High desert country, mountain ranges and Rio Grande canyons are only a few of the natural wonders that make Alpine such a popular destination. Situated at the edge of the great Chihuahuan desert between Big Bend National Park and the Davis Mountains, Alpine, with its tree lined streets and university, is at the center of the greater Big Bend region.
Big Bend National Park, historic Fort Davis, the Marfa mystery lights and McDonald Observatory set high in the Davis Mountains are a few popular destinations within a two-hour drive. Alpine’s high quality lodging and hotel accommodations, dining and supermarkets provide great services for everyone. And many visitors who make Alpine their hub, enjoy the renovated Museum of the Big Bend, galleries and evening entertainment.
Alpine is where you can see cowboys competing at rodeo events, watch professional baseball in an historic ball park and see summer theater productions under a roof of stars. Cowboy Poetry Gathering, Gallery Night and Intercollegiate rodeo are just three of the most popular annual events – and our summer temperatures, at 4,600 feet, are moderate.
Anyway you look at it, Alpine is one of a kind: small town values, friendly folk, vast landscapes, big skies and a high and dry climate with services and attractions which will surprise you.
Alpine’s central location between the Davis Mountains and Big Bend National Park makes it a convenient base from which to visit all the attractions of this huge desert and mountain border land measuring over 12,000 square miles with a population of less than 20,000 people.
Fort Davis, close to the Davis Mountains to the north, started life as a garrison town, serving the fort established there in 1854 to protect the frontier. Rich in tourism attractions and services, It offers the renovated fort and museum as a history lesson, nearby McDonald Observatory for star gazing, and the charming Davis Mountains State Park for camping, hiking and park events.
Marfa to the west is now an art town, with new restaurants and galleries including the minimal art collection of Donald Judd which was the cause and start of “new” Marfa. It has a history too, as the superbly restored courthouse reveals. Have you ever been gliding? When was the last time you watched a movie outdoors with a starry sky for your canopy? Are you a hunter? Do you love the arts? All of these things you can experience and more when you are in Marfa.
BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK
There is a place in Far West Texas where night skies are dark as coal and rivers carve temple-like canyons in ancient limestone. Here, at the end of the road, hundreds of bird species take refuge in a solitary mountain range surrounded by weather-beaten desert. Tenacious cactus bloom in sublime southwestern sun, and diversity of species is the best in the country. This magical place is Big Bend.
The Jewel in the Crown, Big Bend National Park, (800,000 acres of desert, mountain and river) can be visited in one day, or many. The Chisos Mountains in the park’s center rise to 7,832 feet while the Rio Grande meanders for 118 miles along the park’s southern boundary. A few miles to the west is Terlingua Ghostown, rich in history, a little further on is upscale Lajitas Resort, then comes the famous River Road which follows the Rio Grande passing Big Bend Ranch State Park (the state’s largest park) on its 50 mile route to Presidio.
Alpine Country Club Golf Course: Nestled next to Kokernot Park, the 9 hole course is very popular with both residents and visitors.
Alpine Murals: Stroll through the breezeway alongside the Reata Restaurant (between the street and their patio) and marvel at the colorful mural depicting scenes the movie“Giant”, from which the restaurant takes it name. Walk down the street two blocks south and you’ll see two more fabulous murals by Stylle Reed in the Kiowa Gallery parking lot. One mural displays many images of West Texas and Alpine, including one of the Sul Ross’ most famous alumni, Dan Blocker of “Bonanza”. The other mural is based on “Poco a Poquito” calendar artwork by Jesus Helguera and was a gift to Alpine from ArtWalk painted by Stylle Reed and volunteers in a weekend. Round the corner, Alpine’s Rangra Theater is decorated with images of John Wayne, Dart Vader, and many other famous characters. To find a complete list of our murals pick up a copy of “Big Bend Galleries and Artists”.
Alpine Public Library/Re-Reads Book Store: Like most of Alpine, the Alpine Public Library, has a rich history which dates back to the late 1940’s. After World War II the citizens of Alpine expressed interest in having a library in town. After many fundraisers and book donations the doors to the library opened in August 1950. In the early 2000’s it was clear that a bigger library was needed and on February 2, 2011 the current location was opened. Re-Reads Book Store is located next to Alpine Public Library and offers a variety of used books. These proceeds go towards the library’s operational budget.
Brewster County Courthouse Hall of History: Take a walk through the great hall in the Brewster County Courthouse and step back through the years. Photographs of much earlier times in the Alpine and surrounding area are on display, offering a glimpse of yesteryear.Farmer’s Markets: Every Saturday from 9:00 AM until 12:00 PM venders come out to sell their goods at our two Farmer’s Markets. One is located at Hotel Ritchey on 5th St and Murphy St while the second one is located at Big Bend Thrift Store on 5th St and Ave A.
