An animal lover’s paradise and sport fanatic’s dream, Jupiter and the greater area of North Palm Beach, Florida, is much more than sandy shores and gently sloshing waves.
1.) Rocks that are rare
In a region studded with miles of sandy beaches, the unique craggy limestone shore at Blowing Rocks Preserve on Jupiter Island looks as though it belongs in Acadia National Park in Maine. Winter storms are the best time to see the preserve live up to its name, where waves surging against the craggy limestone shore can force geysers of water as high as 50 feet into the air.
2.) Selfies with alligators
The 680-acre Riverbend Park preserve is a taste of Southeast Florida without the intensity of hilly hikes. Cruise along its 15 miles of interconnected trails to spot alligators, deer, and local birds without having to hit the Everglades.
3.) For the birds and fish
Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter is the only US stadium to host four minor league teams – the Jupiter Hammerheads, Palm Beach Cardinals, Gulf Coast Marlins, and Gulf Coast Cardinals. But that’s not the biggest draw. In February and March, both the Miami Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals groom their players here at their spring training headquarters.
4.) A bomb shelter fit for a president
At the peak of the Cuban Missile Crisis, President John F. Kennedy named Peanut Island in Jupiter as the ideal place to hunker down in a time of nuclear crisis. His 1961 fallout shelter is open today as a reminder of times past, complete with communication stations, lockers, and a presidential seal (added later, but it sets the scene).
5.) Underwater worlds that are all yours
With less dive traffic than the Florida Keys, Jupiter’s dozens of artificial reefs located in a three-mile span off the coast are all yours to explore. One particular location to check out: the Jupiter Wreck Trek, a multi-ship dive consisting of a freighter, a tanker, and a barge that have become the habitats for algae, corals, turtles, sharks, and goliath groupers.
6.) A 5K worth of sand
Jupiter’s 3.4 miles of beach may not be endless, but it’s the ideal place for a run that won’t include an inch of pavement.
7.) Vintage finds
For those who like sifting through estate sales, the South Florida Fairgrounds is where you’ll find restored Coca-Cola vending machines, antique jewelry, and clothing fit for a museum. The perplexingly named West Palm Beach Antiques Festival is actually a weekly show best attended at noon on Fridays to get first dibs on the best items.
8.) Swimming with cows
Florida’s warm waters and natural springs are the ideal spot to find manatees, also known as sea cows. Leave the motor behind, because a kayak tour along the estuaries makes it easier – and safer for you and them – to see these herbivores in person.
9.) Art at the park
Towering 12-foot abstract works guard the grounds at the Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens in West Palm Beach. Once the namesake artist’s studio, the space has been transformed into a sculpture garden with two acres of flora, including more than 200 species of rare palm trees.
10.) 33 golf courses in a 20-mile stretch
With 234 days of sunshine, North Palm Beach has become a golfer’s paradise as evidenced by the 60-plus PGA golf pros who live in Palm Beach County. Our pick: Lost Lake Golf Club at Hobe Sound.
Where to Stay Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa