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Marathon (Texas)

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Marathon is a town in the Big Bend Country region of Texas.

Get in

Highway 90 runs through the town center.

Get around

See

Do

Buy

Eat & Drink

  • Marathon Coffee

Sleep

  • The Gage Hotel (101 Highway 90 West; Tel. 432-386-4205, 1-800-884-GAGE; Fax 432-386-4510). [1] Built in the 1920s by cattle tycoon Alfred Gage so he would have a place to stay while overseeing his interests in the area. The hotel has since been carefully restored and now includes a cafe and a spa. Rooms in the original building with/without private bath are $98/$76; rooms in the newer Los Portales annex start at $164.

Get out

Traveling west on Highway 90, you'll find:

  • Alpine, with a host of restaurants.
  • Marfa, with its art galleries and mysterious lights.
  • El Paso

Also in the area:

  • Big Bend National Park has 801,000 acres of land to explore.
  • Fort Davis, about 30 minutes north of Marfa on Route 67, is home to the McDonald Observatory [2], atop Mt. Locke. By day, visitors can tour the telescopes and the planetarium ($8 adult, $7 children), which are owned by the University of Texas. The real attraction, though, are the Star Parties ($10 adult, $8 children) after dusk on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. (Nov-Mar: 7:30 P.M., Apr-Aug: 9:30 P.M., Sep-Oct: 9:00 P.M.) Two of the observatory's more powerful telescopes - as well as several smaller ones - are set up outside for visitors to catch a startlingly clear glimpse of star clusters, distant galaxies and even a member or two of this solar system. The altitude and the remote location ensures that light pollution is kept to a minimum, and enthusiastic guides are on hand to explain exactly what the scopes are showing. Bring a warm jacket regardless of the season, as the temperature drops rather steeply at night.
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