A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Key Largo vs. Marathon for Families, Resorts, Scuba Diving & Snorkeling, and Beaches

Should you visit Key Largo or Marathon?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Trying to figure out where to travel next? This travel comparison between Key Largo and Marathon can help. It includes a travel cost comparison in addition to other factors. For many travelers, the cost of a destination is a primary consideration when choosing where to go.

Key Largo

Key Largo is a family-friendly, beautiful, and relaxed island. As it is a quaint destination, it has a nice vibe. Other reasons to visit include scuba diving and snorkeling and beaches.

Marathon

Marathon is a quaint, beautiful, and relaxing island. With stunning beauty, it attracts visitors from all around. It's also popular because of the beaches, nightlife, and food.

Key Largo and Marathon: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty


Is there more to do in Key Largo or Marathon?

Visitors will usually find more to do in Marathon than Key Largo, as it offers more sights, attractions, and activities. Marathon is better known for its food, nightlife, beaches, and impressive beauty, while Key Largo is more popular for its scuba diving & snorkeling and quaint atmosphere. Key Largo is well known for its snorkeling and scuba diving including that around John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and the artificial reef around the USS Spiegel Grove. Marathon is well known for its Loggerhead sea turtles, the Dolphin Research Center, Sombrero Beach, and its many places to scuba dive and snorkel. Also, Marathon is famous for The Dolphin Research Center.

How is Key Largo different from Marathon?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Marathon and Key Largo. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Is the Food Better in Key Largo or Marathon? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Key Largo
Marathon

Marathon is a island with good options for its local flavors and cuisine. However, Key Largo is not a good destination for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Marathon is becoming an appealing option for foodies. There are restaurants with waterfront terraces, raw bars, and other seafood eateries where you can enjoy fresh caught fish for a reasonable price.

Key Largo offers some easy restaurants to choose from. Like the rest of the Florida Keys, Key Largo is known for its Key Lime pie and seafood. You'll find a great selection of restaurants that serve seafood dishes and options for the land-loving crew. There are even a few international restaurants to choose from.


Is Key Largo or Marathon Better for Nightlife?

Key Largo
Marathon

Marathon is a island with good options for its evening party scene. However, Key Largo is not a good destination for nightlife.

If you're looking for night time activities Marathon has a few options to choose from. Popular nightlife venues include JJ’s Dog House & Sports Bar, Brass Monkey, and Cabana Club.

Most people don't head to Key Largo specifically for the nightlife scene, but you can find a few options. This area is not known for its nightlife, so you'll need to head further south if partying is your style.

Is Key Largo or Marathon Better for Resorts?

Key Largo
Marathon

If luxury resorts are your style, both Key Largo and Marathon have high quality options.

In Key Largo, you'll find some of the region's top resorts. Popular resorts in the area include Playa Largo Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection, Reefhouse Resort & Marina, and Largo Resort.

There are plenty of resorts in Marathon to choose from. Popular resorts include Isla Bella Beach Resort and Tranquility Bay Resort.

Is Key Largo or Marathon Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Key Largo
Marathon

Key Largo is great for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. Also, Marathon is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its diving and snorkeling.

Many visitors go to Key Largo to enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling. Near this island you'll find some of the best snorkeling and diving in the Florida Keys at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. There are private tours that head out to the reef for either snorkeling or diving. There are also shipwrecks and other fascinating spots to explore.

It's fun to get in the water and check out the local marine life in Marathon. There are many dive shops around Marathon and the area has dive spots that are great for every level. Some of the best sites are Sombrero Reef, Coffins Patch, and Thunderbolt wreck. There are also many snorkeling trips that head out to Sombrero Reef.


Is Key Largo or Marathon Better for Beaches?

Key Largo
Marathon

Marathon is great for the beach. Also, Key Largo is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its beaches.

The beaches at Marathon attract visitors from all over. Sombrero Beach is a popular spot for picnics, swimming and seeing the Loggerhead Turtles from April through October.

Key Largo offers a nice beach destination. Many of the beaches around Key Largo are man-made, but they do offer nice sand and beautiful blue water. The water is turquoise, although not as striking as further south.

Is Key Largo or Marathon Better for Families?

Key Largo
Marathon

Key Largo is a must-visit destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Marathon is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its family-friendly activities.

Key Largo is an amazing family-friendly island to visit. This area has some of the best family-friendly snorkeling at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. There's also several places where your kids can interact with dolphins or experience wildlife. If you want to get out on the water, there's kayaking, sunset cruises, and glass bottom boats, all of which are great for the whole family.

Marathon is a very kid-friendly island. Kids will enjoy getting face-to-face with dolphins at the Dolphin Research Center. Families can also explore Pigeon Key or play in the water at Sombrero Beach. Families will find no shortage of activities on the island.

Is Key Largo or Marathon Better for Couples?

Key Largo
Marathon

Marathon is great for couples. Also, Key Largo is not as popular, but is still a nice island for romance.

