Latitude: 24.72 Longitude: -81.02
Marathon is a fishing center, about 112 miles south of Miami and an hour north of Key West. Although it is heavily developed we found it to be very restful. We stayed at Hidden Harbor Motel, an older place just off the highway. They have a lot of rules and average prices for rooms. Our efficiency room had an old two burner stove, refrigerator, comfortable beds, and an air conditioner. The prices on their web site are not accurate. We paid somewhat more than what they advertized. Part of the profits go to support the Turtle Hospital. Guests at the Motel can go on a free tour which was led by a very capable volunteer. A vet does surgery on rescued turtles recovering from herpes, boat accidents, fishing line entanglement, ingestion of foreign objects, and shark bites. There is a large pond with dozens of huge turtles, and some are "lifers" because they will not be released back into the ocean. Most stay a few weeks to a year or more. Many of the turtles will outlive most humans, even though they may be lacking a flipper.
There is a wonderful public beach with free parking, restrooms, outdoor showers. Sombrero Beach lies in a neighborhood of very expensive homes, some of which are located around mangrove inlets and salt water ponds.