Whether you’re out in West Texas on a drilling rig, frac site, workover operation, production facility, or pipeline project, you’ll certainly need to take advantage of your days off. To save you time searching, we’ve collected a list of places you should visit near the Permian Basin when you’re ready to unwind from your jobs on RigUp.
Monahans Sandhills State Park
Take a minute to wander through the sandy wonderland that is Monahans Sandhills State Park. You could drive through the area, park at a few different locations and enjoy, or you could hike freely through the massive dunes. Release your inner child and find something in your truck to use as a sled to slide down a sand mountain! Pack a lunch and enjoy this wonder of nature that is the “ocean of sand”.
Marfa & Alpine
If the city is more your style, head to one or both of these small towns and enjoy their quaint, quirky charms. Visit Alpine and hike Hancock Hill, paying a visit to the desk abandoned at the top of the trail, a local landmark. If you’re in the mood for entertainment, you should take advantage of the opportunity to sit at Kokernot Field and watch the Alpine Cowboys play baseball or catch the Big Bend Rodeo. Otherwise, if you’re near Alpine, be sure to check out their charming downtown shops, dance hall, and movie theater.
Marfa, the underground artists’ paradise, is a quirky town known for its food and art scene. Stay at El Cosmico or the Thunderbird Hotel for a night, or simply meander around town. Pop into various art galleries and installations, and drive to see the famous Prada Marfa. Enjoy grilled cheese at Food Shark, dine at The Capri, or stumble upon a pizza joint and be delighted. Prepare for friendly people, funky art, and unexpected treasures.
Big Bend National Park & Chinati Hot Springs
Though Big Bend National Park is not technically in the Permian Basin, this campground is worth the drive. Admire the grandeur of Santa Elena Canyon as it towers above you wading in the Rio Grande. Climb the Lost Mine Trail in the Chisos Mountains. Hike Tuff Canyon and South Rim, or walk Panther Path. Spend the night at a campsite and rest by a fire, or visit Terlingua the ghost town in the evening. If you’re hoping to camp, be sure to reserve a campsite!
If you’re really serious about relaxing, visit a resort or spa. Lajitas Golf Resort offers massages, spa treatments, luxurious amenities, golfing at Black Jack’s Crossing, ziplining, and horseback riding just 25 minutes west of Big Bend. When you’re on your way back to the rig, make time to stop between Marfa and Big Bend at the Chinati Hot Springs, a casual resort in the desert. Meet your neighbors and enjoy the natural hot springs for a few hours.
You may be craving a more practical day off, one where you run errands and require cell phone service. If that’s the case, Midland may better suit your needs. When you’re ready to relax, enjoy a movie at one of Midland’s many theaters, including the Big Sky Drive-In Theater, or visit the I-20 Wildlife Preserve. For a more active unwinding, try a local gym—your first visit is often complimentary—or cheer on the Midland RockHounds baseball team at the Scharbauer Sports Complex.
Balmorhea State Park*
Last but not least, Balmorhea State Park features the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool. Out in Toyahvale, Texas in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert, you can enjoy refreshing swimming and a beautiful view as you relax on the grass by the pool. The water is strikingly clear, cold, and calm. Stop here for a dip on your way back from Alpine when the weather is warm.
*The pool is under construction as of August 2018 with no set reopening date.
Enjoy yourself on your few days off from RigUp jobs, and take advantage of the rare sites near you. Let us at RigUp know how you enjoyed your days off relaxing—or exploring—in West Texas!
Image Source: imagesfromtexas.com