A Travel Price Comparison for Florida Marathon vs. West Palm Beach for Resorts, Beaches, Nightlife, and Scuba Diving & Snorkeling

Should you visit Marathon or West Palm Beach?

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

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Marathon or West Palm Beach, 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.

West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach is a fun-filled, diverse, and vibrant beach area. Other reasons to visit include nightlife, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Marathon and West Palm Beach: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Public transit not as usable
Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good public transit


Is there more to do in Marathon or West Palm Beach?

Tourists will generally find more to do in West Palm Beach. Although Marathon and West Palm Beach are both popular with visitors, West Palm Beach has more sights, activities, and attractions for travelers. West Palm Beach is more popular for its nightlife, resorts, scuba diving & snorkeling, and beaches, while Marathon is known for its food and impressive beauty. Marathon is popular for its Loggerhead sea turtles, the Dolphin Research Center, Sombrero Beach, and its many places to scuba dive and snorkel. West Palm Beach is popular for its nice resorts, a lively boardwalk, great seafood, and fun watersports. It is also home to Rosemary Square.

How is Marathon different from West Palm Beach?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

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

Is the Food Better in Marathon or West Palm Beach? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Marathon
West Palm Beach

Marathon is a popular place for its local flavors and cuisine. However, West Palm Beach is not known for its local cuisine and restaurants.

There are plenty of up and coming restaurants around Marathon. There are restaurants with waterfront terraces, raw bars, and other seafood eateries where you can enjoy fresh caught fish for a reasonable price.

You'll find the standard options when it comes to food in West Palm Beach. Oceanfront restaurants usually have a great view and offer local and fresh seafood. There are also many local restaurants concentrated around Clematis Street and CityPlace districts.


Is Marathon or West Palm Beach Better for Nightlife?

Marathon
West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach is great for nightlife. Also, Marathon is not as popular, but is still a nice island for nightlife and partying.

Many people head to West Palm Beach for the nightlife scene. With rooftop bars and clubs, oceanfront venues, and plenty of nightlife options downtown, this city rivals most places when it comes to nightlife. The nightlife scene is particularly active during spring break, when university students head to town.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Marathon. Popular nightlife venues include JJ’s Dog House & Sports Bar, Brass Monkey, and Cabana Club.

Is Marathon or West Palm Beach Better for Resorts?

Marathon
West Palm Beach

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

West Palm Beach offers an unforgettable resort vacation. All of the major names are present including the Hilton, Marriott, and Four Seasons.

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 West Palm Beach Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Marathon
West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach 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 West Palm Beach to enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling. Check out Phil Foster Park in Rivera Beach. It's a man-made reef that is surprisingly clear.

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 Marathon or West Palm Beach Better for Beaches?

Marathon
West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach is a must-visit destination for its beaches. Also, Marathon is not as popular, but is still a nice island for the beache.

The beaches in West Palm Beach are among the best in the world. From bustling beaches with a boardwalk to quieter, more relaxing beaches surrounded by parkland, there are are number of options in the area.

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.

Is Marathon or West Palm Beach Better for Families?

Marathon
West Palm Beach

Marathon and West Palm Beach are both very good destinations for the whole family.

Marathon is a very family-friendly destination. 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.

West Palm Beach is a very kid-friendly island. Animal lovers will appreciate the zoos and aquariums in the area. Check out McCarthy's Wildlife Sanctuary, Manatee Lagoon, the Palm Beach Zoo, and the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium.

Is Marathon or West Palm Beach Better for Couples?

Marathon
West Palm Beach

Marathon and West Palm Beach are both very good to visit as a couple.

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.

West Palm Beach is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples will enjoy kayaking, dining out, or simply relaxing on the beach. It's fun to spend a day exploring the botanical gardens and an evening wandering around Clematis Street.


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

Marathon
West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach is a nice place to visit for times when you don't have a car. However, Marathon is not a good destination for its public transit.

While West Palm Beach offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There's a downtown trolley, a commuter trail line (connecting West Palm Beach, Miami, and Fort Lauderdale), and a bus system with about 30 lines.

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

Is Marathon or West Palm Beach a more walkable city?

Marathon
West Palm Beach

West Palm Beach is a nice place to visit for its walkability. However, Marathon is not a good destination for its high level of walkability.

West Palm Beach is somewhat walkable. West Palm Beach has a surprisingly walkable area and it's possible to explore the downtown area on foot.

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

For even more information, also check out Is Marathon Worth Visiting? and Is West Palm Beach Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in West Palm Beach or Marathon?

How long in Marathon or West Palm Beach?

Both Marathon and West Palm Beach have a number of activities to choose from. In our opinion, West Palm Beach has more to see and do, so we recommend spending more time in West Palm Beach than Marathon. However, 3-7 days is a good amount of time to spend in either destination.

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

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

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in West Palm Beach 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 West Palm Beach.


  • How many days in Marathon or West Palm Beach? Ideal Length of Stay
    Marathon 3-7 
    West Palm Beach 3-7

One day in Marathon or West Palm Beach?

The beautiful destination of Marathon offers food and scuba diving and snorkeling. People enjoy relaxing at one of the resorts. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

The beach area of West Palm Beach offers scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife. Most people come for the beaches. 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 West Palm Beach?

The island of Marathon offers scuba diving and snorkeling and nightlife. People usually spend lots of time at the beach. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

West Palm Beach 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 West Palm Beach?

Marathon is a great place to explore. People often spend their time relaxing at one of the resorts. This island offers something for everyone. It is common to spend five days here. Five days is often enough time to do most activities.

West Palm Beach is a popular choice for travelers. Five days here is typical. It's no surprise that beaches is why people visit. While some people choose to spend more or less time in West Palm Beach, 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 West Palm Beach?

The beautiful island of Marathon offers food and scuba diving and snorkeling. You can also relax and pamper yourself at one of the resorts. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. For many, it makes a great getaway for one week. Because of this, one week is usually enough time for a trip here.

West Palm Beach is a great place to explore. It's no surprise that beaches is why people visit. It is common to spend one week here. It's also a great beach destination, too. One week is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that West Palm Beach has to offer. This beach area 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, West Palm Beach 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 West Palm Beach is $330. 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 West Palm Beach in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Marathon $76
    West Palm Beach $234
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Marathon $152
    West Palm Beach $468
Compare Hotels in Marathon and West Palm Beach

Looking for a hotel in Marathon or West Palm Beach? 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 West Palm Beach


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 West Palm Beach Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Marathon $47
    West Palm Beach $49

Hired Cars and Shuttles in West Palm Beach

Also for West Palm Beach, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Fort Lauderdale Ports transfer from West Palm Beach: $267
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Palm Beach Airport PBI to Palm Beach in Luxury SUV: $110
  • Departure Private Transfer: Palm Beach to Palm Beach Airport PBI in Luxury SUV: $109
  • Private Transfer from PBI to Palm Beach City : $105
  • Arrival Private Transfer: Palm Beach Airport PBI to Palm Beach in Business Car: $94
  • Palm Beach Intl Airport (PBI) to Port of Palm Beach - RoundTrip Private Transfer: $83
  • Palm Beach Airport (PBI) to Palm Beach City - Round-Trip Private Transfer: $61
  • Palm Beach hotels to Cruise Port of Palm Beach - Departure Private Transfer : $42
  • Cruise Port of Palm Beach to Palm Beach hotels - Arrival Private Transfer : $42
  • Palm Beach Intl Airport (PBI) to Port of Palm Beach - Arrival Private Transfer : $42
  • Private Transfer from Cruise Port of Palm Beach to Palm Beach: $42
  • Palm Beach Port to Palm Beach Airport (PBI) - Departure Transfer: $42

Is it cheaper to fly into Marathon or West Palm Beach?

Prices for flights to both West Palm Beach 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
    West Palm Beach $66

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in West Palm Beach

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

  • Mornings in the Market Food Tour: $75
  • Mornings in the Market Food Tour: $75
  • Downtown West Palm Beach Food Tour: $85
  • Downtown Food Tour: $85
  • Prohibition Dinner & Drinks Tour: $101
  • Food Tour of Historic West Palm Beach Neighborhoods: $101
  • Prohibition Dinner & Drinks Tour: $101
  • Historic Neighborhood Food Tour: $101

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Marathon $27
    West Palm Beach $19

Tours and Activities in West Palm Beach

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for West Palm Beach.

  • 2-Hour Guided Snorkel Tour of Phil Foster Park, Blue Heron Bridge: $60
  • 3 Hour Cruise & Swimming Excursion off Peanut Island Park: $77
  • Beginner Scuba Diving Tour With Videos in West Palm Beach: $99
  • Beginner Snorkel Tour With Videos in West Palm Beach: $49
  • Blue Heron Bridge Guided Snorkel Tour : $90
  • Bulk Candy Store Tour: $13
  • Christmas Light Cruise from Jupiter: $75
  • Clear Kayak Eco Tour in Jupiter, Florida: $75
  • Clear Kayak Tour in Jupiter: $79
  • Experience Peanut Island Adventures: $50
  • Flamingle Happy Hour Cruise: $40
  • Full-Day Private Experience Wellness Program in Palm Beach: $244

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Marathon $24
    West Palm Beach $39


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


Which is Bigger, Marathon or West Palm Beach?

