First off, I would like to say thank you to all that helped in providing information to plan our trip, especially Bluewater. The information helped us make decisions throughout our entire vacation.
My wife and I took a last minute trip to the Keys from April 10-16 for some fishing, snorkeling, and R&R. The plan was to stay in marathon for half of the time and head to Key West for the other half. The way things worked out, we stayed in Marathon the entire time except for the last night.
We flew into Key West and rented a car for the week to head up to Marathon. It was a much appreciated surprise that we got upgraded to a brand new convertible Camaro SS. It made for an awesome drive up to Marathon.
In Marathon, we stayed at Tranquility Bay. I cannot say enough about this place. From the service, to the units, to the grounds, to the location, everything was perfect. From the moment we checked in, we were greeted with a smile and familiarized with the property. Throughout the entire stay, anytime we passed an employee we were given a smile and nice greeting.
The unit was very clean and looked almost brand new with very minimal signs of any wear. Our unit was located right near the lagoon style pool just down from the Butterfly cafe and Tiki bar, which was perfect for us. The kitchen came in very handy as we made breakfast daily and would pack a lunch for whatever activities we had planned for the day. We also used it to cook the fish we caught for dinner one night. The bed had to be one of the most comfortable we have ever slept on.
As for dining in Marathon, we ate at the Island Fish Co. and The Butterfly Cafe. The Island was OK. Nothing spectacular, but good food at a decent price. We ate dinner there once and stopped by for happy hour one of the days after the beach.
The Butterfly Cafe was fantastic. We ended up eating here twice during the week, and everything we got was delicious. It's a little pricey, but definitely worth it. I can't remember everything we got, but all of it was fresh, prepared perfectly, and tasted fantastic. The service was spot on as well, in overall service and recommendations (both food and wine).
Going to the beaches - We went to 3 different beaches while in Marathon. Sombrero beach was a nice beach. It was mildly populated, had some sea grass on the shore, but overall a nice beach. Coco Plum was a great beach. My wife and I walked up and we were the only ones there for the first 30 minutes. It was calm, quiet, and very relaxing. There wasn't much beach there, but it was very picturesque and relaxing. Bahia Honda State park has some very nice beaches. I would recommend going to the beach to the left first for a tiny bit and then packing up and heading to the main beach which is to the right when you enter the park.
Snorkeling - We went snorkeling one of the days at A Deep Blue Dive. This was one of the best recommendations we received. The trip goes to 2 different reefs and only has a maximum of 6 passengers (that's right, 6 passengers). It's not one of the giant charters that acts like a cattle herding service. It was very nice to have a small group and not be bumping into other swimmers every 5 seconds. I would highly recommend A Deep Blue Dive.
Fishing - I received many recommendations on who to fish with in Marathon, and we eventually ended up fishing out of Hurricane Hole in Key West. I had fished out of there before and when we first got to KW we stopped there to grab a bite to eat before heading up to Marathon. I got the chance to talk to one of the captains there, and after doing so, booked a trip with him. We ended up fishing with Capt. Chuck on Tails 2 Sails. One of the main goals for going out was to get my wife a sail. After some time explaining what we wanted, he recommended the best time to get out. We took a 3/4 charter that started at 1pm. We trolled for the first couple of hours without any luck. We made the decision to go hit the wrecks to bend a rod and get something in the boat. In the 1st pass we had fish on. My wife brought in a 35lb AJ and on the 2nd pass I brought in a 55lb AJ. After being totally worn out bringing them in, we decided to get back out to trolling. With only a few minutes left, and the sun setting, one of the lines started running. After getting on the line and fighting some, a big sailfish jumped out of the water with the sun setting in the background. It was an awesome sight. The fish ran some and then decided to cut back under the boat. While trying to maneuver the rod around the bow of the boat, the line got caught on a D ring right on the bow, and eventually snapped. While it would have been nice to get the fish to the boat, it was a great experience to watch it "dance" a few times with the sunset as a backdrop. I would highly recommend Capt. Chuck on Tails 2 Sails and I will be fishing with him again the next time we are down there.
Thanks again to all that helped and we are already looking forward to our next trip to the Keys.