Main Content

Home » Blog » What to look for when renting a vacation home in Marathon, FL

What to look for when renting a vacation home in Marathon, FL

Relaxing summer beach

Lying in the heart of the Florida Keys island chain is the vibrant city of Marathon, FL, an island oasis with a proud fishing heritage. It’s also the perfect destination for getaways, vacation homes, and real estate investment opportunities.

If you’re in the process of planning your summer vacation, Marathon offers sun, sand, sea, and immersive experiences like world-class wreck and reef diving, snorkeling, family adventures, water sports, swimming with dolphins, watching turtles being released to the ocean, and simply having the time of your life.

Start checking out vacation houses for rent in Marathon, FL now. But make sure you take the following into consideration.


Miniature pink wooden house and hand holding key on tropical beach

  1. Find the right location

    The closer the vacation house is to amenities and tourist spots, the more convenient it is for everyone to jump right into their planned activities.

    Many of the vacation homes available for rent in Marathon, FL are already close to the gulf, the bay, inshore fishing grounds, and backcountry areas with winding channels of water. So no matter which rental you choose, there will always be a body of water nearby to enjoy.

  2. Check the advertised amenities

    Your non-negotiable amenities will depend on your vacation style and the preferences of the people you’re with. With that in mind, here’s a partial checklist of amenities you may want to have as you search for vacation houses for rent in Marathon, FL:

    • Wi-Fi
    • Kitchen appliances like a refrigerator, stove, oven, dishwasher, microwave, etc.
    • Kitchen utensils like pots, pans, knives, cutting boards, etc.
    • Dishes, utensils, and drinkware
    • Cleaning supplies
    • Bathroom amenities like towels, soap, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer, etc.
    • Patios or decks
    • Pool
    • ACs
    • Washer-dryer
    • Entertainment amenities like a smart TV, cable access, etc.
    • Others

    If you don’t see the perks or inclusions you expect, don’t hesitate to ask the owner or landlord. You may also want to know their pet policy if you plan on bringing the furry members of your family with you. Other things you may want to find out include the security measures the rental has in place, if the property is accessible for people with disabilities or mobility issues, and if there are any outdoor amenities such as a grill or patio furniture.The last thing you want is to get to your rental only to find that they don’t have the amenities you’re looking for.

  3. Check parking or transportation options

    When it comes to amenities, one crucial aspect to consider in vacation houses for rent in Marathon, FL is parking availability. If you won’t be bringing a vehicle, you may have to rent one so parking is important.

    Some rentals provide street parking rather than secure options. If this concerns you, confirm the parking situation advertised.

    Additionally, think about renting bikes during your stay. There are tons of beautiful and smooth biking paths that you and your family can enjoy in Marathon. The Old Seven Mile Bridge is a particularly popular spot for cycling as it’s now reserved for pedestrians, trams, and bicycles. You can admire the ocean view and feel the breezes as you cycle the length of this bridge.

  4. Clarify terms and agreement

    House Rules

    Whether you’re renting through a leasing platform or are directly negotiating with the owner, it’s a good idea to have a clear understanding of the rental agreement for your vacation home.

    You want to know what the rules are, if any, for your Marathon, FL vacation rentals so that these regulations don’t end up being too restrictive for your taste.

    When you’re looking through the leasing terms and agreement, use this as a checklist:

    • Cancellation policy: What’s the refund policy?
    • Check-in/out times
    • Pet policy: Are pets allowed, and if so, are there any rules?
    • Additional fees beyond the base rental rate
    • Ideal occupancy: Is it suitable for families, couples, groups, or solo travelers?
    • What’s the maximum occupancy?
    • Main contact: Who’s the primary contact, and how can they be reached?
    • Restricted areas within the property
    • Rules regarding alcohol and smoking
    • Liability limitations for tenants

    Read the fine print on the rental’s online listing. Communicate these rules to your group if you’re staying with others.

    Thoroughly understanding the rental agreement helps you avoid unexpected fees and ensures compliance with the owner’s terms, reducing the risk of eviction due to non-compliance.

  5. Choose accommodations that fit your budget

    Your budget plays a crucial role in narrowing down your rental options in Marathon, FL.
    With a modest budget, you may need to make compromises. You’ll have to make do with basic amenities, choose a place that’s a little farther away from the action, and limited concierge service.

    Factor in additional fees beyond the rental cost, such as cleaning fees or charges for extra guests.

    To make your stay enjoyable even without an unlimited budget, planning is crucial.
    Consider the following:

    • Transportation. Account for activities that require you to pay extra for, say, a boat if you want to cruise or spend the day offshore or explore other shores.

    • Meals. Meal expenses can add up, so determine if you can afford dining out for every meal.

    • Experiences. Choose the activities you want to experience and look into how much they’ll cost. Doing this ahead of time means you can allocate your vacation funds on the experiences that matter most to you.

    While accommodations are a significant expense, plan your itinerary to fit your budget to ensure a well-rounded getaway.

  6. Read customer reviews

    When browsing vacation rentals in Marathon, FL, checking previous reviews is essential.
    Customer feedback offers valuable insights into the rental experience, providing a glimpse into the property’s reality compared to its description and photos. Reviews also reveal how pleasant or challenging it was to deal with the owner or property manager.

    Additionally, reviews highlight any minor issues encountered by previous guests, helping you prepare or avoid them altogether if they’re significant to you.

