So you think there’s nothing to do in West Texas?

Are you one of those people that think West Texas is “in the middle of nowhere,” and thinks, “There is absolutely nothing to do”? Think again! Check out some of the fun activities and upcoming events in our area:

Museum of the Big Bend

The Museum of the Big Bend in Alpine features many permanent and temporary exhibits showcasing the natural beauty and history of this national park. There’s still time to catch, Knowing the North Star: The Life and Art of Tom Lea, until March 20, 2016. You definitely don’t want to miss the 30th Annual Trappings of Texas, April 14-16. A favorite exhibit among viewers, traditional Western art is showcased from artists all over the US, and custom cowboy gear can be purchased too. You can also view Jim Bones: 50 Years of Bagging Light in the Big Bend, through August of 2016. The works on display are not only for your viewing pleasure, but are also up for purchase as the ultimate souvenir.

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Big Bend National Park

About a one-hour drive from the hotel lies, undoubtedly, the main attraction of West Texas, Big Bend National Park. The park boasts activities for all ages, such as fishing, horseback riding, hot springs, Rio Grande river trips, ranger-led programs, scenic drives, stargazing, birdwatching, backpacking, and of course, hiking trails. No matter what you choose to do, we guarantee the breathtaking scenery throughout the park will be something you’ll never forget. Contact our front desk for assistance in planning a trip to the park.

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Annual 4th of July Marathon Post Park Dance

Throw on your cowboy boots and mosey on over to the Annual 4th of July Marathon Post Park Dance! Begin your day with barbecue and end it with dancing and tunes by the Craig Carter and Spur of the Moment band. After dark, a fireworks show will be set off in true Independence Day fashion.

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Annual Mustang and Cowboy Chili Cookoffs

TWO days of chili cook offs, oh my! Whether you are a chili cook extraordinaire, or you just love the “official” state food of Texas, these events are for you. This year Marathon will be celebrating its 50th anniversary on the patio of the Marathon Motel for both the Cowboy Chili Cook Off, July 2, and the Mustang Chili Cook Off, July 3. Both competitions are run by the Chili Appreciation Society International. It’s a $20 fee to enter your own chili, and is free to the public. For more information on the competition, click here.

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Viva Big Bend

Three days, ten venues, four West Texas towns, over 60 Texas bands. Viva Big Bend’s annual music festival is back in West Texas. With shows in Alpine, Marfa, Fort Davis, AND Marathon, the festival allows you to travel and experience the unique communities of the Big Bend area. The sole location in Marathon just so happens to be the Gage Hotel at the end of July, so don’t miss some good ol’ Texas music during your stay!

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Our favorite summer photos

What a fun summer season we’ve had here at the hotel! From Viva Big Bend to Grilling at the Gage, it has been a fun-filled summer and we loved seeing all of the great times had by our guests. Come back and visit us soon! Below are some of our favorite photos taken at the hotel this summer:

We love this photo from @setforthinstyle!

We love this photo from @setforthinstyle!

Nothing like relaxing yoga and meditation in the Gage Gardens! Photo courtesy of @ranchovilla_bigbend

Nothing like relaxing yoga and meditation in the Gage Gardens! Photo courtesy of @ranchovilla_bigbend

Relaxing on the porch with some pipes. These guys know how to live! Photo courtesy of @rrs1179

Relaxing on the porch with some pipes. These guys know how to live! Photo courtesy of @rrs1179

Amazing photo from @jjkennemer of a storm rolling through West Texas!

Amazing photo from @jjkennemer of a storm rolling through West Texas!

There's nothing more beautiful than a couple in love. Thank you for letting us share your special day @onsosa18

There’s nothing more beautiful than a couple in love. Thank you for letting us share your special day @onsosa18!

Wonderful collection of polaroid snapshots from around the hotel from @kodyrak.

Wonderful collection of polaroid snapshots from around the hotel from @kodyrak.

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This cute pooch was visiting us with his wonderful owner @des_reminted.

Fall Events in the Big Bend Area

If you are looking for a weekend getaway excuse this fall, look no further than a stay at Gage. Not only is the fall season a beautiful time to have an adventure in Big Bend National Park, there is also so much going on in the area and we’ve got your accommodations covered.

September 18 – Tom Lea: A Retrospective Exhibit at Museum of the Big Bend

The newest exhibit at Museum of the Big Bend celebrates the work of muralist, illustrator, war correspondent, portraitist, landscapist, novelist and historian, Tom Lea. His work has taken him all over the world but most of his art focuses on subjects found right here near his home on the border between Texas and Mexico.

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September 18 – Marathon West Fest Cabrito and BBQ Cook-off

Whether you are a BBQ extraordinaire and want to give this cook-off a go, or just want to try some delicious West Texas beef, this event is for you. After the cook-off throw on your boots prepare to get down to the tunes of Craig Carter and Spur of the Moment at Post Park.

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October 16-17 – Friends of Big Bend “Ride 4 Trails” Motorcycle Rally

For its 18th year, more than 400 riders are expected to ride in support of Big Bend National Park. This fun-filled event includes live music, BBQ, bike parade, games, show competitions and some gorgeous scenery with rides that will blow you away.

