Texas has plenty of quirky, unique, and offbeat places to stay across its wide-open spaces. Stay in these quirky places in Marfa, Terlingua, or Marathon when visiting Big Bend National Park, or these incredible motel makeovers in Austin that boast to “Keep Austin Weird.” There’s a remote spot when you visit Palo Duro Canyon in the panhandle or the unique places in the Hill Country or Lost Pines area. Please sit back, pour your favorite beverage, and let’s explore these unique and quirky places to stay in Texas.
1. El Cosmico In Marfa
Artistic vintage trailers, tepees, Bushtec tents, yurts, and casitas are just some of the offbeat accommodations available at El Cosmico, a hotel and campground on 21 acres just outside the town of Marfa in far-southwest Texas. This communal retreat by Liz Lambert, founder of Bunkhouse, cultivates a temporary escape for adventurers and wanderers out in the wide-open spaces, under a vast West Texas sky.
We stayed in one of the 13 restored vintage mid-20th century trailers like Airstream, Vagabond, and Kozy Coach, featuring varnished birch interiors with vibrant décor and furnishings. Ours came equipped with all the comforts of home: a private kitchen, minibar, bathroom, and heating and air conditioning.
Five 22-foot tepees each have an electric fire pit. The spacious Bushtec tents combine 384 square feet of cabin life boasting wood floors, a king bed, seating area, vintage soaking tub, front and back decks, and a private outdoor shower. Sioux-style tepees, 21 safari wall tents, and two yurts are for those looking for a more rustic experience, with access to the communal outdoor kitchen and bathhouse. The new Jupe tent is coming soon.
The El Cosmico Provision Company sells camping tools, books, apparel, wellness products, and decorative pieces. You can rent the relaxing Dutch wood-fired hot tubs. Take advantage of the communal outdoor kitchen equipped with a grill, cookware, utensils, and fridge. You’ll find complimentary Wi-Fi in the lounge, plus bicycles available for rent. El Cosmico is a pet-friendly establishment.
2. Hotel San Jose In Austin
The hotel guestrooms feature seven room styles, including spacious courtyard suites with balconies, double queens, petite suites, grand suites, and grand standards. Every room is different with concrete floors, minimalist décor, Texas pine handmade furniture, custom-made linens, kimono bathrobes, and Malin + Goetz bath amenities, all reflecting the serenity of the landscape. I enjoyed the curated minibar stocked with local and global goodies.
Surrounded by fig ivy-covered stucco walls, the guest rooms connect to the landscaped garden courtyard via gravel walkways. A private pool hidden by black bamboo connects to the courtyard and lobby bar featuring a unique selection of wine, beer, and small plates. The host venue for the evening programming is the hotel’s parking lot, next to Jo’s Coffee, a local institution for coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and breakfast tacos — a coveted spot for gathering and people watching.
Have fun exploring the boutique with kimonos, t-shirts, posters, koozies, dog toys, teapots, and candles. Add books, caps, sunglasses, and totes to the mix, and you’ve got gift shopping covered.
You’ll find a meeting room, bike rentals, lending library, vintage typewriter to use, and a Polaroid camera to borrow with film to purchase. The hotel sponsors the annual South by San Jose festival coinciding with Austin’s South by Southwest event, featuring live bands in the parking lot.
3. Austin Motel
Living up to the concept of “Keeping Austin Weird” and the Bunkhouse design touch, the Austin Motel is in the heart of South Congress’s shops, restaurants, and clubs. The first thing you’ll notice is the iconic neon signage. Operating as a motel since 1938, you’ll find 41 rooms, a bar, a 1950s-style outdoor pool, and modern amenities set in mid-century roadside motel architecture reflecting the property’s unique history.
The 41 hotel guest rooms feature seven room types, including three suites, three poolside kings, plus king, queens, and full bedrooms. You’ll find custom playful vinyl tufted beds, long wall-mounted custom desks, and 1950s-style seating. Even the push button phones and vintage silk-screened music posters fit into the mid-century vibe and made me smile.
The iconic kidney-shaped pool and lounge area centered on the property have mid-century chairs, tables, and lounges under classic red and white umbrellas. The check-in area is a Bodega-style lobby with coolers and beverages, snacks, and a retail store offering a curated collection of travel accessories, hotel memorabilia, and pool accessories.
Pro Tip: The hotel’s all-day restaurant, Joann’s Fine Foods, boasts Austin Tex-Mex fare and California eats in a 1970s diner vibe. Enjoy tacos, hearty sandwiches and salads, grilled meats and seafood, and updated Mexican favorites. Sip daily juices, sangrias, and specialty cocktails featuring mezcal and tequila, plus an extensive beer and wine list.
