Located in Florida Keys, the city of Marathon is a unique and spectacular getaway destination for the entire family. It is situated on one of 13 islands, and offers many fun activities for visitors of almost all ages from toddlers to adults. Enjoy an amazing Marathon vacation rental, and book your stay today. Without further ado, here are the top 10 Marathon activities for families with children.
1. Tour the Turtle Hospital
Fun, educational, and suitable for children of all ages, Turtle Hospital offers a tour that kids and parents love. On the tour, your family will enjoy a short educational documentary about these wonderful creatures before spending some quality time with dozens of the hospital’s patients. This guided adventure alone is enough to spark your kids’ awareness of environmental problems and how they impact turtles and other reptiles. After this experience, your little ones will likely become more caring and responsible citizens.
2. Visit the Dolphin Research Center
At the Dolphin Research Center, you can watch Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions perform tricks, touch a dolphins’ fins, play with a dolphin, and even go swimming with one. There are a variety of programs available for every age, taste, and budget. If you don’t want to get up close and personal with the dolphins, you can watch a simple interactive presentation of dolphin behavior or head over to the Dolphin Dip, where participants dance and splash around on a platform underwater while dolphins emulate them.
3. Drive Across the Seven Mile Bridge
The Seven Mile Bridge is the perfect place to watch the sun set or rise. You can also enjoy breathtaking views of the ocean and the shore from the bridge. Tell your children about the bridge’s rich history while enjoying the views. Construction began in the 1900s, with the goal of building the Overseas Railroad with the hopes of bringing tourists to the Lower Keys. The bridge was later converted into a highway, then renovated again in the 1980s into the landmark it is today. You can drive, walk, bike ride on the bridge to get to Pigeon Key.
4. Visit Pigeon Key
While there aren’t as many pigeons here as there used to be, Pigeon Key is still a nice place to visit as a family. Accessible by foot or via the Pigeon Key Ferry that departs from Marathon, this island is home to numerous attractions, including old houses where railroad workers used to live during the bridge’s initial construction, gorgeous snorkeling spots along the shore, and a railroad museum that your kids are sure to love.
5. Go Birdwatching at Curry Hammock State Park
Curry Hammock State Park, a true natural marvel, has endless recreational possibilities for outdoorsy families. Enjoy unforgettable views of egrets, plovers, herons, and raptors in their natural habitat. Rent a kayak and enjoy the water, go snorkeling, or simply pack a picnic basket and barbecue supplies and spend the entire day eating and relaxing with your family.
6. Explore Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters
If you’ve got an aspiring marine biologist in your family, Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters is definitely a must-see. Buy general admission tickets, watch wildlife in the viewing areas, and then ask marine biologists everything you’ve ever wondered about marine life. Next, play with fish in the tide pool touch tank, and watch an exciting shark feeding. If you’re in for something a little more unique, get a Stingray Encounter ticket, and feed a stingray while it’s sitting in your lap.
7. Visit Keys Cable Park
Get your teenager more excited than ever with a trip to the Keys Cable Park. Here, experienced instructors teach customers how to water ski with a twist: instead of a boat, a motorized cable pulls the participant along a seven-acre lake. Kite rising, wakeboarding, and cable riding lessons are also offered if you made reservations in advance. And don’t worry about equipment — they’ve got everything you might need.
8. Visit Bahia Honda State Park and Campgrounds
Bring a tent or camper with you, and spend a night watching stars, making s’mores, and listening to the ocean waves on the beach at Bahia Honda State Park and Campgrounds. During the day, head to the Sandspur beach to let your toddler enjoy its calm waters. Don’t forget to take a break from swimming to build a sandcastle as a family and take some pictures for the family album. With palm trees, clear water, and white sand all around, your pictures are sure to look like postcards.
9. Go Tarpon Fishing
Marathon is famous for its remarkable tarpon fishing that gives anglers an opportunity to catch some fish for cooking at your vacation rental. While casting your line, watch tarpons leap out of the water and dive back in before finally getting caught. The Bahia Honda bridge and the west part of the Seven Mile Bridge are the best places for fishing. Even a rookie angler can expect to go home with a catch.
10. Go Snorkeling
There is no better way to see the exciting life of coral reefs than to snorkel. Rent the gear, and start out by learning to snorkel on the beach where the waters are shallow. Once you and the kids are a bit more confident, take a boat tour to Sombrero Reef National Marine Sanctuary and Lighthouse for world-class reefs and views. Experienced guides ensure that you can safely snorkel, even with little kids, so nobody will feel left out!
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