West Texas base camp
Submitted: January 5, 2013
Stayed: December 2012
We fell in love with Marathon on a trip through last summer and committed to returning when the heat wasn't so unbearable and the crowds weren't swarming The Big Bend area. We wanted a base camp to hit Alpine, Marfa, Ft. Davis, Terlingua and the parks - this fit the bill. Although Marathon is on the eastern side of all of the attractions we were still able to get to them within reasonable drive times.
The House - is great. The property manager was great to deal with and was very thorough in explaining the history and house when we arrived. The house was clean and comfortable. The master bed was fantastic and responsible for our late sleep ins.
The lack of TV was at first a concern for our seven year old but once we got into the adventure attitude it wasn't missed. We did miss the ball drop in Time's Square on New Year's Eve on TV but I'd have missed it if we'd been their in person.
A couple of Marathon considerations:
1. Cell service, especially 4G and 4G LTE is non-existent, I could pick up 3G off of my VZW mifi and could get mediocre bandwidth. Lack of hi-speed is common around town and not specific to this property. The French Grocer has wifi but I didn't test the speed.
2. Things are not always open when you would expect them to do be so ask early and often. The Gage and French Grocer are steadfast in their hours.
Must see/do in Marathon include a visit to the French Grocer, James Evans Studio, The Gage Hotel, Burnt Biscuit and Johnny B's. The book store is also a great place to pickup west Texas literature (main store is in Alpine) and serves as the Chamber of Commerce.
We swung down five miles south to the County Park and was surprised by the facility. It was built in the 1930's under the WPA and we could only imagine the many stories and fun times that west Texans have had at this venue.
Onto Big Bend other towns:
Ft. Davis - Go to the Fort! and then go to the Ft. Davis Drugstore on Main Street.
Marfa - Climb to the top of the courthouse. No one will bother you - just climb the stairs and be creative.
Alpine - The Holland Hotel is cool, ask Karla about the Big Bend loops, eat at the Reatta and Bread and Breakfast.
Terlingua - Starlight has a Sunday brunch and don't miss the graveyard
Shafter - This old/new mining/ghost town is fun. Check out the old cemetery and Brook's family history house. The Catholic Church is worth seeing.
Families with Young Children
Owner's Response: We love Marathon, too! It is quite different from other vacation destinations, but those who come often appreciate the beauty found in the "vastness". A word about "The Post", the county park 5 miles south of town. It is reportedly the location of the last Indian raid in Texas, as Indians, situated on the high bluffs, shot at soldiers who were bathing in the creek below. When you see the location, your imagination can easily recreate the incident. Thank you, David and family, for sharing some wonderful advice for other travelers!
Helpful votes: 1/1
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