Marathon Key Florida Keys and Neighboring Islands
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As the old saying goes, Life’s a Beach! Although the Keys are tropical islands, most of them are ancient reef beds that were exposed as the sea levels dropped many thousands of years ago. Being chunks of coral rock, most don’t have beaches like you’d see in other parts of the Gulf and Atlantic shores.
Here in the Middle Keys, we’re very lucky! We’ve been blessed with two of the nicest beaches anywhere, both part of the City of Marathon’s Parks and Recreation department, and both absolutely free to enter!
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Sombrero Beach is the City’s jewel and showplace. Located at the end of Sombrero Beach Boulevard (the traffic light at Mile Marker 50 near Kmart and Publix), the park had suffered years of neglect. After the City incorporated in 2000, Marathon’s first City Council held workshops and redeveloped the beach, adding new pavilions, restrooms, and environmental features, plus making the entire park handicapped-accessible. There is a kid’s playground, a volleyball court, wheelchair-friendly walkways, and plenty of pavilions for your picnic or cookouts. Tall coconut palms sway in the tropical breezes, and Sombrero Beach is continually rated as one of the best beaches in South Florida. Sombrer Beach is also the host of Marathon’s July 4th Celebration, an all-day event that culminates in the Keys’ best fireworks display.
Navigating Boot Key Harbor to City of Marathon Marina
Coco Plum Beach, located on Coco Plum Drive off of Mile Marker 54, is an undeveloped natural beach. After Marathon incorporated, the City cleaned up years of accumulated debris and garbage and returned the beach to its natural state. Quiet and peaceful are two words that people use frequently to describe the natural beauty of Coco Plum Beach. The park includes a natural wetlands area for preservation, and is very popular with locals and visitors who want some quiet island downtime. There are restrooms and a covered thatch roof tiki pavilion on site, plus lots of natural wooded area bordering the tropical sea.
Both beach parks are dog-friendly, there is no admission charge to either beach, and the hours are from 7:00 a.m. until dusk. Both Sombrero Beach and Coco Plum Beach are turtle nesting beaches, and from April through October it is not unusual to have Loggerhead Turtles (primarily) coming on to the beach at night to lay their eggs. During this period, the City will not have tables or benches on the beach so as to not interfere with turtle nesting activities. The City is responsible for surveying the beaches during turtle nesting season, so if you see a nest that has been staked off, please do not disturb it.
The City of Marathon is proud of its beaches, and encourages both locals and visitors to enjoy the best of the island life on our beautiful tropical shores.
© 2010 by John Bartus / Marathon and the Middle Florida Keys Magazine. Used with permission.
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Coldwell Banker Schmitt Real Estate
International President's Circle
11050 Overseas Highway
Marathon, Fl 33050