This quaint tropical city is conveniently situated in the middle of the Keys island chain.
Located mainly on Vaca, Fat Deer, and Grassy Key, Marathon is a 10- mile-long family-oriented island community rooted in a heritage of fishing, and reflects the old-Keys lifestyle that residents, snowbirds and visitors enjoy so much.
It is maintaining this simple, seafaring tradition that has made Marathon so special, celebrated through the community's annual family-friendly seafood festivals.
Marathon airport busily accommodates general and commercial aviation, to easily reach what locals call "The heart of the Keys" for geographic reasons, but also to proudly call home.
Undeniably, Marathon's natural environment has activities for everyone, of any age, interest or nationality. Spectacular sailing, fishing, diving, snorkeling and SNUBA appeal to families, as do the island's impeccably maintained Sombrero Beach, and a host of eco-attractions and marine-based environmental programs such as dolphin and turtle encounters.
At Marathon's Crane Point, visitors can hike through a wondrously preserved tropical hardwood grove and visit the home of an early 20th Century settler family. Visitors to Pigeon Key venture back in time to a tiny island that played a tremendous role in the Florida Keys of today.
Sombrero Reef, a federally protected section of the United States' only living coral barrier reef, lies just a few miles offshore. Beyond it are the deep blue waters of the Florida Straits, which host world-class wreck diving on artificial reefs.
To an angler's delight, the waters offshore teem with billfish and tuna in the winter and dolphin fish in the summer. On the north side of the island lie the calm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, Florida Bay and the Keys backcountry.
Many of the island's marine activities are situated nearby Boot Key Harbor, a peaceful tropical cove in the center of the island. The harbor is famous for its sunset views and is home to the City Marina, which administers a 226-ball mooring field and a large anchoring area.
Food aficionados can enjoy fresh local fish prepared simply or gourmet style, and many of these restaurants are located right on the water. Perhaps best of all, visitors need not scrimp when it comes to selecting accommodations. They can choose among private homes, condominiums, small motels and tropical resorts.