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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I rented a house in Marathon Key in a few weeks and I'm driving down with my girlfriend and a few buddies for a week of riding. We're all pretty experienced riders and do lots of ocean riding up in New England so were looking to get out and explore and hopefully log some serious miles.

If anyone that is familiar with the area down there has any tips about places to ride, places not to ride, bars/restaurants that we can ride the jet ski's too, snorkeling places, beaches to check out, or anything else you can think of please feel free to share. We're looking to get in as much excitement as possible in the 6 days were there.
 

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I've gone to the Keys dozens of times and they are a beautiful place to stay. Since you are going there in the middle of the summer you will likely have amazing weather with flat seas and can do lots of exploring.
One thing to keep in mind is that beaches are rather rare in the Keys. The Keys are made mostly out of old coral reef so the island shores are usually rocky or covered in mangroves.

Do yourself a favor and look at the charts in the keys as some areas can get shallow very quickly... even too shallow for a ski. You don't want to be running along and get stuck in a shallow or damage your ski on the rocks/coral. You can view some charts online at http://www.geowake.com/home/
There are shoals and great diving places all along the Atlantic side of the Keys. It might be a bit of a long run from Marathon but Looe Key is an excellent diving/snorkeling spot.
Make sure to check the regulations because there are many protected areas that do not allow anchors because they can damage the coral. A lot of the protected areas have mooring buoys.

Have fun in the Keys. I'm going there at the end of August.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info! I have a hand held GPS but I'm also going to bring some paper charts with me just to be on the safe side. I was told unless you know your way around to stick to the Atlantic side. I guess there are places with it's only a foot or two deep several miles off shore on the gulf side. This trip can't get here soon enough! I was told by someone on FB not to travel entirely by jet ski and to trailer to different islands and then jet ski around the islands. Is it that far of a ride to go from Marathon to Key west? Looks about 45 miles by road. I've 50-60 miles in rough north atlantic water and I'm thinking it should be a heck of lot calmer down there making traveling by water pretty easy.

Thanks again for the help!
 

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I've found that the Gulf side of the Keys is fine but getting through the islands from one side to the other can be hazardous without some proper navigation aids. If you follow the charts you should be fine.

You could probably make the trip from Marathon to Key West but I couldn't tell you where to fuel up. You may want to locate some marine gas stations beforehand and call ahead to make sure that they will fill PWC's. I've heard rumors that some stations won't sell gas to anyone riding a PWC. When I went out there was always a regular boat with the group; I would refuel from the boat or when I got back to the dock.

If you're looking for a nice beach, check out Bahaia Honda State Park. It's just a little ways south from Marathon towards Key West.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info. I've already found out some places on the keys aren't PWC friendly. I contacted one marina about renting slips for the week and they told me in a nice way that jet ski's weren't welcome there. They did make other recommendations though so they weren't too bad.

One of the people going down with us has a gopro mounted on his spark and I also have a waterproof phone case so I use my Iphone for a lot of stuff as well. I'm sure we'll have all sorts of stuff to post on here.
 
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