Please forward this error screen to 31. Please forward this error screen to 31. The country’s top desert towns are reshaping the American West with cutting-the slot in anza borrego art and great outdoor adventures. The country’s top desert towns are reshaping the American West with cutting-edge art and great outdoor adventures.
The little desert town of Marfa makes no logical sense. How did this dusty outpost in the barrens of far West Texas, nearly 200 miles from the closest major airport, go from a water stop for the railway into one of the country’s most buzzworthy contemporary art centers? It took folks with enough grit and vision and can-do attitude to invent a new life among the red rocks, sagebrush, and sand of the American West.
In Marfa’s case, New York artist Donald Judd was drawn to its sweeping high desert vistas in the 1970s, and his followers steadily put the tiny town on the international art map. Entire towns ripe for reinvention: rustic digs, cheap land, and endless possibilities. Arizona, a luxe resort among the wildflowers of a southern California state park, and wineries in the high desert plains of Western Washington.
For other top desert towns, like St. George and Moab, both in Utah, hikers and bikers have replaced the prospectors of the past, turning the surrounding natural landscape—sandstone arches, majestic canyons—into its richest natural resource. America’s deserts are a fertile landscape for creativity, culture, and no small amount of quirk.
Pack the sunscreen and consider this your compass to the coolest desert towns now. The country’s top desert towns are reshaping the American West with cutting-edge art and great outdoor adventures. These days, the well-preserved downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places thanks to its wooden boardwalks, dusty graveyards, classic saloons, and buildings like Piper’s Opera House. Or time your trip to fall and catch the kooky camel and ostrich races.