If you’re looking for a laid-back family vacation, Marathon is a great choice. Marathon is located in the middle of the Florida Keys, so you’re positioned perfectly to see everything the Keys have to offer. And you’ll get more of a ‘locals’ feel than you would at some of the more touristy keys. There are so many family friendly things to do in Marathon. Here’s a list of the top things to do in Marathon and then we’ll share how we would plan a 3, 5, and 7 day Florida Keys family vacation itinerary.
25 Things To Do in Marathon on a Florida Keys Family Vacation
- Go snorkeling – We’d highly recommend booking a snorkeling excursion with a local company to go out to a reef but you can also snorkel along the beach. Be sure to research current diver flag laws and regulations.
2. Watch the sunset – And if possible, the sunrise too. During our visit, the sunrises had the best skies, but the water at sunset is my favorite color!
3. Eat key lime pie – You’ll find it on just about every menu!
4. Visit Bahia Honda State Park – Walk the old railroad bridge, book a snorkeling tour, or visit one of 3 beaches.
5. Visit Curry Hammock State Park – Enjoy the beach, go fishing, paddle around the mangroves, or hike some trails.
6. Check out Seven Mile Bridge – This path is great for walking or biking, and it’s also a great place to hang out and watch the sunset.
7. Enjoy fresh seafood – Mahi, conch, stone crab, hogfish, lobster, shrimp… you can’t really go wrong!
8. Visit Sombrero Beach – This beautiful beach and park is a great place to enjoy the day.
9. Rent kayaks or paddleboards – Both Curry Hammock and Bahia Honda offer rentals, but you can find them in town as well.
10. Visit the Turtle Hospital – Take an educational guided tour to learn more about turtles and the important work this rehab center does.
11. Eat Cuban food – We tried a guava empanada for the first time!
12. Tour Pigeon Key – Learn the history of Seven Mile Bridge on this little island.
13. Rent a boat – Get out and enjoy the water!
14. Visit Cocoa Plum Beach – Walk this long stretch of beach to find a quiet spot to relax.
15. Take photos at fun murals through town – There are several fun photo spots, so keep your eyes peeled while driving around!
16. Book a fishing excursion – Group fishing trips are cheaper than you might think, although private fishing charters are also available. Go out and catch yourself some dinner!
17. Eat something key lime flavored – Ice cream is an obvious choice, but you’d be surprised how creative some of the key lime treats are.
18. Stop by the library – Taking the kids to the library is a great way to enjoy a little air conditioning or spend a rainy afternoon. And the Marathon library is top tier!
19. Visit Sunset Beach – No swimming here, but this little beach has gorgeous sunset viewing!
20. Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters – A great way to experience the marine life up close!
21. Go fishing – We saw so many people fishing off of the walking bridge on Little Duck Key.
22. Horseshoe Beach – A bit south of Marathon and Bahia Honda, this swimming area was a great place to see tropical fish.
23. Take a day trip to Key West – If you’re in Marathon, you’re already halfway there!
24. Take the kids to a playground or the community park – Children’s Rotary Playground and Marathon Community Park are both great places for kids to play.
25. Look for ocean life – We walked along docks, waded at secluded beaches, went snorkeling, and took boat rides. And everywhere we went, we saw different ocean life. Try to experience as many different things as possible while in the Keys and hopefully you’ll get as lucky as we did!
3 Day Florida Keys Family Travel Itinerary in Marathon
We’re going to start our Florida Keys family vacation itinerary with a tour of Marathon. Enjoy a morning at the beach. If you’re not staying at a resort with its own beach, Sombrero Beach and Cocoa Plum Beach are two great options.
Walk around the Seven Mile Bridge at the southernmost point of the key. Eat some fresh seafood and key lime pie and finish out the day by watching the sunset. And be sure to call and book your snorkeling tour today if you haven’t already!
Take a snorkeling tour. There is nothing that says ‘The Keys’ to me quite like really good snorkeling. And as much as we enjoyed snorkeling around the beaches, it did not compare to the snorkeling excursion. Snorkeling tours tend to take a lot longer than you think they will, so we’re leaving the rest of the day open for showers and beach chair lounging. Then get some key lime ice cream and have dinner at a Cuban restaurant.
Visit Bahia Honda and enjoy some more beach time. Take the nature trail to the Old Bahia Honda Bridge or view it from the beaches on that end of the key. If you’d like, you can rent snorkel gear or kayaks. Bring a picnic lunch.
Try another type of seafood for dinner. Or order your favorite again. It’s your vacation.
5 Day Florida Keys Family Travel Itinerary in Marathon
For a 5 day Florida Keys family travel itinerary, I’d recommend adding:
Head out early on a day trip to Key West. If a photo at the Southernmost Point is on your list, you’ll probably want to start there and arrive as early as you can for a short line. Then wander through the West Martello Tower and Key West Garden Club and walk out on the Higgs Pier. Enjoy a picnic lunch here at the beach or at Truman Waterfront Park if your kids would enjoy the splash pad. If the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center is open, don’t miss this amazing free visitor center. And if you still have time, stop by the Hemingway House for a 30 minute guided tour and meet the famous 6 toed cats.
There are no shortage of places to eat in Key West, so have fun browsing menus and picking out a spot that sounds fun for your family.
Get out on the water again. Rent kayaks or paddleboards and wind through the mangroves at Curry Hammock State Park. Or if you’re looking for more adventure, rent a boat or jet skis from the local marina.
7 Day Florida Keys Family Travel Itinerary in Marathon
For a 7 day Florida Keys family vacation itinerary, I’d add on:
A day trip to Key Largo – Visit John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and take a glass-bottom boat tour or rent kayaks and paddle through the mangroves. Make sure to also check out their visitor center exhibits. I also highly recommend getting the Key Lime Freeze from Mrs. Mac’s Kitchen and stopping for more key lime goodies at Blond Giraffe Key Lime Pie Factory.
A final day in Marathon – Spend your final day in the Keys on the water. Try a new beach or book another boating excursion. If you have time in the afternoon, consider visiting Curry Hammock State Park or the Turtle Hospital.
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