Explore Terlingua Ghost Town
Terlingua ghost town is one of the most fascinating ghost towns in West Texas nestled between Big Bend National Park and Big Bend State Park. I think Terlingua is an amazing town in a lot of different ways making it the perfect place to stop or stay when visiting Big Bend National Park.
“If you are like me and always loved the idea of the Wild West, then I promise you, it’s an experience you’ll never forget. “
Top 5 places to See in Terlingua
Though small in size, surprisingly, there’s no lack of things to do in Terlingua. It has everything I love about small towns: a unique vibe, close-knit, yet the welcoming community, and simple authentic food. Here are my top favorite places to see in Terlingua, that’ll make you fall in love with it!
01 — The Terlingua Cemetery
This century-old Terlingua cemetery is a typical frontier graveyard. Most of the souls interred here are mercury miners. At the end of the 19th century, Terlingua was a thriving mining community. The tiny town really boomed in 1914 as mercury was needed for explosives in WWI but mercury demand tapered after the Great Depression and the town slowly died out.
The cemetery “comes to life” during the Mexican celebration of Day of the Dead in early November. This is also probably one of the most photographed cemeteries in the country. We had a lovely time visiting the historical cemetery during the day as well as night for photographing the Milky Way.
02 — Terlingua Ghost Town Ruins
Just a few exits past the end of the world, you will find Terlingua Ghost town ruins conveniently located in scenic downtown Terlingua, Texas. The ghost town ruins might look like some abandoned western movie set, but in fact, this used to be a real mining town that went bust and the miners walked away, leaving their homes behind.
Here you’ll find a ghost town made up of decaying buildings, mine shafts, ruins, and a lot of cactus. I don’t know about y’all, but I love exploring ghost towns.
03 — Milky Way
When it comes to viewing the stars under the night sky, Big Bend is one of the best places in the world. There’s barely any light pollution, and this means you can see tons of stars and on some nights the Milky Way will be so bright it will take your breath away.
Terlingua ranch road near Big Bend is a must-visit destination for those interested in photographing Milky Way. We had an amazing experience taking photos of the milky way in big bend.
04 — Starlight Theatre
Located in the historic Terlingua Ghost Town, the Starlight Theatre adobe building is the fanciest restaurant in town. The building used to be an abandoned theater that also played host to chili judges for the very first Terlingua World Championship Chili Cook-Off.
“I would highly recommend trying their award-winning chili”
05 — Roadside Attractions
Terlingua has many bizarre roadside attractions. There are numerous sculptures and other vintage things laying around, including a few cars that actually look pretty interesting. You’ll see a pirate ship, submarine, old church, the “Statue of Liberty,” a mariachi band, and this strange upside-down dragonfly. Be sure to stop by some and take a few selfies.
Best Places to Eat
01 — Starlight Theatre
Located in the historic Terlingua Ghost Town, the adobe building is the fanciest restaurant in town.
02 — DB’s Rustic Iron BBQ
Great roadside place to try some good old Texas BBQ. The place doesn’t look like much but the food is exceptional.
03 — Big Bend Resort & Cafe
The restaurant is inside a gas station with decent menu options. They also serve and breakfast buffet every morning.
Book Accommodation near Terlingua
We first went to Terlingua, as there was no availability in Bend National Park over the long weekend. The historic Terlingua town offers some unique accommodation and camping options. Whether you want to choose historic or modern, most accommodations are within walking distance of restaurants. You can also enjoy a choice of bars, all with great views of the Chisos Mountains and Big Bend National Park.
If you are looking for places to stay, check out my complete Big Bend Camping and Lodging Guide.
01 — Nomad Tipis & Casitas
This is great for both glamping and primitive campers alike. The vacation home features a dining area and a coffee/tea maker, and a shower. If you are looking for some unique rentals, then Nomad Tipis is a perfect choice. The Tipis have cooling units to keep the tipi to perfect temperature.
02 — El Dorado Hotel
The El Dorado Hotel is at a comfortable base from getting into the National Park, but don’t expect certain urban comforts here. There is a bar and restaurant located onsite.
03 — Lajitas Golf Resort
The Lajitas Golf Resort offers a boutique resort setting nestled between the majestic mountains of the Big Bend & the Big Bend Ranch State Park.
The resort features a world-class 18-hole golf course, 5 stand sporting clay shoot, cowboy action shoot, and an equestrian center for horseback rides.