Located in the heart of the Florida Keys, there are many fun things to do in Marathon, FL, that will captivate visitors of all ages and interests. From pristine beaches and vibrant coral reefs to fascinating wildlife encounters and exhilarating water sports, Marathon has something for everyone.
Whether you’re seeking a laid-back beach vacation or an action-packed getaway, this list of the 28 best things to do in Marathon, FL, is your ultimate guide to making the most of your time in this tropical paradise. Get ready to immerse yourself in the stunning surroundings and experience the charm and excitement that await you.
1. Explore The Seven Mile Bridge
The Seven Mile Bridge is undoubtedly one of the most well-liked attractions in Marathon. This 6.8-mile section of the picturesque Overseas Highway has been open since 1982. This bridge links the Middle Keys to the Lower Keys and is a true engineering marvel.
You can get an unmatched perspective of the azure lake by taking in this free activity. From Little Duck to Knight’s Key, you may also drive over the bridge and stop to take lovely pictures all along the way. This is one of the best aspects of the well-liked drive from Miami to Key West.
2. Visit Pigeon Key
You could take advantage of the chance to visit Pigeon Key. This island, which is not very big, is home to many beautiful structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The little island of Pigeon Key is still home to many Henry Flagler-era structures from when it was used as a work camp for the original Seven Mile Bridge’s railroad construction. By using the ferry in Marathon, you can go on historical tours. You are welcome to explore the small island on your own, go snorkeling, or just unwind in addition to the tour.
3. Take a Dip at Sombrero Beach
White sand beaches are a must-see on any trip to Florida, and Sombrero Beach in The Keys is among the best. There are many kid-friendly activities to choose from, the white sand is gentle, and the ocean is blue.
Popular watersports include snorkeling, kayaking, scuba diving, and simply relaxing on the sand at this tranquil, family-friendly beach. If you have swimming experience, look for tropical fish and turtles in the deeper water. Additionally, there is a ton of live music performed all year round.
With its shady picnic places, Sombrero Beach is a true jewel of the Middle Keys. Arrive early or throughout the week to secure a decent place by the water, as weekends are mostly crowded.
Sombrero Beach in Marathon, FL by Florida 4K
4. Swing By The Sombrero Lighthouse
One of the oldest lighthouses still in use, it is incredibly simple to reach the Sombrero Lighthouse from Marathon.
The Sombrero Lighthouse was constructed before the Civil War, has a rich history, and offers fantastic photo opportunities. You can also observe a stunning vista from the coast’s edge that you might not see anywhere else!
5. Discover Coco Plum Beach
Coco Plum Beach, a lovely sandy beach with smooth white sand and picnic shelters, is located in the clearest area of the Atlantic Ocean. It is ideal for a quiet family holiday or a few solitary days in the sun because it is lined with enormous all-inclusive resorts.
Coco Plum Beach is a turtle breeding area with pristine waters. Remember that if there have been reports of egg sightings, some beach areas may be blocked during nesting season. For accommodations with clear water views and the best restaurants on the island, check into Coco Plum Beach Resort.
6. Enjoy Day and Night at Bahia Honda State Park
With some of the clearest waters in the world, Bahia Honda Key is a remote white-sand beach on a pristine peninsula between the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. The park offers a spectacular starscape with the Milky Way’s misty veil vividly visible because it is far from city lights and almost light pollution-free.
The Bahia Honda Key isn’t just for beachgoers and night sky watchers. It offers activities for all outdoor enthusiasts, whether they want to be on land, in the air, or at sea. Beachgoers, campers, mariners, and daytrippers all visit this place.
Three distinct hiking trails offer breathtaking views of Jamaican dogwood, sea grapes, and tropical hardwood hammocks. The paths in Bahia Honda State Park are dog-friendly if you travel with a pet.
You can rent kayaks or snorkeling equipment from the visitor center to explore the waters of Caloosa Beach, Loggerhead Beach, or Sandspur Beach. Or put on some hiking gear and slog along one of the numerous routes that meander through the tropical hammock.
You can tent in the park for one or two nights to enjoy the stunning sunset views and a spectacular view of the Florida sky. Even your RV is welcome; the park offers full-service electricity and water hookups.
