The Terlingua Ghost Town

This is not some abandoned movie set or a fabricated tourist trap. This was a real mining town that went bust and the miners walked away, leaving their homes behind.

Today you'll find a ghost town made up of decaying buildings, mine shafts, tall tales, ruins, crotchety old-timers, a three-legged dog, too much cactus, and semi-friendly rattlesnakes. It's been slightly revitalized with rustic Texas lodgings (graciously updated), world famous chili fixin's, an internationally acclaimed restaurant (we're Mexico adjacent), and -- perhaps most importantly -- a fully operational saloon/bar.

Once a thriving cinnabar mining operation, when the market for mercury crashed everyone limped away except for the local critters. You're welcome to explore the ruins -- the fossils are free -- and stop by the original Chisos Mine company store (now The Terlingua Trading Company) and visit the old-timey Starlight Theatre.

You'll probably spend some time in the old jail, too -- because that's where the rest rooms are.

There is an authentic boot hill cemetery with real dead people, both long term and recently departed. A stroll through this picturesque graveyard makes the history of the area come alive -- if not the ghosts.

Or, stop by around sunset on the 'Day of the Dead' and light a candle for the ages, sit around the campfire, and relax under the stars. (Terlingua has a lot more stars than you see at home.)