Are you planning a trip to the Florida Keys? One of the best spots to visit and stay in is Marathon Florida. Use this list of Things to do in Marathon Florida with Kids to help plan your trip.
Things to do in Marathon Florida with Kids
We took a trip to Marathon Florida with our besties and had a blast. There are so many things to do when you are visiting Marathon Florida with the kids that the whole family will enjoy. The kids ranged from age 5 to 19 on our trip and everyone had a great time.
Being in South Florida you are going to want to plan on spending time outdoors in the beautiful weather. The weather is beautiful, there is so much to do that it makes for the perfect location to take a family trip to.
Where is Marathon Florida Located?
Marathon, Florida is located in the Middle Keys, a group of islands in the Florida Keys archipelago. It is situated in Monroe County, Florida, and is approximately 50 miles east of Key West and 110 miles southwest of Miami. Marathon is located on the island of Vaca Key and is connected to the other islands in the Florida Keys by the Overseas Highway (U.S. Route 1).
What is Marathon Florida Known For?
Marathon, Florida is renowned for its natural wonders, fishing opportunities, marine conservation efforts, and recreational activities. It offers a perfect blend of relaxation, adventure, and appreciation for the stunning marine environment of the Florida Keys.
Is Marathon Florida worth visiting?
Yes! We had a great time on our trip to the Florida Keys and Marathon Florida. Aside from our one day trip to Key West the rest of our trip was spent in Marathon. There is so much to do and see when you are in Marathon Florida.
The Best Things to Do in Marathon Florida with Kids
There are many things to do on your vacation to Marathon Florida and this is the list of things we did when we were in Marathon Florida that the kids all enjoyed. There are indoor and outdoor attractions that are perfect for the whole family to enjoy together.
Visit the Dolphin Research Center
This marine mammal facility allows visitors to observe and interact with dolphins. You can participate in educational programs, watch dolphin shows, and even swim with dolphins. It’s a great experience for kids to learn about and appreciate these fascinating creatures.
The Dolphin Research Center offers a unique opportunity for visitors to interact with dolphins and learn about their behavior, intelligence, and natural habitat. You can participate in various programs, such as Dolphin Encounter, Dolphin Dip, and Dolphin Splash, which allow you to touch, feed, and play with the dolphins under the guidance of experienced trainers.
I do want to mention that we didn’t love this stop. We loved seeing the dolphins but felt very underwhelmed for the price of admission. We did not do any of the additional hands on experiences or the swims while there as they were sold out for the day when we arrived.
Location: 58901 Overseas Hwy, Grassy Key, FL 33050
Explore the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters
Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters is a popular attraction located in Marathon, Florida. It offers visitors a unique opportunity to interact with marine life and learn about the local ecosystems.
This interactive aquarium provides a unique opportunity for kids to get up close and personal with marine life. They can touch stingrays, feed sharks, and even snorkel in a coral reef habitat in the touch tanks.
One of the highlights of the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters is the Coral Reef Encounter. This exhibit showcases a vibrant and diverse coral reef ecosystem that is representative of the Florida Keys. You can observe colorful fish, intricate coral formations, and other marine creatures that inhabit these reefs.
Location: 11710 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050
Spend a day at Sombrero Beach
This beautiful beach is perfect for families with its white sand, calm waters, and picnic areas. Kids can build sandcastles, swim, and enjoy various water sports. The beach also has playgrounds and shaded areas, making it an ideal spot for a family outing.
Sombrero Beach is located near Sombrero Reef, which is part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. If you’re an avid snorkeler or diver, you can explore the vibrant underwater world and coral formations in the vicinity of Sombrero Beach.
While we were here the kids went snorkeling in the water and they went swimming. We then went for a walk and found a pile of cut-down trees that had coconuts on them. The kids had fun collecting coconuts and then we cut them open to enjoy the fresh coconut milk.
Location: Sombrero Beach Rd, Marathon, FL 33050
Visit the Turtle Hospital
Kids will love visiting the Turtle Hospital, a working veterinary hospital dedicated to rehabilitating injured sea turtles. They can take a guided tour to learn about sea turtle conservation efforts, see the rehabilitation tanks, and even meet some of the resident turtles up close.
It serves as a hospital and educational center where injured or sick sea turtles are treated and rehabilitated before being released back into their natural habitat. The hospital offers guided educational tours, allowing visitors to learn about the threats facing sea turtles, the rehabilitation process, and the importance of conservation efforts.
The dedicated staff and volunteers at the Turtle Hospital work tirelessly to provide medical care and raise awareness about the plight of sea turtles, making a significant impact on the preservation of these magnificent creatures in the Florida Keys.
Location: 2396 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050
Go Snorkeling on the Beach
Marathon is located in the heart of the Florida Keys, offering excellent opportunities for snorkeling and diving. Kids can explore the vibrant coral reefs, encounter colorful fish, and even spot sea turtles and other marine life. Marathon, Florida offers several excellent snorkeling spots where you can explore the beautiful underwater world.
