Hutchinson Island feels like an isolated island well off the beaten path, full of pristine, laid-back beach time. The beauty is that this barrier island is an hour north of West Palm Beach and offers easy access to an “Old Florida” downtown for both sights and services.

STAY: An Uncrowded Beach Escape

The 178 rooms of Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa are a fresh take on an old standard – the luxury beach getaway, where travelers can escape the hectic rush of modern life and settle into the laid-back coastal cool. The first new beach resort to be built on Hutchinson Island in nearly 20 years, the resort opened in the spring of 2017, featuring two oceanfront restaurants, two swimming pools, and a signature spa.

Inside Opal's Newest Property Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa

PLAY: The Beach Is Beckoning

Sandwiched between the Atlantic on the east and the Indian River on the west, the barrier island of Hutchinson is a prime spot for those in need of some one-on-one time with the water. Aside from soaking up some sun on the resort’s white sand beach, water activities include snorkeling the shallow reefs at nearby Bathtub Beach, coastal eco tours by kayak or stand-up paddleboard, and beach tours on horseback. The area is also known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World” so we recommend linking up with one of several fishing charters. Eight miles from the resort, Stuart was recently named “America’s Happiest Seaside Towns” by Coastal Living – an old-fashioned downtown full of Old Florida–style houses and cobblestone sidewalks running in front of several boutiques, galleries, and restaurants for when it’s time to get off the beach.


A visit to the House of Refuge Museum at Gilbert’s Bar is a must on any visitor’s list of things to do. Learn the tragic and romantic history of lifesaving stations like this one…then head 100 yards offshore to dive the Georges Valentine shipwreck.

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