nown as the heart of the Florida Keys, adventures converge on this 10-mile long island city. From federally protected beaches to North America’s only living coral reef formation just offshore, Marathon travel also offers all things aquatic including diving, fishing, or simply sunbathing.
Diving – Marathon’s reefs offer great variety in coral formations and fish life. The crystalline waters of the Atlantic Ocean reveal a marine wilderness comprised of an extensive spur-and-groove coral complex and numerous well-developed patch reefs. Each reef is populated by a vast array of Caribbean tropical fish and invertebrates, with the fascinating addition of both modern and historical shipwrecks to complete the tremendous sport dive appeal of the region.
Fishing – Tarpon fish are abundant near Marathon and the easiest large fish for novice anglers to catch. The Seven Mile and Bahia Honda bridges are the sites of the heaviest tarpon fishing action. Offshore fishing near Marathon is enhanced by the West Hump. Rising from depths of 1,100 feet to a peak of 480 feet, this underwater platform is a veritable dinner table in the Gulf Stream for game fish including blue and white marlin, Mako shark, blackfin tuna and amberjack.
Eco Tours – While most of the waters around this island are open to fishing, some areas have been set aside purely for eco-tourism and fish viewing by divers and snorkelers. Sombrero Reef, one of the most beautiful sections of North America’s only living coral barrier reef, lies several miles offshore and is protected by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Marathon is also home to the Dolphin Research Center and the Turtle Hospital, operated in an effort to preserve two of Florida’s most famous marine creatures.
Beach Activities – Near Marathon, Sombrero Beach is the starting point for fishing, diving and snorkeling excursions in addition to a variety of water sports. Additional marine activities are centered on Boot Key Harbor, a sheltered cove in the center of the island that is home to the City Marina. A short drive near the Lower Keys at mile marker 37, Bahia Honda State Park and Recreation Area provides sugar-white sands and abundant wildlife and has been listed as one of the most beautiful beaches in America.
Attractions – Also close by is Pigeon Key, a tiny island that was home to the workers who built Flagler’s railroad. It can be reached by walking a little more than a mile across the Old Seven Mile Bridge. The Turtle Hospital a one of a kind recovery center for endangered species. The Crane Point Hammock and walking trails for bird watching and learning about the Florida Keys unique ecosystems.
There are many more exciting, fun, and interesting activities to explore during your Marathon, Florida vacation; the Adventure Activities Guide will assist you in finding every Adventure available in the Florida Keys.