We went snorkeling on our own at the campground and the beaches that we stopped at. If you are looking for locations to visit where you can snorkel a few suggestions are:
- Sombrero Beach. Sombrero Beach is not only a great place for swimming and sunbathing but also offers snorkeling opportunities. Explore the clear waters near the shore and discover marine life and small coral formations.
- Sombrero Reef. Located about 4 miles off the coast of Marathon, Sombrero Reef is a protected marine sanctuary and a prime snorkeling spot. It features a vibrant coral reef teeming with a variety of fish, colorful corals, and other marine creatures. Snorkeling at Sombrero Reef requires a boat or kayak to reach the site.
- Coffins Patch. Coffins Patch is another popular snorkeling area located near Marathon. It is a shallow patch reef with abundant marine life, including various species of tropical fish, lobsters, and sea turtles. You can access Coffins Patch by boat or kayak.
- Curry Hammock State Park. Curry Hammock State Park, located northeast of Marathon, offers a pristine beach and clear waters that are suitable for snorkeling. Explore the seagrass beds and look out for marine life like stingrays, small fish, and maybe even manatees.
- Turtle Hospital Reef. The Turtle Hospital in Marathon has created an artificial reef in the waters nearby. Snorkelers can enjoy exploring this reef, which has become home to a variety of marine species. Proceeds from snorkeling tours at the Turtle Hospital go towards the facility’s conservation efforts.
Go snorkeling on A Boat Tour
There are several charter companies and tour operators that offer family-friendly snorkeling and diving trips. We also went on a snorkeling boat tour with Captain Hook’s Boat Tours. Captain Hook’s Boat Tours offers exciting snorkeling tours in Marathon, Florida, providing visitors with the opportunity to explore the vibrant underwater world of the Florida Keys.
Captain Hook’s welcomes families and caters to snorkelers of all ages and skill levels. Whether you’re an experienced snorkeler or trying it for the first time, the friendly and accommodating staff will ensure everyone has a memorable and enjoyable snorkeling adventure.
We added this to our list of Things to do in Marathon Florida with Kids as one of the top things to do. All of the kids had fun and the boat was amazing at helping even the little kids get into the water and feel comfortable.
Bridge Fishing with LandBoat Charters
I had wanted to do a fishing charter but with our group being 8 it was difficult to find one. I did find an on-the-bridge fishing charter, that took us to 7-mile bridge and we fished off the bridge. It was perfect for all of the kids and we caught a ton of fish.
We went with LandBoat Charters who met us at the bridge. They taught everyone how to fish and helped reel in the fish that were caught. Once we were done they cleaned the fish for us and cut them into fish filets which we then enjoyed for dinner.
You for sure want to add this to your list of Things to do in Marathon Florida with Kids as it was the most talked about adventure we went on this trip.
Explore the Seven Mile Bridge
The Seven Mile Bridge is a famous and iconic landmark in the Florida Keys, located in the Middle Keys between Marathon and the Lower Keys. It is a part of the Overseas Highway (U.S. Route 1) that connects the mainland of Florida to Key West.
The Seven Mile Bridge offers breathtaking views of the surrounding turquoise waters of the Florida Keys. From the bridge, you can enjoy panoramic vistas of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. The scenic beauty makes it a popular spot for photography and sightseeing.
This iconic bridge offers stunning views and is a popular spot for fishing, walking, and biking. Take a leisurely stroll or rent bicycles to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Florida Keys.
Keys Cable Park
While I took the younger kids to a few other attractions, Mer took William and McKenzie to Keys Cable Park for some wakeboarding.
Keys Cable Park offers a unique and innovative approach to cable wakeboarding with their independently operated, 2-point cable systems. Unlike traditional cable systems that tow multiple riders around a lake in a square or circular motion, Keys Cable’s systems pull one rider at a time between two points, creating a continuous and dynamic back and forth motion.
The experience of riding at Keys Cable is similar to being behind a boat, but with the added benefit of upward lift from a higher tow point, making it slightly easier for riders. This also makes it a great experience for those who have never gone wakeboarding.
Location: 59300 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050
Catamaran Sail on Catamaran Sirius
Going on a sunset catamaran sail in Marathon, Florida is a breathtaking experience that allows you to witness the beauty of the Florida Keys during the magical golden hour. This was one of our favorite Things to do in Marathon Florida with Kids.
We took a sunset cruise on the Sirius Catamaran. We had been watching the sunsets nightly from the campground and the water and it was even more amazing watching it while on the water.
This renowned company specializes in private sailing charters and cruises, allowing you to explore the stunning waters of the Florida Keys aboard their impressive 36-foot sailing catamaran, Sirius. With a capacity for up to 24 passengers, this spacious vessel departs from both the Marathon Marina and Lazy Days Restaurant, offering convenient access to the pristine waters of the Keys. The highlight of their offerings is the 2-hour sunset cruise, providing a magical experience as you sail along the Keys’ scenic coastline.
Location: 725 11th Street Ocean, Marathon, FL 33050
Tasty Food to Eat when In Marathon Florida with Kids
We ate at many places while we were in Marathon and these were our favorite meal spots on our trip.
