Florida is known for its many touristic destinations such as Universal Orlando, Walt Disney World, and Kennedy Space Center. But one of the road trips you should surely not miss is Marathon, Florida, which could be found right in the state’s heart. The location of Marathon is right in the middle of the Florida Keys Island. If you want to spend time with family and want to relieve your life of stress and take a break from the big and busy cities, then Marathon is your go-to destination. If you’re wondering where to stay, then don’t fret since Marathon has some of the best Vrbo vacation rentals here. This is a relatively new city that has only been incorporated in 1999, and it has many traditional Marathon activities. The city has paved the way for blending the new and old to ensure a good and unique experience for each visitor. Scroll down and find out about the best things to do in Marathon, FL.
Situated in the Florida Keys region, Marathon is a quaint city best known for its beautiful beaches like Sombrero Beach. Head to Key Colony or find comfortable and affordable accommodations near Marathon International Airport.
Stay in this vibrant and tourist-friendly municipality, right where Key Colony Beach lies. Key Colony is a vibrant beach town that is great for families who are traveling with children since there are several parks and water sports to try out. There are also a couple of yoga studios in the area. Key Colony highlights accommodations like resorts, hotels, villas, and beach houses that travelers can choose from when planning a beach trip with loved ones.
Near Marathon International Airport
There are also neighborhoods near Marathon International Airport. Marathon Shores, for example, is a superb neighborhood to stay in. It’s perfect for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts who want to have a blast exploring Seven Mile Bridge or go camping at Crane Point Hammock. This area is ideal for backpackers and couples looking to travel around and see the island’s hidden gems. Since it’s also close to the airport, you don’t have to worry about a long commute to and from your accommodation. Typical properties include resorts, villas, spacious bungalows, and charming homestays.
For a top-notch vacation in Marathon, we recommend booking these amazing places to stay:
1. Be lulled by nature at Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area
A beautiful scenery welcomes the guests of Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area. Whether you’re a keen bird-watcher, an amateur hiker or simply looking for a peaceful, natural landscape where to recharge your soul, Florida Keys is the place for you. A long man-made strip of land projecting into the Gulf of Mexico from the southernmost tip of Florida, where the Everglades National Park is situated, Florida Keys is a series of tropical islands that attract visitors from all over the world. A unique habitat for many bird species and a geological peculiarity, featuring limestone outcrops known as pine rocklands and rockland hammocks interspersed with marshes and prairies, the region deserves at least a full day of exploration on foot, bike, or boat.
Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area
Address: Marathon, FL 33050, United States
Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)
2. Go underwater
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
There are many spots along Marathon where visitors can go on snorkel trips. For example, Captain Pip’s Marina & Hideaway provides snorkel trips for families in Sombrero Reef, the third largest barrier reef in the world. There are many stores that provide tours as well. This may also be in the only location in the US with a living coral reef, so it is best to come see for yourselves!
Captain Pip's Marina & Hideaway
Address: Mile Marker 47.5 Bayside 1410 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL
Contact: +1 3052890614
Email: [email protected]
Website: Captain Pip’s Marina & Hideaway
You might be interested in these Airbnbs!
3. Attend a seafood festival
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
If you love seafood, such as lobster tails, stone crab, fish, shrimp, etc., then be sure not to miss this traditional event. The Original Marathon Seafood Festival is one of the largest events that the city has to offer that is very much supported by its locals and tourists with 200,000 attendees and growing every year. It’s a 2-day event filled with food, entertainment, and activities. The next festival is scheduled on March 10 and 11, 2018 and the locals are already counting down for the big weekend!
The Original Marathon Seafood Festival
Address: 200 36th St Marathon Community Park, Marathon, Florida
Contact: +1 3057435417
Website: Marathon Seafood Festival
4. Hike at Crane Point
Actually, Crane Point is a place with lots of activities. It includes a natural history museum so you can get to know more facts about the wonders and creatures of Marathon. There are also marine touch tanks and a bird rescue center, so you can see how they save and conserve animal life in their city. Not only that, but there are nature trails in the area too where you can go hiking. Therefore, if you’re an adventure seeker, then Crane Point is not to be missed.
