Marathon Key Vacations

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

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Dolphin-Research-Center-300x141.jpgDolphin 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.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Pigeon-Key-300x169.jpgPigeon Key

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. 

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This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Sombrero-Beach-300x225.jpgSombrero Beach

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.

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This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Coco-Plum-Beach-300x225.jpgCoco 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.

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This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Turtle-Hospital-300x201.jpgTurtle Hospital

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.

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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

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 Pips

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

Cabana Breezes

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.

Brass Monkey

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

JJ’s Doghouse

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.



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26 Comments

  1. Craig

    Wow!

    A ton of information here. I think I am going to have to read through a second time.

    My wife and I have been looking for a nice place for a family getaway. I want someplace with a nice beach for some relaxation. She want a place with some activities and things to do, but not too swamped with people. I’ll have to show this page to her and see how she responds.

    I’m very impressed with how much info you provide.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Ok Craig, let me know if you have any questions 🙂  Thanks for visiting Beach Travel Destinations!

      Reply
  2. James

    It certainly looks like a lovely place to visit. I do always wonder about sharks and jelly fish when I see these places, and I always neglect to venture into the sea when I am actually on holiday.

    Have there been any shark attacks in the local area in the last few years? What is the deal with jellyfish, are they a concern to the average swimmer?

    If not, I might be brave enough to try some swimming when I visit there.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You don’t have to worry about Jellyfish here, but there are sharks in the ocean of course but shark attacks are more prominent in California and even Australia. Thanks for reading James.

      Reply
  3. Smart Prince

    I’m glad that I found your website. It was really great to read your post.

    My friend has been there and she never get tired of talking about how much she enjoyed there and how great of an experience that was.

    I would also like to say that it’s hard to find a place that contains so much of info on one page, and thus one has to search for different things differently. But you did a great job of putting things together and making it much easy for someone planning of a vacation.

    Thanks for the info, it really helped a lot!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are most welcome! Beaches are a passion of mine and I absolutely love Florida beaches 🙂

      Reply
  4. Infowize Media

    I am so glad I found your site! My wife and I were just talking about tropical places we could vacation within the US. We talked about the Keys but neither of us had any idea where to find trustworthy information. Your site gave us everything we needed to start planning our vacation! Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are so welcome! I am glad you can use the information. Have fun in the Florida Keys!

      Reply
  5. Emily

    Wow!! Great page about Marathon Keys Vacations!! Very thorough with great information about the destination. Also great information what to do when you are there and where to eat, etc. This definitely looks like a place that I would love to visit. What is the best time of year to visit?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You know you can go to the Florida Keys anytime of year. It is kind of like America’s Caribbean. I am heading that way next week and the weather will still be spectacular. I think you would enjoy Marathon Key anytime of the year!

      Reply
  6. Linda

    As a travel agent my bucket list is never ending, and it seems as though I have just added another destination to that list. I absolutely love the beach, especially the white sandy ones with a lovely blue sea.

    The mangrove river tour sounds amazing! I’m not much of a kayakker, but I think I could manage for an hour.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I think you could manage no problem and you would enjoy it! Thanks for visiting Linda and I hope you will revisit Beach Travel Destinations again!

      Reply
  7. Mary Vercoe

    Awesome, when can I leave? I live in AZ now but I lived in West Palm Beach for 6 years while growing up. I have fond memories of family trips to the Keys. We would be taking our RV down, are there RV parks on or near the beaches? It’s nice to see all the eateries available as we do enjoy good seafood, which is missing in AZ. The temperature chart is extremely helpful in planning a trip.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad it brought back fond memories Mary. Wow, how nice to have been able to make so many trips to the Florida Keys!

      Reply
  8. David

    Hi there and thank you for sharing, I enjoyed reading your post.
    Marathon Keys seems like a wonderful place for relaxing and beautiful beaches. It’s also great to find all the information, links to flights, hotels and things to do in one place. Do you recommend any travel insurance companies?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      David, thank you for visiting Marathon Key vacations. Yes, you are right that everything is right there to have a great beach vacation. I tend to not use travel insurance. I know that some do like to have it, so I guess I am not familiar with it.

      Reply
  9. Sophie

    Thank you for putting together a page that has so much key info on it about a place. It’s difficult sometimes to find separate info on airports, weather and things to do or see so you’ve made life a lot easier having this in one place! Make me way more excited while planning to go away on holidays!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great Sophie! I am glad you enjoyed visiting Beach Travel Destinations. I hope when you are ready to travel to one of these amazing beach destinations, you might consider letting me help plan.

      Reply
  10. Marilyn

    Ooh these beaches look incredible! They are definitely calling me to come!

    Living in Australia this will take some planning but it does encourage me to start thinking.

    Do you feel it would be good to visit in our Autumn? I guess that would be your Spring? Does it stay warm enough at that time of the year or would it be better to move it into Summer? I guess it gets crowded then though… what do you think?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, the weather is going to be beautiful in the spring, that is when I usually visit Florida. It will not get super crowded until school lets out. That is probably the busiest. But you know, I have been there during the school break, and I didn’t think it was all that bad. Some Texas beaches are much more crowded.

      Reply
  11. Kenny

    This sounds like a great vacation destination. I love the hot weather so I would love to Vacation there. 87 degrees sounds perfect to me. Can I ask if you have stayed here yourself? Herbie’s Bar & Chowder House sounds like a great place I love seafood. I will be checking this out for my next vacation! Great site you have here.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Kenny! Yes, I have been to Marathon Key. I love the Florida Keys all together. So many nice beaches, wonderful atmosphere and great weather. Nothing not to like.

      Reply
  12. Charlie

    I loved the info on the islands. I’ve always been fascinated by the keys and the tropicalness of them even though they are technically part of the mainland US. I would love to visit them some day and see what they’re all about. Did you know the citizens of the keys want to break off from the US and form their own colony?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you for reading Charlie. It does seem like a whole new “world” going to the Keys. I did not know that they wanted to break off from the U.S. That is craziness!

      Reply
  13. andreabobby

    I’ve never even heard of Marathon Key but it definitely looks like a place I’d like to escape to. It looks like the perfect spot for something beachy, romantic and relaxing!! From the main photo, it looks like the land is man-made, am I correct? If so, it looks very similar to the Palm Islands in Dubai! Thanks for the great information!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks for visiting Andrea! Marathon Key is part of the Florida Keys and not man made. You would really love it here, so peaceful and beautiful…not to mention the great Florida Keys beaches!

      Reply

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