Visitors' guide to Marathon's attractions, restaurants and hotels
When Henry Flagler began construction of his Seven Mile Bridge to bring the railroad to Key West, two years of "marathon" work began, giving this area at the heart of the Keys its name. Today, Flagler's bridge is used as a fitness path and fishing pier. Running parallel to the newer construction, the Five Mile Bridge is believed to be the longest segmented bridge in the world. The view from the bridge is breathtaking, as the azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico appear to sweep across and almost join the Atlantic Ocean. This nineteenth-century fishing village now has all the trappings of modern living, yet still retains its old charm. Popular pursuits include some of the best sportfishing, snorkeling and wreck-diving in the country.
Charter Boats take visitors out to the only living coral reef in North America. The climate is sub-tropical and visitors may wish to while away the hours swaying gently in a hammock, soaking up the sun, or exploring places of interest such as Crane Point Hammock, 64 acres of tropical vegetation and 1.5 miles of trails. This is also an important archaeological site that has produced some interesting pre-Columbian and prehistoric Bahamian artefacts.
Nearby is the Museum of Natural History that exhibits examples of the area's indigenous wildlife. There is a Children's Museum next door. Nestled below the Seven Mile Bridge is Pigeon Key. This restored area was home to the men who built Henry Flagler's Overseas Railroad.