West Palm Beach has a larger population, and is about 8 times larger than the population of Marathon. When comparing the sizes of Marathon and West Palm Beach, 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 West Palm Beach?

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 West Palm Beach in the Summer?

Both West Palm Beach 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 West Palm Beach for the beaches, snorkeling, and the family-friendly experiences during these months.

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

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

It rains a lot this time of the year in West Palm Beach. In July, Marathon usually receives less rain than West Palm Beach. Marathon gets 3.3 inches (83 mm) of rain, while West Palm Beach receives 6.5 inches (166 mm) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures July
    Marathon 84°F (29°C) 
    West Palm Beach 82°F (28°C)

Should I visit Marathon or West Palm Beach in the Autumn?

Both West Palm Beach 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.

In the autumn, Marathon is around the same temperature as West Palm Beach. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Marathon in October average around 80°F (27°C), and West Palm Beach averages at about 78°F (25°C).

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

West Palm Beach gets a good bit of rain this time of year. It rains a lot this time of the year in Marathon. Marathon usually gets less rain in October than West Palm Beach. Marathon gets 5.1 inches (129 mm) of rain, while West Palm Beach receives 8.7 inches (222 mm) of rain this time of the year. Also, the hurricane season in West Palm Beach is June to November.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures October
    Marathon 80°F (27°C) 
    West Palm Beach 78°F (25°C)

Should I visit Marathon or West Palm Beach in the Winter?

The winter attracts plenty of travelers to both Marathon and West Palm Beach. The winter months attract visitors to Marathon because of the cuisine. Furthermore, the cuisine are the main draw to West Palm Beach this time of year.

In January, Marathon is generally a little warmer than West Palm Beach. Daily temperatures in Marathon average around 70°F (21°C), and West Palm Beach fluctuates around 65°F (19°C).

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

In January, Marathon usually receives less rain than West Palm Beach. Marathon gets 1.7 inches (43 mm) of rain, while West Palm Beach receives 2.6 inches (66 mm) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures January
    Marathon 70°F (21°C) 
    West Palm Beach 65°F (19°C)

Should I visit Marathon or West Palm Beach in the Spring?

The spring brings many poeple to Marathon as well as West Palm Beach. The beaches and the natural beauty are the main draw to Marathon this time of year. Additionally, many travelers come to West Palm Beach for the beaches.

Marathon is around the same temperature as West Palm Beach in the spring. The daily temperature in Marathon averages around 77°F (25°C) in April, and West Palm Beach fluctuates around 74°F (23°C).

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

Marathon usually gets less rain in April than West Palm Beach. Marathon gets 0.8 inches (21 mm) of rain, while West Palm Beach receives 3.5 inches (89 mm) of rain this time of the year. Keep in mind that June to November is the hurricane season in West Palm Beach.


  • Spring Average Temperatures April
    Marathon 77°F (25°C) 
    West Palm Beach 74°F (23°C)

Typical Weather for West Palm Beach and Marathon

Marathon West Palm Beach
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 70°F (21°C) 1.7 inches (43 mm) 65°F (19°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm)
Feb 71°F (21°C) 1.4 inches (36 mm) 66°F (19°C) 2.6 inches (66 mm)
Mar 74°F (23°C) 1.7 inches (42 mm) 70°F (21°C) 3.3 inches (84 mm)
Apr 77°F (25°C) 0.8 inches (21 mm) 74°F (23°C) 3.5 inches (89 mm)
May 81°F (27°C) 2.7 inches (68 mm) 78°F (25°C) 5.2 inches (131 mm)
Jun 83°F (28°C) 4.5 inches (114 mm) 81°F (27°C) 8.1 inches (207 mm)
Jul 84°F (29°C) 3.3 inches (83 mm) 82°F (28°C) 6.5 inches (166 mm)
Aug 84°F (29°C) 3.9 inches (98 mm) 83°F (28°C) 6.9 inches (176 mm)
Sep 83°F (29°C) 5.7 inches (144 mm) 81°F (27°C) 9.8 inches (250 mm)
Oct 80°F (27°C) 5.1 inches (129 mm) 78°F (25°C) 8.7 inches (222 mm)
Nov 76°F (24°C) 2 inches (50 mm) 72°F (22°C) 2.5 inches (63 mm)
Dec 72°F (22°C) 1.4 inches (35 mm) 67°F (20°C) 2.2 inches (56 mm)