Hancock Hill: Hancock Hill is a 4,849 mountain peak behind Sul Ross State University and is a great place to hike and provides amazing views of the town. When you reach the abandoned school desk (which was hauled up to the top of the hill in 1981 by three Sul Ross students), you’ve reached the end of the 20 minute hike up the hill. Make sure to sign the notebook which is kept in the desk.
Historic Holland Hotel: Open since 1928, this landmark of Alpine has been a favorite place to stay for visitors all over the world. Stop by and see the beautiful architecture in this beautiful, historic building.
Historic Walking and Windshield Tour: Take a leisurely stroll or drive around Alpine’s downtown and get a glimpse into our architectural history, dating from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. A copy of the walking and driving tour guide/map is available at the Alpine Visitor’s Center.
Museum of the Big Bend: Permanent displays of the Big Bend’s natural and cultural history will enlighten and educate visitors to the area. A children’s corner makes the museum a great place for the entire family. Special showings each month and a fabulous gift store make the museum a must see for Alpine visitors.
Paisano Pass Volcano: Visit the marker 5 miles west of Alpine to learn more about the volcano that helped to form this area millions of years ago.
Parades: Here in Alpine we love our parades and have many of them throughout the year including ones for Cinco de Mayo, Fourth of July, both Alpine High School and Sul Ross Homecoming, Halloween, ArtWalk, and Christmas.
Performing Arts and Live Entertainment: Alpine offers a variety of stage performances throughout the year by our two local theatre groups: Theatre of the Big Bend and the Big Bend Players. If you are in Alpine during the summer months, enjoy the outdoor theatre during our cool high desert evenings. Live music can be heard every weekend at the Railroad Blues, with a variety of genres represented. You’ll find honky-tonk, Tejano, blues, rock, and many others. You can also find music on select weekends at Harry’s Tinaja, The Holland Hotel, and The Granada Theater.
Specialty Shops: Alpine has many unique shops and boutiques. Most of our specialty shops are located in the historic downtown area, with a few others scattered here and there. Choose from fine art, photography, antiques, gifts and souvenirs, books and maps, rocks and gems, arts and crafts, and a whole lot more.
Sporting Events: Between Alpine High and Middle Schools, Sul Ross State University, Alpine Cowboys, and little league, Alpine always has numerous sporting events taking place.
Sul Ross State University: With years of history and its uniquely beautiful setting, the campus of Sul Ross is a delightful place to wander around. Many of the buildings are now classified as historic.
Turner Range Animal Science Center: For rodeo and horse fans, this is the place. The RAS hosts a number of rodeos and horse shows throughout the year. Between events, one might find Sul Ross State University students and 4H club members practicing in the S.A.L.E. Arena at any given time, making a wonderful morning or afternoon attraction.
Visit Kokernot Park and the “Wrigley-Style” Kokernot Field: A pleasant walk through Kokernot Park with its many trees is a great place to relax, have a picnic lunch, and let the children roam. There is also a dog park where you can let your four-legged friend run around. A visit to Kokernot Lodge and the Burgess Spring is a true delight. For the baseball enthusiasts, Kokernot Field will take your breath away. Styled after the famous Wrigley Field, this baseball diamond was once home to the Alpine Cowboys, a semi-pro team in the mid-20th century. Starting in 2011 the Alpine Cowboys once again called Kokernot Field home.
Yearly Events: Depending on what time of the year you are visiting there are various events to attend. To find out more about when these events are visit the event page here.
Read what others had to say about their stays with us!
“This hotel literally saved our trip! We checked in almost at midnight and the man at the desk was extremely friendly. We were very tired and he got us checked in and in the room very quickly. The room was very nice, that bed was like a cloud and after a long day of traveling felt amazing. They had a great little store with snacks and drinks (even beer!). They served a great continental breakfast. Texas shapes waffles are always a plus. They also serve coffee from big bend roasters, which is very tasty.”
“So pleasant and inviting. Decor is revealing of the area. Warm and friendly administrative staff. Price equals the value of the hotel experience.”
“The best hotel in Alpine, Texas. Has just as many amenities as the large chain hotels but overall much nicer because it's unique. Its unique because it's not part of a large chain. The area is surrounded with mountains. You see more stars there. They have outdoor seating with fire pits. Very clean and well maintained. No complaints.”
“The staff here were terrific, Kimberley and Karen made our stay very comfortable and were most helpful with our preparation for a bike race. Cant thank them enough. Very friendly and very helpful throughout.”
“The lobby was beautiful, tastefully decorated, and highlighted with pictures of the owner’s family, steeped in the local ranching history of the region. Our room was immaculately clean, and also tastefully furnished with a warm western feel. What made this hotel really special, however, was the caliber of the staff. We highly recommend the Quarter Circle 7. It is the place to stay when next in Alpine. It felt wonderful to support a business, entirely funded and managed by a lone star native.”
“We loved it. Everything was great and the staff is just awesome. I highly recommend staying there. The pool area and fire pit is just wonderful. Our fur baby was very welcomed as well. If you are ever in the area check it out.”