Spring months call for adventures in paradise — luxurious escapes to far-away destinations where worries are replaced by sun. One of the Florida Keys’ most desirable destinations is the collection of thirteen small islands known as Marathon. Accessible only by one road – the US-1 – it’s a place where sandals and shorts are the dress code, crystal water and palm trees are the scenery, and fun comes alive. Whether you and your family are thrill-seekers or beach-goers, you’re guaranteed to find activities suited to your tastes.

Eight family-friendly activities in Marathon this spring

Meet the dolphins


Marathon’s Dolphin Research Center is one of the island’s greatest family-friendly claims to fame. Its mission is to promote “peaceful coexistence” between marine mammals and humans through “education, research, and rescue.” The DRC offers a combination of informative and interactive activities, including meet and greets with the animals, live seminars in the Educational Theater, and presentations by real trainers. Kids enjoy being “researchers” for a day by observing dolphins and sea lions and discussing their behaviors with professionals. A day at the DRC is lively, educational, and distinct to Marathon and is not to be missed.


Explore Crane Point Hammock

Crane Point Hammock Museum and Nature Trail is a fascinating and unique way to experience the natural beauty Marathon has to offer. Volunteers keep this natural sanctuary running and are eager to teach visitors about Marathon’s extraordinary wildlife.

Admission to the park comes with several family-friendly options. Take a guided golf cart tour with one of the Point’s highly educated experts. You’ll learn about the area’s diverse flora and fauna while enjoying breathtaking sights of the gorgeous local landscape. You could also explore the area on foot to visit the Butterfly Meadow, the sweeping ocean vistas at The Point, and the canopy bridges, which allow you to walk among the trees. Feeling brave? You can also wish to dip your feet in the tidal pool and let the minnows give you a fish pedicure!


Visit Pigeon Key

At the end of Marathon is a tiny historic island named Pigeon Key. When Henry M. Flagler was building and operating the Old Seven-Mile Bridge, which served as an extension of the Florida East Coast Railway, workers and operators lived on Pigeon Key in quaint yellow cottages. Today, the island is a fishing pier as well as a destination on the National Register of Historic Places. Take the ferry boat over to the island and visit the Pigeon Key Foundation and Marine Science Center, where you can learn more about the area’s intriguing history and support its conservation efforts.


Aquarium encounters


Voted “Best Place to Take the Kids” five years in a row, Aquarium Encounters provides interactive aquarium experiences for people of all ages. You and your family can interact with Nurse Sharks, hand feed a family of stingrays, and snorkel or dive in the tank to get up-close-and-personal with all of the animals. Encounters’ well-trained staff love teaching people about the excellent habitats they provide and even offer a tour for those who want to learn more. This centrally located facility offers visitors an exciting opportunity to learn about Florida’s wildlife in a decidedly unique and intimate way.


Relax at Sombrero Beach

Sand, swimming, and turtle nesting grounds make Sombrero Beach one of the best beaches in the Keys and the ideal place to escape to during the Spring months. Soft white sand borders an extensive park featuring volleyball nets, barbecue and picnic setups, and grassy areas for catching some shade. Relax in the sun or cool off in the crystal clear water. Sombrero is a family-friendly beach, so you can feel comfortable bringing toys for the kids or even your dogs if they’re along for the trip. Kids also enjoy the many tidepools, which is a captivating way to explore local wildlife all on your own.


See turtles at the Turtle Hospital


Since 1986, this Marathon staple has worked tirelessly to rehab injured sea turtles and return them to their natural habitat while also informing the public about this incredible species. Over the years, they’ve helped release over 1500 sea turtles and have led countless educational tours. If you haven’t had your fix of wildlife adventures yet and would like to support a good cause, then a visit to the Turtle Hospital is an excellent idea. These programs run daily, every half hour, and you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at the hospital’s work and will even get to feed its patients.


Go kayaking or paddleboarding


Marathon Kayaking and Paddleboarding excursions are excellent opportunities to get away from other vacationers and enjoy some peaceful time in nature. While you can rent your equipment and explore on your own, you may also opt to join one of the exciting tours they offer.

The Mangrove Eco Tour will lead you through the tangled roots of mangrove trees, which are some of the Keys’ most beautiful flora. There’s also the Manatee Search tour, where you’ll hop aboard a tandem kayak or paddleboard and see if you notice any of these graceful creatures swimming nearby. For a new perspective on Marathon’s waters, join the Sunset & Night Eco Tour. You’ll don headlamps as you make your way through the water, exploring the marine sanctuary at night.


Book a Private Charter

If you and your family want a full day free from tourists and crowds, then the Mermaid Charter is a can’t-miss experience. Customize your excursion, which can include a reef snorkel, relaxing or kayaking at the local sandbar, and cruising at sunset. You’ll also enjoy a delicious selection of drinks and food while you soak up the sun. With the exclusivity and variety this experience offers, this is certain to create memories you and your family will remember for a lifetime.

Want to spend every winter in Marathon?

If you’re looking to learn more about family-friendly activities in the area or about homes for sale in Marathon, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the team at Ocean SIR. They would love to show you homes and Marathon real estate for sale.




8 Family-Friendly Activities in Marathon This Spring

Ocean SIR - March 18, 2022

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