The beautiful city of Marathon, Florida is set on 13 islands and stretches out for 10 miles and is best known for their beaches and barrier reef! With its retro, nautical atmosphere and plenty of family-friendly festivals and attractions, this island community in the Florida Keys is a perfect tropical getaway for the whole family! Some favorite activities include dolphin swims, snorkeling, and boating. Check out some other awesome things to do while there!
The Turtle Hospital
If you’re a turtle lover, then The Turtle Hospital is a place to check out! Especially since it’s only located 5 minutes from Sundance Vacations resort! This hospital is a small non-profit organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of endangered sea turtles and is entirely supported by the public and visitors.
Guests can take a guided educational tour of the hospital facilities and the sea turtle rehabilitation area. The educational experience lasts approximately 90 minutes and includes a presentation on sea turtles as well as a behind the scenes look at the hospital facilities and rehabilitation area. At the end of each tour, guests get the chance to feed the permanent residents.
The Turtle Hospital (Hidden Harbor Marine Environmental Project, Inc.) is a 501(c)(3) charitable corporation. They are first and foremost a veterinary hospital for sick and injured sea turtles, which they rescue, rehab, and release them in the Florida Keys.
Seven Mile Bridge
Finished in 1982, the Seven Mile Bridge is the longest bridge in the Florida Keys, and is wide enough to give you room to pull over to check out the view and the perfectly green water. It connects Knight’s Key in the Middle Keys to Little Duck Key in the Lower Keys.
As you drive over the modern bridge you can see the original bridge nearby. Currently the pelicans and great blue herons use it as a perch. The original bridge was completed in 1912, built initially as a railroad bridge, was known as the “Eighth Wonder of the World’’ because even attempting to build something like that over miles of open water with a soft ocean floor in a harsh tropical climate seemed a bit crazy.
The Seven Mile Bridge is just 7 minutes from Sundance Vacations Property in Marathon, Florida, so if you have some time you’ll have to go for a quick drive!
Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters
At Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters you get the chance to interact with marine species of all shapes and sizes in environments that closely mimic those found naturally in the Florida Keys. The aquariums primary attractions revolve around their unique Aquarium Encounters. Their hands-on encounters immerse visitors in the heart of the action and allow them to get up close and personal with 50+ species of tropical fish, rays, and sharks! If you’re not looking to get in the water, their facility still has plenty of activities sure to thrill and excite guests of all ages! Stop by Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters and immerse yourself in the “Magic of the Ocean” and the native marine environment of the Florida Keys.
Sombrero Beach is one of the Florida Keys’ best-kept secrets, is located minutes from Sundance Vacations resort, and one that is particularly perfect for families. The Keys is most acclaimed for its bars, sunsets and sea adventures, so if you’re looking for some relaxation, Sombrero Beach is a perfect place! With its soft sand and turquoise waters, the Middle Keys gem serves locals and in-the-know visitors. The water is shallow, so you and your children will have the chance to swim with schools of colorful fish. Along with free, adjacent parking, the beach has other perks, including handicap access, a picnic pavilion, children’s playground, a volleyball court, restrooms and showers.
If you’re looking to experience one of the planet’s largest and most spectacular barrier reefs, you’ll have to check out the Sombrero Reef. Sombrero Reef is a coral reef 8 miles offshore from Key Colony Beach. At Starfish Marathon Snorkeling Tours, a guide takes guest to the magnificent Sombrero Reef where an underwater wonderland full of magnificent living coral and teeming tropical fish. The area’s name is actually derived from the 142′ lighthouse which is located in the northern section of the SPA region.
Thunderbolt Wreck Dive Site
The Thunderbolt Wreck Dive Site is ‘Marathon’s most popular wreck’. The queen of the Marathon shipwreck fleet, Thunderbolt, is endlessly fascinating to explore, both inside and out. Deliberately scuttled 5.5 miles off shore in 1986 as an artificial reef, this 188-foot former WWII cable-laying ship has spent nearly three decades collecting growth. Divers can’t get pushed off the vessel, nor does the water cause deterioration. Instead, this well-preserved gem sees ever-growing schools of amberjack, and, in summer, migrating tarpon. Year-round, it’s home to a 700-pound goliath grouper and five-foot black grouper. Today, the Thunderbolt reigns as the signature dive for divers with advanced scuba diving certification in the Marathon Key area. Resting at a depth of 120 feet on a flat sandy bottom, this nearly intact ship has become the perfect artificial reef!
With Florida being known as the fishing capital of the world, the Florida Keys attracts an abundance of anglers year-round. Even after hosting over 50 fishing tournaments each year, the coastal region boasts a bounty of tarpon, marlin, and much more! When fishing the reefs and wrecks, you’ll find yellowtail, mangrove, mutton snapper, grouper, mackerel, and barracuda. Regardless of the style of fishing you prefer, it’s wise to hire the services of a local licensed guide who knows the area and understands the movements and feeding habits of your quarry. Marathon is also home to a number of large party boats, offering anglers an economical day of fishing.
For other information on Fishing in Marathon, check out the Florida Keys Fishing Directory, and The Best Fishing Spots in the Keys and How to Fish Them.
Traveling to Florida, but not our Marathon Florida destination? Make sure to check out Florida’s Best Hidden Secrets, and 5 Unique Educational Attractions in Orlando, Florida!
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