Vacation Escape to Marathon and the Florida Keys

The odds are very good that you’ve never heard of Marathon, Florida. Located in the middle of the Florida Keys (90 miles south of Miami and 45 miles north of Key West), Marathon is actually a collection of seven islands in a 10-mile long community. Marathon is known for its tropical climate and laid back lifestyle and is the boating and family destination of the Florida Keys.

If you are looking for your next beach getaway this is it – desirable beaches, seaside restaurants and a host of water activities including sailing, fishing, boating, wreck and reef diving, and more. And there are galleries, museums, parks, golf, shopping, and theaters for your time on dry land. The Florida Keys are unique and Marathon blends the laid back “Keys” lifestyle with lots of activities for vacationers.

Marathon1

Photo by Gillian Kniveton via Trover.com

Top Hotel Choices in Marathon, Florida

Like most beach destinations, there’s no shortage of motels and hotels in Marathon. But given how special vacation time is, it’s a good idea to take a close look at your hotel options and select the one that most suits you and your family. Here are some of the best family resorts in Marathon:

–          Tranquility Bay Beach House Resort: Perhaps the best resort in Marathon because of its all-Florida experience. This is a small resort with beach houses, award-winning cuisine and a private sandy beach on the Gulf of Mexico.

Marathon2

Photo by Ting Teng via Trover.com

–          Hawks Cay Florida Keys Resort: This resort has garnered a number of Oyster Awards including Best Value, Luxury and Kid-Friendly Hotel in the Florida Keys. With its calm beach and family-friendly features, it’s hard to go wrong staying here.

–          Hyatt Place Marathon Florida Keys: With a historic lighthouse on site, this property is centrally located and walking distance from attractions. It of course features Hyatt amenities and outstanding guest service.

Top Things to do in Marathon, Florida

On the “must do and try” list in Marathon is:

–          Fish Tales Market & Eatery: If you like to eat fish, this is the place. Freshly caught fish of all kinds, homemade soups and perhaps the best Key Lime Pie in the Keys!

–          Pigeon Key Helicopter Tour: Get a bird’s eye view of Marathon, the Florida Keys, and the area’s crystal clear waters and beaches. You’ll also see the historic Sombrero Lighthouse and marine wildlife which may include bull sharks, sea turtles, manatees, tarpon and dolphins.

–          Marathon Diving & Snorkeling: Marathon’s reefs offer coral and fish life plus modern and historical shipwrecks for an incredible underwater experience. There are five different dive areas including the traditional favorite – Sombrero Reef.

–          The Turtle Hospital: Since its opening in 1986, the Turtle Hospital has treated and released over 1500 sea turtles back to the ocean. Guided Educational Experiences are offered to the public seven days a week.

Marathon3
Photo by Turtles Travel via Trover.com

–          Crane Point Museum and Nature Center:  Crane Point Museum contains historic area artifacts dating back to prehistoric Indians. Crane Point sits on 64 acres of trees and vegetation and has walking trails that will take you on a hike through Florida’s nature and history.

It’s time to get back to Florida and discover Marathon and the Florida Keys!

Advertisements

Time for a Trip to Los Angeles? Here’s Your Guide

Planning your Trip to Los Angeles

Photo by Jay Kokernak via Trover.com

Have you been to the movies recently and triggered a desire to go to Hollywood (or its bigger cousin, Los Angeles)? If you’ve never been, and even if you’ve been before, you really need to plan out your Los Angeles trip.

Before settling on your travel dates, you might want to first check and see if there is some special event, game, concert or festival in the LA area that you might want to catch.

After booking your flight into LAX, you’ll need to rent a car. It is just impossible to get around the Los Angeles area without a car (unless you have extremely deep pockets and want to take cabs everywhere). And given that everyone else is driving around LA (residents and visitors alike), you need to allow a lot of extra time for traffic for wherever you are going.

Where to Stay in LA

While you can, of course, stay anywhere you want in LA, there are some distinct areas to consider: Hollywood/Beverly Hills (movie history, studios, walk of fame, high-end shopping); Santa Monica/Malibu (beach, pier, dining, outdoors); Downtown LA (events, dining, nightlife) and Venice Beach (people-watching, boardwalk, boutiques) among others. It’s a pretty good idea to figure out what you want to do and see (including distance, traffic and total time to get there) before you book your hotel. And then there are hundreds ofLos Angeles hotels to choose from.  Are you still with me?

Photo by MarkTravel via Trover.com

Cool Things to see and do in LA

Los Angeles Tours – For maximum LA impact, this is the way to go. The most popular tours are the Legends of Hollywood, Downtown Los Angeles Food Tour, Little Tokyo Food Tour, and the Hop On/Hop Off Los Angeles/Hollywood Bus.

Paramount Studios Tour – While Universal Studios is the more well-known tour, Paramount gives a unique view of a working studio. The odds are you will see familiar actors on the lot, and you will definitely see movie sets, costumes, props, and more.

Photo by MarkTravel via Trover.com

The Getty Center – The building itself is an architectural masterpiece containing some of the finest art in the world. Located north of Santa Monica, the center is known for its beauty and value (free admission). Visitors rave, and many recommend a tour.

La Brea Tar Pits & Page Museum – The Tar Pits contain hot bubbling tar and have been in existence for 40,000 years. The neighboring Page Museum contains tar pits artifacts and one of the world’s largest collections of Ice Age fossils. Really unique and different!

Sunset Strip – It’s 1.5 miles of quintessential LA on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. This stretch contains the Roxy Theatre, Whisky a Go Go, and the Comedy Store, plus shops, bars, and restaurants. This is the time to walk in LA!

With all there is to see and experience in Los Angeles, make your trip a memorable one!