Bahia Honda State Park in Marathon, Florida Keys is beautiful. But, as soon as we pulled in, it started to rain, so we headed over to the nature center. It was a small room but they had some cool information about animals in the area. We were also able to find out what some of the things were that we had found during our low tide exploring.
After that, we headed down to the beach by the bridge. It was still pretty overcast, but we had learned that in the Florida Keys, it is never cloudy for long! It started to rain and luckily we were close by a shelter on the beach so we were able to move most of our stuff under it. Then, we decided to go swimming in the rain.
It was awesome seeing how the water bounced off of the ocean water while we were swimming.
Eventually the rain stopped and the sun came out and it turned into a gorgeous day. Because we didn’t leave, we ended up with the best spot on the beach. We had a huge area filled with all of the kids toys, a blanket under the shade of a palm tree and the shelter to ourselves. Tip: When it rains, stick it out. It is usually worth it.
Some undergraduate students came over by us and showed us a Portuguese Man of War jellyfish that they had found. We had been wondering what they looked like. The crazy-looking animals don’t even appear to be a real living thing. This is part of the fun of doing what we do. We end up meeting random people, seeing random things, and learning so much along the way.
We spent the day in the water, snorkeling, playing in the sand, taking pictures, and just enjoying the beauty of the Florida Keys. It has been fun to watch the kids get more comfortable with being in the ocean. At first they were worried about seeing a fish or a shark or touching seaweed. Now Carson is intentionally going out to look for fish. Melia has also become really good at snorkeling, and poor Cannon had to miss out because of his broken arm. Even little Knox does well keeping up with his siblings.
Before we knew it, it was dinner time so we headed over to the snack shop and ordered pizzas. Then we gathered everything up and went hiking around the park.
There is an old bridge where the railroad use to cross, but today people can walk on it. It goes right over the water and offers some amazing views.
We are so glad that we stuck it out through the rain because it absolutely turned into a beautiful day and we had so much fun!
Facts and tips
- Cost: $4.50 per person. 5 and under are free.
- Website: http://bahiahondapark.com
- What to pack: Snorkling gear, towels, bathing suits, change of clothes for walking through the trails, snacks, sand toys.
- Family friendly: Yes, it is a great beach
- Busy: Yes – it can be. It would be best to get there early so you get one of the covered shelters with picnic table.
- Length of stay: All day
- Stroller accessible: Everything is within walking distance, so you wouldn’t need a stroller.
- Food: Can buy from nearby vendors or bring in your own food
- Bathrooms: Yes — with showers
- Goods to purchase: Yes gift shop, food, boat trips (snorkeling and fishing)
- Breastfeeding area: Yes, sitting on the beach while everyone else plays
- Secret things: Look for the Manatees by the dock by the snack bar
- Best picture place: Top of the old railroad bridge, with the beach in the background
- Avoid crowds: As the day went on and it got closer to dinner time people really cleared out
- RV accommodating: There is a RV campground, but there is no RV parking by the beach for large RVs.
- Height restrictions on parking lot: No