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Marathon, Florida is a city like few others. Marathon is ten miles long but situated on 13 different islands, all of which have excellent beaches, reef, and other tropical opportunities for adventure. You will find superior, fresh seafood here, in addition to prime fishing spots. You'll likely spot dolphins and other wildlife in Marathon as well! While almost 9,000 people live here all year, countless more visit this vacation destination each year. The sun, sand, and water are a big draw, and there is always something to do outdoors in Marathon, and that includes adventuring with your dog!
When you are ready to take a break from the beach or the boat, stop in at Castaway Restaurant for a refreshing drink and a good meal. This waterfront restaurant welcomes dogs at one of their many outdoor tables where you can munch on dishes like sushi, ribs, lobster, and chicken parmesan. For your dog, staff will bring out a bowl of ice water, and if they're lucky, they might just get a delicious scrap or two of food! Whether you're looking for a beach vacation or hope to call Marathon home, you will find it's a beautiful and welcoming place where both you and Fido will enjoy yourselves.
You will be hard-pressed to find an area of Marathon that you couldn't describe as beachy, but south Marathon is one of the MOST beachy areas. Here, you will find Sombrero Beach, a gorgeous white sand beach along the Atlantic Ocean that welcomes dogs on leash. Sombrero Beach is also a turtle nesting beach, so if you're there at the right time of year (between April and October), you might have the chance to spot some Loggerhead turtles laying their eggs on the beach at night! The beach also offers plenty of shade when you need a break from the sun as well as public bathrooms and showers.
Marathon is home to its very own dog park which can be found in central Marathon. Marathon Dog Park has separate sections for dogs of different sizes, and it also provides water, waste bags and waste bins, along with plenty of seating and shade for park users. There are several trails in the area as well as exercise stations, so if you want to do something a little more intense than a walk, this is a great place to spend some time with your dog! Tiki huts and picnic tables along the path are the perfect spots to stop for lunch as well.
The beaches of east Marathon are among the most natural in the area as they are slightly less developed than some of the other beaches in Marathon, but visitors love them just the same! One of these beaches is called Coco Plum Beach which also has an adjacent wetland area. This beach is quite long, and the water is fairly shallow, so it's perfect for wading in with your dog. Visitors love how quiet this beach is and that it has public restaurants, picnic areas, and plenty of parking and your dog is sure to give it two paws up!
The Dolphin Research Center in northeast Marathon is one of the biggest visitor draws in the city, and luckily, it's dog-friendly! You can meet dolphins and sea lions here, and your dog is welcome to come along provided they are on a leash. This not-for-profit educational center works to protect marine animals while building relationships with humans and conserving marine environments. The Dolphin Research Center was founded over 30 years ago, and now more than 70,000 people visit every year, and many of them bring their dogs along! Most dogs have never met marine wildlife before, and it is always interesting to see how they react to a dolphin's squeaks or a sea lion's barks.
Only a half an hour drive from Marathon will take you to central Big Pine Key, where you will find the Big Pine Bark Park. This massive dog park has just about everything you or Fido could ever want in a dog park: benches, wading pools, sand and grass areas, paths, and drinking water. If you have a small dog, you'll be pleased to know there is a separate fenced area just for small dogs to play and exercise together safely. The community takes great pride in this dog park and works hard to maintain it, and many regard it as one of the very best in the lower Keys.
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