There are several popular sandbars in Marathon.
Each sandbar is unique and has its own vibe. The “feel” of the sandbars change dramatically based on other visitors who happen to be at the sandbar.
Like all sandbars in Florida, some of the more popular sandbars around Marathon become extremely crowded on weekends.
Hundreds of boats can gather in some spots, especially around summer holidays.
Sandbars around Marathon are family-friendly, but can become wild party spots depending on the day and the people who are present.
Protect the Seagrass
Many sandbars around Marathon have seagrass around them. Seagrass is extremely important for the health of our marine ecosystems.
Please be careful not to damage the seagrass with your boat or anchor!
Seagrass is essential to the water quality in the Florida Keys, and is essential for all marine life.
A single careless person can wipe out 10 years of healthy seagrass in a few minutes. Seagrass and bottom damage can also lead to expensive fines because it’s expensive to repair seagrass damage.
Sadly, popular sandbar spots are visible from satellite views due to numerous prop scars and trails where people have left the channel and blasted through seagrass beds. Please help minimize your boating impact!
Where is the Sandbar in Marathon, Florida?
One of the best sandbars in Marathon is located just east of Curry Hammock State Park. It’s located offshore of Crawl Key, Grassy Key and Valhalla. The approximate GPS coordinates for the sandbar are 24°44’26.7″N 80°58’25.2″W. This Google map pin also marks the location.
This is arguably the best sandbar in Marathon. It’s often called the Valhalla Sandbar, Grassy Key Sandbar, or by other names.
This is also the sandbar that most people refer to when they say the “Marathon sandbar”.
The sandbar is long and narrow. It extends down towards Coco Plum Beach in broken sections.
The water on the Grassy Key sandbar is beautiful, shallow and crystal clear. It’s especially beautiful over the clean, fine white sand on the sandbar’s bottom.
At low tide the sandbar is exposed, or just inches deep in some places, and about calf deep or deeper in other spots.
It’s possible to reach the sandbar via kayak when launching from Curry Hammock State Park.
Anyone who considers paddling to the Marathon sandbar should be extremely careful, and ensure that they are well prepared for the trip.
Be especially careful of boat traffic, tides, wind and weather conditions, and all other safety considerations.
Another one of Marathon’s sandbars is located southwest of Key Colony Beach, just east of Vaca Cut on the ocean side.
This sandbar is also known as the “Vaca sandbar” because it sits at the southern end of the Key Vaca Cut.
Most people agree that the main Marathon sandbar near Curry Hammock State Park is nicer and better than the Vaca bar.
Other sandbars near Marathon
Boats sometimes gather at various shallow spots near the Duck Key Channel and Toms Harbor Keys.
Several other sandbars are located to the west of Marathon, near the western end of the 7 Mile Bridge.
If you visit a sandbar in the Florida Keys please be considerate and respectful of other people, and the fragile natural environment!
Cover Image: Microsoft Bing Maps screenshot reprinted with permission from Microsoft Corporation.