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Introducing Marathon

Just don't show up and call it 'Mar-a-THON' like it's a race. If you want to fit in 'round these parts you have got to say 'Mar-a-thun,' and it helps if you're wearing a hat and give a friendly nod each time you say it.

This tiny railroad town has two claims to fame: it's the closest town to Big Bend's north entrance, providing a last chance to fill up your car and your stomach before immersing yourself in the park. And it's got the Gage Hotel, a true Texas treasure that's a worthwhile reason to stay awhile – at least overnight.