A Florida Keys Motel Where You Help Save the Sea Turtle

Sea Turtle Underwater

By Betty Lowry, member Society of American Travel Writers
© 1997 Betty Lowry

spaceFor hands-on environmentalism-in-action, the neat Hidden Harbor Motel on Marathon Key, Florida, is a winner. Not only is there a sea turtle hospital nextdoor, but the 1940's covered swimming pool has been converted into a giant recovery aquarium for marine patients. Motel guests may -- if they wish (and they usually do) -- participate in the rescue of these large endangered sea creatures, but, in any case, profits from the motel go to support the facility.

spaceThe motel, owned by conservationist Richie Moretti, has been remodeled into 21 modest rooms and efficiencies, all with A/C Bahama fans, TV, video recorders with more than 2000 movies available, new fresh-water swimming pool, boat dock and ramp, waterfront picnic and barbecue areas. Guests snorkel from the private dock; charter a boat; fish from the jetty without a license. It is, in fact, a mini-resort ideal for families.

spaceIn case your own trolling falls short, the friendly staff will tell you where to buy the freshest fish for you cook-out. Grocery stores and restaurants are within walking distance.

spaceAnother bonus is the free Environmental Passport giving you two-for-one admission to the Dolphin Research Center (home of the original Flipper where you can swim with the dolphins), Museum of Natural History of the Florida Keys (at Crane Point Hammock: nature preserve trail; Keys ecological exhibits; children's museum; native artifacts; rare plants and animals) and Pigeon Key Historic Park (preserved camp of the railway bridge building era). The Sea Turtle facilities are open only to the guests of Hidden Harbor.

spaceLocated about a third of the way southwest between Miami and Key West, Hidden Harbor fronts the Overseas Highway at Mile Marker 48.5, Marathon Key. It Backs on Florida Bay.

spaceCall for prices. No pets allowed.

Hidden Harbor Motel
2396 Overseas Highway, Marathon, FL 33050
Telephone: (305) 743-5376 or (800) 362-3495

Florida Keys
Telephone: (800) FLA-KEYS

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