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Fort Davis, Texas

Fort Davis

With its high elevation, low humidity, and coolest average summer temperatures in all of Texas, Fort Davis is a rejuvenating destination any time of the year. Surrounded by the breathtaking beauty of the Davis Mountains high in the Big Bend region, this one-of-a-kind getaway is the perfect place to escape. Join the many adventurers, astronomers, artists, and historians that come here by experiencing Fort Davis’ unique charm for yourself.

Fort Davis began as a military fort in 1854 as part of a long line of military installations that stretched from San Antonio to El Paso. Uncover the fort’s past at the Fort Davis National Historic Site, one of the best-preserved of its kind from that era.

Immerse yourself in the fort’s history as you check out the museum and five buildings refurbished to their original state, as well as 100 ruins and foundations. Make sure you’re here for the living history demonstrations, when you’ll hear small arms fire and see reenactors dressed in period costumes. Speaking of history, Prude Ranch has been around since the 1800’s and is still a popular place to gather for horseback trail rides, traversing an adventure course, and toasting marshmallows around a campfire.

To experience some of Fort Davis’ culture as it is today, plan to be here during one of its many annual events. Enjoy the coolest summer temperatures in the Lone Star State, along with a giant parade, arts and crafts vendors, a dance, and a fantastic fireworks show at the “Coolest” 4th of July Celebration. Later in the year, ring in the holiday season with a shoppers extravaganza, nightly caroling in the downtown square, and a festive parade during Frontier Christmas.

Nestled in what is essentially a sky island, Fort Davis is a remarkable place to get outdoors. Spend a day at Davis Mountains State Park, where you can hike or mountain bike its trails, camp, stargaze, geocache, and study nature. Check out the park’s ranger-led programs that include guided birding hikes and hikes with rescue dogs, then cool off in the pool at Indian Lodge—an idyllic place to spend the night. The Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute has birding blinds, hiking trails, botanical gardens, and a succulent greenhouse for you to observe the flora and fauna of the region.

Some of the rarest birds, reptiles, bugs, and mammals can be found at the Nature Conservancy’s Davis Mountain Preserve, which protects more than 102,000 acres of diverse landscape. Plan to visit Fort Davis in August for the bi-annual Davis Mountains Hummingbird Festival. Home to more hummingbird species than anywhere else in the Lone Star State, the festival gives you the chance to attend banding sessions and lectures from birding authors and some of the top experts in the field.

This mountain destination also boasts one of the most fascinating attractions in Texas—McDonald Observatory. It’s a state treasure with one of the largest optical telescopes in the world nestled on the high peaks of the Davis Mountains. McDonald Observatory hosts Star Parties and Twilight Programs, Daytime Tours and Solar Viewing all year long (you’ll need to reserve your spot in advance).

After a long hike or a stunning drive on the 75-mile Scenic Loop, refuel at one of the restaurants in Fort Davis like the Fort Davis Drug Store or the Blue Mountain Bar & Grill, home to an impressive wine list. Stop in one of the shops in Fort Davis for one-of-a-kind souvenirs and gifts like handmade wind chimes, vintage books, and prints by local artists.

From its captivating history to its awe-inspiring landscapes, there’s nowhere in Texas quite like Fort Davis. Find out more about what this West Texas destination has to offer and plan your visit here.

Big Bend

Fort Davis, Texas