The 8 Best Things To Do and See in Terlingua, TX

Terlingua Ghost Town sign – Photo: Katerina Papathanasiou / The Vale Magazine

Located just 15 minutes from the Mexican border, Terlingua, Texas, has a unique vibe that travelers will love.

A bonafide ghost town with an eccentric, free-spirited, and laid-back environment, Terlingua is a great place to visit. Read on to learn about 8 can’t-miss experiences.

1. Stay in a One-of-a-Kind Location

Basecamp Terlingua's bubble in Texas.
Transparent, deluxe camping bubble in Terlingua, TX – Photo: Basecamp Terlingua

Looking for a place to stay in Terlingua? Two of the best options are Basecamp Terlingua and Buzzard’s Roost.

Basecamp Terlingua deluxe camping bubbles are transparent tents that offer incredible views of the night skies. They also provide you to enjoy the best of both worlds, with a rustic setting and all the amenities of a luxury hotel.

Buzzard’s Roost, on the other hand, gives you a chance to stay in one of three luxury tipis. Like the camping bubbles at Basecamp Terlingua, these tipis offer stunning views and unparalleled amenities.

2. Explore the Country’s Most-Photographed Cemetery

Terlingua Cemetery – Photo: Katerina Papathanasiou / The Vale Magazine

Terlingua is home to one of the United States’ most photographed cemeteries. Terlingua Cemetery is the final resting place for everyone, from early mercury mineworkers and gunfighters to Terlingua residents.

This cemetery is a fascinating place to walk through at any time of year. If you want to see it in all its glory, though, consider paying a visit on November 2nd. Each year, on this night, a Dia de Los Muertos (or Day of the Dead) celebration is held to honor those who have passed away and are buried in the cemetery.

3. Enjoy Delicious Food

Starlight Theatre – Photo: Katerina Papathanasiou / The Vale Magazine

The Starlight Theatre, located at the heart of Terlingua, is the place to go if you’re looking for delicious food and drinks, as well as incredible views of the town.

Some of the most popular restaurants include:

  • High Sierra Bar and Grill: This is the place to go if you want to take in live music and enjoy a glass (or two) of wine or sip on an ice-cold beer
  •  DB’s Rustic Iron BBQ: This food cart “meats” all your barbecue needs, with a full menu of barbecue staples, such as brisket, ribs, turkey, and sausage)
  • Chili Pepper Café: Looking for tasty Tex-Mex cuisine? Chili Pepper Café has got you covered for breakfast, lunch, and dinner

4. Explore the Shops

Photo: Earth and Fire Gallery / Facebook

Terlingua is full of great shopping spots, too. Whether you’re looking for souvenirs, gifts, clothing, or art, there’s something for everyone. Here are some of the best shops to check out during your stay:

  • Terlingua Trading Company: Located next to the Starlight Theatre, Terlingua Trading Company is the place to go for souvenirs, including T-shirts, books, and jewelry
  • Earth and Fire Gallery: Also located near the Starlight Theatre, Earth and Fire Art Gallery sells a variety of local artwork and handmade jewelry
  • Many Stones: If you’re looking for natural items like rocks, gems, and cacti, as well as beautiful pottery, Many Stones is the place to go
  • Painted Feather Gallery: This is another great gallery to visit if you want to see artwork or buy a piece of Terlingua to take home with you
  •  Quilts By Marguerite: At Quilts By Marguerite, you’ll find gorgeous handmade made quilts by Marguerite herself, as well as other home goods like Mexican blankets
  • Galeria Chisos: Located just past Marguerite’s quilt shop is Galeria Chisos, which sells a variety of gifts and souvenirs, including jewelry, mosaics, photography, paintings, and leather items, most of which are locally made
  • Shot Time Liquors: If you’re looking to stock up on your favorite adult beverages, Shot Time Liquors is the place to go

5. Unwind With a Facial or Massage

Photo: Desert Lotus Healing Arts-Massage Therapy And Rolfing / Facebook

Want to relax and unwind in Terlingua? If so, include a visit to Desert Lotus Healing Arts on your itinerary.

At Desert Lotus Healing Arts, you can work out the kinks and treat yourself to an unmatched massage therapy session. They also offer facials, body treatments, and rolfing, a unique type of bodywork meant to reestablish balance and promote long-term health and vitality.

6. Go on an Outdoor Adventure

Big Bend National Park – Photo: Katerina Papathanasiou / The Vale Magazine

If outdoor adventures are right up your alley, Terlingua doesn’t disappoint. Head to Big Bend National Park, about a 45-minute drive from Terlingua, to get an adrenaline rush.

It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in biking, hiking, or floating down the river. No matter what your preference is, there are plenty of activity options available for visitors of all ages.

7. Go Horseback Riding

Photo: Lajitas Stables – Big Bend Stables / Facebook

Prefer horseback riding? Plan a visit to Lajitas Stables, which has locations in Study Butte and Lajitas.

Both locations are close to Terlingua, so they’re convenient for visitors. They also offer a variety of horseback riding options, from hourly horseback riding excursions to sunset rides and overnight trips. The combination horseback riding and rafting trip is also a popular choice.

8. Don’t Be Afraid to Branch Out

Prada Marfa art installation in Valentine, TX – Photo: Katerina Papathanasiou / The Vale Magazine

There are plenty of other great places to visit that are close to Terlingua, too. If you want to branch out during your stay, consider the following:

  • Alpine: 1 hour and 22 minutes or 83 miles from Terlingua, Alpine offers lots of attractions, including hiking trails and a historic walking tour of the city
  • Marfa: 1 hour and 47 minutes or 109 miles
 from Terlingua, Marfa is home to the stunning Marfa lights, as well as a variety of shopping opportunities and art galleries. The famous Prada Marfa art installation is located about 26 miles northwest of the city of Marfa
  • Fort Davis: 1 hour and 47 minutes or 107 miles from Terlingua, Fort Davis features several fascinating historic sites and is a great place to learn about Texas’s unique past. Near Fort Davis, you can also find the McDonald Observatory
  • Marathon: 1 hour and 48 minutes or 113 miles from Terlingua, Marathon is a small Texas town that is a must-visit for astronomy buffs; it provides unparalleled views of the stars
  • Lajitas: A mere 14 minutes or 12 miles from Terlingua, Lajitas is home to the Lajitas Stables and several other attractions, including a golf course, spa, and plenty of outdoor adventures
  • Big Bend Ranch State Park: 13 minutes or 10.8 miles from Terlingua, Big Bend Ranch State Park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, biking, and camping
  • Study Butte: Just 6 minutes or 2.7 miles from Terlingua, Study Butte offers horseback riding stables, hiking, bird watching, as well as shopping and spa retreats