Alpine’s  most significant cultural attraction is the Museum of the Big Bend (1000 E. Sul Ross Ave., 432/837-8730, www.sulross.edu/~museum , 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Sat., 1–5 p.m. Sun., free). Located on the Sul Ross State University campus, the museum’s impressive collections showcase the confluence of cultures in the region—Native American, Spanish, Mexican, and Anglo settlers. Visitors learn about the cultures that have occupied the area for thousands of years via ancient tribal artifacts, historic frontier items, and life-sized dioramas. Be sure to check out the fascinating Chihuahuan Desert Cactus Garden near the museum’s entrance.
For some visitors—baseball fans, in particular—the city’s cultural highlight is the amazing Kokernot Field (at the intersection of Hwy. 223 and N. Second St.). This beautiful historic ballpark is a baseball fan’s dream, featuring unexpected details around every corner, such as the wrought-iron fencing with baseball-shaped patterns, the lamps with handmade stitched-baseball themes, and spectacular views of the mountains looming beyond the outfield. The park opened in 1947 when legendary rancher and philanthropist Herbert Kokernot used his fortune to bring semi-pro baseball to Alpine . Kokernot spared no expense, investing more than $1.5 million on the park—an exorbitant amount at the time—to make his dream a reality.
The minor-league Alpine Cowboys played at Kokernot Field from 1947 through 1958, drawing capacity crowds who appreciated the architectural gem and the quality of talent on the diamond. Since the ballpark is currently home to the Sul Ros State University Lobos, the field is typically closed to the public unless a game is scheduled (Feb–Apr., check www.sulross.edu  for game times).
It’s a bit of a drive—everything out here is—but worth the effort to experience Woodward Ranch (18 miles south of Alpine on Hwy. 118, 432/364-2271, www.woodwardranch.net , call for times and fees). The ranch offers several recreational activities, including hiking, scenic drives, bird watching, and stargazing, but it’s primarily known as a gemstone collection destination. The 3,000-acre property contains more than 60 kinds of naturally occurring agates and gemstones that visitors can hunt and gather.
Discover desirable (but not necessarily valuable) Texas agates such as red plume and pompom, as well as opal, jasper, and calcite. Upon returning to ranch headquarters, visitors can consult with staff about identifying and appraising their finds. Guide services are available and a lapidary (stone) shop is on site.