Our family vacation this year was a Florida Road trip. Our second stop on our road trip was Marathon. (Our first stop was Key West. You can read about what there is to and where to stay in this post.)
Marathon is a paradise for kids and families who want to have fun and create lasting memories. From swimming with dolphins to exploring pristine beaches, you’ll never be bored in this beautiful city. We hope that our guide has provided you with enough inspiration to plan your next adventure with the kids. Book your trip soon and get ready to make unforgettable memories!
Where we stayed in Marathon
In Marathon, we stayed at Isla Bella Beach Resort. At Isla Bella, we had a Grand 1 Bedroom 2 King Suite with a King Bed in one room with a bathroom and a living room with a queen sofa and a second bathroom. My son and I took the King Bed and gave my daughter the second room with the queen sofa all to herself. The room also had a nice balcony with a sofa and a couple of chairs overlooking the ocean. That was my favorite place to hang out.
What activities are there to do at Isla Bella Beach Resort
In Marathon, we mainly stayed at the hotel and didn’t venture off-property much except for a couple of meals, because there were so many things to do on the property.
Isla Bella has multiple pools, a giant chess set, a beach volleyball court and soccer balls that can be borrowed as well
Each day, they offer a variety of different activities that you can participate in such as nature scavenger hunts, bubble parties, underwater obstacle courses, art classes and more. While there, my kids made friendship bracelets and my son made a puppet.
At night, they also offer stargazing with a professional telescope. We were able to see Venus and different constellations were also pointed out to us. This was one of our favorite activities.
Things to do in Marathon with Kids
If you are in Marathon and want to venture forth from the hotel, here are some fun activities that you can do with the kids.
Visit the Dolphin Research Center
While technically not in Marathon, The Dolphin Research Center is a short distance away in Grassy Key. Here, you can see dolphins, sea lions, and even parrots up close and personal. The center offers several programs like “dolphin splash encounter,” where kids can meet, learn, and play with dolphins.
Go on a Snorkeling Adventure
If you’re looking for a unique adventure, snorkeling in Marathon is a must-do. The crystal-clear waters around Marathon offer a perfect place to explore the underwater world. You can book a snorkeling tour or even rent the gear. With so much marine life to see, your kids will be thrilled to explore the blue waters.
Explore Sombrero Beach
Sombrero Beach is a beautiful spot for families to spend a day out in the sun. It’s one of the most family-friendly beaches in Marathon with shallow waters, clean sands, playgrounds, and picnic areas. You and the kids can spend a fun day enjoying the water or playing in the sand.
Discover Crane Point Hammock Museum & Nature Trail
Crane Point Museum is a perfect activity for parents who want to take their kids to a museum that provides a fun learning experience. The center features a nature walk, an authentic railroad museum, a butterfly room, and a children’s museum. Your kids will love exploring the different exhibits and learning about the natural world.
Take a Day Trip to the Turtle Hospital
The Turtle Hospital is an all-time favorite for little animal lovers. The hospital provides a rehabilitation facility for sea turtles that are injured or ill. Kids can take a behind-the-scenes tour, learn about the turtles’ biology, and even participate in feeding sessions. It’s a memorable experience your family won’t forget.
If you are visiting other Keys on your vacation, you will definitely want to check out this list of activities to do in the Florida Keys.
Where to eat in Marathon
If you don’t want to leave the resort, there are a few different places where you can get food.
There is a pool grill where you can order grill favorites such as burgers, chicken tenders, and sandwiches while enjoying your time at the pool.
A beach bar that serves sushi, sandwiches and salads, as well as pizza. We ordered a pizza for lunch on our first day. We all really enjoyed the pizza and I can definitely say that they didn’t skimp on the toppings or the cheese.
The Marketplace Café serves up sandwiches, salads, pastries and gelato, as well as different snacks. They also have a candy bar which the kids will love.
If you are looking for somewhere a bit more upscale for dinner, then you will want to visit Mahina, the resort’s signature restaurant. Mahina serves up Pacific Rim cuisine, such as poke, hoisin chicken, grilled kalbi, garlic prawns and more. In cooler months, we recommend getting a table outside so that you can take advantage of their amazing oceanfront location. Mahina also serves breakfast each day.
If you want to go off the resort, there are a bunch of different restaurants nearby. We stopped by Irie Island Eats, where we got some great Caribbean cuisine. While they are a food truck, they do have outdoor seating. A couple of other restaurants that were recommended were The Stuffed Pig, Burdine’s Waterfront, Lazy Days South and Keys Fisheries.
Should you visit Marathon?
Marathon and Isla Bella is a great location for a short getaway or a longer stay. It is perfectly positioned to visit the other keys but then return to the relaxing environment of Marathon.
Please note that we received a media rate for our hotel stay at Isla Bella, but that hasn’t influenced our opinion of the property.