Five Ways to Get in Touch With Nature in Marathon
The Florida Keys are blessed with an abundance of natural beauty everywhere you look; from the island chain’s indigenous creatures and crystal-clear Gulf of Mexico, to the white sand beaches and tropical pink hibiscus flowers.
One of the best seasons in the year to experience the natural beauty of the Keys is during fall when the summer crowds have disappeared and the islands are at their most calm. If you’re heading to Marathon for an autumn getaway, here are five ways to get in touch with the island’s wild side.
Rent a Paddle Board
Glide through the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico on a paddle board and you’ll be soaking up so much natural scenery surrounding the Keys. It’s possible to find turtles, manatee, crabs, butterflies, bald eagles, trigger fish, sea urchins, migrating birds and ospreys among many others. Stand up paddle boarding is available on-site at Tranquility Bay Resort.
Dive into an Undersea Safari
As one of the best diving destinations in the Florida Keys, Marathon is bursting with marine life and colorful coral reefs waiting to be explored on snorkeling and diving adventures. Diving guides from Turtle Island Watersports will open your eyes to some of the most incredible dive sites nearby, including mysterious shipwrecks and the only living coral reef in North America.
Swim with Dolphins
Just a 14-minute drive from Tranquility Bay is the Dolphin Research Center on Grassy Key, which is a must-visit destination for all nature lovers. This non-profit research facility features a family of dolphins and California sea lions, and provides educational presentations about marine mammals and their environment. You can also sign up for a great range of interactive programs, including the popular Dolphin Encounter and Dolphin Family Splash. If you’ve always wanted to get waist-deep in the water with these beautiful creatures, keep this top of the list on your Florida Keys vacation.
Meet Rescued Sea Turtles
During your snorkeling and diving trips around Marathon, you will no doubt spot sea turtles swimming gracefully through the warm waters. Sadly, many turtles are injured in the ocean by fishing line entanglements, shell damage and ingesting plastic bags. Thanks to the nearby Turtle Hospital, turtles are cared for and treated to return to good health which you are welcome to witness during a visit to this facility, which is the world’s only licensed veterinary hospital specializing in sea turtles.
Visit Bahia Honda State Park
Head south from Tranquility Bay and within 25 minutes you will soon be basking in the autumn sunshine on one of the Keys’ best, award-winning beaches. Bahia Honda National Park https://www.tranquilitybay.com/area/marathonkey (Mile Marker 37) features some of the most rare and unusual plants and animals in the area, spread over 500 acres. The park, which also features an offshore island, offers some of the best diving, snorkeling and beachcombing in Florida. Look out for the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin, wading birds and ghost crabs during your visit, and be prepared to marvel at nature at its most beautiful in the Florida Keys.