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Make Moves to Marathon, Fla., and Tap into Turtle Power

Head to the Florida Keys to hang in a hammock and help save a turtle on island time.

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All winter long, Camp and VISIT FLORIDA have teamed up to send an intrepid Camp Counselor to some of Florida’s best spots for virtual sightseeing expeditions. We call it Travel Tuesdays, and it's taken us everywhere from the Everglades to St. Augustine.

This week, we’re putting our conservation hats on as we venture to the Florida Keys, home to a range of endearing, enormous, and endangered creatures. At the top of our bucket list: The Turtle Hospital in Marathon, Fla., where you can bond with a special sea turtle named Bubble Butt and learn how to help these creatures get back to their homes in the wild. Ready to dive in? Let’s make moves on our last Travel Tuesdays stop in Marathon!

Support a Sea Turtle

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Sea Turtle sightings in the wild are rare, but at the Turtle Hospital, you can get within a shell's reach and even feed some of the Key’s oldest residents. The Turtle Hospital first opened as a research and rehabilitation facility for injured sea turtles, but it also helps educate kids and families about conservation. Talk about turtle power!

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The hospital offers a 90-minute guided tour where you’ll learn the types of sea turtles, the challenges they face. The tour also includes a meet and greet with Bubble Butt, the Turtle Hospital’s first rescue, brought in after being struck by a boat off Long Key.

Once you’ve made friends with Bubble Butt, head to the turtle pool to hear more rescue stories and try your hand at feeding catfish chow to hungry turtles. Ready to shell out for a ticket? The admission price and tour support the hospital’s program of rescuing and rehabilitating about 100 injured sea turtles a year.

Have a Creature Double Feature

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After you’ve made friends with the turtles, check out even more of Marathon’s wildlife conservation centers. Just down the road, you’ll discover the Marathon Wild Bird Center, which helps injured birds like pelicans, spoonbills, and ospreys. Check out the birds here and discover the center’s mission to help these feathered friends recover.

After that, head over to the Dolphin Research Center, where you can interact with dolphins and sea lions and learn about their world first hand. You can even go to dolphin camp! To learn more about marine mammals, check out the center’s fun activities and games.

Plan Your Trip

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Ready to venture to Marathon? Fly into the Miami International Airport and drive toward the Keys. The picturesque ride takes you through the Keys to Key West at the very end of US 1.

While you’re in the area, you can fill your itinerary with some wonderful places to stay, eat, and have fun with your family.