Address: Nature Center & Historic Site, 5550 Overseas Highway, Mile Marker 50.5, Bayside, Marathon, FL 33050
Contact: +1 3057439100
Email: [email protected]
Website: Crane Point
5. Play with dolphins
Ever dreamed of a place filled with dolphins? A dolphinarium, perhaps? Located at Grassy Keys, you will find the Dolphin Research Center, a popular attraction near Marathon, FL. You may spend the day with dolphins and sea lions. If you are interested in marine life and the environment, then you can listen through the narrated behavior sessions and educational presentations. You may also level up your time by having interactive experiences such as the Dolphin Encounter Swim and the Family Dolphin Splash.
Dolphin Research Center
Address: 58901 Overseas Highway, Grassy Key, FL 33050
Website: Dolphin Research Center
6. Eat and enjoy the sunset
There are many, many, many restaurants along the beach that you can eat in while overlooking the sunset by the beach. You have a variety of choices from fine dining to affordable snacks to coffeehouses. This is the perfect pursuit for a romantic date, spending time with family, or a get together with friends. Enjoy the many pure colors of nature with your loved ones. Here’s the directory of Marathon’s restaurants and bars for you to check out
List of Marathon's Restaurants and Bars
7. Take a snap with the Seven Miles Bridge
Feel like a movie star and take a snap of the Seven Miles Bridge. This famous bridge has been part of many films and television series such as Licence to Kill, True Lies, The Haunted Mansion, 2 Fast 2 Furious, Mission Impossible III, Burn Notice, I Am Number Four and Leverage. True to its name, Marathon locals also organize marathons in this bridge called the Seven Miles Bridge Run every year. Parallel to this bridge as well is the Old Seven Mile Bridge, that is now part of the National Register of Historic Places and was once proclaimed the Eighth Wonder of the World.
Seven Miles Bridge
Address: Mile Marker 47, Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050
Marathon is located in the middle of Florida Keys, therefore there are many Keys surrounding it such as Pigeon Key, Key West, and Big Pine Key. Each Key is a unique place to go by boat in Marathon and has its own specialty and touristic endeavors that visitors could explore or sight-see. Key West, for example, is every boater’s paradise. Big Pine Key is home to two national wildlife refuges. Marathon Kayak offers a tour guide to lead you through island hopping via kayaking, with many other fun-filled adventures in store for you. You also get to adjust your tours according to your needs, if for instance, you would prefer a half-day tour over a full-day tour; they are more than willing to adapt to your needs.
Address: Marathon, FL 33050
Contact: +1 3053950355
Email: [email protected]
Website: Marathon Kayak
Key West Jet Ski Tour Ultimate Island Adventure
Duration: 2 hours
9. Visit the turtles
Fun fact: lots of turtle sighting could be done around the area. You could visit the Turtle Hospital and tour through the recovery and surgical areas, and even the “hospital bed” tanks. You can even feed some of the turtles right after. Visit the world’s only state-certified veterinary hospital for sea turtles today!
Turtle Hospital Marathon
Address: 2396 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050, USA
Contact: +1 3057432552
Opening Hours: Everyday, 9am-6pm
Website: Turtle Hospital Marathon
10. Wind down at the Sombrero Beach
After a day full of activities, you may chill and relax at one of the most beautiful beaches in the Florida Keys, the Sombrero Beach. But if you’re not tired just yet, this city beach is filled with possible amenities such as picnic pavilions, volleyball courts, children’s playground, tables, and nice bathrooms. You may also go fishing, boating and snorkeling! To top it all off, it is handicap accessible. There are many beach spots, after all it is an island, but you cannot go wrong with this one.
Address: Sombrero Beach Rd, Marathon, FL 33050
Contact: +1 3057430033
Boat rentals are also available in the area so visitors can experience the clear blue waters of Marathon, Florida. If you rent your own boat, you can also make the most out of it by renting out snorkeling or diving equipment so you can check out the marine life at your own leisure. There are also restaurants by boat so it is possible to have a romantic dinner or a heartwarming family time eating and being rowed into the sunrise or sunset. It’s your choice! Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary also provides a boating course for first timers to make visitors eligible to rent the boats. There are many ways in which you could take part in protecting our marine life and many sanctuaries in Marathon could show you the way.
