About halfway between Key Largo and Key West, you'll find the quaint town of Marathon. While it wasn't incorporated as a town until 1999, it has a rich history dating back to the Spanish sailors of the 1500s. These sailors originally named it Key Vaca. Vaca is the Spanish word for cow and is thought to be named for the abundance of manatees that lived on the island. While it was home to Natives, it was settled by Bohemians and several fishing families from Mystic, Connecticut in the early 1800s. The area developed as a seafaring community with a focus on local fishing. This has permeated the local culture, leading to small hotels, beachside inns, and family-style resorts. What is now properly known as Marathon includes several islands in the key chain, including Boot Key, Knight Keys, Hog Key, Vaca Key, Stirrup Key, Crawl and Little Crawl Key, East and West Sister's Island, Deer Key, Fat Deer Key, Long Pine Key, and Grassy Key. While visiting Marathon, Florida in your RV rental, the most popular things to do include a variety of watersports, taking a chartered fishing tour, and of course, the sandy beaches. But come away from the shore, and you'll still have plenty to do. Grab a bicycle or moped from one of the rental companies on the island to leisurely tour around. Marathon boasts some incredible museums, including the EAA Air Museum, the Florida Keys Aquarium Encounters, Marathon Wild Bird Center, Pigeon Key Foundation & Marine Science Center, and the Crane Point Museum, Nature Center & Historic Site. Enjoy some simple outdoor fun at the three community parks in the chain, or practice your swing at Key Colony Beach Golf. You'll have plenty of cuisine options while visiting Marathon, with over 100 different eateries and restaurants. Given the small-town feel of the island, many of these establishments offer locally developed cuisine with a unique flair to satisfy whatever you crave. Stop by Porky's Bayside for a historic Tiki Diner experience where you can enjoy everything from BBQ to sushi and fresh seafood dishes while enjoying live entertainment every night. Visit Food For Thought for your source of healthy food on the island, including some of the best breakfast and lunch options on the island. Get a true fishing community experience at the Fish Tale Market & Eatery. Whether you dine in or take your food on the go, you'll love the red conch and clam chowders or seafood entrees ranging from the catch of the day to fried shrimp and the fried fish burrito.
Taropian Tournament - If mahi-mahi isn't to your taste, then take part in this 3-day tournament in early May. Rules dictate that you have a different captain each day and that you rotate among the three major bridge channels in Marathon. The tournament wraps up at the Florida Keys Steak & Lobster House.
Annual Mother's Day Dolphin Tournament - This annual one-day tournament is held over Mother's Day weekend. Not only will you have fun, but the event also benefits Habitat for Humanity.
Annual Dolphin Tournament - Join in the annual fishing tournament focusing on mahi-mahi, also known as dolphin fish. The event happens each year in early June, and the person who wrangles the largest fish over 50 pounds wins the massive prize pot.
Heading back to the mainland, Everglades National Park is just about 80 miles north of the keys. This park is the third largest in the lower contiguous states and spans 2,400 square miles. The most popular time to visit the park is during the dry season, which normally runs from November through April. During this time, the temperatures are lower, and you'll deal with fewer mosquitoes and see an abundance of wildlife. Shark Valley is one of the most popular areas of the park, which is home to the estuaries for the Shark River and Little Shark River. You can take one of several guided tours of the area, ranging from dusk through the evening and many times between. You can enjoy 19 maintained trails throughout the park, including five that allow bicycles and E-bikes. The park has two campgrounds, both of which allow RV camping, including a dump station, with sufficient space for large Class A RVs. Only the Flamingo Campground offers an electric hookup. Also about 80 miles from Marathon, the Biscayne National Park sits on the east coast of the lower peninsula. This National Park encompasses mainly the Biscayne Bay, a little shoreline on the peninsula, and the northern end of the keys, including Ragged Keys, Boca Chita Key, Sands Key, Elliot Key, Adams Key, Rubicon Key, Reid Key, Caesar Rock, Porgy Key, Totten Key, Old Rhodes Key, Islandia, Swan Key, Broad Key, Linderman Key, and Palo Alto Key. Most people visit Biscayne to experience some parts of the preserved coral and aquatic environment, including kayaking, boating, diving, snorkeling, fishing, and lobstering. Boca Chita is the park's most popular island, with the option for tent camping. Elliot Key is the largest island and also has designated areas for tent camping on the island. Have a unique park experience when you visit Dry Tortugas National Park, the only national park that is exclusively accessible by boat or seaplane. The park is about 70 miles west of Key West and encompasses about 100 square miles of mostly open water, with seven small islands. The park is most notably the home of Fort Jefferson on Garden Key, which is the third largest fort in the United States and is the largest brick masonry structure in the Americas. Aside from visiting the Fort, most visitors to Dry Tortuga enjoy paddlesports, snorkeling, swimming, and fishing. Some tent camping is available on Garden Key, and the six-person campsites are available on a first-come basis, so plan to arrive early.
