Plan a perfect getaway in the heart of the Florida Keys. Marathon bridges the Upper and Lower Keys region. The municipality of Marathon is ten miles long and encompass Grassy Key, Vacva and Fat Deer islands. A family friendly environment appeals to both traditional vacationing families and eco-tourists. Lodging options include RV Resorts, campgrounds, cottages and commercial hotel chains.
5 – The Turtle Hospital began rehabilitating Loggerhead sea turtles in 1986 as a part of the Hidden Harbor Marine Environmental Project. Volunteers and residents bring turtles who have shell damage caused by boat accidents and fishing line induced flipper amputations. Turtles which can’t be released back into the wild live comfortably at the hospital for the rest of their lives. Guided tours of the turtle hospital last about 90 minutes and include a chance to feed one of the resident turtles. Visitors of all ages will find something to cherish as a keepsake from the tour at the hospital gift shop. You can even “adopt” a turtle and keep in touch with the creature’s progress for an entire year.
4 – Visit the Abyss Dive Center at the entrance of Key Colony Beach. Go snorkeling around a coral reef, swim around shipwrecked boats or brave the dark waters and go for a night dive. All necessary diving or snorkeling equipment is provided for each participant. Experience the beauty and marine wildlife which call Pillar Path and Sombrero Reef home. You will cruise around Marathon Key in a thirty-four foot boat. On board you have full access to the fresh water shower, complimentary cold beverages and a cooler for you to store your snacks. Trained instructors offer scuba diving classes ranging from the basic resort course to full “Divemaster” certification. Prepare for the underwater excursion before you even leave home, with the PADI Open Water Diver online course.
3 – Hop on board the Marathon Lady for a fishing excursion party you will not soon forget. The seventy-three foot party boat won the Florida Keys’ “Best Party Boat” title thirteen years in a row. Cast a line for Grouper, Mackerel and Snapper while having a blast with your family and friends while taking in the tropical scenery. A ticket to ride also include complimentary bait and a temporary Florida fishing license. You can rent a rod and reel for a small additional fee. Boat amenities include a cold drinks, restrooms and dinette seating. The Marathon Lady hits the open water for morning, afternoon and chartered all day excursions to some of the best fishing spots around Marathon Key.
2 – Explore nearly 65 acres of the tropical paradise at Crane Point Nature Center and Museum. Go hiking on the nature trails or tour the educational displays designed to entertain both children and adults. Tour the historic home of Crane Point’s original inhabitants – the Adderley family. Walk or take a trolley tour of the botanical gardens and view historic structures. Enjoy sun setting along Florida Bay from the footbridge which span the waterways at the facility. Stretch your legs and journey along the trails to Marathon Wild Bird Center and the Museum of Natural History. Discover the history of Native Americans on the island and the life cycle of a sea turtle. Interactive children’s exhibits include a wooden pirate ship and touch tank filled with native Florida Keys creatures.
1 – The Dolphin Research Center was once home to the most famous dolphin of all time – Flipper. The facility offers educational tours of the center, in-water dolphin encounters and marine animal rescue. Watch the dolphins frolic in their lagoon, doing flips and communicating with trainers. You can choose to enter the lagoon and swim with the dolphins, paint with a dolphin, pet a dolphin from land and “adopt” a dolphin to help defray the cost of the mammal’s care. The Dolphin Research Center is also home to a family of sea lions, college accredited dolphin lab seven day program and a gift shop. A special program for children and adults with special needs allow land based interaction with a therapy aspect for the participant.