Summer Family Vacation Ideas
Summer family vacation ideas including the Top 7 Kid-Friendly Activities in Marathon Florida

If you’re searching for summer family vacation ideas where everyone, consider the top 7 kid-friendly activities in Marathon Florida. From the littlest tykes to the most adventurous teens, everyone can have an unforgettable time in Marathon, Florida! Nestled in the heart of the beautiful Florida Keys, this tropical paradise has endless one-of-a-kind experiences for kids, exciting adventures for teens, and beautiful beaches and sunsets for adults. In this blog post, we will unveil the top seven kid-friendly activities in Marathon that are sure to create cherished memories for your entire family. So pack your bags and get ready for an extraordinary adventure filled with sunshine, laughter, and unforgettable experiences!

Introduction: Why Marathon Florida is the ideal family vacation spot


Great Florida family vacations need to combine location, accommodations, activities, and most importantly relaxation. Marathon Florida is a hidden gem in the Florida Keys that offers an unforgettable family vacation experience. With its beautiful beaches, unique outdoor activities, and laid-back atmosphere, it’s no wonder why families from all over the world choose Marathon as their go-to destination for quality time together. When you consider the best summer family vacation ideas, Marathon has a list to rival the best in travel destinations.

In this section, we will explore the reasons why Marathon is the ideal family vacation spot and what makes it stand out from other popular destinations.

  1. Location:

One of the main factors that make Marathon Florida a top choice for a family vacation is its location. Situated in the heart of the Florida Keys, it offers easy access to some of the most stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters in the area. This allows families to indulge in various water activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, and fishing without having to travel far.

Moreover, being located halfway between Key West and Key Largo makes it a convenient base for exploring other nearby islands and attractions. Families can easily take day trips to iconic spots like Bahia Honda State Park or John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and still return to their cozy accommodation in Marathon at night.

  1. Family-Friendly Accommodations:

Another reason why Marathon has the best summer family vacation ideas for a great time is its wide range of family-friendly accommodations, including our 4-bedroom water view and waterfront luxury home rentals at Keys Cove. From beachfront resorts to cozy vacation rentals, there are plenty of options that cater specifically to families with kids. Many offer spacious rooms or suites with multiple bedrooms, kitchen facilities, and on-site amenities like pools or playgrounds.

Additionally, staying in a vacation rental can be a more budget-friendly option for larger families, as it allows them to cook their meals and save on dining expenses. Overall, the variety of accommodations in Marathon ensures that families of all sizes and budgets can find the perfect place to stay.

  1. Outdoor Activities:

Marathon Florida is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, and there is no shortage of activities for families to enjoy together. The most popular activity in Marathon is, of course, water sports. Families can go snorkeling or scuba diving to explore the vibrant coral reefs and encounter various marine life such as tropical fish, sea turtles, and even dolphins.

For those seeking a more laid-back experience, there are plenty of options for boating, kayaking, or paddleboarding (ask us about Keys Cove boarding options). Families can also take a trip to the nearby Dolphin Research Center to learn about these incredible creatures or visit Crane Point Museum & Nature Center to discover the local flora and fauna.

  1. Family-Friendly Beaches:

With its location in the Florida Keys, it’s no surprise that Marathon boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. What makes these beaches even more appealing for families is their calm waters and shallow depths, making them safe for children to swim and play in.

Some must-visit family-friendly beaches in Marathon include Sombrero Beach, Coco Plum Beach, and Curry Hammock State Park. These beaches offer a variety of amenities such as picnic areas, restrooms, and playgrounds to ensure a comfortable day at the beach for families.

  1. Relaxing Atmosphere:

Finally, what sets Marathon apart from other popular family vacation spots is its laid-back atmosphere. Unlike bustling cities or crowded theme parks, Marathon offers a tranquil and peaceful setting where families can truly disconnect from their busy lives and enjoy quality time together.

