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Alpine is a city of 6,000 people (2019) in Texas. It has an historic downtown, and is a good base for exploring Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, and Davis Mountains State Park.

Understand[edit]

Climate[edit]

In the winters, ample sunshine usually warms the days, though the nights can be chilly due to the 4,475 feet (1,360 m) elevation. In the summer, the fierce sun causes hot days, pleasantly relieved in the evening by the same high elevation.

Get in[edit]

Map of Alpine (Texas)

Alpine has a small general aviation airport, the closest major airports are Midland International, 3 hours 15 minutes away, and El Paso International, about 3½ hours away

By train[edit]

The tri-weekly Sunset Limited, running between Los Angeles and New Orleans, and the Texas Eagle from Chicago provided by Amtrak serves Alpine. The 1 Alpine Amtrak station is at 102 West Holland Avenue, just south of downtown.

By bus[edit]

Greyhound Lines operates intercity bus service from the KCS Quick Stop at 2305 E Hwy 90.

Get around[edit]

See[edit]

  • Historic downtown (visitor's center at 106 North 3rd Street), +1 432 837-2326. Many historic buildings constructed in the late 1800s. A informative brochure detailing a walking tour is available from the information center.
  • 1 Museum of the Big Bend, 400 N Harrison St C-101 (on the Sul Ross State University campus), +1 432-837-8730. Large collection of artifacts with exhibits on the long history of habitation in the area, from the earliest native tribes up through the Spanish, Mexican, and American eras.
  • Last Frontier Museum, 2310 W. Highway 90, +1 432 837-2451. Exhibits focusing on the geology of the region.
  • Sul Ross State University began as a teachers college in 1920, with its original campus in Alpine. Named for Lawrence Sullivan Ross, a Confederate States Army general during the American Civil War, Texas' 19th governor and later president of the new land grant college which became Texas A&M, it is now a member of the Texas State University System. The 600-acre main campus on the lower slopes of Hancock Hill contains 20 or so buildings, most designed in Classical Revival style, and all harmoniously faced with red brick and white trim. The hillside gives fine views of the town below and the surrounding mountain ranges.

Sites on National Register of Historic Places[edit]

  • The Brewster County Courthouse was built in 1887–1888 by Tom Lovett, a local contractor, who apparently designed the buildings, as well (documentation is scarce). Open to visitors, historic photographs are displayed in the great hall. The red brick courthouse is a fine example of the American Second Empire Style. The rectangular mass has five bays of paired round-arch window openings on the longer north and south facades. The shorter east and west facades have three bays. On three facades, the center bay contains a doorway at ground level, set in a thin, barely protruding pavilion. The second-story windows are slightly taller than the first-floor openings, a trick of the eye making the two-and-a-half-story building seem even taller. The walls are topped by a pressed-tin entablature composed of a frieze and cornice. The mansard roof is marked by steeply hipped pyramidal towers with pressed-tin cresting. The interior retains exemplary pressed-tin ceilings and some original woodwork. A wooden staircase with Eastlake-type details rises to the general courtroom on the second floor.
  • The adjoining Brewster County Jail is distinguished by a crenelated brick parapet wall, suggesting "a fortress-like impregnability".

Do[edit]

  • Big Bend National Park — one of the least visited national parks in the continental U.S.
  • Big Bend Ranch State Park — just west of the national park, with over 300,000 acres of wilderness, miles of rugged and remote backcountry trails. The park is great for mountain biking, horseback riding, and canoe excursions on the Rio Grande. +1 432 424-3327.
  • Davis Mountains State Park — high in the mountains of West Texas, formed by volcanoes and sculpted by wind and water, the Davis Mountains rise more than 8,300 feet above sea level out of the Chihuahuan Desert. Miles of hiking trails, backpack, mountain bike, horse riding, camping. Indian Lodge hotel has a restaurant, and a swimming pool for lodge guests. +1 432 426-3337.
  • Woodward Agate Ranch (18 miles south of town on Texas Highway 118), +1 432 364-2271. Offers a unique chance to hunt for precious minerals like agate and opal, with or without assistance from the experienced ranch guides. Other activities include horse riding and birdwatching.
  • Hancock Hill, behind Sul Ross State University, has hiking trails on university and private property. Theere are views of the town and a path to “The Desk”. To find the trailhead: turn left at the end of Avenue B (SRSU Entrance 4). The trailhead is at the far edge of the old Mountainside dormitory parking lot.

Buy[edit]

  • Apache Trading Post, 2701 West Hwy. 90, +1 432 837-5506, fax: +1 432-837-9216, . Housed in an old log cabin, this shop sells Big Bend collectibles and souvenirs, a large selection of maps detailing the mountains of Texas. Pose for a photo with a friendly burro or let the kids play with the owner's famous dog.
  • Kathy's Consignments, 121 W Holland Ave, +1 432 837-1786. Antiques.
  • Mi Tesoro, 109 W Holland Ave, +1 432 837-1882. Locally designed and produced jewelry in a variety of styles.

Eat[edit]

Budget[edit]

Mid-range[edit]

Splurge[edit]

  • 3 Reata, 203 N 5th St, +1 432 837-9232. Great western atmosphere and decor, decent but somewhat overpriced steaks.

Drink[edit]

  • Buffalo Rose Saloon, US Hwy 90, +1 432-837-9700.
  • La Trattoria Coffee & Juice Bar, 202 W Holland Ave, +1 432 837-2200.
  • 1 Railroad Blues, 504 W Holland Ave, +1 432 837-3103. This nightclub/bar has live music a few times a week. There is usually a $5-10 cover charge on nights that bands are playing.

Sleep[edit]

Interior of the historic Holland Hotel

Go next[edit]

Routes through Alpine
TucsonEl Paso  W Amtrak Sunset Limited icon.pngAmtrak Texas Eagle icon.png E  Del RioSan Antonio
San AngeloFort Stockton  N US 67.svg S  MarfaPresidio
Van HornMarfa  W US 90.svg E  MarathonDel Rio
Jct W I-10.svg EFort Davis  N Texas 118.svg S  Study Butte-TerlinguaBig Bend N.P.


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