Sweet Savannah’s Bake Shop
Sweet Savannah’s is renowned for its wide selection of baked goods. The bakery offers an array of freshly baked pastries, cookies, cakes, cupcakes, pies, and more. Whether you’re craving a flaky croissant, a decadent slice of cake, or a classic chocolate chip cookie, Sweet Savannah’s has a delectable treat to satisfy your sweet tooth.
This is where we got Key Lime pies from multiple nights that we were in the Florida Keys. If you are wanting an amazing Key Lime Pie this place was the best one we had of all the places we ate at.
Location: 8919 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050
Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana bar
Lorelei is situated right on the water, providing stunning panoramic views of the Florida Bay. The outdoor seating area allows guests to enjoy their meal while taking in the beautiful surroundings and enjoying the ocean breeze.
Lorelei is known for its diverse menu, which offers a mix of seafood specialties and classic American dishes. Guests can savor fresh seafood options like Key West pink shrimp, yellowtail snapper, mahi-mahi, and stone crab (in season). The menu also includes burgers, sandwiches, salads, and other appetizing choices.
Location: 96 Madeira Rd, Islamorada, FL 33036
Island fish company
Island Fish Company is situated on the water’s edge, providing a picturesque dining experience. The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor seating options, allowing guests to soak up the scenic beauty of the Florida Keys while enjoying their meal. The menu features a variety of seafood options, including locally caught fish, shrimp, crab, lobster, and more. From classic fish and chips to seafood platters and specialty dishes, there is something to satisfy every seafood lover’s palate.
Location: 12648 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, Florida 33050
Driftwood Pizza Pasta and Subs
Driftwood Pizza Pasta and Subs serves a range of classic Italian dishes. Their menu features a variety of hand-tossed pizzas with various toppings, including traditional favorites like pepperoni, sausage, and mushrooms, as well as specialty combinations. In addition to pizzas, they offer pasta dishes such as spaghetti, fettuccine Alfredo, and baked ziti, as well as a selection of hot and cold subs, salads, and appetizers.
Location: 10875 Overseas Hwy #140, Marathon, FL 33050
Lazy Days South Restaurant
Situated on the water’s edge, this waterfront restaurant offers a relaxed and casual atmosphere where visitors can enjoy a variety of dishes while taking in the scenic views of the Florida Keys. The menu features an array of fresh seafood options, including locally caught fish, shrimp, crab, lobster, and more.
From classic preparations like grilled fish and blackened shrimp to specialty dishes and seafood platters, there are options to satisfy every seafood lover’s palate. The restaurant also offers a variety of non-seafood dishes to cater to different tastes. The menu includes options like steaks, chicken, pasta, sandwiches, and salads, ensuring that there is something for everyone.
Location: 725 11th Street Ocean, Marathon, FL 33050
Porky’s Bayside BBQ
Porky’s Bayside BBQ is a renowned dining establishment located in Marathon, Florida, known for its delicious barbecue cuisine and relaxed, waterfront atmosphere. Situated along the beautiful Florida Bay, Porky’s offers a unique dining experience with stunning views and a welcoming ambiance.
While most people might be going there for the BBQ Menu we went there for the sushi. The sushi rolls were huge and getting them to go was perfect for bringing dinner with us on our catamaran sail.
Location: 1410, 1400 Overseas Hwy MM47.5, Marathon, FL 33050
Keys Fisheries is a renowned seafood market, restaurant, and bar located in Marathon, Florida. This beloved establishment has been serving locals and visitors since 1967, offering a wide range of fresh seafood dishes and a vibrant waterfront setting.
The on-site restaurant is a popular spot for seafood lovers, serving up mouthwatering dishes that highlight the flavors of the Florida Keys. From the famous Lobster Reuben sandwich to the flavorful fish tacos and the delectable seafood platters, there’s something for everyone.
Location: 3502 Gulfview Ave, Marathon, FL 33050
Florida Keys Steak and Lobster House
The Florida Keys Steak and Lobster House is a highly regarded dining establishment located in Marathon, Florida. As the name suggests, this restaurant is known for its exceptional steaks and fresh seafood, offering a memorable culinary experience for patrons. The menu features a variety of top-quality steaks, including tender filet mignon, juicy ribeye, and flavorful New York strip, all expertly cooked to perfection.
Complementing the steaks, the restaurant also showcases a delectable selection of seafood options, with a particular emphasis on lobster dishes. From buttery lobster tails to indulgent surf and turf combinations, seafood enthusiasts will find a range of delightful choices.
Location: 3660 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050
Marathon Bagel Co.
Marathon Bagel Co. is a popular eatery located in Marathon, Florida, that specializes in delicious bagels and breakfast items. This cozy establishment offers a wide variety of freshly baked bagels, made in-house daily, with a range of flavors and toppings to suit every palate. From classic plain and everything bagels to unique options like asiago cheese or blueberry, there’s something for everyone’s taste preferences
Location: 11090 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050