The small-town vibe of Marathon makes it easy for families to explore the area on foot or by bike, creating memorable moments along the way. Whether it’s watching a stunning sunset over the water or stargazing at night, there are endless opportunities for bonding and creating lasting memories in this charming Florida Keys town.


In conclusion, Marathon Florida is perfect for Florida family vacations. It offers everything that a family could want in a vacation spot – beautiful beaches, exciting outdoor activities, family-friendly accommodations, and a relaxing atmosphere. With its prime location in the Florida Keys and its unique charm, it’s no wonder why families continue to choose Marathon as their go-to destination for an unforgettable family vacation.

Summer Family Vacation Ideas

Top 7 Kid-Friendly Activities in Marathon, Florida

Activity 1: Exploring the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters

The Florida Keys is known for its beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, and a wide variety of marine life. And what better way to experience all of that than by visiting the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters in Marathon? This unique attraction offers an up-close and personal experience with some of the most fascinating creatures of the sea.

Upon arrival, you will be greeted by friendly staff who will guide you through your visit. The aquarium features several interactive experiences, each designed to educate visitors about different species of marine life while also providing an entertaining and memorable experience.

One of the main highlights of the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters is its touch tank. Here, kids (and adults!) can get hands-on with various sea creatures such as starfish, sea cucumbers, and even sharks! Don’t worry; these sharks are small and harmless. It’s an excellent opportunity for children to overcome any fears they may have towards these creatures and learn more about them from knowledgeable staff members.

Another exciting activity at this aquarium is their Coral Reef Tank Snorkel Adventure. Participants will be provided with snorkeling gear and guided into a 200,000-gallon saltwater coral reef tank filled with colorful fish and other marine animals. You’ll feel like you’re swimming in a real-life aquarium!

For those who prefer to stay dry but still want to see some incredible marine life up close, there’s also a glass-bottom boat ride available at the aquarium.

Activity 2: Swimming with dolphins at Dolphin Research Center

One of the most unique and memorable experiences in Marathon, Florida is swimming with dolphins at the Dolphins Research Center. This 501 non-profit center is dedicated to the education, research, and rescue of sea mammals and allows visitors to interact with these intelligent creatures in their natural environment.

kids are delighted when swimming with the dolphines

Once you are briefed on how to interact with the dolphins, you will then enter the water where you will have the opportunity to swim alongside them. These gentle creatures are known for their playful nature and may even show off some of their impressive tricks!

During your swim, you will also have the chance to touch and feed the dolphins while learning more about their behaviors and communication methods. The trainers will be there to guide you through every step of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Overall, swimming with dolphins is an unforgettable experience that will leave your family with lasting memories and a newfound appreciation for these intelligent creatures.

Activity 3: Snorkeling and diving at Sombrero Reef

One of the most popular and exciting activities in Marathon, Florida is snorkeling and diving at Sombrero Reef. Located just three miles offshore, this beautiful reef offers an unforgettable underwater experience for families.

snorkeling in Marathon Florida

Snorkeling at Sombrero Reef is perfect for all ages, making it a great activity for families with kids. The shallow waters of the reef are home to a vibrant array of marine life, including tropical fish, sea turtles, and colorful corals. Kids will be amazed by the sights they see while snorkeling in the crystal clear waters.

For those looking for a more adventurous experience, diving at Sombrero Reef is a must-try activity. With its diverse marine life and unique coral formations, this area has been designated as part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Divers can explore depths ranging from 5 feet to over 30 feet, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced divers.

Families can choose to go on guided snorkeling or diving tours with experienced instructors who will provide all necessary equipment and safety instructions. These tours offer a fun and informative way to explore Sombrero Reef while learning about the different species that inhabit these waters.

But if you prefer to go at your own pace, there are also plenty of opportunities for self-guided snorkeling or diving trips. Visitors can rent equipment from local dive shops or purchase their gear beforehand.

Aside from exploring the underwater world, Sombrero Reef also offers stunning views of the surrounding area. Families can take a break from snorkeling or diving and enjoy a picnic on the nearby beach, taking in the beautiful scenery and soaking up the Florida sun.

Overall, snorkeling and diving at Sombrero Reef is an unforgettable experience for families visiting Marathon, Florida. It offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature, learn about marine life, and create lasting memories together. So don’t miss out on this amazing activity during your trip to the Florida Keys!

Activity 4: Visiting the Turtle Hospital to learn about sea turtle conservation

The Turtle Hospital

Marathon, Florida is known for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters, but it is also home to one of the most unique and educational experiences for families

The Turtle Hospital. This non-profit organization is dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and releasing injured sea turtles back into their natural habitat. Not only does a visit to The Turtle Hospital provide an up-close encounter with these amazing creatures, but it also offers valuable insight into the importance of sea turtle conservation.

dedicated to the rescue and release of sea turtles in Marathon Florida

The first thing visitors will notice when arriving at The Turtle Hospital is the large outdoor tanks that house the recovering turtles. These tanks are designed specifically for each turtle’s needs, including temperature control and proper nutrition. As you walk through the facility, you’ll be able to see different species of sea turtles such as loggerheads, green turtles, hawksbills, and Kemp’s ridleys.

A guided tour of The Turtle Hospital takes approximately an hour and provides a comprehensive overview of their mission and how they care for these endangered animals. You’ll learn about some of the common injuries that bring turtles to the hospital such as boat strikes or entanglement in fishing gear. You’ll also get a behind-the-scenes look at how they conduct surgeries and administer medications to help nurse these creatures back to health.

But what makes this experience truly unforgettable is getting hands-on with some of the residents at The Turtle Hospital. Children can assist in feeding some of the resident turtles, and if you’re lucky, you may even get to help release a rehabilitated turtle back into the ocean. The staff at The Turtle Hospital are incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about their work, making it an engaging and interactive experience for visitors of all ages.

In addition to providing care for injured sea turtles, The Turtle Hospital also plays a crucial role in educating the public about the threats facing these beautiful creatures. Through their educational programs, visitors can learn about the importance of reducing plastic pollution, properly disposing of fishing gear, and being mindful of how our actions impact marine life.

A visit to The Turtle Hospital is not only a fun and unique family experience but also a meaningful way to support sea turtle conservation efforts. By supporting this organization, you are directly contributing to the rehabilitation and release of endangered sea turtles back into their natural habitat.

Activity 5: Taking a Glass-Bottom Boat Tour of the Stunning Marine Life

One of the most exciting and educational activities that families can experience in Marathon, Florida is taking a glass-bottom boat tour of the stunning marine life. This activity allows you and your family to get an up-close and personal view of the beautiful creatures that call the waters surrounding Marathon home.

The glass-bottom boat tours are perfect for families with young children who may not be comfortable snorkeling or diving in deep waters. You can sit comfortably on the boat while still getting a glimpse of what lies beneath the ocean’s surface. The boats are equipped with large windows on their hulls, providing a crystal clear view of the underwater world below.

Before embarking on your tour, your knowledgeable guide will give you some background information about the local marine life and point out specific species to keep an eye out for during your trip. You and your family will learn fascinating facts about sea turtles, dolphins, tropical fish, and other marine creatures that inhabit these waters.

Once you set sail, you’ll be amazed at how clear and vibrant the water is as you peer through the glass bottom. You may even see some colorful corals or shipwrecks along the way! Keep your camera handy because there will be plenty of photo opportunities to capture this unique experience.

As you cruise along, keep an eye out for playful dolphins swimming alongside or under the boat. If they’re feeling extra friendly, they might even come up close for a quick hello. You may also spot other marine life such as stingrays, manatees, and various species of fish.

The boat tour will take you to different locations where the water is shallow enough for you to see the marine life up close. Your guide will also provide informative commentary about the creatures you encounter and their natural habitats.

