Sombrero Beach in Marathon is One of the Nicest in the Keys

Sombrero Beach is a public beach owned and operated by the City of Marathon, Florida, a town located in the central Florida Keys at mile marker 50 on the Overseas Highway (U.S. Route 1). Long a favorite area beach, it was totally redeveloped in 2001 to improve its facilities and make it handicapped accessible

Boasting emerald-colored waters and a wide expanse of deep sand, Sombrero Beach is located on the ocean side and sits about 2 miles off the highway, making it quieter and more far-removed than most of the beaches in the Florida Keys, away from the noise of drive-by traffic. Near the shoreline, the water is shallow and is appropriate for young children and non-swimmers. However, deeper waters also accommodate experienced swimmers looking for a more invigorating experience. The beach is surrounded by water on two sides - the west and the south - providing plenty of space to swim and a good spot from which to watch the sun set in the West. Photo opportunities are many on this picturesque stretch of land.

There is no fee to use the facilities at Sombrero Beach and dogs are also welcome here during certain times of the year. However, Sombrero Beach is one of many sea turtle nesting places in the area, so beach access is somewhat limited between the months of April and October when loggerhead turtles come to the beach at night to lay their eggs. Nesting areas are off limits to visitors and can be viewed only from a distance. Local officials, with the assistance of volunteers, patrol Sombrero Beach at least once a day to be sure that nesting activities are not hampered.

During the remainder of the year, guests are free to use the entire beach. Facilities for visitors include picnic pavilions and tables, volleyball courts, barbecue pits, showers and changing areas, and clean, well-maintained restrooms. There are also abundant shaded areas near the beach, and a park located adjacent to Sombrero includes playground equipment and more space to run around.

Beach walking is encouraged, especially during the early hours of the morning, before sun worshippers arrive. However, the beach - which opens at 7:30 am and closes at sunset - is rarely truly crowded.

The road that leads from the main highway to the beach is quite picturesque - lined mostly with multi-million dollar homes that belong to some of the Keys' wealthiest citizens. Those riding bikes may choose to travel the bike path/wide sidewalk all the way from the highway to the beach, an enjoyable ride that takes just a handful of minutes to complete.

Plenty of accommodations are available in the Marathon vicinity or guests may make a quick stop at Sombrero Beach on their way to or from Key West.

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