Marathon is a 10-mile-long family-oriented island community located in the middle of the Keys island chain, to include Vaca Key, Fat Deer Key and Grassy Key. Visitors enjoy Marathon’s fishing heritage, an old-Keys lifestyle and seafaring traditions, which is a theme found in the area’s accommodations. Marathon Key has annual seafood festivals and waterside restaurants that harvest fresh fish, lobster and stone crab claws from local waters. Marathon Key vacations are going to be full of activities with spectacular sailing, fishing, world-class wreck and reef diving and snorkeling, in addition to the island’s impeccably maintained beaches, eco-attractions and marine-based educational programs. If you are looking for a Florida Keys vacation with some relaxation, then Marathon Key is a great place to visit on your travels through the Florida Keys. Visit the beautiful beaches of the Florida Keys.
Marathon Key Weather – When to Go
The best time to visit Marathon Key is between March and May. The winter crowds will taper off, the hotel rates become reasonable and the weather is remarkably similar to winter’s blissful 70s and 80s. Speaking of winter – that season is the island’s busiest and priciest. The rainy and humid summer months see the fewest tourists but the best hotel rates. The trade-off might be worth it, but you’re still gambling against hurricane season (June to November).
Marathon Key Attractions
Dolphin Research Center
The Dolphin Research Center offers an amazing opportunity to interact with dolphins and sea lions. The main mission of the Dolphin research center is to promote peaceful coexistence, cooperation and communication between marine mammals, humans and the environment we share. This is one of the most popular of the Marathon Attractions.
Pidgeon Key truly has a place in Florida history. Henry Flagler’s railroad made the Florida Keys accessible from mainland Florida. His 7 Mile Bridge alone was acknowledged as an engineering feat. Pigeon Key can be reached either by foot or ferry service.
Sombrero Beach offers everything a good beach should. Nice sand, beautiful water, and the amenities you need. The beach has total handicap accessibility and offers picnic pavilions, volleyball courts, restrooms and showers. Sombrero Beach is a turtle nesting beach. From April through October, the beach is closely monitored to help protect the nesting turtles.
Coco Plum Beach
Coco Plum Beach is gem among the Florida Keys Attractions. This beach is very popular with the locals and is the perfect beach for a nice romantic stroll. Coco Plum Beach is a turtle nesting habitat so it is closely monitored from April through October. You can spend time here without the big crowds normally associated with the more well known beaches.
Guests are invited to take a guided educational tour of the hospital facilities and the sea turtle rehabilitation area. This educational experience lasts approximately 90 minutes and provides a presentation on sea turtles as well as a behind the scenes look at the hospital facilities and rehabilitation area. At the end of each program guests are invited to feed the permanent residents.
Things to Do in Marathon Key
AquaVentures Eco Tours
AquaVentures will personally teach you how to kayak. They provide you with the knowledge and skills to be safe, comfortable and, confident on the water! They also offer a 1 hour Mangrove Lazy River Tour that is a great option for beginners. From the ever-popular manatees and dolphins to the small critters that most people would paddle right past. Discover the Hidden biosphere of the mangroves with AquaVentures. Telephone: 305-731-3135 Web: AquaVentures Eco Tours.
Spirit Snorkeling provides daily snorkel trips and sunset celebration snorkel trips to Sombrero Reef & Pirate’s Cove. Specializing in families and first time snorkelers, their friendly crew will take you on a fun filled adventure to the either the Sombrero Reef Marine Sanctuary and Lighthouse or to their special location on the Florida Bay—Pirate’s Cove. Marathon, Key Largo, Islamorada and Key West have some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the Florida Keys. Telephone: 305-743-4403 Web: Spirit Snorkeling.
Captain Pip’s Marina & Hideaway in Marathon, Florida Keys (Mile Marker 47.5) is known for its spotless accommodations and friendly island atmosphere. Located on Florida Bay a half mile from the Seven Mile Bridge, there’s easy open water access to the bay and the ocean. They offer quality Florida boat rentals, parasailing, Spirit Snorkeling and beautiful Florida Keys accommodations in their tropical vacation suites. They also have kayak rentals, paddleboard rentals and bicycle rentals. Telephone: 305-743-4403 Web: Captain Pips.
