Marathon, FL Boating Guide.

Marathon, FL Boating Guide

Written by Boatsetter Team
November 16, 2022

Last Updated on February 13, 2023 by Boatsetter Team

Marathon is a charming beachside city among the many set on the Florida Keys. It is best known for its vibrant boating scene, stunning sandy beaches, and unique aquatic ecosystem, which includes the vital Sombrero reef.

If you’re looking for a new place to see by boat, come to Marathon and use this post as your Marathon, FL Boat Guide. Here we’ll go over:

  • HOTspots: Sandbars, reef parks, & beaches
  • Top water activities
  • Mouthwatering restaurants
  • Friendliest marinas in Marathon

Plus, Pro Boatsetter Tips, and more guides you can pick up along the way. Read all the way through.

Explore Boat Rentals in Marathon, Fl

Marathon’s HOTspots: Sandbars, reef parks, & beaches

This thin string of islands has hundreds of HOT spots. Here are a few of the best sandbars, sandy shores, and recreational parks.

Florida Keys Sandbar.


Mosquito Bank is one of Marathon’s most popular sand bars to go to. It’s typically crowded with party boaters year-round. Similar to it is the Whale Harbor Sandbar, where you could easily find yourself among over 100 boats at any given time, especially on weekends and holidays. The people here are a blast; you’ll find yourself making new friends right from the get-go.

Marathon Sandbar, sometimes called Grassy Key Sandbar, is a calmer location offering partiers and families looking for a live spot the best of both worlds.

Pro Destination Tip: When the tide goes out, most boats are firmly planted on the ground with no water to carry them away. If you don’t plan accordingly, this sandbar may hold you overnight.

Coral reef parks

Coffins Patch is one of the best snorkeling spots in the Florida Keys. It’s home to boulder coral that is three feet across, impressive pillar coral, soft coral, plus jacks, tangs, grouper, lobster, nurse sharks, sting rays, eels, butterfly fish, and more. Depths range from 12 to 30 feet.

Sombrero Beach is where you can find beachgoers and sea turtles hanging out. You’re in luck; this area just gets better by boat— you have the best views of the swaying palm trees; also, on the water is where all the fun is had, like diving or snorkeling!

Here’s a quick Pro Destination Tip: At Sombrero Key is the largest coral reef system in the Central Florida Keys! Kill two birds with one stone and visit Sombrero Reef Lighthouse, just north of the reef.

READ MORE: 5 Best Beaches Marathon Key Beaches

Top water activities in Marathon

Sombrero Beach.


Marathon has some of the best spots for snorkeling and diving. Not only does the water here have great visibility, but there is an abundance of thrilling, exotic aquatic life here. Consider these three snorkeling destinations for an adventure under the sea:

  • Bahia Honda State Park
  • Horseshoe Beach
  • Looe Key Reef


These turquoise blue-green waters just make you want to jump in. Here are some of the best places to go swimming near Marathon:

  • Sombrero Beach
  • Sunset Park Beach
  • Casa Clara Beach
  • Curry Hammock Beach
  • Veterans Beach
  • Bahia Honda State Park
  • Bahia Honda Bayside
  • Islamorada Sandbar
  • Marathon Sandbar


Pro anglers nod their heads “YES” to the Florida Keys. Marathon, especially, has some of the best fishing spots in the world. Most beginners make trophy catches here.

Go to the west end of Seven Mile Bridge, or anywhere along Bahia Honda Bridge, to find dense populations of tarpon.

Tarpon Fishing, Marathon, Florida.

If you want to go offshore fishing, head out on your boat to Marathon West Hump for:

  • Blackfin
  • Tuna
  • Amberjack
  • Sharks
  • White marlin
  • Blue marlin

The best reefs to go fishing around are 5 to 15 miles north of Marathon. You’ll find:

  • Grouper
  • Mackerel
  • Yellowtail
  • Barracuda
  • Mangrove
  • Mutton snapper fish

Like what you’re reading? Here’s our Florida Key’s Fishing Guide and our Fishing 101 video on How to Target Reef Fish.


There are numerous types of boating trips to be had in Marathon, not to mention our great fleet of pontoons and whaler boats. Hop on your dreamboat and cruise around the mangrove forests, touch the limestone, and enjoy the sights of swaying palm trees.

Dock & dine at Marathon, Fl

Marathon Key.

Keys Fisheries

Sparky’s Landing

Burdine’s Waterfront

Friendliest marinas in Marathon, Fl

Marathon, FL Marina.

Grassy Key Marina

This marina has it all! The awesome staff at Grassy Key will assist you in launching, docking, and retrieving your boat and answer any of your questions. The bait shop, well-stocked grocery store, and a good restaurant onsite. This marina is open 365 days a year.

  • Address: 59073 Overseas Hwy, Marathon, FL 33050
  • Boat Launch fee: $35
  • Features: Limited wet slips, indoor & outdoor storage

White Marlin Marina

White Marlin Marina is known for being extra clean and run by an attentive, friendly staff. Cute tiki huts are scattered throughout the property for you to enjoy. It also has a pool, cozy Adirondack chairs, picnic tables, BBQs, great slips, and bathhouses. This marina is gated.

  • Address: 71 Coco Plum Dr, Marathon, FL 33050
  • Slips: 27 wet slips (up to 100’)
  • Features: Laundry, free WiFi, pet-friendly

Safe Harbor Marina

Safe Harbor has many marinas throughout the United States. Its Marathon location is full to the brim, with excellent amenities and resources for boaters. An on-site restaurant, new floating docks, and several outdoor seating arrangements give you great views of Marathon and the ocean.

  • Address: 1021 11th Street Ocean, Marathon, FL 33050
  • Slips: 18’- 130’ (wet slips); 18’- 130’ (transient)
  • Features: Free WiFi, pump-out, fuel dock

Discover more about destinations for on-water travel like Islamorada, Fort Myers, and West Palm Beach at Boating Guides & Resources.

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