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
Email: [email protected]
Address: 63 Coco Plum Drive Marathon, FL 33050
Contact: +1 3058495567
Website: Marathon Boat Rentals
Marathon Backcountry Fishing Charter
Duration: 4 hours
12. Meet sharks up close at Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters
Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters in Marathon is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Get up close and personal with over 50 different species of tropical fish, marine wildlife, and even sharks. You even get to feed and pet some of the marine creatures and you get to swim among some of them with all the necessary gear provided. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable, and they really know what they are doing, so you’ll be in safe hands even while interacting with the sharks. From touch pools to full diving tanks and other interactive activities, Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters is fun for the whole family and a great way to make memories that last a lifetime.
Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters
Address: 11710 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050, United States
Website: Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters
Opening hours: 9am - 5pm (daily)
13. Go swimming at Curry Hammock State Park
Truly one of the best places to visit when in Marathon, FL, Curry Hammock State Park is a beautifully preserved ecosystem of lush mangrove swamps, tropical forests on limestone formations, and seagrass beds. Perfect for those who love nature and wildlife, this state park boasts gorgeous sceneries and picturesque views. Go paddleboarding or kayaking in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, or enjoy watching a glimpse of Marathon’s wildlife. Hiking, camping, cycling, fishing, and even snorkeling are all doable and permitted in this state park. Whether you’re out and about to have a solo adventure, or exploring with family and friends, get ready for an exciting and eventful day when you visit Curry Hammock State Park.
Curry Hammock State Park
Address: 56200 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050, United States
Website: Curry Hammock State Park
14. Hop on your bike and go around the island with Bike Marathon Bike Rental
Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing
Discover the amazing island of Marathon, Florida in the most eco-friendly and efficient way possible - by cycling around. Rent a bike and explore this rich and vibrant city. Find some hidden gems like hole-in-the-wall restaurants, quaint shops, and even iconic landmarks. Ideal for groups of friends and families, you’re sure to enjoy an active day biking around the neighborhood. Bring your camera with you and capture memorable moments of your trip to Marathon. Bike Marathon Bike Rental also offers kayak rental services if you choose to splash around the pristine waters of Marathon.
Bike Marathon Bike Rental
Address: 700 39th Street, Warehouse Location ONLY, Marathon, FL 33050, United States
Website: Bike Marathon Bike Rental
Opening hours: 8am - 8pm (daily)
15. Enter the world of aviation at Marathon Air Museum
Marathon Air Museum, located next to the airport, is a hidden gem for fans of history and aviation. They have a collection of aviation equipment and even some well-maintained aircraft. The staff is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. Every exhibit has a story, including how one of their planes was actually used in the Berlin Airlift during the Cold War. There is plenty of memorabilia and gear from both World Wars and a few planes from the period to boot. The cost of admission to Marathon Air Museum is entirely free, although donations are appreciated. This is certainly worth a visit if you are in the area.
Marathon Air Museum
Address: 9850 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050, United States
Opening hours: Tue - Sat: 10am - 4pm; Sun: 1pm - 4pm (closed on Mon)
The greatest escape
If you’ve been lost in finding your next travel destination, Marathon might well be the key to your next destination. Wondering what to do in Marathon, FL? Well this island surrounded by the beach and the ocean, it will surely be the greatest escape. No need to worry about your accommodations, too, because the city has plenty of amazing vacation rentals.
Frequently asked questions about the best things to do in Marathon, FL
1. What are the best attractions to visit in Marathon?
Marathon has a number of amazing attractions to visit. These include relaxing at picturesque Sombrero Beach, strolling along the famous Seven Miles Bridge, visiting Florida Keyes Aquarium Encounters, and checking out the history-rich Marathon Air Museum.
2. What are the best outdoor activities in Marathon?
Marathon has a ton of fun outdoor activities to do, including cycling around the island, hiking at Crane Point, swimming at Curry Hammock State Park, and boating on the majestic waters surrounding the main island.
3. What are the most popular things to do in Marathon with kids and family?
Some of the best things to do in Marathon with kids and family are visiting Curry Hammock State Park and enjoying activities like fishing, swimming, and hiking. You can also opt to rent a bike and cycle around Marathon.
Get Trip101 in your inbox