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17 Best Things to Do in Marathon FL

Things to Do in Marathon, Florida

If it is time to explore the Florida Keys and Key West then you shouldn’t miss out on visiting Marathon. There are tons of activities, including snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, and charter fishing. Check out our list below for a fantastic adventure.

Marathon, FL is the perfect destination if you’re looking for an unforgettable time. Located near Key West, there is a wide variety of unique activities to enjoy. From aquarium encounters and a visit to the Turtle Hospital to fishing charters and snorkeling trips in John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, you’ll have your pick of adventure here.

Marathon offers endless opportunities for fun and adventure. Located near the hustle of Key West, Marathon is the perfect escape for those looking for some rest and relaxation.

Whether you’re interested in exploring a pristine reef or simply going on a leisurely paddle board ride through the mangroves, Marathon has it all.

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What To Do In Marathon: Outdoor Fun

Crane Point Museum, Nature Center and Historic Site, Marathon, FL

Crane Point Museum, Nature Center, and Historic Site is a historical and cultural center for Monroe County. This 63-acre tropical oasis is hidden in the heart of the shopping mall and features hardwood forests, a network of nature paths, and an assortment of educational displays. There is also a unique butterfly and aviary garden. The museum features Native American artifacts, historic buildings, and interactive exhibits.

Be lulled by nature at Florida Keys Wildlife and Environmental Area

The Florida Key Wildlife Sanctuary offers a relaxing and scenic setting where visitors can hike, bike, paddle, view and photograph Florida Keys wildlife.

Within the wildlife and environmental area you’ll find over 40 rare and protected species of wildlife.

Take a snap with the Seven Mile Bridge

For the ultimate memory keeper, don’t forget to snap a photo of the famous Seven Mile Bridge. This bridge has been featured in film and TV shows including License to Kill.

The 7-Mile Bridge in Marathon, Florida. When you visit don’t miss stopping and taking a photo of the amazing site – one of the top things to do in Marathon

Dive In! With A Deep Blue Dive Center, Marathon, Florida Keys

The only living coral reef in North America is in the Florida Keys. The Middle Keys are one of the world’s most diverse and versatile diving and snorkeling destinations. Jim and I can both attest to this fact, as many years ago we went snorkeling in the Middle Keys, and it was just breathtaking!

School of brightly colored grunts swims on Molasses Reef in the Florida Keys, a quick hop from Marathon, and one of the best things to do in Marathon (photo credit: depositphotos.com/swimwithdafishes)

A Deep Blue Dive Center, with shops in Marathon and Key Colony Beach offers snorkeling and diving excursions. They are also a PADI and NAUI dive center and offer various scuba training courses.

They offer trips to some of the best diving and snorkeling sites in the Florida Keys, including Sombero Light, Coffins Path, and other diving locations.

If you dive or snorkel, or if you want to learn how there is no better place than the Florida Keys. For those who might not want a diving or snorkeling excursion, they also offer boat tours of the islands in the Keys.

Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

The Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary was established in 1990 to protect the waters around the Keys. The sanctuary begins south of Miami and continues west to the Dry Tortugas. The sanctuary covers 2,900 nautical miles of water, so that no matter where you are in the Florida Keys, once you are on the water you are in the marine sanctuary.

In the waters surrounding the Keys, you’ll discover a spectacular underwater world. Florida’s Coral Reef, over 6,000 species of sea life and marine wildlife, extensive seagrass beds and more. But there is more to discover! Shipwrecks and other treasures can also be found in these waters.

Fishing Charters in Marathon

Let’s start with why you want to fish in the Florida Keys – one of top things to do in Marathon, Fl. The Florida Keys is considered the world’s best destination in the world for fishing. From Marathon, you can wreck fish, reef fish, or deep sea fish. So the choices are wide open!

One of the top things to do on a visit to Marathon is to go charter fishing

When you book a Marathon fishing charter, there are a lot of choices! Some of the best charter companies in Marathon are Riplines Charters, SaltnSun Charters, and Infinite Blue Charters. No matter which one you book, you’ll be sure to have an adventure you won’t soon forget.

Sunset Catamaran Tour

Operating out of Marathon, Ocean Sailing, Inc operates the 36-foot sailing catamaran “Sirius”. Any day on the water is a great day, and what better way to relax on a Marathon, Florida getaway than on a sailing catamaran?

Spend A Day On The Water With Cocos Boat RentalsFlorida

Looking for a unique thing to do in Marathon? Nothing is better than exploring the waters of the Florida Keys. Renting a boat from Coco Boat Rentals is a unique thing to do on your Marathon, FL getaway. They offer several boat types for guests to explore the waters around Marathon.

Renting a boat for the day is a fun thing to do in Marathon

Sombrero Beach, Marathon, Florida

Sombrero Beach is a family-friendly beach and a well-protected secret in Florida. The beach is ideal for families with young children and features a beautiful sandy shoreline surrounded by gentle oceans with plenty of shaded spaces. Secluded and peaceful, this pet-oriented beach is ideal for relaxing.

Coco Plum Beach, Marathon FL

Coco Plum, Beach is on the Atlantic Ocean side of Marathon. This natural beach also has a wetlands area nearby. The beach is a turtle nesting area, so if you happen to see a turtle nest, please do not disturb it. The beach is open from 7:30 am to dusk. To get there turn South on Coco Plum Drive and the beach entrance is 1.4 miles on the right-hand side of the road. The hours are from 7:30 a.m. until dusk.

