Marathon is situated at the mid-point of the Florida Keys island chain, which is why locals have declared their home “The Heart of the Keys.” It’s approximately 50 miles north of Key West and 50 miles south of Key Largo, making it the perfect vacation destination for excursions both north and south.

For divers, plenty of wrecks (both modern and historic), coral reefs, and drops lie just minutes offshore. Marathon is home to two of the most magnificent reefs in the Atlantic: Sombrero Reef and Looe Key. Marathon has spectacular diving for all skill ranges, such as deep drop-offs carved by the Gulf Stream for the experienced open-water diver, and miles of living reefs for those seeking relaxing dives or snorkel trips. Sombrero Reef, one of the most beautiful sections of North America’s only living coral barrier reef, lies just several miles offshore and is protected by the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. At Sombrero beach, you’ll find the long sandy beach and palm covered patios a great place to view the evening sunsets after a day of island living. Marathon has the largest continuous live coral reef system in the Florida Keys, the only coral reef in the continental United States.

Of the 42 bridges that connect the Florida Keys, the 7-mile bridge is the longest and can be found on the south side of Marathon. You may recall seeing the bridge in the movie “True Lies”. Each April, Marathon holds the annual Seven Mile Bridge Run. Fifteen hundred runners including weekend warriors, children and Olympic hopefuls, race over the longest segmented bridge in the world, often with a beautiful sunrise at their backs.

When you’re not diving, visit the Dolphin Research Center on nearby Grassy Key — a not-for-profit education and research facility. It’s home to a family of Atlantic bottlenose dolphins and California sea lions. Visitors can meet the animals on a tour of the facility. You can even swim with the dolphins, for an unforgettable experience. Historic Pigeon Key, which was a major railroad workers’ encampment during the construction of the world famous 7 Mile Bridge, is a must for any visitor. The Island has a number of century-old buildings that are being restored by the Pigeon Key Foundation and are on the registry of historic places. You can get there by boarding a miniature train (which can be boarded at Knights Key on the west end of Marathon) taking you over the old 7 Mile Bridge.

Marathon has a commercial airport, served by American Eagle, with connecting flights from Miami International Airport. Two fixed-base operators offer private aircraft accessibility. The region is approximately a 2.5-hour drive from Miami International Airport, and a one-hour drive from Key West International Airport.