Despite the name, Marathon, Florida is a place to go boating, not running. Leave your gym shoes and workout clothes at home - pack your boat shoes and swimsuit instead! This lesser-known gem of the Florida Keys offers world-class fishing in a small neighborhood community. A comprehensive guide for everything you need to know about boating in and around Marathon, Florida. Stay safe and have fun on the water.
Here are GetMyBoat’s Top Picks for enjoying all the best of the boat life in Marathon, Florida.
Boat rentals and yacht charters in Marathon are relatively affordable, with some boats costing as low as $375 for an entire day’s rental. Renting or chartering a boat while in Marathon is a must. You can rent a boat and cruise on your own or hire a local captain from Marathon. Bring a lunch and spend an entire day exploring. Make sure to make a few stops at beautiful beaches and go for a swim and snorkel!
If you’re the adventurous type, you can visit the scuba center and take a dive in a real coral reef from Marathon. Here you’re not far from the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, the first underwater state park in the United States. Admire hundreds of species of fish and stunning corals. If you prefer to stay at the surface, you can also explore the reefs on a snorkeling expedition.
Marathon is also a popular sports fishing destination. It has boats leaving for the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean every day. Its access to amazing tropical waterways makes it a prime fishing location. Anglers will find that Marathon boat rentals allow them to experience an excellent day on the water. There are many reefs around Marathon, which brings in even more fishing and spearfishing aficionados. Rent equipment and go fishing or take a full-service fishing charter. Anglers can expect to catch huge African pompano, grouper, yellowtail, mangrove snapper, and more. You can also catch other ocean creatures such as lobster, conch, and crab.
In addition to sportfishing, there are many other fantastic watersports and activities for boaters to try. If you prefer powering your own boat, consider renting a kayak or paddleboard. You can choose a guided kayak tour or take a stand-up paddle lesson. Rent on your own and explore the coastline at your own pace.
Pancho’s Fuel Dock & Supplies is a 20-slip boat dock with a fuel station and bait shop in Marathon. Dock for an overnight stay or stop by briefly to refuel and buy bait for your fishing adventures in Marathon.
Pancho’s offers boating services including:
Sitting at mile marker 59, Grassy Key Marina in Marathon offers both indoor and outdoor boat storage, a public boat launch, live bait sales, and a mini-market for all your last-minute boating essentials.
Fishing and cruising under the iconic Seven Mile Bridge is a must-do when visiting Marathon! Not only does the bridge provide a breathtaking view, but a wide variety of fish flock to this structure too. This area is considered a hot spot for tarpon fishing.
The Marathon Hump is one of the most popular fishing spots in Florida. The water has depths of over 1,000 feet, and you can expect to catch gamefish like blue and white marlin, blackfin tuna, amberjack, and sharks. This area is deep-sea fishing at its finest.
One of the most famous shipwrecks in Marathon is the Thunderbolt - an intentionally sunk ship that was under contract to the U.S. Army during World War II. This artificial reef is about 5.5 miles offshore and has a max depth of 120 feet. You can expect to catch fish like yellowtails, kingfish, grouper, barracuda, sailfish, and tarpon.
On the southside of Marathon is Sombrero Beach - one of the nicest beaches in the Keys with crystal clear water and soft sand. Sombrero Beach is a fantastic place for surfcasting and relaxing in the sun. You can expect to catch gamefish such as snook and tarpon.
Always check posted signs and any other local information to see if there are time restrictions or other conditions for free parking spaces.
Wildlife spotting in the Florida Keys is a unique experience, as there are many species of animal here that you cannot find anywhere else. When you’re out on your boat, keep your eyes peeled for some incredible wildlife, both in the water and lurking around the shore. Some of the best wildlife-spotting areas in Marathon, Florida, are Fat Deer Key and Long Point Key.
Built in 1950, this iconic lighthouse is a landmark you must see from your boat while cruising in Marathon. It has since suffered damage from multiple hurricanes but was restored and incorporated into the property of the Faro Blanco Resort & Yacht Club. Cruise by and check it out or pull into the marina and dock your boat to explore on the shore from this spot in Marathon.
One thing you’re sure to see while boating in Marathon is the Seven Mile Bridge. It connects Marathon to the Lower Keys and is one of the longest bridges in existence. It’s truly a feat of engineering and one to check out while you’re in Marathon.