Marathon is a great island if you're traveling as a couple. With beautiful views, 7 Mile Bridge, and plenty of activities, this area makes a romantic destination for couples. There are beaches and waterfront spots that offer a romantic setting for couples.

Key Largo is a nice destination for couples. Most couples head further down the Florida Keys, but for snorkeling and scuba diving, Key Largo is the better option. You'll also find kayaking and sunset cruises that leave from the area.


Is Key Largo or Marathon Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Key Largo
Marathon

Neither Key Largo or Marathon offer decent public transit.

Public transit is quite limited in Key Largo. There's no real public transit around the island and you must have a car to get around.

Public transit is limited or non-existant in Marathon. There's no real public transportation in town. A car is essential.

Is Key Largo or Marathon a more walkable city?

Key Largo
Marathon

Marathon is adequate for its ease of walking around. However, Key Largo is not a good destination for its walkability.

Marathon is generally not a very walkable island. Shops and restaurants and spread out along a central road, making walking difficult to impossible.

Key Largo is not a walkable island. It is a sprawling area that spreads out along a main highway that is not pedestrian friendly.

For even more information, also check out Is Key Largo Worth Visiting? and Is Marathon Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Marathon or Key Largo?

How long in Key Largo or Marathon?

Both Key Largo and Marathon have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, Marathon has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in Marathon than Key Largo. In general, 5-7 days is a good amount of time for Key Largo, and 3-7 days is enough time in Marathon.

Families should spend more time in Key Largo than Marathon. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Key Largo, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Marathon than Key Largo. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Marathon that are perfect for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Key Largo than Marathon if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Key Largo.


  • How many days in Key Largo or Marathon? Ideal Length of Stay
    Key Largo 5-7 
    Marathon 3-7

One day in Key Largo or Marathon?

The island of Key Largo offers scuba diving and snorkeling. It's also a relaxing resort destination. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

You'll find food and scuba diving and snorkeling around the island of Marathon. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. Since there is so much to do in the area, one day is probably not enough for all of it. It has many unique tourist attractions and fascinating things to do.


A weekend in Key Largo or Marathon?

Key Largo is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. But since there are so many activities, you'll likely want to spend more than a weekend exploring. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

You'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife around the beautiful destination of Marathon. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. A weekend is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. This island offers a variety of activities to choose from.

Five days in Key Largo or Marathon?

Key Largo is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Key Largo, five days is sufficent for most. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

You'll find nightlife and food around the beautiful island of Marathon. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. If you have five days, this island makes for a great vacation. It's also a relaxing resort destination. Five days should give you a good understanding of everything this island has to offer.

A week in Key Largo or Marathon?

Key Largo is a great place to explore. It is common to spend one week here. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Key Largo has to offer. This island offers something for everyone.

Marathon is a popular choice for travelers. One week here is typical. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Marathon, one week is sufficent for most. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Adventure Tours to United States of America, The Best Train & Rail Tours in United States of America, The Best Sightseeing Tours in United States of America, and The Best Cruise Tours and Packages in United States of America.


Which place is cheaper, Marathon or Key Largo?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Key Largo is $212, while the average daily cost in Marathon is $158. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Key Largo and Marathon in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Key Largo $117
    Marathon $76
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Key Largo $234
    Marathon $152
Compare Hotels in Key Largo and Marathon

Looking for a hotel in Key Largo or Marathon? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Key Largo


Hotels in Marathon


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Key Largo Hotel Prices and Marathon Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Key Largo $56
    Marathon $47

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Key Largo

Also for Key Largo, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Key Largo Private Transfers (up to 14 passengers): $142

Is it cheaper to fly into Key Largo or Marathon?

Prices for flights to both Marathon and Key Largo change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Key Largo $60
    Marathon $51

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Key Largo $27
    Marathon $27

Tours and Activities in Key Largo

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Key Largo.

  • 1.5 Hour Bay Side Key Largo Sunset Cruise on a Spacious Catamaran: $60
  • 2 Location Snorkel Tour - Gear Included, 65 minutes per location: $79
  • Cruisin' Tikis Key Largo - Sunset Cruise: $99
  • Florida Key West Self-Driving Tour (Overseas Highway, 7 Mile Bridge): $17
  • Guided Tour Explore Key Largo on Jet Ski : $185
  • Half-Day Florida Keys Catamaran Snorkel Adventure: $79
  • Key Largo Bay Sunset Tour: $66
  • Key Largo Boat Charter Day Tour: $65
  • Key Largo Coral Reef Glass Bottom Boat Adventure : $45
  • Key Largo Snorkeling Tour - rental mask, fins and vest INCLUDED: $68
  • Key Largo Two Reef Snorkel Tour - All Snorkel Equipment Included!: $78
  • Mangrove Tunnel Kayak Adventure in Key Largo: $68

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Key Largo $24
    Marathon $24


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Key Largo and Marathon, we can see that Key Largo is more expensive. And not only is Marathon much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Marathon would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Marathon and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Key Largo would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Key Largo than you might in Marathon.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Key Largo Expensive? and Is Marathon Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Key Largo or Marathon?

Key Largo has a larger population, and is about 22% larger than the population of Marathon. When comparing the sizes of Key Largo and Marathon, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Key Largo or Marathon?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the northern hemisphere, summer is in July and winter is in January.

Should I visit Key Largo or Marathon in the Summer?

Both Marathon and Key Largo are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Most visitors come to Key Largo for the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences during these months. Also, the summer months attract visitors to Marathon because of the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences.

In the summer, Key Largo is around the same temperature as Marathon. Typically, the summer temperatures in Key Largo in July average around 82°F (28°C), and Marathon averages at about 84°F (29°C).

It's quite sunny in Marathon. The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Key Largo. Key Largo usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Marathon during summer. Key Largo gets 316 hours of sunny skies, while Marathon receives 328 hours of full sun in the summer.

It's quite rainy in Key Largo. In July, Key Largo usually receives more rain than Marathon. Key Largo gets 5.9 inches (149 mm) of rain, while Marathon receives 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Key Largo 82°F (28°C) 
    Marathon 84°F (29°C)

Should I visit Key Largo or Marathon in the Autumn?

Both Marathon and Key Largo during the autumn are popular places to visit. Also, the natural beauty of the area are the main draw to Marathon this time of year.

In October, Key Largo is generally around the same temperature as Marathon. Daily temperatures in Key Largo average around 78°F (26°C), and Marathon fluctuates around 80°F (27°C).

In Marathon, it's very sunny this time of the year. It's quite sunny in Key Largo. In the autumn, Key Largo often gets around the same amount of sunshine as Marathon. Key Largo gets 275 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Marathon receives 258 hours of full sun.

Marathon gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Key Largo. Key Largo usually gets more rain in October than Marathon. Key Largo gets 5.6 inches (143 mm) of rain, while Marathon receives 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Key Largo 78°F (26°C) 
    Marathon 80°F (27°C)

Should I visit Key Largo or Marathon in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Key Largo and Marathon. The cuisine are the main draw to Key Largo this time of year. Also, many travelers come to Marathon for the cuisine.

Key Largo is around the same temperature as Marathon in the winter. The daily temperature in Key Largo averages around 67°F (19°C) in January, and Marathon fluctuates around 70°F (21°C).

People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Marathon this time of the year. In Key Largo, it's very sunny this time of the year. Key Largo usually receives around the same amount of sunshine as Marathon during winter. Key Largo gets 243 hours of sunny skies, while Marathon receives 252 hours of full sun in the winter.

In January, Key Largo usually receives more rain than Marathon. Key Largo gets 2.2 inches (55 mm) of rain, while Marathon receives 1.7 inches (43 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Key Largo 67°F (19°C) 
    Marathon 70°F (21°C)

Should I visit Key Largo or Marathon in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Key Largo as well as Marathon. Many travelers come to Key Largo for the beaches. Also, many visitors come to Marathon in the spring for the beaches and the natural beauty.

In the spring, Key Largo is around the same temperature as Marathon. Typically, the spring temperatures in Key Largo in April average around 74°F (24°C), and Marathon averages at about 77°F (25°C).

The sun comes out a lot this time of the year in Marathon. People are often attracted to the plentiful sunshine in Key Largo this time of the year. In the spring, Key Largo often gets less sunshine than Marathon. Key Largo gets 300 hours of sunny skies this time of year, while Marathon receives 326 hours of full sun.

Key Largo usually gets more rain in April than Marathon. Key Largo gets 3.1 inches (78 mm) of rain, while Marathon receives 0.8 inches (21 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Key Largo 74°F (24°C) 
    Marathon 77°F (25°C)

Typical Weather for Marathon and Key Largo

Key Largo Marathon
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 67°F (19°C) 2.2 inches (55 mm) 70°F (21°C) 1.7 inches (43 mm)
Feb 68°F (20°C) 2.1 inches (53 mm) 71°F (21°C) 1.4 inches (36 mm)
Mar 71°F (22°C) 2.4 inches (61 mm) 74°F (23°C) 1.7 inches (42 mm)
Apr 74°F (24°C) 3.1 inches (78 mm) 77°F (25°C) 0.8 inches (21 mm)
May 78°F (26°C) 6.4 inches (162 mm) 81°F (27°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm)
Jun 81°F (27°C) 9.4 inches (238 mm) 83°F (28°C) 4.5 inches (114 mm)
Jul 82°F (28°C) 5.9 inches (149 mm) 84°F (29°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm)
Aug 83°F (28°C) 7.5 inches (191 mm) 84°F (29°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm)
Sep 82°F (28°C) 7.6 inches (194 mm) 83°F (29°C) 5.7 inches (144 mm)
Oct 78°F (26°C) 5.6 inches (143 mm) 80°F (27°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm)
Nov 73°F (23°C) 2.9 inches (73 mm) 76°F (24°C) 2 inches (50 mm)
Dec 69°F (21°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm) 72°F (22°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm)