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Marathon, Texas

Attractions in Marathon

Marathon is well-known as the Gateway to Big Bend, but it’s much more than that. The city offers excellent shopping and dining, as well as idyllic venues for relaxing, enjoying the outdoors, and taking in local history.

Plus you have access to virtually the same ruggedly beautiful landscape and jaw-dropping night sky as you do in Big Bend National Park. Read on for more about some of the top attractions in Marathon.



Casa La Vista Retreat Center
Calm your mind and soothe your soul with a stay at this retreat in the heart of Marathon. Owner Wilma Schindeler is a massage therapist and yoga instructor with more than 20 years of experience. You and up to 29 friends, family, or coworkers can enjoy an unobstructed view of the Glass Mountains by day and the Milky Way by night, with healthy meals and spa services in between. Rent one of two fully equipped houses.
645 Dickson
Marathon, TX 79842
(432) 386-2222

Crinoids Hills
Between the hills to the west of town and the Glass Mountains to the north, this part of Texas offers some of the best fossil-hunting in the state amid rocks as ancient as 600 million years old. Bryozoans, brachiopods, crinoids, coral, ostracodes, and nautiloids are just a few of the early marine life forms you may find, reminders of the time when the Marathon Basin was an inland sea.
Highway 90 Five Miles West of Marathon
Marathon, TX 79842

Evans Gallery
Austin transplant James H. Evans has been a Marathon fixture since 1989, capturing breathtaking shots of the West Texas landscape, flora, and fauna. His Desert Critter Wear line features printings of tarantulas, horned toads, and other tiny Texas animals on dresses, T-shirts, and pillowcases. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 6 pm., but call ahead to make sure he’s not in the darkroom or out making the most of a golden hour.
102 East Highway 90
Marathon, TX 79842
(432) 386-4366

Gage Gardens
This 26-acre oasis of fountains and flowers looks like it was plucked right out of a European villa. Inside the gardens’ tranquil boundaries you’ll find a pond, putting green, orchard, vineyard, and lots of lush green grass. Bird watch, rest, go for a relaxing stroll, or learn about native plants and trees, all of which are helpfully labeled.
400 SE 1st Street
Marathon, TX 79842
(432) 386-4224

Gage Hotel
You can’t visit Marathon without staying at least one night in this iconic 1927 hotel. In addition to its fully restored main building, the hotel includes the Los Portales section, 20 pueblo-style adobe brick rooms surround a relaxing courtyard with flowers, trees, and a fountain. The property also features the stately Captain Shepard House (built in 1890 and fully restored in 2012), and the Casitas, the small but elegantly appointed buildings tailor-made for couples on romantic getaways.
102 NW 1st Street Highway 90
Marathon, TX 79842
(432) 386-4205

V6 Coffee Bar
The V6 Coffee Bar, located in The Gage Hotel, is the perfect place to rev up your engines before spending a day exploring the Big Bend Region. Take your pick from the complete menu of drinks made using local Big Bend Coffee Roasters coffee. Breakfast, lunch, wine, beer, and snacks are also served at the coffee bar, which is open seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.
109 North East 1st Street
Marathon, TX 79842

V6 Collection
Browse the Gage Hotel’s gift shop and you’ll find an abundance of surprises. The uniquely curated selection of wares includes hats, apparel, regional books, handmade pottery, jewelry, clothing, home decorations, and art from regional artists.
102 North West 1st Street
Marathon, TX 79842

Klepper Gallery
Explore the incredible fine art and photos of outdoors photographer and author E. Dan Klepper. His work has been featured in exhibits across the U.S. and throughout Europe, as well as numerous books and magazines. Collections include cloudscapes, “birds and their earthbound companions,” and Volcan Baru, the tallest mountain in Panama.
105 North Avenue D
Marathon, TX 79842
(432) 386-6789

Marathon Coffee Shop
Settle in with a coffee and a giant cinnamon roll or a plate of breakfast enchiladas and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere at this laid-back spot.
301 US Highway 90 W
Marathon, TX 79842
(432) 386-4352

Marathon Historical Museum
Housed in an adobe building that served as the town’s first schoolhouse, the museum displays exhibits on its Native American, Mexican, and Anglo settlers, as well as artifacts from its railroad, mining, ranching, and other local industries. To visit, pick up a key from the Chamber of Commerce at Front Street Books on Main Street.
Avenue E, next door to Marathon Public Library
Marathon, TX 79842
(432) 386-9011

Maravillas Ranch
Located just south of town, Maravillas Ranch is a premier exotic and big-game hunting resort in Marathon. Between the Maravillas and the Chalk Draw Ranch, hunters have access to more than 50,000 private acres filled with elk, mule deer, quail, feral hogs, turkey, and more. Three-day hunts include meals and lodging at the hunting cabin, from where you’ll take in gorgeous views of the Del Norte Mountains.
Marathon, TX 79842
(432) 376-2204

Post Park
The Peña Colorada Springs provide the fresh, clear water to the dam at this beloved local park, where you’ll find a shady retreat from the noonday sun under the cottonwood trees. It’s a great place to go birding, fishing, or get photos of the surrounding Los Caballos Novaculite Mountains. 
543 Post Road
Marathon, TX 79842

The French Company Grocer
You name it, you’ll probably find it in Marathon’s The French Company Grocer. Natural foods; beer and wine; hot pizzas; homemade sandwiches, bread, and cookies; and camping supplies. There’s even Internet access with picnic tables on the porch! The store is open until 9 p.m. every night.
206 North Avenue D
Marathon, TX 79842
(432) 386-4522

The Oasis Cafe
Savor the palate-pleasing flavors of Tex-Mex cuisine at the quaint The Oasis Cafe, located on the west end of Marathon.
NW 1st St
Marathon, TX 79842

The Rusty Rabbit
The Rabbit is the place to find antiques, furniture, and all things cowboy chic and global folk. Local artists Kathy Haynes and Lindy Cook Severns contribute original works, and the store also offers locally sourced jewelry and photography. Open Thursday through Saturday, or “by chance or appointment.”
15 East US Highway 90
Marathon, TX 79842
(432) 386-4310

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Big Bend

Marathon, Texas