Marathon is one of the four big towns in the Keys, with a population almost as large as that of the second-biggest city, Key Largo. Still, it’s worth noting that “big” is entirely relative down here; both Marathon and Key Largo are less than half as populous as Key West, and the population of Key West could barely fill a small college football stadium. (The fourth town, Islamorada, is the smallest of the group.)
The attractions in Marathon are much the same as throughout the rest of the Keys—fishing, boating, diving, and relaxing. Granted, if there were a few more activities in the area and if there had not been development in and around Marathon, there would have been no need for the conservation purchase that led to the creation of the incredible Crane Point Hammock, but at its core, Marathon is still just a small town in a near-perfect setting.
Getting to Marathon
Marathon spans seven islands—Boot Key, Crawl Key, Fat Deer Key, Grassy Key, Knight’s Key, Long Point Key, and Key Vaca—and the heart of town is located at the exact midpoint of the Keys at the Overseas Highway’s mile marker 50 (Key West is mile marker 0, Key Largo is at 100).
© Jason Ferguson from Moon Florida, 1st Edition