Curry Hammock State Park is right in Marathon, directly between Vaca Key and Coco Plum Beach. This smaller state park provides similar attractions to other parks in the coastal area of Florida, including swimming, snorkeling, paddling, and fishing. However, this particular park also offers a beautiful trail among the tropical hardwood hammock forest. Stay after dark to enjoy star gazing from a tropical island. Stay the night at one of the 28 campsites with full electrical and water service for campers of all sizes. Head about 15 miles back up US-1, and you'll find Long Key State Park. This island was used in the early 1900s as the Henry Flagler's Long Key Fishing Camp, which was the destination for celebrities, champion saltwater anglers, and even US presidents. Now the island is open to the public and is popular for birding, swimming, snorkeling, paddling, and geocaching. There are two nature trails for hiking and a handful of hike-in tent-only campsites along the Atlantic coast of the island. Travel south on US-1 for about 16 miles, and you'll find Bahia Honda State Park between Boot Key and Big Pine Key. Bahia Honda boasts beautiful gin-clear water and palm-lined beaches. The island offers 80 campsites between three campgrounds, most of which are fully equipped for motorhome camping. The island has one nature trail and is perfect for birding and wildlife viewing. This is also a great place to search for shells and do some swimming, scuba diving, and snorkeling. Don't worry if you need equipment; the park has snorkeling and kayaks available for rent.
Head back to the mainland with your Marathon, Florida RV rental, and explore the Big Cypress National Preserve, north of the Everglades National Park. In the preserve, you can stretch your legs on the 4.7-mile Gator Hook Trail and the 4.5-mile Fire Prairie Trail or head off-trail into the backcountry. Just be sure to fill out a backcountry permit before heading off-trail. Head further up toward Tampa and visit the De Soto National Memorial. The memorial brings you back to 1539, when Hernando de Soto and his Spanish conquistadors landed in Florida in search of gold. Enjoy the beauty of the Memorial by taking a stroll along the nature trail or through the adjacent Riverview Pointe Preserve trails. Come between December and April to experience historic reenactments at Camp Uzita. Take a few minutes to visit the Tabby House Ruins, a home built in the 1800s that is a popular area for archeological digs.
If you want a camping experience that isn't as rough as staying at one of the state parks when you have a Marathon, Florida RV rental, there are ample RV resorts and parks around the area. Start with the Southern Comfort RV Resort in Florida City, about 80 miles from Marathon. The resort features a daily Tiki Bar with live entertainment, a pool, arts and crafts, shuffleboard, bingo, and exercise classes, and is pet-friendly. Head a little further north on the Atlantic coast and spend some time at the Encore Miami Everglades, about 117 miles from Marathon, with sites ranging from full hookup to just water and power, and is pet friendly. Know the quality you can expect when you stay at the Hollywood KOA, about 130 miles from Marathon. You'll have access to cable TV, 50-amp hookups, restrooms and showers, a sun deck, and an on-site laundry facility.
Motorhomes are divided into Class A, B, and C vehicles. On average expect to pay $185 per night for Class A, $149 per night for Class B and $179 per night for Class C. Towable RVs include 5th Wheel, Travel Trailers, Popups, and Toy Hauler. On average, in Marathon, FL, the 5th Wheel trailer starts at $70 per night. Pricing for the Travel Trailer begins at $60 per night, and the Popup Trailer starts at $65 per night.Do you need to be a certain age to rent an RV in Marathon?
Yes. The minimum age is 25 to be eligible to get an RV Rental in Marathon from RVshare.Does RVshare have emergency roadside assistance?
Yes. Every RV rental booked through RVshare receives 24/7 emergency roadside assistance.Does RVshare offer one way RV rentals in Marathon?
Yes. Prior to renting any RV, check with the owner since not all will offer this particular option.