Looking for the best beach in the Florida Keys? Sombrero Beach in Marathon is our US Gulf Coast Travel choice as favorite Florida Keys best beach.
This article lists 8 great things to do at Sombrero Beach along with some favorite places to eat in Marathon and our suggested Marathon Florida Keys resort to stay.
Florida Keys Best Beach is Sombrero Beach
Florida Keys has many beaches but, believe it or not, there are not a lot of nice beaches in the Conch Republic. Most Florida Keys beaches are rocky or have no sand—with the warm ocean or gulf water lapping amongst the mangrove roots.
Sombrero Beach in Marathon is a classic beach with soft and clean beach sand, the deepest beach water in the Florida Keys, and excellent amenities.
Dogs are permitted on Sombrero Beach. In fact, all Marathon Florida parks allow dogs, except the Community Park soccer and baseball fields. Please keep dogs leashed and pick up after them.
The Sombrero Beach park is also handicapped accessible, with level paths right down to the sand and ramps to the facility buildings.
Sombrero Beach Facilities
The Sombrero Beach park has two restroom facilities with filtered water stations so please do not bring plastic bottles. Well, bring your refillable bottle, whether it is plastic, aluminum, or other material, but there is no need to (ever) buy those insidious bottled water. Especially when visiting Sombrero Beach!
Full showers and feet rinsing areas are both available in several spots.
Choose from about a dozen shelters here, all with grills and one to four picnic tables. The beach and park area feature a lot of palm trees, lending to the tropical vibe.
Sombrero Beach Playground
Children will love visiting Sombrero Beach. Well, first of all is the great beach sand and warm water. But the playground right next to the beach entrance means that everyone can be happy. We especially love the sun cover over the fun playground area so that the equipment doesn’t get too hot.
A double sand volleyball court with extra sand is convenient for kids to play in away from the beach. Just watch out for volleyball players.
Excellent Florida Keys Sunrise Spot
Sombrero Beach is a nice spot to catch a Florida Keys sunrise. Even though the park technically opens at 7am, catching sunrise earlier than that is perfectly acceptable. Many people are likely to also be on the beach because sunrise watching is a favorite Florida Keys activity.
Sombrero Beach Snorkeling and Kayaking
One of the favorite things to do at Sombrero Beach is to launch kayaks. Sombrero Beach park is also a convenient area for snorkelers to easily wade into the ocean water.
If you are looking for a fun kayak tour, check out Lazy Dog Adventures in Key West.
Loggerhead turtle nesting might happen on Sombrero Beach for half the year, usually April to October. Volunteers patrol the beach every morning looking fo newly created nests and eggs that have been paid in the middle of the night. Turtle nest areas are then marked off and protected. The rest of Sombrero Beach remains open and can be fully enjoyed but NEVER, EVER disturb a turtle nest.
See also The Turtle Hospital: Marathon Florida Keys Best Attraction
Getting to Sombrero Beach in Marathon
When driving to Sombrero Beach, turn south on Sombrero Beach Drive (county road 931) off US1 across the street from Crane Point Hammock. The superb Publix grocery store on the US 1 corner is a perfect place to buy food and supplies for your Sombrero Beach visit.
It is only two miles between US1 and the Sombrero Beach parking area.
Parking at Sombrero Beach is no longer free. It now costs $5 per hour for the first two hours and $2 per hour after the first two hours. Be careful to not park in restricted areas—which are well marked.
There is a nice path along Sombrero Beach Drive if you want to bicycle from your resort or hotel along US 1. Along Sombrero Beach Drive, you pass Marathon High School (one of only three high schools in Florida Keys), a lot of vacation rentals and full-time residences, and some fun mailboxes.
Where to Stay in Marathon Florida Keys
Our favorite place to stay in Marathon Florida Keys is Faro Blanco Resort and Yacht Club. Near the historic Faro Blanco lighthouse behind the hotel is a great place to catch sunset and stroll any time of the day. There property has comfortable rooms, two pools, a cafe in the lobby and a restaurant by the lighthouse, and free loaner bicycles.
I like borrowing one to pedal to and on the Old Seven Mile Bridge, which just re-opened in spring 2022. McCool Travel tip: At sunset, look for manatees under the bridges.
Vacation rentals, through agencies like VRBO and Airbnb as well as local real estate firms, are very popular in The Florida Keys. There are also many other hotels and resorts in Marathon. Let us know your favorite places to stay.
Places to eat near Sombrero Beach
Seven Mile Grill is an old school, Old Florida landmark which serves excellent blackened grouper and many other beach eats. Food for Thought is a healthy eating option in Marathon we love to go to when we need a does of veggies. Marathon Bagels is a very popular breakfast spot but you might be able to sneak in early, order your bagels, and enjoy on Sombrero Beach for sunrise.
See also our favorite Grouper Sandwiches in Florida.
Other Florida Keys beaches:
Anne’s Beach is probably our next favorite Florida Keys Beach but it is totally different than Sombrero Beach. There is no sand here but it is a lot of fun to walk along the mangroves along the shore. On windy days, kitesurfer love Anne’s Beach.
Bahia Honda State Park (Calusa Beach and Sandspur Beach) has some of the most popular Florida Keys beaches. This is a superb place to camp overnight but watch out for the relentless raccoons.
Smathers Beach is Key West’s most popular beach and the place to be seen and watch others. Other Key West beaches include Fort Zachary Taylor, Higgs Beach, and Rest Beach. See also our Key West Tips.
Harry Harris Park (Tavernier) was recently renovated (2023) and is gorgeous.
For more information about The Florida Keys, visit their website.