The area of Crane Point itself is of huge historical significance as it was the home of some of the earliest settlers to the Florida Keys.
And for quite a few years it has incorporated into its 63 acres of hardwood hammock, the Museum of Natural History of the Florida Keys, the Florida Keys Children's Museum, a wild bird rehabilitation center, nature trails, butterfly garden and flight habitat and a rain-forest too.
On this page we will try to give you a brief overview of everything that is located at this point of the Florida Keys
And let’s start with where it is first of all, and if you think it is close enough from where you are heading out then you can start reading more about the things here at Crane Point that we have listed above.
Like most of the things in the Florida Keys, and it won’t be the first or last time that I say this, but Crane Point is right on the Overseas Highway or US1 to you and me.
Head towards Marathon and look for the Mile Marker 50.5, that you will see at the side of the road.
Mile Markers are the little signs that run from 127 up in Florida City on the mainland of Florida down to Mile Marker 0 which is all the way down in Key West.
So as you can see Crane Point is about half way down, which is why Marathon is named the Heart of the Florida Keys
Smack in the middle of the Florida Keys, so from either Key Largo or Key West you will be looking at a journey in the car of about an hour if the traffic isn't bad.
How Much Is It To Get In To The Museums at Crane Point?
Unlike a lot of the attractions that you can go to in the Florida Keys, this one isn't free, although it’s not too bad if you have kids under the age of 4 as they do get in for nothing.
An adult will be looking at an admission price of $12.50, Seniors $11.00 and kids between 5 and 13
This cost will give you access to both the museums and also the trails.
Although the prices were correct at the time of writing this, feel free to contact them on the details below if you are concerned at possible price increases.
So Now We Know Where It Is And How Much To Get In….What Is At The Crane Point Museums?
The largest of all the attractions is the Museum of Natural History, which is a less than large……ok small, but worth visiting if you are in the area.
The kind of museum that will appeal to both adults and children alike, especially if you like things to do with nature, a bit of history and walking about in the open air.
Inside the natural history museum, you will find a mish mash of things, but it’s all interesting stuff to be honest.
Make Sure You Dont Trip Over Anything As You Browse
Image Courtesy of www.destination360.com
Among the exhibits you will see are things such as miniature raccoon's, key deer, stuffed birds like the osprey, heron and other natives of the Florida Keys.
All displayed as if they have just walked from the nearest taxidermist, and decided to have a bit of a rest.
It’s a non profit organisation that runs crane point museum, and so its not got the flash, multi media feel of places such as the Eco Discovery Center down in Key West.
It’s an old style museum which your Mum and Dad would have gone to when they were kids.
Lots of display cases, full of things to look at and little plaques of information to read.
I must admit when I first took my kids they were about 7 years old and were more interested with getting to the aquarium bits, which lie between the two museums.
They also liked the outdoor osprey nest, where they can climb up high into the nest and really get a good view across the museum and much of Crane Point.
It was once they got to the Children’s Museum that things really came to life for them….literally.
Here it is very much tailored for children, as you can pick up the exhibits like the Hermit crabs, and learn all about them, as you touch most things that you see.
Kids always seem delighted at playing with the horrible stuff, and wild iguanas, sharks and honeybees all grabbed their attention and pleased them no end.
As did the opportunity to dress up as a pirate as they clambered over the pirate ship that is outside the place in the playground.
Should I Attempt The Trails Around Crane Point After We have Finished?
After you have been in both venues, as long as the weather is ok and to be honest you are in the Florida Keys so forget that bit, you can head out on to the trails that crisscross Crane Point Hammock.
The owners who fist owned the area, and named it after themselves: The Cranes made sure that no development was to occur in the area.
Nice people those Cranes, as now we have a brilliant example of preserved forested land.
A hardwood hammock that offers a fantastic habit for the natural Florida keys animals and general plant life.
The Rainforest Trail Through The Hammock
Whilst you are strolling around, you can grab a pamphlet from the museum that will list some of the things that you will as you stroll, which makes it a lot more interesting than just walking around by yourself.
Certainly my kids have always liked this part, as it’s like a treasure hunt as much as anything else.
Let them run ahead, desperate to be the first one to spot the next one on the list.
Along one of the trails there is a nice bridge that spans the Florida Bay, and also a few restored homes once lived in by the settlers who called this part of the Florida Keys their home.
Make sure that you pop into the Marathon Wild Bird Center, that is located here along one of the trails as you will be able to see how the staff nurse back to health injured pelicans, egrets, cormorants, and other Keys birds.
For a more detailed view and a map of what you will find on the walks click http://www.cranepoint.net/nature-trail.html
Point Museum, Nature Center & Historic Site
5550 Overseas Highway, Mile Marker 50.5, Bayside, Marathon
Information: (305) 743-9100
Business Office: (305) 743-3900