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A city famous for its beautiful natural landscapes, laid-back beach areas, and timeless lighthouse views, Jupiter is one of the Palm Beach area’s hidden gems that has been luring beachgoers in for decades. With an abundance of enticing restaurants and family-friendly events, here you can take the kids to watch a baseball game at Roger Dean Stadium, soak in the area’s wild habitat of Hobe Sound National Refuge or walk along the shore to catch a glimpse of the turtle hatchling walk. From beautiful state parks to wildlife refuges, here are some of the best things to do in Jupiter, Florida.
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Soak in the Sunshine at Juno Beach
A picturesque beach area with spectacular sunrises, Juno Beach is home to the legendary Loggerhead center. It’s here that you can spend your time reeling in your next catch along the full-service pier with a variety of rental places to grab a pole and bait, or you can explore more of the vibrant seaside community along the Atlantic Coastal Ridge. The waterways here are part of the appeal, in addition to the Juno Beach Park where you can take walks with your favorite four-legged friends along the shore. Perfect for a day of soaking in the Florida sunshine, pack your sunscreen and enjoy this coastal beach area with the entire family.
Spot Wildlife at Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge
Considered a nature lover’s oasis, the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge is an ideal escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It’s here that you’ll find peace and tranquility you’ve been looking for in the quiet solitude of nature. Managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife service, this refuge is also great for photography enthusiasts who want a shot of the turtle’s nests and the variety of unique treasures and shells that wash ashore along the coastal sand dunes. Home to an astounding 735 acres of protected acres, this wildlife refuge can offer a family-friendly day of hiking, surfing, and beachcombing.
Visit the Famous Blowing Rock Preserve
With its otherworldly looking limestone shelf and turquoise waters, Blowing Rocks Preserve is a peaceful, barrier island sanctuary. Managed by the Nature Conservatory, this protected area offers 73 acres of beautiful Florida landscapes, with a surreal view of native plants, beachfront dunes, mangrove swamps and tropical hardwood forests. Take the family here to explore the dramatic stretch of rocky shoreline and you’ll find two short walking trails to meander through, while an educational center and butterfly garden will keep even the little ones engaged. If you’re coming to see the famous “blowing rocks” phenomenon you should come when a storm is brewing, however, a calm sunny day offers the chance to swim in the crystal clear waters along the mile-long beach.
Climb the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum
Designed by a Civil War hero, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum is operated by the Loxahatchee River Historical Society. With over 5,000 years of regional history, the waterfront lighthouse, museum, and grounds are a historic must-see stop in Jupiter. Standing proud since 1860, tours of the 108-foot-tall landmark are held daily, while those interested in the history of the area might enjoy the various galleries and outdoor structures, including a fascinating pioneer home. The Historical Society has developed and maintained the grounds and pathways, focusing on preservation through museum archives with photographs, documents, maps, and books, while educational efforts have been made through outreach presentations and guided tours that appeal to visitors of all ages.
Paddle through John D. MacArthur Beach State Park
One of the most preserved natural areas in the Sunshine State, John D. MacArthur Beach State Park stands out with its 438 acres of subtropical coastal habitat. Located on an Atlantic Ocean front barrier island, the popular state park in Florida is considered an environmental treasure, home to several rare or endangered native tropical and coastal plant species. Here you can enjoy two miles of pristine beach, perfect for a peaceful day of paddling, swimming, diving, and snorkeling in its clear blue waters. Bird lovers will consider this place a treasure trove of nature, as visitors often spot herons, brown pelicans, sandpipers, and gulls, while those who prefer to fishing will find plenty of spots to throw in a line off from a kayak or canoe.
Get Wild at Busch Wildlife Sanctuary
A great escape for animal lovers looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, Busch Wildlife Sanctuary offers visitors the chance to learn about Florida’s wildlife and natural environments. Different from many of the typical zoos you’ve seen before, here you’ll find a refuge that combines a wildlife rehabilitation hospital with a community nature center. Walk along the nature trails to find a variety of pine flatwoods, oak hammocks, and cypress wetlands to spot anything from eagles to panthers, crocodiles, foxes, snakes, and bears. An excellent outing for the entire family, this educational experience is one that the kids won’t soon forget.
Meet Sea Turtles at Loggerhead Marine Life Center
One of the most popular animal attractions in Florida, the Loggerhead Marine Life Center is a non-profit organization that is famous for all the reasons, as it’s committed to the conservation of ocean ecosystems. Done through public education, research, and rehabilitation, the Center focuses on threatened and endangered sea turtles. Visit here for marine-themed, interactive exhibits and an on-site campus hospital, along with a chance to see tropical fish, shells, and artifacts or get a personal look at some of the sea turtles being rehabilitated from illnesses and injuries. If you time your visit right, you can also go on one of the fascinating Turtle Walks with one of the expert guides.
Gawk at Live Aquariums at Loxahatchee River Center
Open since 2008, the River Center features beautiful live aquariums and interactive exhibits that reflect the wildlife found in Florida’s natural habitats. Trace the Loxahatchee River system from Palm Beach County to the cypress floodplains in the Wild & Scenic segment, where you can explore the sandbar and coral reefs through the Jupiter Inlet and engage with a variety of touch tanks. A great attraction for both adults and kids alike, visitors interested in learning about Florida’s ecological history will be fascinated by the information presented here, as you can see the effects of the transformation of nature through the growing human populations and development.
Catch a Fly Ball at Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium
An exciting outing for sports lovers, Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium is both the home base for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Miami Marlins from February to April. The two teams share the main stadium where games are played, however, they have their own practice fields, outdoor batting cages, and pitching mounds. Even if you’re not a baseball fan, it’s hard not to get in on the fun cheering for the home team at one of America’s favorite pastimes. With 6,600 seats, it is also the only stadium in the country to be home to four minor league teams, the Jupiter Hammerheads, Palm Beach Cardinals, Gulf Coast Marlins and Gulf Coast Cardinals.
Visit the Historic Flagler Museum
Originally built for his third wife, oil tycoon Henry Flagler built this 55-room Beaux-Arts-style “Whitehall” property back in 1902. Decorated in historic European styles, Flagler Museum just oozes elegance with its public museum that features many of the original furnishings in addition to historic exhibits, artwork, and antique furniture. Dubbed “more wonderful than any palace in Europe, grander and more magnificent than any other private dwelling in the world” by the New York Herald when it opened, the museum still retains its old-world charm with its baroque ceiling, hidden staircase, and 1,200-pipe organ, standing proudly as one of Florida’s most beautiful historic sites.
Explore Arthur R Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
Preserving a portion of the once vast northern Everglades, the Arthur R Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge covers over 140,000 acres in Palm Beach County. Here you can explore a 400-acre cypress swamp, in addition to a range of wet prairies, sawgrass ridges, sloughs, and tree islands. Perfect for a day of outdoor adventures, the refuge includes a 12-mile bike trail along the levee in addition to a 5.5-mile paddling trail and fishing pier. Wildlife enthusiasts can witness over 250 species of birds in the area, from migratory birds to ones that live here throughout the year.