By Lauren Tjaden

Nestled in the heart of the Florida Keys, you’ll find Marathon, a little enclave surrounded by emerald-hued waters.

Here are just a few of the activities you can enjoy there.

Visit Sombrero beach for one Marathon Florida points of interest

Sombrero Beach, in Marathon, offers a palm-fringed beach and fabulous snorkeling.

- Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA


Kick back on the sand

Relax on the shores on Sombrero Beach (Sombrero Beach Rd, Marathon, FL 33050, phone (305) 743-0033). Nestled against the Atlantic Ocean, and fringed with palms, Sombrero Beach boasts a shady park complete with picnic pavilions, volleyball courts, restrooms and showers. The park is also a favorite with nesting sea turtles. From April through October it’s common for Loggerhead Turtles to visit the beach at night to lay their eggs.


Catch some fish for dinner by going on a fishing expedition in Marathon Florida

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Hook into some fun

Nothing's more fun --or delicious-- than catching your own dinner on a fishing expedition. You can choose from a variety of charters that include Flats/Backcountry Fishing, Light Tackle Fishing, Offshore Fishing and Party Boats.


go on a helicopter ride for one of Marathon Florida's points of interest

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Get high

Snag an unparalleled view of the islands on a helicopter tour with Old City Helicopters (Florida Keys Marathon Airport, 9850 Overseas Hwy., Marathon, FL 33050, 305-619-9603).


rescue a turtle at the Turtle Hospital

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Lend a hand

Meet rescued sea turtles and learn how to help them at The Turtle Hospital (2396 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050, phone (305) 743-2552). The Hospital is a small non-profit organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of endangered sea turtles.


Meet one of Flippers relatives at the Dolphins Research Center


Get the kiss of a lifetime

Kiss one of Flipper's relatives at the Dolphin Research Center (58901 Overseas Highway, Grassy Key, FL 33050, phone (305) 289-1121). This not-for-profit facility features a 90,000-square-foot series of saltwater lagoons, and is home to a family of bottlenose dolphins that descended from a dolphin named Mitzi, who starred in the original Flipper series. Its mission stresses education, research and rescue.


For a snorkeling adventure visit Tilden's Scuba Center for one of Marathon's Florida points of interest

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Explore the depths

Go for a SNUBA, Scuba, or snorkeling adventure. Tilden’s Scuba Center (4650 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050, phone (305) 743-7255) offers all three. It’s ideally situated in Marathon, since the longest living barrier reef in North America runs parallel to the Florida Keys. In addition, the waters tend to be shallow and calm, so there’s no better place to wonder at the underwater world.


Eat some gumbo seafood at the Island Fish Company in Marathon Florida

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Recharge your batteries

Enjoy a spicy cup of gumbo or some killer seafood at the Island Fish Company (12648 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050, phone (305) 743-4191).

All photos by Lauren Tjaden for VISIT FLORIDA