Updated: May 30, 2022
Big Bend National Park is a destination unto itself, but the surrounding area also has tons to offer!
Here are the Top 3 Things to Do Outside of Big Bend National Park:
Experience StarStruck Glamping
Explore Terlingua Ghosttown
Visit Big Bend Ranch State Park
The Ultimate Glamping Experience
Starstruck Glamping in Big Bend is a truly special experience. Between the stunning scenery, unique dome accommodations & luxury amenities - you will make memories to last a lifetime!
This is the perfect place to reconnect with nature while having every creature comfort imaginable. Air Conditioning to keep you cool on a hot day, an interior tiled bathroom with a hot shower to wash up after a day of exploring, & a private shaded outdoor kitchen to grill up a delicious meal are just a few of the amenities that make this experience comfy & luxurious.
Special touches like a telescope, push-to-start firepit & complimentary cold drinks waiting for you in the mini-fridge add to the experience.
You'll have to take a back road to get to StarStruck Glamping - an adventure unto itself. About 8 minutes off the pavement on a scenic dirt road, leads you to the peaceful & secluded 80-acre lot. It's located 30 minutes North of Big Bend National Park entrance & 1 Hour South of Alpine. An ideal place to lay your head while visiting the Park & Region.
The scenery is truly beautiful featuring stunning mountains. The 9 Point Mesa, Loma Prieta, & the Red Bluff make up the foreground, while the Chisos Range, Christmas Mountains & Agua Fria create layers of mountains on the horizon. Panoramic mountain views make an epic backdrop for your stay.
The skies are the inspiration for the name of this Glampground... StarStruck Glamping encourages & welcomes stargazing for all their guests! Strategically located within the largest protected dark sky reserve in the world, and away from the small town lights of Terlingua, makes for the perfect setting to see the Milky Way with the naked eye, or experience a meteor shower! (Click here for Meteor Shower Dates + Tips on Best Visibility).
Cozy up on the outdoor chaise lounger with the provided blankets & get lost in the stars. Don't forget to look through the telescope at special planets & stars!
The quad domes are perfect for a family vacation or group getaway with 2 queen beds (Domes 2 & 4).
The couple domes set the stage for the perfect romantic getaway with a lovely canopy queen bed (Domes 1 & 3).
Do NOT Miss Out on this luxury camping experience! Make memories glamping in Big Bend that will last a lifetime.
Visit Terlingua Ghosttown
The Terlingua Ghosttown is ironically the densest & most populated area in this small rural town. Here you'll find art, gift shops, restaurants, tiny adobe homes, retro campers, ruins, a cemetery, a church, & more!
The food & shop scene here reflects the local vibe - eclectic & full of life, yet unassuming & humble.
There are several great restaurants here ranging from Mexican, American, Tex-Mex & BBQ. Live music is a huge part of Terlingua culture, & you will find it at many restaurants in the area. The vibe is casual, so come as you are!
DB's Rustic Iron BBQ is known for the Best BBQ in West Texas! You can find live music & good eatin' in this laid back restaurant.
Taqueria El Milagro has great authentic Mexican food. Sit under the sun or the shade in this open air dining spot.
Espresso Y Poco Mas is the go-to breakfast joint in the Ghosttown. Here you'll find excellent espresso, coffees, juices, pastries & a nice breakfast & lunch menu. Hours are 7:30am-2:00pm.
The Starlight Theatre is popular for the live entertainment, fun atmosphere & good food. They open at 5pm & don't accept reservations (unless you have a group of 8+). Grab a drink & get social on "the Porch" with the locals.
For souvenirs & local goodies, visit the Terlingua Trading Post & Earth & Fire Art Gallery.
Terlingua has an eclectic art scene. From public art sculptures to fine art galleries & shops. Be sure to browse the galleries & appreciate the unique public sculptures.
You can also visit the St. Agnes Church, the Historic Terlingua Cemetary, & play around at the Terlingua Jail.
Terlingua was once a robust mining town, but was abandoned after the Mercury being mined was no longer abundant. You will see old mining ruins & hints of the past throughout the town. The town has been reborn as a tourist destination for Big Bend park patrons.
The largest event Terlingua sees each year on the first Saturday every November is the Chili Cook Off with ~10,000 patrons. The tradition first started here in 1967.
While visiting Big Bend National Park, we highly recommend visiting the Terlingua Ghosttown to experience this small desert town. Support local business by purchasing local art, souveinirs & dining at the local establishments.
Big Bend Ranch State Park
Yes, the National Park is amazing... but don't sleep on the State Park Y'all!
Big Bend Ranch State Park is 275,000 glorious acres of high desert wilderness. It's just West of Big Bend NP, but offers a different experience. Between the rugged volcanic landscape & the solitary backcountry, this park is perfect for those that like quiet trails to themselves.
We recommend hiking the Closed Canyon Trail for a "slot canyon" type of experience. This 1.4 Mile Out & Back trail is rated Moderate. The walk to the canyon offers no shade, but once you're walking between the canyon walls the protection from the sun & heat is immediate. This also happens to be one of the few dog friendly hikes in the region. Remember to bring plenty of drinking water & beware of snakes!
The Camino Del Rio or "River Road" is HWY 170 that cuts through the State Park. It's a very scenic mountain drive with peaks, valleys, stunning vistas & many great views of the Rio Grande river. The drive alone is worth visiting this beautiful state park.
So, there you have it. The Top 3 Things to Do Outside of Big Bend National Park.
Have the Ultimate Glamping Experience at StarStruck Glamping
Explore the Terlingua Ghosttown
Visit the Big Bend Ranch State Park