January 12, 2024

Alpine Unwrapped: A Tapestry of Texas Charms

Alpine Unwrapped: A Tapestry of Texas Charms

Nestled in the picturesque Big Bend region of Far West Texas lies the charming town of Alpine. While it may seem like a mere stopover for those exploring the Davis Mountains, Alpine has more to offer than meets the eye, as per this travel blog post from Southern Living. Home to Sul Ross State University, this small community boasts a surprisingly vibrant arts scene, lively music festivals, and a wealth of activities that cater to diverse interests.

Start your Alpine adventure at the Antelope Lodge, a quirky motor court hotel frozen in time since its construction in 1950. The cabins, crafted from terra cotta brick and adorned with red Mexican tile, encircle a courtyard dotted with pine trees. A unique feature of this lodge is the community kitchen where you can whip up your meals, adding a homey touch to your stay. For history enthusiasts, the Holland House Hotel is a must-visit. Designed by famed architect Henry Trost, this establishment opened its doors in 1912 and has witnessed the passage of time. Sitting by the lobby fireplace, you’ll notice features replicated in other Trost & Trost hotels across the region. The history embedded in its walls creates a warm and inviting atmosphere.

Automobile enthusiasts can rev their engines at Stable Performance Cars, where a private collection of muscle cars, including Shelby Ford Mustangs and a Dodge Viper, awaits. This isn’t a static museum; the cars are registered and regularly hit the open roads of Big Bend, making it a haven for car aficionados.

Front Street Books, a longstanding establishment, beckons book lovers with its diverse collection. From Texas-themed books to bestsellers, the shop caters to various tastes. The cowboy logo, leaning back in a chair with boots propped on books, adds a touch of Texan charm to your literary exploration.

Sports fans will appreciate a visit to Kokernot Field, home to both the Sul Ross State University Lobos and the Alpine Cowboys, a minor league team. Dubbed “The Best Little Ballpark in Texas (or Anywhere Else)” by Sports Illustrated, its red clay infield shipped from Georgia adds to the baseball magic.

Hiking enthusiasts can conquer Hancock Hill, where an old desk left by Sul Ross State University students in 1981 still sits atop the rocky incline. The 1.8-mile loop, starting near Mountainside Dorm on campus, offers a breathtaking 360-degree view of Alpine and the surrounding scrubland between the Glass and Davis Mountains.

Alpine’s designation as a Music Friendly Community by the Texas Music Office is well-deserved. The Viva Big Bend Music Festival, held annually, showcases the town’s musical prowess. Live music venues such as Railroad Blues, Ole Crystal Bar, and Granada Theater on Holland Avenue keep the tunes flowing, while RingTail Records satisfies vinyl, cassette, and CD cravings.

Art lovers can explore Gallery on the Square, a cooperative effort featuring works by around two dozen local artists. Additionally, the streets of Alpine are adorned with over 40 murals depicting the city’s rich culture and history. From cattle drives to Texas Rangers, these vibrant murals offer a visual feast for those strolling through downtown Alpine.

Cap off your Alpine experience with a visit to the Museum of the Big Bend. Recently expanded with the opening of the 10,000-square-foot Emmett and Miriam McCoy Building, the museum showcases antique maps, Native American artifacts, and even a replica of a flying dinosaur. The expansion focuses on the art of the area’s early cattle ranching days, providing a comprehensive glimpse into the region’s heritage.

In conclusion, Alpine, Texas, unveils itself as a multifaceted gem within the Big Bend region, enticing visitors with its unique blend of history, arts, and natural beauty. From the quirky Antelope Lodge and historic Holland House Hotel to the adrenaline-pumping Stable Performance Cars and the scenic Hancock Hill trail, Alpine offers an array of experiences to suit diverse tastes. The town’s vibrant arts scene, celebrated through the Lone Star Cowboy Poetry Gathering and Viva Big Bend Music Festival, adds a cultural layer that enriches any visit. Whether you’re perusing the shelves at Front Street Books, marveling at the murals lining downtown streets, or exploring the Museum of the Big Bend, Alpine invites you to immerse yourself in its rich tapestry. So, pack your bags and embark on an Alpine adventure, where each corner reveals a new facet of this Texan treasure, leaving you with memories that echo the spirit of Far West Texas.

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