Alright! We're excited for this one and we hope you are too because we get asked this all of the time by our awesome clients! So here it is, the best eats and activities near Marathon and beyond!
Marathon Bagel: This place is the best to grab breakfast on the go! We love this place and come here a couple of times a week. Pro tip, call ahead and place a to go order.
The Island Fish Company: This is our favorite breakfast spot with great ocean views and a large menu! Omelettes, pancakes, fresh toast, biscuits and gravy, you name it! Sunday's are the best here because of their Mexican brunch specials too!
Bongos: They have the best weekend brunch specials! But don't worry, they also serve lunch most days of the week! Even though it is a beer garden, it is definitely kid friendly.
Stouts: A local, old school breakfast spot! This is where many locals go and where all of the flats fishing guides take their clients for breakfast.
Fish Tales: We spend a lot of our money here haha! They have great sandwiches, salads, and seafood! They are the go to local lunch spot.
Brutus Seafood: The best Shrimp Tacos! Brutus is a tiki joint with inside and outside shaded seating. We ALWAYS get some variation of their tacos with sweet potato fries because they're just so good! Also, don't forget to peep inside and check out our artwork on the walls ;)
Irie Island Eats: Irie has a chill atmosphere with flavorful, Caribbean-inspired street food. Cilantro lime rice, fish tacos (yes we love tacos), and black bean salad are our go-tos. They're so good we are hiring them to cater our up-coming wedding celebration! Irie also shares a space with a fruit stand that sells sweet, refreshing juices!
Burdines Waterfront: We get asked this question almost every night and 9/10 times this is our recommendation for families looking to get great food with a stellar view and relaxed atmosphere. Fish, FRIES, more FRIES, hushpuppies, burgers, and FRIED Key Lime Pie! Our favorite thing on the menu is the Chicken Florentine Burger on Multi-grain bread with Swiss Cheese (:P) It's SO good! You'll love everything about this place! Just be sure to order a basket of fries and hushpuppies with your appetizer and don't be afraid to ask for extra dust for the fries haha!
Lazy Days: Waterfront dining with locations in Islamorada and Marathon. We are partial to the location in Islamorada but both are great! The lazy days style chicken or fish is a must! Not to mention the fresh homemade banana bread that is complimentary in the bread basket. This is the place to bring your fresh catch!
Barracuda Grill: A great local spot! We love heading here for lunch or dinner! I do not like tomato soup, but omg theirs is amazing! Do not sleep on their potstickers either!
FL Keys Steak and Lobster House: This is another one of our top recommendations! They have one of the largest menus and everything is delicious! One of the best places for steak in Marathon and some of the best seafood, including sushi. Do not forget to get their creme brûlée for dessert!
Hideaway Cafe: Hands down the best restaurant we have been to down here. This is where we go for our date nights and anniversaries. Their food is phenomenal and they have a stunning view of the ocean. They are a little pricey but very comparable to other dinner restaurants like FL Keys Steak and Lobster or Last Days but wayyyyyy better. We cannot recommend this place enough. We highly recommend making a reservation for parties of 3 or more. Typically couples can get in the day of but it never hurts to make a reservation.
Honorable Mentions: Frank's Grill for authentic Italian pasta dishes, Upper Crust or Coast to Coast for the best pizza in Marathon, La Isla Taco for authentic street tacos, Food for Thought for healthy vegan and vegetarian food, and Castaways if you are in the mood for sushi.
Dessert: Sweet Savannah's Dessert Bake Shop and Ice Cream Cafe: Want to get your kids jacked up on sugar? The earlier you go the better. By 8:00PM you'll be waiting in line. Check out Paradise Flavors for popsicles, you can even get them to go to take back to your rental or hotel!
Fun Family Activities
*The true magic of the keys is on the water. Be sure to get out on the water while you are here whether fishing, snorkeling, or kayaking! You definitely won't regret it!
Bahia Honda State Park is a must-visit! We rank it #2 for The Florida Keys Best Beaches behind Fort Zachary Taylor State Park in Key West. As far as reefs go, Looe Key is the most spectacular reef we have seen thus far although they're all beautiful and it all depends on the weather!
Sombrero Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Keys. Once of the only places with soft, white sand and plenty of space! They even have a large, shaded playground area for kids.
Interactive Wildlife & Education
Aquarium Encounters: Touch tanks, tarpon feedings, and awesome local wildlife education!
Florida Keys Turtle Hospital: The turtle hospital is so great! This is where all of rescued sea turtles in the Florida Keys get sent for rehabilitation. It's both educational and exciting!
Dolphin Research Center: DRC offers dolphin experiences, a splash park, and all kinds of educational fun for the kids!
Crane Point Hammock: An awesome nature center with miles of trails, some of which lead you through a mangrove tunnel and others that lead you to open water access. They also have kayaks that you can rent, a wild bird rehabilitation center, a fish pedicure pond, guided tours, and much more! They have one of the oldest homes in the keys outside of Key West. While it is beautiful, be sure to bring bug spray! They have a lot of dense, wooded areas which usually means lots of mosquitos on non-windy days.
Eco Kayak Tour: Such a great way to learn more about the keys while being on the water exploring new areas. This is great for windy days when you aren't able to go on the boat but still want to be on the water.
Pigeon Key Tour/Old Seven Mile: This island is rich in history and is right on the water, a perfect place to explore some rocky tide pools. Even if you choose not to take a tour, walking the Old Seven Mile is free and has one of the most stunning views of Sunset.
Robbie's Marina (Hand Feed Tarpon)
Bad Boy Burrito
Trading Post (Great Sandwiches)
Bayside Gourmet (great food, affordable $10 lunches)
Meze Morada (Mediterranean food, we go here every time we are in Islamorada)
Mattheessens (cookie shop, must go to)
Fort Zachary Taylor State Park
Mellow Cafe has great shrimp tacos, they are a very low key/chill lunch spot
El Siboney (Cuban Food)
Moondog Cafe (Chill lunch spot near duval street)
Santiago Bodegas for dinner (tapas)
The Cafe (vegetarian and vegan food)
Blue Heaven (iconic Key West restaurant)
Kino Factory (handmade leather sandals. I would maybe visit this first as I think they close around 5pm. There is also a parking garage near this location)
Conch Tour Train
Mallory Square for sunset and street performers
Splash pad for kids
If there is something you are interested in and would like some local insight please do not hesitate to ask! We would love to point you in the right direction!