While vibrant Naples and sunny Jupiter are just two-and-a-half hours apart, two of Florida’s most popular beach cities boast very different Florida vacations for those seeking adventure in the Sunshine State.
Best Wildlife Adventure
Jupiter: Loggerhead Marinelife Center
June Beach has become one of the most active nesting beaches for loggerhead turtles, making this research center and museum the ideal place to study some of the ocean’s most graceful inhabitants. The Sea Turtle Hospital is the place to watch feedings, treatments, and even physical therapy for the dozen or so reptiles at the center.
Naples: Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary
Its 13,000 acres of preserved nature have been a draw for those seeking the endangered ghost orchid, but it’s also home to the largest remaining stand of old-growth bald cypress in North America, the largest congregation of wood storks you’ll find anywhere in the world, and a scenic two-and-a-quarter-mile boardwalk.
Best for History Buffs
Jupiter: Peanut Island
This 79-acre island at the mouth of Lake Worth Inlet was claimed by President John F. Kennedy at the peak of the Cuban Missile Crisis as the ideal place to hide out during a nuclear crisis. The 1961 fallout shelter is open today as a reminder of those trying times, complete with communication stations, lockers, and a presidential seal added later for additional gravitas.
Naples: The Revs Institute
More than 100 vintage vehicles – including a 1939 Mercedes W154 Grand Prix (Silver Arrow) – have drawn historians and automotive connoisseurs to the doors of the Collier family’s curated collection. On display are rare editions manufactured between 1896 and 1996. Take the two-hour guided tour for a figurative and literal look under the hoods of these classic cars.
Best Animal Encounter for Kids
Jupiter: Carlin Park Snorkeling
Just 50 feet out from this popular beach, you’ll find an exposed reef that teems with blue angels, rays, butterfly fish, and grunts. Since boats aren’t allowed in the area, at low tide, it is safe snorkeling for families with children, particularly at depths of just five to ten feet throughout.
Kids and adults alike will thrill at the dizzying array of exhibits here, ranging from a blue lagoon full of chattering migratory birds to a fossil dig with genuine ancient trilobites. If scientific spectacles aren’t quite your speed, indulge your inner television personality and deliver an interactive news broadcast you can then share with friends via social media.
Sail or motor three miles off the coast to find turtles, sharks, and goliath groupers, which are easy to spot among the reefs, ridges, and wrecks of the Atlantic. From August to October during grouper breeding season, wrecks play host to these massive fish, each weighing 350 to 450 pounds.
The area is an expert diver’s paradise, with the wreck of the British freighter Bayronto and the 224-foot-deep Black Hole sinkhole, earning Naples its reputation as a premier dive spot. Bring a savvy friend and the right diving equipment, and you’ll be rewarded with schools of colorful fish and graceful sea turtles calling the region home.
Jupiter: Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa
Oceanfront dining and barefoot elegance meet at Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa, where beaches, state parks, and the iconic Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse are just moments away.
Naples: Edgewater Beach Hotel
The city’s only all-suite beachfront hotel offers 125 rooms and breathtaking views, all just seconds from the beach and a five-minute drive from Naples’s famous boutique shops.