Better Than Most Watersports
Better Than Most Watersports offers fun activities for all ages. They have high quality paddle boards and kayaks to rent for you to explore at your leisure. Their boat trips include snorkeling and SCUBA diving for all levels to enjoy our beautiful reefs and wrecks. Finally, they offer Sunset Cruises to relax and unwind on your vacation in the fabulous Florida Keys. Telephone: 305-432-1214 Web: Better Than Most Watersports
Sailing Catamaran Sirius
Experience exciting sailing with fresh breezes on our signature Sunset Sail aboard the sailing catamaran “Sirius”. Private charters available: Weddings, Celebration of Life, Business Groups, etc. Telephone: 305-304-2982 Web: Sailing Catamaran Sirius
Best Marathon Key Restaurants
Sparky’s Landing $11 – 30
They combine culinary excellence with the Florida Keys on the water lifestyle to create the ultimate dining experience. Sparky’s is not another cookie cutter keys eatery – it’s Marathon’s best combination of great food and delicious cocktails that embraces both seafaring locals and vacationers alike. Sparky’s Landing was founded in February of 2006 and their focus is good times, fresh fish & refreshing cocktails. Sparky’s is located on the working charter boat fleet docks of the Key Colony Beach Marina. Telephone: 305-289-7445 Web: Sparky’s Landing
Herbie’s Bar & Chowder House $11 – 30
They capture the essences of “The Keys” flavors with innovative recipes… some from the “old days” and others created right here. They’ve taken the best of traditional Keys cuisine and put their own unique twist on them — recipes you are certain to love! Their kitchen prepares every dish from “scratch” meaning it’s fresh and as local and in season as possible. Herbie’s has been serving locals and tourists alike for 50 years. But, under it’s former ownership(s), this little Florida Keys shack has been operating since the 1940’s! Don’t let the outside fool you… This is the biggest little restaurant you will ever walk in to! Telephone: 305-743-6373 Web: Herbie’s Bar & Chowder House.
The Wreck & Galley Grill Sports Bar $11 – 30
With a sign inviting you to “Eat All You Can Snow Crabs” you know that you aren’t going to go hungry at the Wreck And Galley Grill And Sports Bar. This is a very relaxed place, and is a particular favorite with families who want to bring their kids to a place, where they are worried about them moving around a bit. Telephone: 305-743-8282 Web: The Wreck & Galley Grill Sports Bar
Hideaway Cafe $31 – 60
Hideaway Cafe is a double whammy for the foodies out there. Not only are the views out across the ocean a delight, but the portions are huge. The Rib Steak is really a meal for not just you, but all the family and the other diners too. Telephone: 305-289-1554 Web: Hideaway Cafe
Back in the 1950’s the place was owned by the famous bandleader Guy Lombardo, and really the service and the quality of food hasn’t changed much since then. You can try Key West pink shrimp, pieces of tender conch, to beer battered fish. Look out for the daily happy hour and the nightly entertainment that runs Thursday to Sunday. Telephone: 305-743-4849 Web: Cabana Breezes
Best Marathon Key Bars
Keys Fisheries Bar
Their restaurant serves the freshest seafood cuisine available including their appetizers, entrees, and signature dishes in varieties that everyone can appreciate. Start with the Conch Fritters, move on to the Lobster Reuben and finish the meal with a fresh slice of Florida Keys Key Lime Pie. Or, select from one of the other wonderful fresh seafood creations on our menu. Best of all, everything on the menu they can happily prepare for take-out or to be packaged and shipped. Come down to Keys Fisheries and enjoy a cold beer or cocktail as the sun sets over the flat water of Florida Bay. Enjoy the best atmosphere that the Keys has to offer. Telephone: 305-743-4353 Web: Keys Fisheries Bar.
Burdines Waterfront ChikiTiki
Burdines has a chiki tiki bar. Tiki bars are always fun. This old style Florida beach bar serves up fish any way you want it. You can also order a Green Chile Cheeseburger, any way you want it. Burdines aims to please. Based on the location of this Florida beach bar it definitely attracts the locals and the fisher-people. Food is fresh!!! The locals have an expression. It is “the Keysi way”. The “Keysi” lifestyle. It is all about the Keys any way you use it. Relax and enjoy a “Keysi” kind of bar, a true Florida beach bar. Telephone: 305-743-9204 Web: Burdine’s Waterfront ChikiTiki
The Island Fish Company & Tiki Bar
Their spectacular sunset views and tropical waters will make your lunch, dinner, drinks and desserts that much more pleasurable. If you are looking to just relax and enjoy the scenery, pull up a bar stool to the longest tiki bar in the Florida Keys. The bartenders are sure to put a smile on your face when you sip on one of their frozen favorites or cold draft beer. Telephone: 305-743-6014 Web: The Island Fish Company & Tiki Bar.
The Brass Monkey is not like most of the bars in Marathon, as it is actually linked to a shopping center. Yeah, lets get drunk…come on wheres the nearest Walmart?? But if you go down to Kmart Plaza, you will find this bar and liquor store that has been around for ages, and is a favorite of the locals. Telephone: 305-743-4028 Web: Brass Monkey
This bar is a nice detour from the dockside types of pubs you find in Marathon. It is just a friendly place hidden away behind a single door in the wall. Open from 7:00am until 4:00am, the Dog House offers pool, darts, live music and staff that seem happy to see new faces when you walk in. Telephone: 305-743-5919 Web: JJ’s Doghouse
Top Marathon Key Hotels
Hampton Inn Marathon Keys
Right in the heart of the Florida Middle Keys, find your paradise at the Hampton Inn Marathon hotel. Refresh in the oceanfront pool and find fun at the Tiki Bar. Our modern guest rooms feature free WiFi, a microwave, refrigerator and 50-inch HDTV. Head to the lobby for free hot breakfast each morning.Swim at Sombrero Beach and relax watching the sunsets at Calusa Beach.
Hawks Cay Resort
Featuring a full-service spa and the chance to swim with dolphins, this resort hotel has 5 pools and a tennis court. Fishing, diving, and jet skiing are offered in the clear waters of Hawks Cay. Spa services include massages, body bar treatments, and facials. Salon services are also available, and the property houses a fitness center, complete with cardio and strength training machines. There are 6 on-site dining options. Alma offers Latin fares while Beach Grill offers lagoon-side seating and seafood dishes. Island Time serves pastries, Starbucks coffee ®, and light breakfast fares.
Tranquility Bay Resort
Tranquility Bay is a place like no other. Nestled in the heart of the Florida Keys’ palm-lined paradise, in warm and welcoming Marathon, you’ll find a tropical oasis that’s easy to get to, but hard to leave. Because here you’ll make the memories that matter. Wake up to the glistening waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Stay in a beach house right on the ocean or surround yourself in the tropical sanctuary of more intimate garden guest rooms. At the end of the day, let powder-soft sand sift through your sun-kissed toes as you relax on a 2.5-acre private beach.
Hyatt Place Marathon Florida Keys
The Hyatt Place Marathon in the Florida Keys is situated gulf side at the site of the historic Faro Blanco Lighthouse and nearby famous Seven Mile Bridge. Complimented by a state of the art full-service 72 slip marina and yacht club. The three level hotel with 125 guestrooms is just steps away from the Gulf of Mexico. Abundant outdoor event lawns, meeting space and waterside pool awaits their guests.
Courtyard by Marriott Marathon Florida Keys
Experience their newly built Marina Tower, or any of the spacious rooms and suites with breathtaking views, microwave and mini-fridge, free WiFi and NETFLIX and Hulu account access on TVs. Keep your workout routine in the modern fitness center or unwind with a dip in one of their 2 outdoor pools, hot tub and poolside bar. Before exploring the nearby Turtle Hospital and Dolphin Research Center in Marathon, start your day with breakfast at The Bistro, their onsite restaurant, or join them later for dinner and a cocktail at our Blue Waters Pool Bar & Grill.