7. Appreciate Nature at Curry Hammock State Park
A tour and review of Curry Hammock State Park by CampTravelExplore
For nature lovers, Curry Hammock State Park is one of the best destinations to explore. Seagrass beds, mangrove swamps, tropical woods, and various other natural attractions are all accessible. There are many cycling, camping, and fishing opportunities in this area, which is also a terrific site for paddleboarding and kayaking.
Curry Hammock State Park, which protects rare Florida Keys habitats and covers more than 1,110 acres across a chain of islands, is where you may escape to the real Florida. One of the largest thatch palm populations in the United States is supported by the hardwood hammocks on these tropical islands.
What makes the state park special? Check out our article here.
8. Greet The Turtles at the Turtle Hospital
The Turtle Hospital is the spot to visit if you enjoy sea turtles. It is a nonprofit organization that focuses on sea turtle conservation, education, environmental legislation, and sea turtle rescue and rehabilitation.
There are many eye-opening tours and instructive displays to select from, making this an especially fantastic activity to entertain young children.
9. Interact With Dolphins at Dolphin Research Center
The Dolphin Research Center is the place to go to see some marine mammals. You may learn more about California sea lions, bottlenose dolphins, and many other animals; the dolphins are always nice!
Several courses, events, and classes are available to assist you in learning more about these fascinating species. This 90,000-square-foot dolphinarium, built in 1984, is home to several California sea lions and dolphins. Many amiable California sea lions and bottlenose dolphins can be found at this research and rescue facility.
The center also offers lectures, seminars, and other public education initiatives to assist in educating people about these creatures.
10. Have A Close Encounter With Marine Life at Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters
This isn’t your typical aquarium; the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters is unique. Visitors can interact closely with the aquatic animals in this popular Marathon destination.
Schedule a tour to swim in the artificial coral reefs, then grab your wetsuit. You can also interact with adult nurse sharks at the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters and feed stingrays by hand in one of the numerous immersion tanks. Before leaving, stop by the on-site cafe and gift shop.
Here’s a sneak peek at what it’s like to be inside one of the immersion tanks at Florida Keys Aquarium.
11. Learn More About Wildlife at Crane Point Museum and Nature Center
Crane Point, 63 acres distant from the roadway and hidden by a clump of trees, protects the only intact thatch-palm hammock in the world. The multi-purpose building houses the Museum of Natural History of the Florida Keys, showcasing local wildlife, educational opportunities for adults and children, a seashell exhibit, and an underwater-feeling marine life exhibition.
Some unique plants and animals can only be found in this tropical oasis. Behind the enormous copper doors, you may explore a 600-year-old dugout canoe, pirate shipwrecks, and much more.
12. The Aircraft Collection at Marathon Air Museum
The Marathon Air Museum, which is nearby the Marathon Airport, is a fantastic place to learn about the development of aviation.
The Beech 18, DC3, experimental project, the Cessna display model that the members are now restoring, and a variety of models representing all eras of flight are on display at the Florida Keys EAA Air Museum. Additionally, there is a sizable collection of aviation equipment that EAA Chapter 1241 members and “Keys” pilots have donated.
13. Hone Your Scuba Diving Skills
You should benefit from some fantastic scuba diving opportunities whether or not you are scuba certified. You may go whale watching, scuba diving, snorkeling, and more at neighboring Key Colony Beach. You could even register for a couple of classes!
14. Go Underwater at A Deep Blue Dive Center
When you visit the Middle Keys, you’ll have the chance to discover one of the world’s largest and most varied scuba diving and snorkeling locations. And you’ll have even more fun with the Deep Blue Dive Center.
Deep Blue Dive Center near Key Colony Beach in Marathon offers thrilling interactive experiences for discovering some of North America’s most breathtaking coral reefs. Whether with or without a guide, you can go snorkeling. If you have your scuba certification, you can hire diving gear and go diving with a professional guide who will show you the best areas.
You can find everything in one location, whether you want to go spearfishing, try looking for lobsters, or just take in the underwater landscape. Visit the Sombrero Lighthouse, Coffins Patch, the renowned Thunderbolt, and dozens of other diving spots nearby.
Additionally, you can plan boat trips to other areas to swim in deeper seas. Try your hand at spearfishing or capturing lobster to cap off the day.
15. Get an Adrenaline Rush at Keys Cable Park
The main draw of Keys Cable Park, which is on Grassy Key halfway in Key West, is a beautiful 7-acre lake with two cables. You can try a range of board and wind sports, get your daily dose of adrenaline, and unwind on the sea.
