Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sombrero Beach

It was a dark gray day yesterday over the Middle Keys and I was looking for somewhere to walk my dog. Sombrero Beach in Marathon is an oldie but goody so off we went. They've cleaned the place and tarted up the street since I was last here. I like traffic circles but impish they'd use them instead of traffic lights, not as a turn around for a dead end street.

The parking lot is huge and brilliantly laid out alongside the park so for people who are naturally averse to walking, that would be most Americans, cars are never too far from an entrance to the gated park and beach.

And dogs are welcome. Cool! It's too bad owners have to be reminded repeatedly to pick up after their animals.

The sandy beach is decidedly not appetizing on a rainy summer morning but when the weather is right this place will be packed on a weekend. It's got nice swimming and there is a child's playground and the whole thing is wide open and free to all.

The restrooms are clean and there are lots of them. They even provide facilities for the dogs.

The park is nicely laid out with winding paths and mature trees and looks good to the eye.

This is a really nice park in a town with not much going for it visually.

Marathon's coastline is pretty severe and uninteresting. There are no indentations or islands you can call destinations or even lumps of land to break up the skyline. Look out to sea and it's all water. Except for this thing:

Sombrero Beach is full of signboards explaining and illustrating wild life and attractions. There's the light house on the horizon, barely breaking up the straight line.

Sombrero Beach is full of landscaping and care, something that is horribly absent from the rest of the city.

Marathon is a wide spot in Highway One, ten miles of no landscaping, urban planning or any sort of eye catching beauty. It's miles of strip malls, light industry and giant cement poles carrying the electricity from Miami to Key West.

There's a Publix, a K-Mart, a fabulous city marina and Sombrero Beach, the nicest public park and free swimming beach in the Keys. Why no one in Marathon wants the rest of the city to live up to the promise of Sombrero Beach is beyond me.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Chuck and the Pheebs said...

Marathon earned its moniker during the construction of the Overseas Highway as the endpoint and nexus of the crew through two hurricanes in '09 and '11; turning the process of building what was supposed to be a quick railway into a "marathon".

The name stuck.

For me, Marathon is more like the mainland than the keys. We'd planned a trip there in the late 80's, but canceled it due to an illness.

This is fortuitous, as the Pheebs has said more than once that we'd never have considered Key West if our first impression of the Keys was Marathon.

It is for some, but not for all.

Conchscooter said...

Marathon has a live theater and a rather eccentric beer and popcorn movie theater. Theres a decent liqupr store and deli and publix isq bigger and better supplied than the publix in key west. They kill and cook fish and el siboeny has opened in marathon. It could be a lot more than it is especially for people afraid of the gay friendly sub culture in key west.