    While a five-star rating may seem promising, detailed reviews offer deeper insights into the property. Therefore, it’s beneficial to read through reviews thoroughly, focusing on those with detailed descriptions and photos.

    Avoid simply skimming one-star or five-star reviews. Instead, prioritize reviews that provide ample details and visuals, offering a more comprehensive understanding of the vacation home you’re considering.

    Taking the time to thoroughly review past guests’ experiences will help you make a more informed decision and ensure a pleasant stay during your vacation in Marathon, FL.

  7. Consider renting in the following top neighborhoods

    Welcome to Marathon, Florida

    Coco Plum

    If you’re looking for a rental that offers the perfect balance of solitude, natural beauty, and dog-friendly fun, Coco Plum Beach is ideal. It boasts a pristine stretch of sand that’s perfect for romantic walks, sunbathing, and taking a refreshing swim. Plus, the beach is an epicenter of nature preservation as you’ll find turtle nesting areas and an adjacent wetland. This not only allows visitors to enjoy the sun, sand, and surf, but to also view nature up close.

    Sombrero Beach

    Sombrero Beach may be farther south than the typical Miami excursion but it’s the perfect destination for vacationers seeking a quieter and more secluded beach experience.

    Sombrero Beach is approximately halfway down the Keys at MM 52, making it accessible from both Key Largo and Key West. The beach features pristine waters and a sandy bottom – perfect for water activities. It also offers a picnic area, shaded shelters, and playground equipment for families traveling with children.

    But what sets Sombrero Beach apart is its pet-friendly policy. This means that you can bring your furry friends with you on your vacation.

    Little Venice

    Little Venice in Marathon, Florida, is a charming waterfront community known for its picturesque canals and laid-back atmosphere. As part of the Middle Keys, Little Venice is a magnet for sportsmen. Aside from fishing, however, the area offers many other attractions that visitors can enjoy, making it an excellent year-round destination.

    Here, you can go boating and kayaking, enjoy sunset cruises, take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, sip a drink on a dockside patio, or simply sit back and enjoy the serenity of this charming neighborhood.

    Stirrup Key

    Stirrup Key offers a decidedly residential feel, making it an ideal place for vacationers who want to feel like they’re part of the community. The proximity to the water also means that there are plenty of opportunities for boating and ocean activities.


Rent a room, flat, apartment, house online

Security is paramount when selecting a vacation rental to ensure your peace of mind during your stay in Marathon, FL. Here’s how to safeguard your booking:

  1. Make sure you book a licensed rental

    Prioritize properties that adhere to local regulations to avoid unexpected hassles. Check for verified vacation rental licenses to confirm legitimacy, preventing the inconvenience of arriving at an unrentable property. Research the local Code Compliance Division’s website for a list of approved rentals.

  2. Choose a reputable provider

    Be cautious of listings on less reputable platforms, which may lack credibility or detail. Stick to established sites like Vrbo or Airbnb for reliable options with genuine reviews. Consider consulting verified local realtors for additional rental choices. Cross-reference information from multiple sources to ensure accuracy.

  3. Avoid wire transfers

    Protect yourself from potential scams by opting for secure payment methods like credit/debit cards or eChecks. Refrain from wire transfers, which offer little recourse in case of fraudulent transactions. If wire transfer is the only option available, proceed with caution and thoroughly research the recipient’s legitimacy.

  4. Communicate directly

    Engage with property owners or managers via phone to verify their legitimacy. While emails suffice for initial inquiries, a phone call provides greater reassurance of their existence and reliability. Ask detailed questions about the property and gauge their responsiveness and professionalism.

  5. Steer clear of offers that sound too good to be true

    Exercise caution when encountering vacation rentals with extensive amenities at unusually low rates. Verify the legitimacy of listings by conducting thorough research and requesting additional information or photos if necessary. Avoid deals that seem too good to be true, as they may indicate potential scams or misrepresented properties.

By following these precautions and conducting diligent research, you can confidently select a secure and enjoyable vacation rental in Marathon, FL. Taking the time to ensure the safety and legitimacy of your accommodation will enhance your overall travel experience and provide peace of mind throughout your stay.



SOLD IN MARATHON, FL: A custom-built home on a 3-acre property with open water views. Discover your own investment opportunity in Marathon, FL. Inquire here for available options

To ensure a seamless and enjoyable vacation, it’s essential to conduct a thorough search for the right houses for rent in Marathon, FL. home. The ideal accommodation should enhance your relaxation in this tranquil tropical paradise.

While the process of narrowing down your vacation rental may need strategic planning, it pays off in smoother vacation days ahead. The tips provided here aim to streamline your search, helping you find the perfect vacation rental with minimal glitches.

Before embarking on your trip, carefully consider the factors outlined in this article. By doing so, you’ll be well-equipped to select a vacation rental in Marathon, FL that you eagerly anticipate staying in.

A pleasant experience may also open your eyes to the possibility of buying a vacation home, investing in a vacation rental, or moving permanently to Marathon, FL.

Learn more about investing in vacation rentals in Marathon

Explore your options with top Realtor and long-time resident, Angel DiGiorgio. She and her team know everything there is to know about the area which is valuable in making informed decisions about investing in a vacation rental in the Keys.

Read: 6 mistakes to avoid as an owner of a vacation rental in Marathon, FL

It’s time to take advantage of the opportunities that await you in Marathon, FL. Don’t hesitate to call Angel DiGiorgio at 305.509.0971 or send send her an email today.