas: Ojinaga, Mexico. Pecos, TX. West Odessa, TX.

How big is Alpine Texas? ›

How hot does it get in Alpine TX? ›

Over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 33°F to 90°F and is rarely below 21°F or above 98°F.

What is Alpine temperature? ›

a) the alpine climate, which occurs when the mean biotemperature of a location is between 1.5 and 3 °C (34.7 and 37.4 °F). The alpine climate in Holdridge system is roughly equivalent to the warmest tundra climates (ET) in the Köppen system.

What elevation is considered Alpine? ›

The alpine biome usually lies between an altitude of about 10,000 feet (3,000 meters), and the place where the snow line of a mountain begins. Combined, the Alpine and Arctic biomes cover 16% of the earth's surface area.

Where does Alpine Texas get its water? ›

Approximately 65% of the City's water comes from the Musquiz Well Field located 10 miles north of Alpine. Another 30% comes from the Sunny Glen Well Field located 8 miles northwest of Alpine. The remaining 5% is produced by several small wells located around the city.

Is Alpine Texas high desert? ›

Alpine is a gem. A remote, high-desert jewel nestled in the tall hills of West Texas. It is a friendly, bustling community of a little over 5,000 people in a scenic valley that feels like nowhere else in the state.

What is the highest elevation in Texas? ›

Guadalupe Peak is a rewarding, although very strenuous, 8.5 mile round trip hike with a 3,000 foot elevation gain. It will take from six to eight hours to complete the hike. The peak provides fantastic views from the highest point in the state of Texas (8,751 feet / 2,667 meters).

Is Alpine Texas in the Permian Basin? ›

The recently discovered Alpine High oil and gas field sits in a part of west Texas's Permian Basin long-ignored by drillers, but well-situated to export oil and natural gas through newly built pipelines to Mexico.

What is Marathon Texas known for? ›

Marathon is well-known as the Gateway to Big Bend, but it's much more than that. The city offers excellent shopping and dining, as well as idyllic venues for relaxing, enjoying the outdoors, and taking in local history.

How far is Marfa from Marathon? ›

The distance between Marathon and Marfa is 47 miles. The road distance is 57.3 miles.

Where was the movie giant filmed in Texas? ›

James Dean on the set of the 1956 film Giant, which was filmed on the Ryan Ranch, west of the town of Marfa.

What house was in giant? ›

The Benedict house, a stately Victorian mansion was designed by Boris Leven. Only the front porch and sides of the mansion were erected while the rest was shot in the Warner Brothers soundstage.

Where was the Reata Ranch in giant? ›

Much of the subsequent film, depicting "Reata", the Benedict ranch, was shot in and around the town of Marfa, Texas, and the remote, dry plains found nearby, with interiors filmed at the Warner Bros.

How far is Alpine Texas from the Mexican border? ›

From the small city of Alpine, Texas, it's about 90 miles of driving to reach the U.S.-Mexico border, but the owner of Big Bend Saddlery says he feels proximity of the border in his customers' shopping trends.

Is Alpine Texas A nice place to live? ›

Alpine is in Brewster County and is one of the best places to live in Texas. Living in Alpine offers residents a dense suburban feel and most residents own their homes. In Alpine there are a lot of bars, coffee shops, and parks.

How far is Alpine to Fort Davis? ›

& Fort Davis. Separated by 24 miles on Texas 118, the towns of Alpine and Fort Davis provide the perfect launch pad for Big Bend excursions.

What is Marathon Texas known for? ›

Marathon is well-known as the Gateway to Big Bend, but it's much more than that. The city offers excellent shopping and dining, as well as idyllic venues for relaxing, enjoying the outdoors, and taking in local history.

How far is El Paso from Alpine? ›

The total driving distance from El Paso, TX to Alpine, TX is 220 miles or 354 kilometers.

Does it snow in Alpine Texas? ›

Alpine, Texas gets 17 inches of rain, on average, per year. The US average is 38 inches of rain per year. Alpine averages 2 inches of snow per year.

Does Alpine Texas have mountains? ›

Alpine, city, seat (1887) of Brewster county, extreme western Texas, U.S., in a high valley with an altitude of 4,481 feet (1,366 metres), flanked by the Davis Mountains (north) and the Glass Mountains (east), 190 miles (306 km) southeast of El Paso.

Where does Alpine Texas get its water? ›

Approximately 65% of the City's water comes from the Musquiz Well Field located 10 miles north of Alpine. Another 30% comes from the Sunny Glen Well Field located 8 miles northwest of Alpine. The remaining 5% is produced by several small wells located around the city.

How large is Alpine Texas? ›

How far is Marfa from Marathon? ›

The distance between Marathon and Marfa is 47 miles. The road distance is 57.3 miles.

How far is Big Bend National Park from Marathon? ›

There are 74.46 miles from Marathon to Big Bend National Park in south direction and 82 miles (131.97 kilometers) by car, following the Main Park Road route. Marathon and Big Bend National Park are 2 hours 25 mins far apart, if you drive non-stop .

Is Marathon Texas A desert? ›

Marathon is located in a broad basin between the Glass Mountains to the north and the Del Norte-Santiago range to the south. This area is a transition zone between the higher mountain grasslands and the thorny chaparral of the Chihuahuan Desert, as well as a remarkable fusion of “old” and “new” mountains.

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