4. Cypress Valley Treehouses In Spicewood
Take glamping to an entirely new level at Cypress Valley Treehouses in Spicewood, a premier Texas Hill Country destination for treehouse rentals and outdoor adventures. Sleep in a treehouse or rest in a hammock on your balcony under the shaded trees. Explore the spring-fed creek, swim in the pool, and wander through the flower gardens in the spring and summer.
I’ve always dreamed of sleeping in a treehouse, and we had an opportunity to do just that. Nested in ancient cypress trees, you can stargaze, listen to the birds, or chase hundreds of fireflies in the creek below.
The Yoki, Juniper, Lofthaven, and Willow treehouses each sleep two, and the Nest sleeps four guests but can accommodate up to six. The treehouses come complete with a king bed, small kitchenette, spacious living and dining area, and a small bathhouse and soaking tub across the bridge. The Nest has two bedrooms, a lounge, kitchenette, and dining room. Rinse off under the stars at the outside shower. A small bridge connects you to your private bathhouse with a bath/shower combination.
The Ranch House is on the ground floor, but the main room feels like a treehouse as you peer through the treetops, an excellent place for a small family reunion. The Ranch House sleeps up to 15.
5. Eve’s Garden B&B In Marathon
Located in West Texas’s beautiful high mountain desert oasis of Marathon, Eve’s Garden is an innovative organic bed and breakfast and ecology resource center. At the gateway to Big Bend National Park, extensive indoor organic gardens full of blooming roses, bougainvillea, and hundreds of flowers surround this adobe-style bed and breakfast. The private guest rooms open to a central pond, covered courtyard, and vintage tearoom.
“Thoughtfulness,” they say, is the goal to motivate you to pursue mindful projects and realize that you can make a difference. You’ll see an adobe hacienda with contemporary Mexican color treatments.
Eve’s Garden offers seven distinctly different rooms, some with domed ceilings, 4-foot mini vaults, or a big barrel vault featuring arches, bright colors, and special touches. Each room comes with a heating and cooling system, mini fridge, private bathroom, a reading chair, and a romantic faux fireplace. Three rooms have private patios, six open onto an interior courtyard with a singing fountain, while the seventh, the Orchard Room, faces a small fruit orchard. Enjoy special fresh floral arrangements from Kate’s organic greenhouse.
Pro Tip: Your room includes a casual, self-serve gourmet breakfast to get you on your way to Big Bend National Park.
6. The Goodnight Cabin At Palo Duro Canyon State Park
Located on the canyon rim with an incredible sunset view, the Goodnight Cabin at Palo Duro Canyon State Park boasts rustic amenities and a canopy of stars that fill the night sky. Stairs lead down to the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) stone cabin, surrounded by a privacy fence on three sides.
The cabin sleeps four and features a cooling and heating unit, fireplace, kitchenette with microwave, small refrigerator, a queen bed, and two twin beds with linens. There’s nothing fancy about the bathroom with a sink, shower, and toilet. You’ll spend most of your time outside at the picnic table and outdoor grill with gorgeous views of Palo Duro Canyon. If there is a burn ban, no fires are allowed. No pets are allowed either.
Pro Tip: Purchase a Texas State Park Pass and receive free year-long entry to more than 80 state parks for you and guests
7. The Reserve At Greenleaf In Bastrop
Nestled in the outskirts of Austin, in the Lost Pines at Bastrop, the Reserve at the Greenleaf estate is the place to regenerate, spend time in the lost pines, hike, kayak, and watch the sunset at the communal fire pit as you roast marshmallows and make s’mores.
Four luxury yurt cabins with private bathrooms offer all the luxurious hotel amenities. Ours was the Agave, 450 square feet, a king bed with luxury bedding, a small dining area for two, a private bathroom with a walk-in shower and rainfall showerhead, a conventional flush toilet, and windows connecting you to the trees outside.
You’ll find a Burkee-filtered water feature and a great coffee bar with French press, organic coffee, and loose-leaf teas. A refrigerator comes stocked with Italian sodas and water, and snacks fill a basket including all the fixings for s’mores.
I loved the convenient bedside USB ports, high speed, and ensuite WiFi. There’s a fully adjustable air conditioning and heating unit for your comfort.
Whether you’re looking for luxury, mid-century modern, or rustic accomodations, you’ll find comfort at these quirky Texas retreats.
For more Texas content like this, be sure to check out these stories: