A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Marathon vs. Orlando for Resorts, Families, Food, and Couples

Should you visit Marathon or Orlando?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Marathon or Orlando, this travel comparison, which includes costs, can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison down below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

Marathon

Marathon is a beautiful, relaxing, and quaint island. This is also a very beautiful destination which attracts plenty of visitors. Other reasons to visit include beaches, nightlife, and food.

Orlando

Orlando is a family-friendly, entertaining, and active city. Other reasons to visit include theater, nightlife, and food.

Marathon and Orlando: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Pros
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Active nightlife
  • Fun shopping
  • Popular at Christmas
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Home to Disney World, Universal Studios, and the city's many amusement parks


Is there more to do in Marathon or Orlando?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Orlando. Although Marathon and Orlando are both popular with visitors, Orlando has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. Orlando is more popular for its theatre productions, food, resorts, and shopping, while Marathon is known for its scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, and impressive beauty. Orlando is more touristy than Marathon and is known for being the home of Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and many other theme parks and family-friendly activities. It is also home to Disney World, Universal Studios, and the city's many amusement parks. Marathon is popular for its Loggerhead sea turtles, the Dolphin Research Center, Sombrero Beach, and its many places to scuba dive and snorkel.

How is Marathon different from Orlando?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is Marathon or Orlando Better for Theater?

Marathon
Orlando

Orlando is a nice place to visit for theatre. However, Marathon is not a theatre destination.

If you have some extra time in Orlando, take in a show. The city has a number of local theaters that are fun to explore. As home to Disney World and Universal Studios, there are also a number of shows available that are affiliated with the parks.

Marathon is not a theatre destination.


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

Marathon
Orlando

Orlando is great for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Marathon is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its local cuisine and restaurants.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Orlando. There are a diversity of restaurants on the Disney grounds and nearby. You'll also find many restaurants at Universal CityWalk and Disney Springs. Food can be expensive, and the quality can vary dramatically. Many people enjoy going to dinner shows as well. Restaurants can be challenging also, as reservations must be made months in advance.

Visitors will find a budding food and restaurant scene in Marathon. There are restaurants with waterfront terraces, raw bars, and other seafood eateries where you can enjoy fresh caught fish for a reasonable price.

Is Marathon or Orlando Better for Nightlife?

Marathon
Orlando

The vibe at night is good in both Marathon and Orlando.

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.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Orlando. If you need a break from the kids, you'll find some of the best nightlife around Orlando at Disney Springs, Wall Street Plaza and Universal CityWalk.

Is Marathon or Orlando Better for Resorts?

Marathon
Orlando

Orlando is a must-visit destination for its luxury resorts. Also, Marathon is not as popular, but is still a nice island for its resorts.

Orlando offers an unforgettable resort vacation. Disney World is famous for its many iconic resorts. Some of the most popular are the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Port Orleans Resort, and the Grand Floridian Resort. There are also many resorts that aren't affiliated with the major theme parks. These tend to be more affordable, but transportation options to and from the park are limited. You'll also miss out on the perks that come with staying at a theme park resort.

In Marathon, you'll find some of the region's top resorts. Popular resorts include Isla Bella Beach Resort and Tranquility Bay Resort.


Is Marathon or Orlando Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Marathon
Orlando

Marathon is a popular place for the nearby scuba diving and snorkeling. However, Orlando is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Marathon has a few good snorkeling spots. 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.

Orlando is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Is Marathon or Orlando Better for Beaches?

Marathon
Orlando

Marathon is great for its beaches. However, Orlando is not a beach destination.

Marathon is considered a top beach destination. Sombrero Beach is a popular spot for picnics, swimming and seeing the Loggerhead Turtles from April through October.

Orlando is not a beach destination.

Is the Shopping Better in Marathon or Orlando?

Marathon
Orlando

Orlando is great for shopping. However, Marathon is not a noteworthy shopping destination.

Shopping is a popular activity when visiting Orlando. Shopping is a dream for any Disney enthusiast. There are countless malls and shops, both on and off the Disney grounds, that sell all of the Disney paraphernalia. Disney Springs and Universal CityWalk are the most famous areas. During the evenings, these areas can be very crowded, but during the day they're less popular as most people are at the theme parks.

Marathon is not a noteworthy shopping destination.


Is Marathon or Orlando Better for Christmas?

Marathon
Orlando

Orlando is a must-visit destination for its Christmas holiday experiences. However, Marathon does not offer Christmas activities.

With so many activities, Orlando is a top place to visit during Christmas. Christmas at Disney World is lots of fun. There are decorations and all kinds of seasonal activities around town.

Marathon does not offer Christmas activities.

Is Marathon or Orlando Better for Families?

Marathon
Orlando

Orlando 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.

Orlando is an amazing family-friendly city to visit. Known as a theme park capital, here you'll find the iconic Disney World, as well as Universal Studios, SeaWorld and many more. While most people spend their vacation at the Disney or Universal resorts, there is also an endless supply of less mainstream parks and activities in the area.

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 Marathon or Orlando Better for Couples?

Marathon
Orlando

Marathon is great for romance. Also, Orlando is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its romantic activities.

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.

Orlando makes for a fun place to visit for a couple. While most people visit the area with family, there is a niche crowd that enjoys honeymooning or vacationing here as a couple. There are many beautiful restaurants and interesting activities that couples can enjoy together. This is the perfect trip for fun loving couples who don't take themselves to seriously.


Is Marathon or Orlando Better for Students?

Marathon
Orlando

Orlando is a nice place to visit for its student-friendly activities. However, Marathon is not popular with students.

It's common for students to visit Orlando. Most people don't think about education when they think about Orlando, but there are actually a diversity of internships and opportunities for students to learn in a fun setting.

Marathon is not popular with students.

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

Marathon
Orlando

Orlando is adequate for times when you don't have a car. However, Marathon is not a good destination for its public transit.

Public transit is mostly limited in Orlando. If you're staying at a Disney Property, there is excellent transportation around the complex, but otherwise, a car is essential.

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

Is Marathon or Orlando a more walkable city?

Marathon
Orlando

Marathon is adequate for its walkability. However, Orlando is not a good destination for its high level of walkability.

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

Orlando is not a walkable island. The city is sprawling, so unless you stay on the Disney grounds, it's best to rent a car.


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

Should I spend more time in Orlando or Marathon?

How long in Marathon or Orlando?

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

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Orlando 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 Orlando.


  • How many days in Marathon or Orlando? Ideal Length of Stay
    Marathon 3-7 
    Orlando 7

One day in Marathon or Orlando?

In Marathon, you'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife. Travelers enjoy the resorts in the area as well. This island offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

The city of Orlando offers food and shopping. 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.

A weekend in Marathon or Orlando?

In Marathon, you'll find nightlife and food. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Most people come for the beaches. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

Orlando 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.

Five days in Marathon or Orlando?

Marathon is a great place to explore. It is common to spend five days here. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. Five days is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Marathon has to offer. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

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


A week in Marathon or Orlando?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Marathon. In Marathon, you'll find scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife. It's also a relaxing resort destination. With all of its activities, you can easily fill one week here.

Orlando 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 Orlando has to offer. This city offers something for everyone.


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, Orlando or Marathon?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Marathon is $158, while the average daily cost in Orlando is $321. 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 Marathon and Orlando in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Marathon $76
    Orlando $154
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Marathon $152
    Orlando $308
Compare Hotels in Marathon and Orlando

Looking for a hotel in Marathon or Orlando? 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 Marathon


Hotels in Orlando


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: Marathon Hotel Prices and Orlando Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Marathon $47
    Orlando $66

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Orlando

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Orlando are as follows:


  • Parking
    $14
  • Taxi Ride
    $45

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Orlando

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

  • Universal Studios Ticket with MCO Airport Transfer: $376
  • Private Transfer from Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport to Melbourne: $296
  • Private Transfer to Davenport: $275
  • Private Transfer from Windermere to Port Canaveral: $273
  • Private Transfer from Four Corners to Port Canaveral: $273
  • Private Transfer from Reunion to Port Canaveral: $273
  • Private Transfer from Orlando-Sanford (SFB) Airport to The Villages: $273
  • Private Transfer from Orlando (MCO) Airport to Lakeland: $260
  • Private Transfer from Lakeland to Orlando (MCO) Airport: $260
  • Orlando Airport (MCO) to Miami accommodation - Arrival Private Transfer: $258
  • Private Transfer from Ocoee to Port Canaveral: $257
  • Private Transfer from Lake Mary to Port Canaveral: $257

Is it cheaper to fly into Marathon or Orlando?

Prices for flights to both Orlando and Marathon 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
    Marathon $51
    Orlando $65

Typical Food Prices in Orlando

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Orlando:


  • Lunch for Two at Epcot
    $29

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Orlando

For Orlando, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • The Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show: $38
  • Downtown Orlando Art and Food Tour: $44
  • Tastes of the World Food Tour in Winter Haven : $50
  • Dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe with Live Music: $58
  • Downtown Murder Mystery Walking Dinner Tour: $66
  • Mango's LIVE!: Dinner and Show in Orlando: $72
  • Polynesian Fire Luau with Dinner and Live Show: $75
  • Teatro Martini Dinner Show in Orlando: $79

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Marathon $27
    Orlando $204

Tours and Activities in Marathon

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

  • Florida: Sunset Champagne Cruise on the Marathon Mermaid: $82
  • Snorkel Adventure at Sombrero Key Light Reef: $80

Typical Entertainment Prices in Orlando

For Orlando, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Universal Studios for Two
    $110

Tours and Activities in Orlando

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

  • 2 HR Interactive Walking Ghost Tour in Downtown Orlando: $77
  • Everglades Airboat Tour near Orlando Florida: $89
  • 16 miles Private Helicopter Day Tour over Fun Spot: $65
  • 2 Hour Investigative Walking Ghost Tour of Downtown Orlando: $50
  • 23 mile Heli Tour, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom &more: $127
  • 23 miles Private Helicopter After-hours Tour Orlando Theme Parks: $125
  • 3- or 4-Park Magic Ticket at Walt Disney World Resort: $284
  • 31 mile Dream Helicopter Tour: $167
  • 31 mile Night Helicopter Tour showing Lit Theme Parks: $221
  • 8-Hour Automatic Polaris Slingshot SL Adventure Rental: $300
  • 90 Minute Pontoon Cruise in Florida: $53
  • Admission Ticket to Museum of Illusions Orlando: $31

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Marathon $24
    Orlando $30

Sample the Local Flavors in Orlando

Some specific costs for nightlife related activities in Orlando:

  • Orlando Virtual Bar Crawl & Scavenger Hunt: $12
  • Orlando Haunts Boos and Booze Haunted Pub Crawl: $35
  • Sanford’s Haunted Brewery Tour: $43
  • Pontoon Pub Crawl, 5 Lakeside Pubs and Restaurants Visit by Boat: $90
  • Happy Hour Downtown Pub Crawl: $170


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Marathon and Orlando, we can see that Orlando 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 Orlando would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Orlando 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 Marathon Expensive? and Is Orlando Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Marathon or Orlando?

Orlando has a larger population, and is about 20 times larger than the population of Marathon. When comparing the sizes of Marathon and Orlando, 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 Marathon or Orlando?

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 Marathon or Orlando in the Summer?

Both Orlando and Marathon are popular destinations to visit in the summer with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Marathon in the summer for the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences. Also, most visitors come to Orlando for the family-friendly experiences during these months.

Marathon is around the same temperature as Orlando in the summer. The daily temperature in Marathon averages around 84°F (29°C) in July, and Orlando fluctuates around 82°F (28°C).

It rains a lot this time of the year in Orlando. In July, Marathon usually receives less rain than Orlando. Marathon gets 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain, while Orlando receives 8.3 inches (211 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


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

Should I visit Marathon or Orlando in the Autumn?

Both Orlando and Marathon during the autumn are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Marathon for the natural beauty of the area during these months. Also, the autumn months attract visitors to Orlando because of the shopping scene.

In the autumn, Marathon is a little warmer than Orlando. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Marathon in October average around 80°F (27°C), and Orlando averages at about 75°F (24°C).

Orlando gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Marathon. Marathon usually gets more rain in October than Orlando. Marathon gets 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain, while Orlando receives 4.1 inches (103 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Marathon 80°F (27°C) 
    Orlando 75°F (24°C)

Should I visit Marathon or Orlando in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Marathon and Orlando. The winter months attract visitors to Marathon because of the cuisine. Also, the Christmas ambience, the shopping scene, the theater shows, and the cuisine are the main draw to Orlando this time of year.

In January, Marathon is generally a little warmer than Orlando. Daily temperatures in Marathon average around 70°F (21°C), and Orlando fluctuates around 59°F (15°C).

In January, Marathon usually receives less rain than Orlando. Marathon gets 1.7 inches (43 mm) of rain, while Orlando receives 2.3 inches (58 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Marathon 70°F (21°C) 
    Orlando 59°F (15°C)

Should I visit Marathon or Orlando in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Marathon as well as Orlando. The beaches and the natural beauty are the main draw to Marathon this time of year.

Marathon is a little warmer than Orlando in the spring. The daily temperature in Marathon averages around 77°F (25°C) in April, and Orlando fluctuates around 72°F (22°C).

Marathon usually gets less rain in April than Orlando. Marathon gets 0.8 inches (21 mm) of rain, while Orlando receives 2.7 inches (69 mm) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Marathon 77°F (25°C) 
    Orlando 72°F (22°C)

Typical Weather for Orlando and Marathon

Marathon Orlando
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 70°F (21°C) 1.7 inches (43 mm) 59°F (15°C) 2.3 inches (58 mm)
Feb 71°F (21°C) 1.4 inches (36 mm) 62°F (16°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Mar 74°F (23°C) 1.7 inches (42 mm) 67°F (19°C) 3.5 inches (88 mm)
Apr 77°F (25°C) 0.8 inches (21 mm) 72°F (22°C) 2.7 inches (69 mm)
May 81°F (27°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 77°F (25°C) 3 inches (75 mm)
Jun 83°F (28°C) 4.5 inches (114 mm) 81°F (27°C) 7.1 inches (181 mm)
Jul 84°F (29°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 82°F (28°C) 8.3 inches (211 mm)
Aug 84°F (29°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 82°F (28°C) 6.7 inches (171 mm)
Sep 83°F (29°C) 5.7 inches (144 mm) 81°F (27°C) 7.2 inches (183 mm)
Oct 80°F (27°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 75°F (24°C) 4.1 inches (103 mm)
Nov 76°F (24°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 68°F (20°C) 1.6 inches (40 mm)
Dec 72°F (22°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm) 62°F (17°C) 1.9 inches (48 mm)