Marathon is a city on Knight's Key, Boot Key, Key Vaca, Fat Deer Key, Long Point Key, Crawl Key and Grassy Key islands in the middle of the Florida Keys, in Monroe County, Florida, United States. The name Marathon dates back to the origin of the Florida East Coast Railroad. The name came about by the railroad workers who were working night and day to complete the railway – due to the unrelenting pace and struggle to complete the project, many of the workers complained that "this [the project] is getting to be a real Marathon", and was later used to name the local station along the railroad.
Beside its new concrete counterpart, the old Seven Mile Bridge juts into the sea like a giant pier, inviting walkers and nature lovers to enjoy one of Florida’s most scenic and historic vistas. The blue-green panorama of the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean, dotted with lobster traps and sailboats, is not unlike the scene that greeted passengers on Henry Flagler’s Overseas Railroad, which linked the Keys to mainland Florida from 1912 until 1935. Those passengers probably took little notice of the sparsely populated island at the northeastern foot of the Seven Mile Bridge. Today, this island offers some of the best fishing and sport diving anywhere in the world.
Marathon is a major sport fishing destination, with several charter fishing boats departing from local marinas every morning to both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Bountiful reefs around Marathon make it a popular diving, snorkeling, spearfishing, and lobster tickling area. One of the last untouched tropical hardwood hammocks in the Keys is found at Crane Point Museum, just a few miles west of Florida Keys Marathon Airport. The vicinity of the airport is one of the most reliable sites in the United States to see the hard-to-find Antillean nighthawk. Like the rest of the Keys in summer, gray kingbird are often seen on telephone wires along US 1 and black-whiskered vireo incessantly sing in the hammocks. Marathon also hosts burrowing owls. Marathon is home to many restaurants and tourist shops. Sombrero Beach is also located here in Marathon and is one of the many beautiful public beaches in the Keys.
Key Colony Beach is located in the heart of the Florida Keys. It is the perfect vacation area, you'll have direct access to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, beautiful Coral Reefs nearby, excellent fishing and diving locations and much more.
Along the causeway are some charter fishing boats and a few restaurants & shops. At the base of the causeway, West Ocean Drive branches off first to the right and East Ocean Drive soon after branches to the left. On West Ocean Drive is the police station, along with the post office and town hall. In the same vicinity is a small park with a fountain and a gazebo. The entire ocean-facing side of West Ocean Drive is lined by various condominium complexes, while the side facing Marathon houses the Key Colony Inn and a par 3 golf course. Starting at the far end of East Ocean Drive, streets are numbered one to fifteen east to west, and run from south to north toward Shelter Bay. The most notable buildings along East Ocean Drive are the Key Colony Beach Motel and the Key Colony Beach Club.
Grassy Key is a small, peaceful Key located just minutes away from the heart of Marathon. The Dolphin Reseach Center, which offers tours, dolphin swims and more, is located on Grassy Key.
It is one of the northernmost islands in a chain of islands that comprises the City of Marathon, Florida. The island or "key"—as the islands are called in parts of Florida—hosts many mom-and-pop-type family resorts - oceanside and bayside, as well as many private residences, although the key itself is sparsely populated in comparison to the original City of Marathon "proper" farther south. The entire key was incorporated into the City of Marathon in 1999.
Duck Keys is a natural island, a composite of five islands, Yacht Club Island, Center Island, Harbour Island, Plantation Island and Indies Island, providing seclusion, privacy and security. Only one road connects Duck Key to the main highway U.S.1. Duck Key is a small island at mile marker 61 off the Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys. The Hawks Cay Resort and Village can be found with the homes of the residential Duck Key community. Vehicles cross over the island’s canals by way of picturesque arched bridges. In the distance is Grassy Key which is part of Marathon. Sixty miles further south is Key West.
This is a very laid back type of community where neighbors, fish, snorkel and dive right off their doorstep. A casual existence that stresses year round outdoor life for which the Florida Keys are famous!
Conch Key is a small bayside island at mile markers 62 and 63, between Long Key and Duck Key. It features a mix of year-round residences and vacation rentals, as well as a waterfront hotel. Keys historian Jerry Wilkinson writes that Conch Key was used by Florida East Coast Railway construction crews as a camp site at the beginning of the 20th century. It wasn’t until the late 1940s and 1950s that development of the island began in earnest, after its purchase from the state by a businessman.
Key Largo is the entrance to the Florida Keys. It’s only an hour ride to South Florida’s two major airports, but it feels like a world away. Key Largo is the largest and northernmost island in the Florida Keys. It is sandwiched between the watery wilderness of the Everglades National Park to the west and the fish-covered coral formations of North America’s only living barrier reef to the east. Locals hail it as the diving capital of the world, but the area is equally noted for its sportfishing. Key Largo is comprised of primarily residential properties, with many commercial properties scattered along U.S. 1 and marinas along the shore line.
Islamorada is known as the “Sportfishing Capital of the World,” with ample opportunities to get out on the water and go after that dream catch. The village of islands also offers more tranquil ways to relax under the sun’s glorious golden rays. You can spend a day shopping in the village’s unique boutiques and galleries, enjoy a beachfront cocktail or take a sunset cruise. The majority of commercial development is located along U.S. 1, with residential development along the side streets. Additionally, numerous residences — many of them estate-sized properties — are located along the highway and extend to the ocean or the bay.
Tavernier prospered through time having promoters such as the McKenzie Enterprises, the volunteer Fire and Ambulance, the Electric Co-op, the Aqueduct Authority, Harry Harris Park, County Commissioner Harry Harris, Tavernier Towne and many others. With the recent addition of Mariners Hospital it is currently a thriving and compact community, fully aware of her own colorful history.