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October 24 – Marathon 2 Marathon

You don’t have to be a marathoner or a runner to be a part of this fun event! The race offers a full marathon, ½ marathon, 10K and 5K where the finish line ends right in front of the Gage Hotel! A pasta dinner, live entertainment, and ‘Post Race Party’ keep the good times rolling on all night long.

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October 24 – Terlingua Green Scene

This family friendly festival celebrates green living and promotes it in fun ways for everyone. Demonstrations, crafts, art, local food, music and a great time are some of the things you can expect at the Green Scene. Not only is this a fun way to learn about “being green” but all proceeds go to the Terlingua Community Garden!

green scene

Don’t Miss Grilling At The Gage – Summer Event Series

We are so excited about this year’s Grilling at the Gage summer lineup!

June 13: Pecan Lodge

At Pecan Lodge, Dallas’s most award-winning BBQ is smoked in a pit and steeped in time-honored tradition. What started as a little stand at the Farmer’s Market has grown up and is now a brick-and-morter in the heart of Deep Ellum. For one night only, the chefs of Pecan Lodge will sharpen their knives, fire up their grills and set-up shop at the Gage Hotel, creating a very special dinner menu for our guests.

Gage - Pecan Lodge

Music following dinner will be performed by the one and only Abe Mac Band!

Gage - Abe Mac Band

July 18th: Biga on the Banks

San Antonio’s Biga on the Banks has a reputation for innovative New American cuisine. Led by chef and owner Bruce Auden, a native North Londoner, Biga on the Banks is well known for its adventuresome, original and creative menus. Recognized early in his career as one to watch among the new rising stars of regional cuisine, Auden brought a worldly fusion of influences to his brand of nouvelle American cuisine. For one night only, Auden and his team will guest chef at the Gage Hotel, preparing a special, pre-fix menu for our guests.

Gage - Biga on the Banks

After dinner, guests will have the pleasure of listening to the amazing Kelley Mickwee!

Gage - Kelly Mickwee

August 15th: Grilling in the Garden with 12 Gage

Serving Texas inspired specialties with a gourmet twist, the Gage Hotel’s award-winning restaurant offers a refined menu that changes seasonally and utilizes high-quality ingredients including locally sourced wild game, beef, fowl and fresh seafood served with vegetables and herbs grown in our own Gage Garden. This summer, head chef Brandon Waddell will serve a one-night pre-fix menu for our guests in the Gage Gardens, what will prove to be a very special evening under a blanket of West Texas stars.

Gage - 12 Gage Restaurant

Don’t miss Tessy Lou & The Shotgun Stars performing after this delicious dinner!

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This is going to be an amazing summer full of delicious food and lively music! Call now for tickets and room reservations.

The Nichols Photographers- “Why We Love West Texas and The Gage Hotel”

“When I was 12 years old and in 7th grade, I had a phenomenal science teacher who organized summer trips out to West Texas from our small east Texas town. That was the first time I experienced the quiet beauty of the vast, West Texas landscape, which was in such stark contrast to the piney woods and swamplands where I grew up. The wide open spaces that seemed to go on forever opened up my world and fostered my love for heading west.
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Now as a mom of two young girls who love adventure, my husband CJ and I visit our favorite spots in West Texas every chance we get, always capped off with a stay at Marathon’s Gage Hotel.
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The tiny town of Marathon, TX has won our hearts with it’s quiet, charming main street and friendly residents. We like to bring along our bikes, cruise around the sleepy town and take pictures of the desert landscape. The history of the Gage Hotel and their attention to detail makes staying here such a unique experience, and is such a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of city life in Austin.
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As photographers, the West Texas landscape offers endless opportunities for photos with it’s unique quality of light and open expanses. Recently, we had the opportunity to document a wedding at the Gage Hotel, and it’s one of our favorites to date.  A wedding at the Gage Hotel is such a relaxed, and festive atmosphere where everyone can come together to celebrate, and practically have an entire town to yourselves! It’s such a fun weekend getaway and unique experience for your guests, and great proximity for exploring Big Bend National Park.
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We were so inspired while documenting this wedding, with the ceremony held at the historic Captain Shepard’s House, and reception at the Gage Hotel courtyard. We were able to steal the bride and groom away for some portraits against the stunning desert landscape, which are my favorite images from the day. We’re looking forward to documenting another wedding here this fall!
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Some of our other favorite West Texas spots include Balmorhea State park, the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool. The water is cold and clear and our family enjoys snorkeling and swimming with the catfish.
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We always try to make it to a “star party” at McDonald’s Observatory, the darkest observatory in North America. Astronomers will point out constellations in the night sky and you can view planets through their massive telescopes. It’s a wonderful facility and the stars are spectacular!
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Other spots we love include Big Bend National Park, El Cosmico in Marfa, the Indian Lodge in Davis Mountains State Park, built in the 1930’s by the Civilian Conservation Corp, and we’ll stop off in Alpine to grab a hot dog from “Cow Dog,” a food truck parked on their main street, and pop into Ring Tail Music to browse their records.
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Our family loves visiting West Texas and we find something new each time we visit. We can’t wait to head west again!”

