Located at the crossroads of Texas, Mexico, and I Will Be First to Mars Boulevard, the city of Starbase is a futuristic metropolis with a rich history, dating all the way back to the beginning of this paragraph. Idyllically situated along a pristine stretch of Texas coastline, this bucolic locale—previously known as Boca Chica—should probably still be called Boca Chica, because tweeting that you’ve established a new city isn’t exactly legally binding.
1) 2 P.M. Welcome to Starbase
As you approach the city limits, the “Welcome to Starbase” sign sets the tone for your stay and obscures the “Welcome to Boca Chica” sign behind it. A digital scrolling board of Elon Musk’s most cryptic tweets alongside random Dogecoin memes, this sign is a gentle reminder of the city’s patron-in-chief, and a strong suggestion that you should probably just turn around and go home.
2) 7 P.M. Neural noshes
Once the visual chaos of the welcome sign subsides, head over to the Id and I, the city’s premier dining destination/neuro-research facility—another of Musk’s pet projects. Come early to snag a window seat, and you’ll be rewarded with every diner’s dream: expansive Gulf views, mouthwatering crab dip ($8.99), and painless Neuralink™ implantation ($10 million, with mandatory liability waiver). After you eat, wander out to the terrace, where, on a cloudless night, you can enjoy the reflection of thousands of stars across still waters, unless you’re among the twenty-five per cent of patrons randomly selected to receive the Brighteyes™ neural implant, in which case you will see nothing—but somehow upside down?
3) 10 P.M. Burnt bed
Post-op fatigue will soon set in, so quickly make your way to the charming Exploded Starship Hotel, which is exactly what the name says it is, so you really shouldn’t be surprised by the smell. This ten-“room” boutique establishment is easy to miss because it resembles a pile of rubble, but once inside, it’s clear that “pile of rubble” is a generous description. Single “rooms” carved out of salvaged Starship debris run $350 a night, while $500 gets you an upgrade to the coveted “honeymoon suite,” which boasts a bed. If you find the burnt odor too assaulting, consider a stay at 15439 Starbase Shores Highway, which is the mailing address of a Marmot sleeping bag laid out on the tarmac ($200 a night, plus free Continental breakfast).
4) 10 A.M. Residential resistance
If you survive the night without incurring significant back injury, consider yourself lucky, and spend the morning enjoying a stroll through Old Town Starbase. Step back in time with a delightful visit to the neighborhood’s residents, whom Musk himself dubbed “those fuckers who still won’t vacate their homes.” Smile at the sobbing people stubbornly resisting progress by protesting the infiltration of their once happy town by an eccentric billionaire who is hell-bent on destroying their hard-earned tranquility. Smile wider, dammit. It makes them feel better about the inevitable bulldozing to come. And if you happen to catch Musk’s lawyers bribing residents to leave—watch out for flying glass! No, really. This city has exploding spaceships, there’s glass everywhere. (Note: neighborhood walk requires liability waiver.)
5) 4 P.M. Shuttle launch
You’re still here? Huh. Well, then, you should probably pack a snack and make a beeline to the main attraction of the city of Starbase—the SpaceX launch site. After you’ve signed your third liability waiver in twenty-four hours and lamented that this is how you chose to spend your precious vacation days, pull up a lawn chair and slip on your protective gear. Shuttle launchings are not yet sanctioned for safe viewing, and, as we warned, there will be glass. Listen as the Gulf waters gently lap at the land behind you and savor a peaceful moment in the Texas heat. Then grab your binoculars and watch in awe as an inspiring rocket shoots into the sky and heads for space, bursting into flames either on takeoff or landing. It doesn’t matter. It’s gone now.
6) 11 A.M. Closing time
No trip to Starbase is complete without a stop at the local gift shop. Located at the edge of town, this tiny outpost isn’t so much a store as it is a watering hole for Musk’s beleaguered P.R. team, seeking a refuge where they can bemoan their boss’s bizarre public antics, like trying to create a city with a tweet. Pull up a stool and stare at the N.F.T. beer bottle that the Internet convinced you would be a good idea, then join the chorus of voices crying, “What am I doing here?” On your way out, pick up a Starship keychain, featuring diverse names such as, “X Æ A-12,” “Elon,” and “Manufacturing Engineer 2.” And don’t forget your “I Survived Starbase” sweatshirt, which you aren’t legally allowed to wear until you leave the city limits. We’re sure you’ll come back soon!