Next along our journey through the Keys of Florida, we come to Marathon, easily recognizable because of the Persians and Athenians locked in mortal combat. Marathon is named for the historic village on Key Vacas, but the area refers to a large number of smaller keys, and it is known as “The Heart of the Florida Keys,” because of its centralized location within the island chain. Unlike Key Largo (whose main draw is diving), and Islamorada (which concentrates on fishing), Marathon has a wide variety of activities for travelers of discerning taste, as well as a healthy smattering of activities for those with no taste at all. In spite of this, the fact that they are far away from the major tourist destination of Key West and Key Largo means that you will find a very laid-back, friendly attitude on Marathon.
As with the rest of the keys, you’ll find great opportunity for diving and fishing on Marathon. Unlike many of the other Keys, however, you will also find beautifully kept beaches, such as Sombrero Beach, which, while more rustic than its counterparts on mainland Florida, is very well kept and a great place to relax and have a good time.
Marathon is also a great place to find accommodations. Everything from bucolic bed-and-breakfasts to luxury resorts can be found here, which, combined with its central location in the Keys, makes it an ideal base for your vacation. There is also a smattering of good restaurants (though nothing like you will find on the South Florida mainland), most notably the Hideaway CafÃ© (which is located in the rainbow bend resort). The south end of Marathon is connected to the Lower Florida Keys by the famous Seven-Mile Bridge, which is beautiful to drive across, and allows you to pretend you are starring in the Tom Arnold classic, True Lies.