NICHOLS (3 of 31)(All photos courtesy of Nichols Photographers)

The Vaquero – Exhibit

The Gage Hotel is very excited to host an exciting exhibit of photographs and narrative text. They are all about the way of life and traditions of the Mexican vaquero, as captured by noted author and screenwriter of the Lonesome Dove series, Bill Witliff. This exhibit is located in the our Reposa Room from February 6-28. Admission is free!Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 4.13.28 PM

Phillip’s Prickly Pear Margarita

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Phillip, our manager and food and beverage director here at the Gage Hotel, shared with us his most popular drink recipe that keeps visitors raving and craving, even weeks after their stay. Needless to say, this West Texan knows a thing or two about making an amazing and authentic margarita—and we are lucky enough to have him share his secret with us. Happy Friday y’all!

The 5 simple ingredients are as follows:

1.5 ounces  *Pura Vida Silver tequila

2 ounces freshly squeezed lime juice

3/4 ounces of Cointreau

Splash of simple syrup

1/2 ounces of prickly pear juice (1/2prickly pear juice, and 1/2 prickly pear purée mix)

After combining the above, add the mixture to a shaker with ice, and shake vigorously. Salt the rim of the glass (or not—whichever you prefer!), and add ice. Then, strain the margarita into your glass and garnish with lime wedge or fruit of your choice.

Voila! You have your self a delicious homemade Prickly Pear Margarita, courtesy of the Gage Hotel. Enjoy!
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7 Spots You May Not Have Seen in Marathon, TX

For those of you who have visited us before, you may think you’ve seen all that Marathon has to offer! However, our little town has a few hidden gems that may surprise you. Next time you’re out visiting our area take some time to check out some of our treasures!

  1. The Milky Way:  As one of the most isolated areas of the country Marathon’s night sky is one of the top star gazing locations in North America. In fact, it has the least amount of light pollution of any National Park in the lower 48 states and is classified as a Level 1 Dark Sky!MilkyWayOverMarathon copy
  2. Captain Shepard’s House: Don’t miss your chance to see one of the first colonial homes built in the late 1800’s in the town that would soon become Marathon, TX. Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 5.06.27 PM
  3. One of a Kind Shopping: Marathon, TX is host to a variety of stores that you won’t find anywhere else! We guarantee that you’ll find great clothes, antiques and one-of-a-kind art.Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 3.01.31 PM
  4. Marathon Coffee Shop: Not only will their delicious and down-home coffees & fresh baked goods perk you up in the morning, but this is the best spot in Marathon to hear our local banjo player Billy Faier (pictured below) play some fabulous tunes!                             Screen Shot 2014-11-06 at 5.06.37 PM
  5. Gage Gardens: At the Gage Hotel we have worked so hard to cultivate a “Secret Garden” of our own. The Gage Gardens is a secluded, peaceful oasis perfect for any family picnic or romantic stroll.Double Rainbow
  6. First School House: This is the oldest school building in Brewster County. Built in 1888 it was used not only for schooling, but for all town public meetings and elections. The structure is still in beautiful shape over 120 years later due to a restoration done in 1928 by the ladies of the Marathon Study Club. Hence the school house’s new nickname – The “Club House”! Screen Shot 2014-11-07 at 10.54.19 AM
  7. Marathon Jail: While the first “jail” in Marathon consisted of a windmill and a few chains for drunkenness and disorderly behavior, eventually we upgraded to this small, rock structure. Come inside, take a look and try not to get into any trouble! We’d hate to have to dust off those cuffs!Screen Shot 2014-11-04 at 3.06.49 PM

(Photo credits: Daniel Self, Andrew Slaton and the Marathon Historical Museum)

Who Is William Roam and What Is He Doing At The Gage?

At the Gage Hotel we strive to ensure that our guests are treated to the best of the best and we think we’ve found that in the William Roam line of products.

William Roam’s signature Roam Collection is now available in our guest rooms. These finely crafted luxury grooming products are formulated with a unique blend of antioxidant phytonutrients, amino acids, vitamins and minerals for incredibly soft and healthy skin and hair. Best of all, the products are 100% conceived and created in the U.S and packaged with recycled materials. Having tried the products ourselves, we are sold, and know that you will be too.

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Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 3.24.26 PMWilliam Roam strive to encapsulate the “spirit of modern American travel: refined but approachable, sophisticated but spirited” and, like the Gage Hotel and our guests, hold themselves to the highest standards of quality and style which is why we are proud to partner with them.

Come visit us soon!

Traveling to El Cosmico? Make the Gage Hotel a Must-Stop Spot!

Attention music lovers and road warriors: are you hitting the road for El Cosmico music festival this weekend?

If so, we have a travel tip for a delicious pit stop along the way – one that includes a Texas Monthly-rated “Best Burger”,  fan-favorite prickly pear margarita, and a famous White Buffalo. And if you have a bit more time, a sparkling swimming pool under the big West Texas sky.

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Whether we are a stop on your way to or from El Cosmico, we hope to see you along the way at the Gage Hotel.