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Established in 1882 and the seat of Brewster County, Alpine is located between the Davis and Glass mountains and is near Big Bend National Park. It is a retail center and shipping point for a huge ranching area, headquarters for mining companies, and home of Sul Ross State University. Declared a Designated Cultural Arts District by the Texas Commission on the Arts in 2011, Alpine's historic downtown district features antique stores, boutiques, art galleries and several distinctive murals.
Several theater groups put on seasonal productions. Theatre of the Big Bend offers musicals and dramas during the summer. The theater department at Sul Ross State University highlights student talent from September through May.
The climate and location make the town a popular vacation area. Visitors enjoy golfing, rock and mineral collecting, swimming and camping amid spectacular mountain vistas. Special events include the Texas Cowboy Poetry Gathering in February, Viva Big Bend Music Festival in July and the Big Bend Balloon Bash during Labor Day weekend.