The Gateway to Big Bend offers enough tasty food and worthy art to attract even the hiking-averse.
Marathon Coffee Shop

Marathon Coffee Shop

The tempo at this laid-
back cafe is mercifully unhurried, just like the town itself. 
Practice the art of not 
checking your email every 
thirty seconds by focusing 
instead on a plate of breakfast enchiladas (stuffed with 
green chiles and onions) or 
a cinnamon roll the size of a 
saucer. The service can be 
a bit slow on busy weekends, 
but it won’t matter. Between nursing your bottomless cup 
of coffee and striking up conversations with the friendly locals, 
you won’t have time to mind. 301 NW First, 432-386-4352

Gage Hotel

Whether you’ve driven sixty miles or six hundred to get here, you’ll feel as if you couldn’t have arrived at this remote resort soon enough. With key in hand, proceed to a room in the original two-story structure or one of the newer Los Portales rooms that encircle a lush courtyard. Then it’s off to—take your pick—the pool, to sink into the inexplicably icy water; the 12 Gage, to dine on lavender-marinated elk medallions; or the White Buffalo Bar, 
to raise a margarita topped off with Topo Chico and toast to your good fortune. 102 NW First, 800-884-4243,

3. Johnny B’s Soda Fountain

It’s not hard to find a good breakfast in Marathon, though 
it’s not easy to find a better one than the migas and huevos rancheros and Trash Can burritos (eggs, hashbrowns, pico, 
bacon, sausage, and more) served up at this fifties-style diner. 
When hunger pangs strike again a few hours later, head back 
for a burger wrapped in a flour tortilla and a pineapple milk 
shake. The owner used to be the local

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