Bahia Honda State Park

This is one of our favorite haunts when we visit the Florida Keys! It is home to one of the most iconic and highly photographed sites in the Florida Keys – The Bahia Honda rail bridge.

The Bahia Honda railroad bridge was built by tycoon Henry Flagler in 1912. In 1935, a wicked bad hurricane, The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935, destroyed the bridge, leaving what we see today.

Beautiful colorful sunset Bahia Honda rail bridge in Bahia Honda State Park in the Florida Keys, a must-do in Marathon

If you’re looking for a unique escape to the Florida Keys, consider paying a visit to Bahia Honda State Park in Marathon. Located on an island at mile marker 36.8 on old U.S. 1 in Monroe County, FL, it’s truly one of the most incredible spots in the Florida Keys for natural beauty and things to do.

From walking trails, to picnicking and kayaking, Bahia Honda State Park offers lots of outdoor fun and things to do while enjoying an afternoon in the sunshine. Beachgoers can enjoy taking a dip in the crystal clear turquoise water, with the stunning Bahai Honda Bridge as a backdrop.

Overnight campers can camp on the beach at Bahia Honda State Park, and there is a small rustic marina for boat camping as well.

Museums and More: Best Things To Do In Marathon, FL On Vacation

Turtle Hospital Marathon

Housed in a former hotel property, Marathon’s Turtle Hospital is not to be missed. Each year sea turtles are injured, and the Turtle Hospital in Marathon, FL rehabs the injured turtles and then releases them back into their natural habitat. On a visit to the Turtle Hospital you explore all aspects of their operation; where they take in new patients, the rehab facility, and learn how they release the turtles. There are some that will not be able to be released back into nature due to their injuries.

Fun Sea Turtle Facts

  • Sea turtles migrate thousands of miles in their lifetime.
  • In a single nesting season, females lay between two and six clutches of eggs, each containing 65 to 180 eggs.
  • It is estimated that only one out of 1,000 hatchlings survives to be an adult.
  • Some sea turtles can live up to 50 years or more.
  • Leatherbacks are the largest species of sea turtle and can weigh up to 2,000 pounds.
  • Sea turtles feast on anything from seaweed to jellyfish.
  • Sea turtles can travel at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour in water.

Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters

The Florida Keys Aquarium Encounter in Marathon, FL is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to interact with the amazing wildlife of this part of the Sunshine State. Home to various species of fish, sharks, and other marine life, this amazing aquarium offers the perfect way to make your marathon of things to do in Florida even more memorable.

This kid-friendly attraction offers a variety of interactive educational experiences for all ages. Visitors can touch horseshoe crabs and stingrays. For the adventurous ones, get the add-on private Florida Keys aquarium encounters experience. This stellar experience will have you up close and personal, in the water with stingrays, predator fish, and more!

The whole family will love exploring the beauty of native ocean life from coral reefs to exotic sea creatures at the Florida Keys Aquarium. Above water, visitors can learn about mangrove forests, sea horses, and other fish species not found anywhere else. With so much to see and explore, there is something for everyone to enjoy when visiting the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters in Marathon!

With educational opportunities throughout the year and on-site activities such as guided tours and touch tanks, Florida Keys Aquarium Encounter is an absolute must for anyone looking for a unique experience in the Florida Keys.

Dolphin Research Center

Looking for something memorable, fun, and unique? Then a visit to Grassy Key and the Dolphin Research Center is a must-do! For us one of the best things about a visit to the Dolphin Research Center is that they are pet-friendly, which means that Zach gets to hang out and have fun with his pet parents!

At the Center, you’ll see that dolphins are in different lagoons and in different groups. Don’t worry – you get to see different groups with your admission, so you won’t miss a thing! Dolphins are fascinating sea creatures, and you might catch them in any number of things from a research study, to learning new behaviors.

Trainer works with a dolphin. The Dolphin Research Center is one of the top things to do in Marathon.

Stop in and visit the bird aviary, cool off in the sprayground, or grab a snack at Anchor’s Cafe. You can leave and come back to the Center as much as you please on the day you visit.

There are additional experiences with fees, including dolphin encounter swim, family dolphin splash, be a trainer for a day, and more.

Best Places To Eat: What To Do in Marathon, FL

Eat a delicious meal at Fish Tales Market and Eatery

One of Marathon’s oldest fish markets and restaurants, Fish Tales Market and Eatery provides a wide selection of fresh fish ranging from shrimp and crabs as well as a range of hand-made prime steaks. The menu includes an afternoon meal served from 11 – 4 p.m. Dinner is served from 16 – 20 p.m.

I will warn you that when you drive up, Fish Tales does not look like much. But trust me, one bite and you will be hooked!

No Name Pub on Big Pine Key

Not too far from Marathon is one of the Keys best-known dives – No Name Pub. No Name Pub is a kitschy Florida landmark, and if you’ve never been, you have to go – if for no other reason than to say you’ve been there.

The pub has a “colorful” history, including being the site of a brothel, and then a General Store, and now, as a pub.

They serve what I would classify a little elevated pub food, and it’s pretty good, with some darn good drinks! But the true character of No Name Pub comes from the “eclectic and unsual” decor….to be in the know you have to visit No Name Pub!

Castaway Waterfront Restaurant & Sushi Bar

I’m going to tell you this is one of our favorite restaurants in Marathon! Jim and I were in the Keys for a month, and we ate at Castaway a LOT! Their hogfish is to die for, and their sushi is fantastic! The fish you eat was probably swimming in the ocean 12 hours ago! Don’t miss a stop at Castaway!!

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