By using overhead wires to pull riders across the river, the cable system eliminates the need for a boat. The operator can adjust the speed and stop the ride if you fall, thanks to an independent 2-point system. Even if you trip and fall, the ride will still continue from where you are in the lake because the operator will bring you the handle.
Matt Merryman doing a couple of laps at Keys Cable Park
16. Buy a Souvenir at Shady Palm Art Gallery and Photography
Shady Palm Art Gallery and Photography, situated in the center of the Florida Keys, is the ideal place to visit if you want to see crafts, original paintings, fabric art, carved wood, jewelry, and much more. It is located at Mile Marker 48 and proudly displays artwork created by more than 50 artists.
With reasonably priced custom framing, you can acquire a one-of-a-kind gift and a lovely souvenir to bring back from the Florida Keys. The place is open from 10 AM to 5 PM, Tuesday through Saturday.
17. A Guided Tour With Spirit Snorkeling
Want to do something in Marathon that will make your bucket list? Take a snorkeling excursion and explore the third-largest barrier reef in the world. You can have a guided tour of the entire area through Spirit Snorkeling.
It’s an experience you’ll cherish for years to come with various vibrant aquatic life. You must visit the Sombrero Reef Marine if you want to see basically everything that exists below the sea.
18. Book a Fishing Charter
Make the most of your trip to Marathon by swimming in the stunning Florida Keys seas. You may set off on a deep-sea fishing expedition in the Florida Keys with various companies, such as Catch ‘Em All and the Marathon Reef Fishing Charters.
On a charter boat, fish for mahi-mahi, grouper, wahoo, snapper, king mackerel, and other species while cruising across the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Whether you are a seasoned angler or a novice, you will undoubtedly catch a lot of fish while taking in the lovely day. You should return home with a variety of fresh ocean bounties because they will take you to productive fishing locations.
19. Sail a Catamaran
Do you wish to discover the Florida Keys in a unique way? What could be more romantic than watching the sunset over the ocean? Think about sailing a catamaran!
This tour is a peaceful and great way to unwind. You can spend up to 5 days on the boat exploring the local islands and reefs for special occasions. You may take in the sunrise or sunset, breathe in the sea air, and soak up the tropics. On this enjoyable tour, you will adore the lovely gold hues and relaxed atmosphere.
20. Rent a Bike
Take advantage of the chance to go biking as well! With a bike rental from Marathon Bike Rentals, you can explore the neighborhood without worrying about finding a place to park your car. This is a reasonably priced way to exercise and explore some of the most beautiful bike routes in the nation.
These year-round bike rentals and taking a self-guided city tour is the best way to get around.
21. Experience an Amazing Helicopter Tour
Consider booking a helicopter tour to get a fresh perspective on the Marathon! There are many possibilities from which you may select, and you can view everything from downtown Key West to the lovely Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean.
Take a helicopter tour of the Keys for a stunning aerial view of Bahia Honda State Park, Hawk’s Cay, the Seven Miles Bridges, Sombrero Beach, Pigeon Cay, and other Keys attractions. You will view sea turtles, dolphins, sharks, stingrays, and other marine life from above, so watch out.
You can book a tour with these companies:
22. Dine and Have Fun at Sunset Grille and Raw Bar
Visit Sunset Grille and Raw Bar, a restaurant/tavern/pool located just at the base of the historic Seven Mile Bridge, for a different type of leisure. Children will love swimming before (and after) lunch. It’s a fantastic location for watching the sunset. Graze on sushi, raw bar fare, or fresh local seafood.
23. ‘Hook N Cook’ at Angler & Ale
Angler & Ale provides panoramic views, indoor and outdoor seats, lounge areas with two fire pits, and a fantastic menu.
Several options include salads, burgers, ribs, and sandwiches. Last but not least, leave with a nice dessert. Visitors may also try the “Hook N Cook” option, which allows them to bring in their fresh catch and have a chef prepare it.
24. Savor Fresh Seafood at Island Fish Company
Something new is always on the menu at Island Fish Company in Marathon. The seafood they offer is as fresh as it gets because it was just plucked from the docks or fishing charters that day. Always ask about the promotions, and don’t forget to have a big appetite!
