I have lived in Jupiter/Tequesta, Florida for 11 years and I love it. It has a relaxed, slightly upscale, fishing village vibe. The ocean is incredibly gorgeous shade variations, ranging from light sea foam to deep Caribbean blue. The people are friendly and easy to talk with. The restaurants are high quality, mostly seafood with some great ethic food establishments as well. There are no towering condominium buildings. There is one condo development, one hotel and one private beach club directly on our 6.2 miles of Atlantic Ocean beachfront.
I was recently asked what are the "must sees" in Jupiter. I have outlined seven things that should not be missed when visiting this area. Not surprising, they all involve water in one way or another. Don't miss my 3 other posts about Jupiter:
Blowing Rocks Nature Preserve
On Jupiter Island, just north of Coral Cove Park, is Blowing Rocks Nature Preserve. This 79 acre protected area contains some of the most interesting beachfront in Florida. The park is named for the rocky shoreline created by exposed Anastasia limestone. During high tides, the wave crash into these rocks created the beautiful water display pictured above. Blowing Rocks Preserve protects not only the coastline but the turtles that nest there and the eco-systems that thrive on coastal barrier islands. Besides swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving, there are 3 nature trails and an Education Center. The preserve is currently open Wednesday to Sunday from 9:00 am to 4:30. Check their website for changes in operating hours and special events.
Jonathan Dickinson State Park
Directly across the inter-coastal from Blowing Rocks Nature Preserve, on US Hwy 1, is Jonathan Dickinson State Park. This WWII military based turned State Park encompasses 9 distinct eco-systems, where many are at risk for extinction because of development in south Florida. One of the things I love about this park is the diversity of activities available. There are 25 miles of hiking trails and 31 miles of biking trails, including 9 miles of mountain biking trails. On the far side of the park flows the Loxahatchee River. Kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding swimming and excursions up the river to Trapper Nelson's restored cabin are available. Bikes, kayaks and paddle boards as well as snacks are available at the concession hut on the river. There are RV/Tent, primitive, and cabin camping as well. In the winter session, horseback trail riding is available. If you are looking for a longer hike or bike ride this is a great place to go. The park is open 365 days a year, admission is $6.00 per car with up to 8 passengers. For more information, including trail maps, camping reservations, and dates and times for the Trapper Nelson excursions, head over to their website.
The iconic symbol of Jupiter is the red, towering Jupiter Lighthouse. It has been a navigational aid for sailors since 1860. It is open to visitor’s Wednesday to Sunday from 10am to 4pm. The view from the top is worth the walk up the stairs. Tickets are purchased at the Lighthouse Museum and Gift Shop and include a visit to the Tidwell Pioneer House, giving you insight into how the settlers and Native Americans lived in this area. You are welcome to enjoy the hiking trails around the lagoon on the north side of the property.
Spend the Some Time on the Water
Jupiter is all about the water. The Loxahatchee River flows into the Atlantic Ocean through the Jupiter Inlet. You can cruise the waterway by boat all the way to Jonathan Dickenson State and even further by kayak. The inter-coastal flows north and south through this area giving lots of options, for enjoying the water. Off the coast, the Gulf Stream is only a few miles off shore, giving fishing enthusiasts a great place to test their skills. Deep Sea Fishing trips are available out of Castaway Marina behind the Square Grouper Bar and at Blowing Rocks Marina behind Tiki 52 on US Hwy 1. One of my favorites is Black Dog Charters. Boat and Jet ski rentals are available at Beach Water Sports on US 1 and Jupiter Inlet Boat Rentals on A1A next to U Tiki. Paddle Board and Kayak Rentals are available at Blueline Surf Shop on A1A across from Guanabana's Restaurant. However you choose to enjoy the water, it is a great area to explore by water.
Visit Loggerhead Marine Life Center
Loggerhead Marine Life Center is a sea turtle research, rehabilitation, education and conservation center. It is located on US Hwy 1 at the Jupiter/Juno Beach border. Founded in 1983, the Center promotes the conservation of ocean ecosystems with a special focus on endangered sea turtles. There is no charge to visit the center, although donations are encouraged. Their facilities include a sea turtle hospital, a research laboratory, and exhibit areas including live sea turtles.The Loggerhead Marine Life Center hosts guided beach walks, evening turtle walks, hatchling releases, and rehabilitated sea turtle releases. They also have a wonderful gift shop whose profits go to the Center. They are currently going through a large expansion, check their website for which facilities are open and to see if a turtle release is happening during your visit.
If you like a bit of history with your outdoor activities, Riverbend Park is the place for you. The area that now comprises Riverbend Park was originally a Seminole Indian Village, with as many as 500 inhabitants. In the early 1800's many of the Seminole Indians moved to South Florida because of the Government's policy on moving all Indians to reservations west of the Mississippi River. They settled in this area because of the fresh water in the Loxahatchee River. In January of 1838, during the Seminole Indian Wars the Indians retreated into the Everglades. There is evidence that they returned to the area and inhabited the area until the 1890's. Besides the Battlefield, there are 17 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails. Jupiter Outdoor Center is on site to rent bikes, kayaks and canoes. It is possible to kayak from Riverbend Park to Jonathan Dickinson State Park. There is no admission fee to enjoy Riverbend park.
Enjoy the End of Day on the Beach
I find the best time to visit the beach is at the end of the day. Grab a beach chair or a beach blanket and a cold drink and watch as the day transitions to night. The frequent easterly winds will keep you cool and keep the bugs away. Jupiter has dog friendly beaches. If you prefer not to share the beach with pets, the beach around Carlin Park and Juno Pier prohibit dogs. One of our favorite things to do is bring flashlights and nets and hunt for sand crabs. Sand Crabs hunts are always catch and release.
Are you ready to book your trip to Jupiter?
My favorite hotel is Jupiter Beach Resort, which is directly on the beach. Check out Booking.com for the lowest rates on hotels and condos in the area. Do you have a favorite place in Jupiter that I didn't mention? Please leave a message in the comments or send me an email, I love hearing about new "must-see" places!