Marathon to Marfa - July Festivals and Places to Stay
Historic hotels and summer festivals
Marathon: Gage Hotel
The 1927 Gage Hotel in the frontier town of Marathon feels like an oasis after a long, tedious drive from Houston. This Mission-style hotel was designed by local (El Paso) architect Henry Trost—who was also commissioned to design Alpine’s Holland Hotel and Marfa’s Hotel Paisano.
Alpine: Holland Hotel
Located on Holland Avenue in the town of Alpine, the 1928 Holland Hotel is walking distance down the street from the Granada Theater: both Holland Hotel and Granada Theater are venues for the Viva Big Bend music festival, as, by the way, is The Gage Hotel.
Marfa: Hotel Paisano
The 1931 historic landmark Hotel Paisano occupies a large corner block in the heart of historic downtown Marfa. It is walking distance to Marfa’s many art galleries. Walk in the footsteps of Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean who stayed here for six weeks in 1955 when they were filming the now-classic Giant.
July 13–17, 2016: Marfa Film Festival
Marfa is surrounded by vast desert plain under a big open sky. At night Marfa is said to host a phenomenon that is yet to be explained: Marfa Lights—lights dancing against the night sky that don’t come from an obvious source, like cars or campfires. There’s even a Marfa Lights viewing platform a few miles east of town. Mid-July, the empty desert and starlit skies become the stage for outdoor screenings of a diverse (international) program of independent films, from features and short films to music videos and experimental works during the acclaimed Marfa Film Festival (parallel screening is in theaters in nearby Alpine). For more information: marfafilmfestival.com
July 28–31, 2016: Viva Big Bend music festival
For the fifth year, Big Bend becomes the live stage for more than 50 bands performing at venues throughout the Big Bend area, including Marathon, Alpine and Marfa. For more information: vivabigbend.com