Welcome! Bienvenidos! If you’re in Marathon for the day, this is how to see the town!
Start the day with coffee and breakfast at V6 Cafe or French Co. Grocer (both open 7 days a week!). V6 Cafe has coffee and a breakfast and lunch menu and is open daily from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. French Co. Grocer has plenty of grocery basics and specialty items, a great wine selection, plus coffee and a deli with freshly made cuisine (open daily 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.). Check with the French Co. Grocer to see if they’re hosting a patio brunch on the Saturday or Sunday when you'll be in town.
MORNING ACTIVITY #1
Peruse the shops on Main Street, including V6 Gallery open daily, with two rooms filled from floor to ceiling with Texas books and southwestern influenced home goods, textiles and jewelry, plus a selection of local fine art. Evans Gallery hosts exhibits of Big Bend photographer James H. Evans. Klepper Gallery features the work of fine photographer E. Dan Klepper. And The Rusty Rabbit is a joyful abundance of curated antiques from across the southwest. For the most part, these are small, owner operated businesses and if no one’s there when you swing by, look for a note on the door with how to reach them or when they expect to be back.
MORNING ACTIVITY #2
For a peaceful and relaxing mid-morning activity, cross over to the south side of town and take a stroll through Gage Gardens. This 27-acre Garden is free and open daily. It has a mini golf drive, beautiful native landscaping, a pond, a rose garden, and a dedicated dog park.
For lunch, there are a variety of options depending on the day of week. French Co. Grocer and V6 Cafe serve lunch daily. Brick Vault Brewery and Barbecue is open for lunch on Saturday and Sunday.
Take the scenic 5-mile drive south on Avenue D to Post Park. This county-operated park has public restrooms and dozens of picnic tables and hangout spots. It’s a popular place for locals to throw a line into the stocked pond, and the resident ducks provide free entertainment. Remember, if you want to feed the ducks, we recommend bringing a bag of frozen peas (no salt added). Feeding ducks bread is bad for their health. Other options include oats, birdseed, chopped lettuce, or sliced grapes. Post Park is shaded by towering cottonwood trees in the summer and is the site of our annual 4th of July Dance and other events.
Dinner options vary depending on the day of the week. French Co. Grocer always has something available in their grab-and-go deli and often hosts burger nights and other events on their outdoor patio during the weekend.
If you’re looking for a classic western fine dining experience, make reservations for 12 Gage, the restaurant at the Gage Hotel (open nightly from 6 p.m. - 11 p.m.). The White Buffalo Bar also offers a menu and a more casual setting (open daily 3 p.m. - 11 p.m.).
Big Bend Pizza is widely considered the best pizza in the county and is a longtime tradition for weary hikers coming to and from Big Bend National Park (Wed.-Sat 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.).
Brick Vault Brewery and Barbecue is a must visit, whether for the fresh onsite brewed beer or the delicious barbecue and sides. It’s a memorable experience (open Thurs. - Fri. 5 p.m.- 9 p.m.; Sat. 12-9; and Sunday 12-5).
Check out the unique lodging options and one-of-a-kind architecture you’ll only find in Marathon, including La Loma del Chivo and Eve’s Garden Bed and Breakfast. Tour the beautifully restored western lobby of the Gage Hotel. There are many casitas, adobes, and comfortably furnished homes to rent in town. Check out our Lodging page for more info.
Mosey on over to Marathon Motel & RV Park to check out their beautifully landscaped patio and to see if they’re having a star party at the impressive onsite observatory (star parties are usually held Thurs.-Sat. weather permitting). Read more about Marathon Star Parties on our Activities page.
Check out the Cow Skull Wall on the patio of 12 Gage Restaurant at the Gage Hotel.
Get a pic with the life size painted cow sculpture in Gage Gardens.
Visit Big Bend National Park!
Marathon is a great staging point for daily forays into the vast Big Bend National Park. We’re a straight shot to the park’s northeast entrance (Persimmon Gap Entrance and Visitor Center). From there, it’s only another 18 miles to the phenomenal Fossil Discovery Exhibit. For hiking, there’s Dog Canyon, Ernst Tinaja, Boquillas Canyon, and the Hot Springs, all popular locations on the east side of the national park.
Check Big Bend National Park website for more park information and updates. Remember, the speed limit on the park’s main roads is 45 mph, so take your time and enjoy the scenery. Make stops at the road pullouts to read the roadside historical markers and signs. Also, always bring plenty of water, snacks and other hydration. You can get lunch to go in Marathon from V6 Cafe or French Co. Grocer.
Most of all, soak up the empty landscapes, slow down to an uncluttered pace of life, enjoy the grand scale of land and sky. Take note of the unique wildlife, abundant birds during migration season, glimpses of pronhorn, mule deer and elk, javelinas, jack rabbits and more. Create happy memories and come back to see us when you can!