25. Taste The Trademarks of Brutus Seafood Market and Eatery
TV88 MarathonFlorida com touring Brutus Seafood Market
Don’t miss the chance to visit Brutus Seafood Market as you travel the Overseas Highway! You can choose between indoor and outdoor dining and sample many different cuisines at once. Remember to sample some of their beer and wine, too!
It is frequently rated as one of the top seafood restaurants in Marathon. You can get fresh fish to go from Brutus Seafood Market and prepare it at home like the locals if you’re staying at an Airbnb with a kitchen. Additionally, they provide a variety of trademark salads, entrees, sandwiches, and daily specials.
This seafood restaurant is the perfect place for foodies to discover their pleasure. The restaurant also boasts a sophisticated and welcoming atmosphere.
26. Uncover Why Herbie’s Bar & Chowder House is a Local Favorite
The heart and spirit of the Keys and one of Florida’s most popular dining spots, Herbie’s Bar & Chowder House is one of the original diner mainstays. The restaurant, operating for over 80 years, was originally known as Maggie’s Chowder House before becoming Herbie’s Bar & Chowder House in the 1960s.
The eatery is popular with locals and visitors for its delectable fare, artisan beer, and welcoming ambiance. Try the best-smoked fish dip with a terrific combination of spices and fresh shrimp tacos with craft beers on tap to make your stay even more memorable. Remember their trademark dessert, the unique lime pie.
27. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Sweet Savannah’s
Are you prepared to stuff yourself into something sweet? If so, Sweet Savannah’s Bake Shop is something you must visit!
Delicious cupcakes, cookies, cakes, and more may be found here! Even some handcrafted ice cream, delectable tea, and new coffee are available. The best bakery and ice cream business in the Florida Keys is a must-see when visiting Marathon. To sate your sweet taste, it also offers award-winning Key Lime pie and sweets that are dairy-free, vegan, and gluten-free.
Not to add, it offers handcrafted ice cream and 24 unique cupcake flavors.
28. Celebrate The Original Marathon Seafood Festival
Don’t miss this annual festival if you enjoy seafood like lobster tails, stone crab, fish, shrimp, etc. With 200,000 people and increasing every year, the Original Marathon Seafood Festival is one of the biggest events the city has to offer. It also has strong support from both residents and visitors. There will be food, entertainment, and activities throughout the course of two days.
Make You Trip Worth It With The Best Things To Do In Marathon, FL
Marathon has something for everyone. The possibilities are endless, from snorkeling and fishing to visiting fascinating wildlife centers and enjoying delicious seafood.
By following our guide to the 28 best things to do in Marathon, FL, you can create memories that will last a lifetime. So pack your bags, immerse yourself in the charm of this coastal town, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable journey on the island.
The Seven Mile Bridge stretches across the turquoise waters of the Florida Keys and stands as a marvel of engineering and a testament to human ambition. Renowned as the longest bridge in the Florida Keys, it has become an emblematic symbol of the region’s rich history, natural beauty, and adventurous spirit.
On your next trip to Florida, discover the greatest Marathon restaurants on the water! All of these Marathon restaurants are close to holiday properties and can be reached by walking, biking, or driving.
Marathon is the ideal dive hub for reefs and wrecks, with less traffic than the famous Key West. Find out where you can go for all your scuba equipment needs and some of the best locations for scuba diving in Marathon Key.
Things To Do In Marathon, FL FAQs
Marathon, Florida, is worth visiting. With its stunning natural beauty, crystal-clear waters, and various activities and attractions, Marathon offers a unique and memorable vacation experience.
Whether you’re a nature lover, a water sports enthusiast, or simply seeking a relaxing beach getaway, Marathon has something to offer everyone. So, if you’re looking for a tropical paradise with a perfect blend of adventure and relaxation, Marathon should definitely be on your travel list.
Marathon, FL, is known for several notable features and attractions that make it a popular destination. It’s a destination that caters to both nature lovers and adventure seekers, providing an unforgettable experience in the heart of the Florida Keys. These are some of the attractions that bring tourists to Marathon:
- The Seven Mile Bridge
- Gorgeous beaches
- Coral reef and marine life
- Watersports and outdoor activities
While having a car in Marathon, Florida is not strictly necessary, it can be advantageous for exploring the area and getting around more conveniently. However, it’s worth noting that if you’re primarily interested in activities located within a specific area of Marathon, such as the beaches, some restaurants, and water sports centers, it’s possible to rely on alternative modes of transportation like taxis, ride-sharing services, or bicycles.