This activity is not only fun and exciting for kids but also educational. They’ll learn about different marine animals and the importance of preserving their natural habitats. It’s a great way to instill a love and appreciation for the ocean in your children.

Overall, taking a glass-bottom boat tour in Marathon, Florida is a must-do activity for families looking to explore the wonders of the ocean without getting wet. It’s an unforgettable experience that will leave everyone in awe of the stunning marine life found in these waters.

Activity 6: Enjoying a day at the Beach

ultimate faily vacation in the florida keys

One of the best ways to spend a day in Marathon, Florida is by enjoying the beautiful beaches that line its shores. With crystal clear waters and soft sandy beaches, there are endless opportunities for fun and relaxation for the whole family.

Some of the top kid-friendly beaches in Marathon include Sombrero Beach, Coco Plum Beach, and Bahia Honda State Park. These beaches offer calm waters, gentle waves, and shallow areas perfect for young children to play and swim safely.

At Sombrero Beach, families can also enjoy a playground area, picnic pavilions, and barbecue grills for a fun beachside lunch or dinner. There are also restrooms and outdoor showers available for convenience.

Coco Plum Beach is another popular spot for families as it offers calm waters ideal for snorkeling and paddleboarding. Families can rent equipment from nearby rental shops or bring their own to explore the vibrant marine life just below the surface.

For those looking for a more secluded beach experience, Bahia Honda State Park is an excellent choice. The park boasts two gorgeous beaches – Calusa Beach on the Atlantic Ocean side with shallow water perfect for kids to splash around in, and Sandspur Beach on the Gulf of Mexico side with stunning views and ample space to set up camp for the day. Families can also take part in various activities such as kayaking, fishing, hiking trails, or simply relaxing under shady palm trees.

In addition to swimming and playing in the sand, families can also enjoy various water sports and activities such as jet skiing, parasailing, and boat tours. Many local companies offer these services and cater to families with children of all ages.

No beach day is complete without some delicious food, and Marathon has plenty of options for families to grab a bite to eat. Some popular options include seafood restaurants, beachside grills, and ice cream shops.

After a fun-filled day at the beach, families can catch a beautiful sunset over the water before heading back to their accommodations. With its stunning beaches and endless activities for families to enjoy, Marathon is the perfect destination for a day at the beach.

Activity 7: Great Restaurant Experiences

Marathon has a wide variety of restaurants for the family, whether it’s enjoying breakfast ocean views or dinner sunset views, you can find it in Marathon. At the Sunset Grill, the kids can enjoy the pool, playground, and all their breakfast favorites. The Florida Keys are often referred to as the fishing capital of the world due to the wide variety of fish available here.

  1. Sunset Grill
    Located on the water, this family-friendly restaurant offers a casual atmosphere and delicious food. The kids can enjoy playing in the pool or on the playground while waiting for their breakfast favorites like pancakes, waffles, and omelets. Parents can relax with a mimosa or Bloody Mary and take in the beautiful ocean views.
  2. Burdines Waterfront
    For a taste of local seafood, head to Burdines Waterfront. This restaurant is known for its fresh catch of the day and its famous conch fritters. Kids will love watching the fish swim by in the canal while waiting for their meal. Make sure to save room for their famous key lime pie for dessert.
  3. Island Fish Co.
    With a large outdoor dining area overlooking the water, Island Fish Co. is a great spot for families to enjoy a meal together. Their menu offers a variety of seafood options as well as burgers, salads, and sandwiches. And don’t miss Mexican Sundays. Kids will love playing on the beach area while parents can relax with a drink from their full bar.
  4. Castaway Waterfront Restaurant & Sushi Bar
    For families who love sushi, Castaway is a must-visit spot in Marathon. With indoor and outdoor seating available, this waterfront restaurant offers a variety of sushi rolls as well as other seafood and land options. Kids can enjoy their special menu with items like chicken tenders and mac and cheese.

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