Right in the heart of the Florida Keys is Marathon Key, an island that's ten miles long and full of family-friendly attractions, natural beauty, and fun things to do. Along with the interesting museums in the area, the list of experiences includes dolphin swims, snorkeling, and eco tours. The Crane Point Museum, a nature center, historic site, and natural history museum rolled into one, offers an array of experiences that reveals the natural elements of the Keys.
Crane Point Florida is watched over by the Florida Keys Land and Sea Trust, a nonprofit organization that has been caring for the land for more than 30 years. The site preserves an elevated portion of land properly called a hammock. An immigrant from the Bahamas and his family set up home here before the land was set aside for tours. Today, the Adderley family's home is still standing, and it's one of the interesting thing to see here.
Throughout the year, the calendar of events is filled with interpretive programs and other ways to get to know more about what's on the hammock. Star-gazing programs, guided walks, and bird-watching are just a few of the activities visitors can enjoy.
Following the 2.5 miles of trails that wind through Crane Point in Marathon Key gives visitors a chance to experience the great outdoors and distinctive landscapes of the Florida Keys. While enjoying pristine natural views, those strolling along the trails can learn about the Florida's natural history, native plants, and animals. In the winter and spring, the trails of Crane Point Florida are an excellent place to watch for osprey.
Interpretive signs along the Palm Trail provide detailed information about the natural features. The boardwalk is a great place to stop and admire the mangroves, and the farthest point of the trail affords fine views of Florida Bay. Visitors can rest on one of the benches before returning to their walks through Crane Point in Marathon Key. Visitors also can arrange for trolley tours if they want a more relaxing journey.
In addition to the trails, visitors can explore the attractions of the Crane Point Museum, including the Adderley Town History Site and the Marathon Wild Bird Center. The historic site features classic Bahamian styling and is the one of the oldest houses in all of the Keys outside of Key West. The Adderley family had sailed from the Bahamas in the 1890s. The father, George, built the house out of tabby, a building material made from locally collected shells.
When visitors stop at the Marathon Wild Bird Center, they can learn about the organization that works hard to care for injured animals. Pelicans, egrets, and other birds are cared for with the ultimate goal of releasing them back into the wild.
Stopping by the Museum of Natural History of the Florida Keys is another one of the interesting things to do at Crane Point Florida. Exhibits detail the rich and varied story of the people and artifacts who shaped these islands, including pirates, shipwrecks, and Native Americans. Visitors also can take a look at sea life, especially with the touch tanks home to starfish, sea cucumbers, and other amazing creatures that are a part of the Children's Activity Center. With the Creature Feature, visitors to the Crane Point Museum can see native animals of the creepy crawly sort, such as snakes and purple pincher crabs, as well as a bee hive exhibit.
For a memento of a trip to Crane Point in Marathon Key, visitors can stop at the museum store, which carries a great combination of gifts, jewelry, honey made on-site, toys, and books.
Image: Crane Point Museum