This historic district is another spot to take your boat to in Marathon, Florida. You can tie up on the dock and get on land to enjoy the educational experiences and historical tours of Pigeon Key. It’s a fabulous choice for families visiting Marathon - kids will enjoy the museum, bird watching, snorkeling, fishing, or enjoying a picnic and exploring the island. Stop by Pigeon Key with your boat and spend a day in this unique spot near Marathon.Pigeon Key Historical Tour Information:
This tiki-themed bar on the water is a top place to cruise to with your boat for lunch while in Marathon. Park in a dock slip and walk up for a table right on the water, indulging in delicious food. This spot is a favorite for visitors and locals in the keys.
This fusion restaurant you might have seen on “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” offers delicious cuisine right on the waterfront in Marathon. Enjoy Old-School beach vibes right on the water at Castaway.
Enjoy seafood and tropical drinks right on the water at Sparky’s! This favorite spot offers everything from woodfire pizza to fish tacos, oysters, cocktails, and great vibes.
Bringing your boat to Marathon for the first time? If you need to find accommodations with wet slips and docking options, these are some of the best hotels and resorts in Marathon.
A premier luxury resort in Marathon, Isla Bella offers all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay. It’s a beautiful resort with 24-acres of oceanfront property, five swimming pools, and a white sandy beach for your enjoyment.
This waterfront resort offers a full-service marina and has two and three-bedroom villas, perfect for families or larger groups visiting Marathon. Enjoy a cottage or a village for a relaxing stay at Coral Lagoon, cruise here on your boat, and stay for a few nights in relaxing luxury.
This family-friendly resort is perfect for families visiting Marathon on a budget. Bring your boat to the marina and stay overnight at Captain Pip’s.
Visibility is reduced at night, so it’s essential to slow down and be aware of your surroundings. Chartplotters and marine radars are beneficial tools to use in the dark and help you feel more confident when navigating the waters at night. Between the hours of sunset and sunrise or during times of reduced visibility (fog, rain, haze, etc.), recreational vessels are required to display navigation lights.
The Florida Keys are a fragile ecosystem, and wildlife conservation is of utmost importance for all boaters. Twenty endangered species live in the Florida Keys, and many of them are marine and susceptible to harm by irresponsible boaters. When boating in Marathon, make sure you pay attention to posted signs and local regulations, especially in shallow waters, to ensure you aren’t disturbing conservation efforts.
This was an incredible experience with one of the finest and well equipped boats you could find! Fantastic owner who is a pleasure to work with and who has extensive knowledge of the area! GetMyBoat 5 star experience!
Miguel has a beauty of a boat here. At 25’ it handles the waves like a champ. The 500 hp twin supercharged Jet drives will keep you safe in the shallows and making great time to the reefs. It’s a rocket out of the hole and hit 50 plus mph on the top end. The full fish set up on the FSH series is second to none. We counted 25 spots for poles! Water wash down hose for raw and fresh water. Built in tackle cabinet and the coolest light up live wells kept our bait alive in style. Did I mention her looks. So pretty. True head turner. Best of all, the top of the line Simrad had us in track at all times. Tide charts and all. No worries about getting lost or stuck belly up. If this sounds over the top it’s not. Thanks again for sharing her Miguel! Let me know when your ready to sell.
JP was the best! Great excursion for 6. We went all over lower Keys JP knew local area well and excellent hospitality for all. Would highly recommend. Will be back!
Todd was excellent to deal with. He arranged to have a captain who was terrific. The boat was comfortable, clean and provided a fun and relaxing day on the water.
Todd's boat was great for our lobster trip to the keys! Couldn't have asked for a better setup to accommodate everyone on board. The AC was definitely a nice feature to catch a small break from the sun as well! Thanks Todd and we'll definitely be back in touch when planning our next trip down!
Todd is a fantastic communicator! He was very patient and helpful. Very open and honest, he was flexible and helpful. I will definitely give him a call on our next trip to the Keys. If you are wondering whether or not you should rent well let me put you over the top, rent with Todd! Best deal and service in we have found!
GetMyBoat has 25 listings for boating experiences in Marathon with 23 reviews.Search Marathon