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West Texas

Welcome to the land of wide-open spaces. Along I-10 there's not much to look at – just scrub brush and lots of sky – but dip below the interstate and you'll encounter vistas every bit as captivating as they are endless. Sometimes the rugged terrain looks like the backdrop in an old Western movie; then it suddenly turns into an alien landscape, with huge rock formations erupting out of the desert.

But what is there to do? Plenty. Exploring an enormous national park that's nearly the size of Rhode Island. Stopping in small towns that will surprise you with minimalist art, planet-watching parties or fascinating ghost-town ruins. Checking out the latest microbreweries in a reenergized El Paso. Chatting with friendly locals whenever the mood strikes you. And letting the delicious slowness of West Texas get thoroughly under your skin.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout West Texas.