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Florida Family Beach Vacations: The Treasure Coast

Treasure Coast Pt St Lucie Ft Pierce Sebastian VeroBch Stuart- img courtesy of lovestrong.com

Vero Beach and Port St. Lucie are the mainstays for kid friendly adventures on Florida’s Treasure Coast. But if you are considering visiting the Treasure Coast for your Florida family beach vacation you may also enjoy these family friendly cities which are also a part of Florida’s Treasure Coast: Fort Pierce | Hobe Sound | Jensen Beach | Palm City | Port St Lucie | Sebastian | Stuart | Vero Beach. To find out about all the fun family things to to on Florida’s Treasure Coast, read on!

Wikipedia; The name “Treasure Coast” is derived from a number of ships of Spanish galleons (especially those of the 1715 Spanish treasure fleet) that wrecked off the coast during the 17th and 18th centuries. Artifacts from these ships have been recovered in the past fifty years, both by amateur and professional treasure-hunters. As recently as August 2010, a man diving in shallow water near Jupiter found a gold coin that was minted in Mexico in the mid 1650’s.


Kid Friendly Activities & Things to Do on the Treasure Coast while on your Florida Family Beach Vacation:

Saint Lucie County

Navy Seals Museum in Ft. Pierce– (a little pricey but fun for kids who enjoy water or military things). www.navysealmuseum.com

St. Lucie County Historical Museum fun for kids and adults. www.st-lucie.lib.fl.us/museum/



Manatee Center, Ft. Piercea non-profit wildlife observation and nature education facility just west of the Atlantic ocean and overlooks the nationally recognized Indian River Lagoon, a saltwater estuary and Moore’s Creek, a freshwater creek and historical resting spot for the Florida manatee. The endangered Florida manatee, also called sea cow, is the main attraction. Manatees can be viewed at the Center year-round! Stand along the covered observation walkway or climb the second story observation tower to see Florida’s “Gentle Giants” resting or playing in Moore’s Creek. These are wild, not captive manatees, so one never knows when they might swim by. You might also see bottlenose dolphins, mullet, brown pelicans and terns. Also be sure to check out the center’s butterfly garden. www.manateecenter.com

A.E. Bean Backus Gallery www.backusgallery.com

House of Seven Gables Museum482 N Indian River Dr., Fort Pierce, FL 34950
(772) 468-9196

Ft Pierce Inlet State Park – swimming, surfing, snorkeling for the whole family; www.floridastateparks.org/fortpierceinlet/default.cfm

Ravenswood Swimming Pool on Prima Vista in Pt. St. Luciewww.swimmersguide.com/


Lakewood Park Regional Park Swimming Pool on Emerson Ave in Ft Pierce www.stlucieco.gov/media/726.htm

Farmer’s Market in Downtown Ft Pierce (Maybe not so much fun for kids but great fun for

parents) www.ftpiercefarmersmarket.com

Whispering Pines Park, Port Saint Lucie- 800 SW Darwin Blvd.


Kidz Adventure Zone in Pt. St. Lucie (coupons always in neighborhood news) a barrel of fun for the kids with two rooms full of inflatable bounce houses and slides. www.kidzadventurezone.com

Oak Hammock Park (PSL) has 2 nice (short) walking trails- 1982 Southwest Villanova Road, Port St Lucie, Florida

Tradition has a nice park and fountains, also nice to walk around lake or play on the “green” with a ball at the downtown area.

Park on Oleander, just north of Midway…GREAT! LARGE grass field to play baseball, kickball, fly a kite, throw a frisbee, etc…it is fabulous!  There is a REALLY nice nature trail there too! The playground is good for little ones & for bigger kids too.  There are a few picnic tables, lots of parking and it is NOT near the street!! There are bathrooms there too. I HIGHLY recommend it! *I would recommend that parents do NOT let their children go alone on the nature trail…safety reasons nowadays*

Jaycee Park on south beach Fort Pierce...FUN, FUN, FUN!  You can make an ALL DAY of it there….lots of the same things as the park on Oleander…BUT NO nature trail (there IS a beautiful river/beach there…so bring your swimsuits/towels/sunscreen).  There are TWO playgrounds (one is HUGE & LOTS of fun for the older children/teens and there is a small one for toddlers/young ones).  We REALLY like this park too!!

Jetty on South Beach...it is BEAUTIFUL to see the inlet, the boats, the ocean…we’ve seen dolphin, manatee, pelicans, crabs, lots of fish (people catch fish there all the time).  It has bathrooms, lots of parking, small covered boardwalk/tables….pack your swimsuits/towels/sunscreen! Make a day of it on the beach…FUN!!

Heathcote Botanical Gardens began in 1985 as an effort to save an important green space in an area of increasing urbanization. This valuable foresight is especially appreciated today as the region continues to develop. The gardens have been refined over the years and continue to grow with expansion plans now on the horizon.     www.heathcotebotanicalgardens.org

Oxbow Eco-Center– an environmental learning center dedicated to educational programs that foster an awareness and appreciation of the natural world, an understanding of ecosystems and sustainability, and a sense of stewardship toward Florida and all its inhabitants. www.co.st-lucie.fl.us/erd/oxbow/index.htm

Savannas State PreserveThe preserve provides a glimpse of the largest remaining fresh water marsh on the east coast of Florida. It offers a multi-use trail for hiking, bicycling, and horseback riding. This area is ideal for wildlife viewing and anoeing. November through April interpretive activities, guided canoe and walking trips are conducted.www.floridastateparks.org/savannas/default.cfm


Martin County


Horseback riding Thirty-six miles of equestrian trails have been developed within the DuPuis Reserve, a 21,875-acre multi-use natural area, located about three miles west of Indiantown. Five gates provide access to the reserve. The best place to start is at Gate 5 where the original DuPuis ranch house now functions as a visitor center. Displays showcase nature and the history of the ranch. A small habitat trail features the diversity of the ranch land which includes numerous ponds, wet prairies, cypress domes, pine flatwoods, and remnant Everglades marsh. A butterfly garden provides quiet inspiration and reflection. Discovery: Bald eagles, hawks, and owls are frequently sighted from the campgrounds.(DuPuis Reserve Visitors Center. Gate #5. 23500 SW Kanner Highway, Canal Point, 33438. 1(772)924-5310, 1-800-432-2045 or http://www.sfwmd.gov/org/clm/lsd/dupindex.html)

Stuart Museumthe old feed store in downtown-and now the Riverfront boardwalk, family fun.

Indian Riverside Park and the Fountains in Jensen Beach, great place for families.1707 NE Indian River Dr., Jensen Beach, FL 34957. ph(772) 692-7501

Hobe Sound Nature Centerwww.hobesoundnaturecenter.com

Blake Library Story hour is the best (Martin County) & has a great “exploration lab” which is basically a huge room full of great toys the kids can freely play with as long as the room is not in use for story hour. www.library.martin.fl.us


“Family Place” with the Martin County Library System is great for walkers to 3 yrs. – www.library.martin.fl.us/childrensworld/carousel/carousel.htm

The Bathtub Beach, can still be reached by parking at the Chastain Beach parking lot just before it and walking over (it is best to go at low tide).  Website to check for tides http://www.evsmartin.com/bathtub/

Jensen Beach Causeway Park – under the bridge there is a playground, where you can bring a packed lunch, have lunch on the water and play at the park afterwards.

Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center– Every other Wednesday from 9:30am – 11:30am there is a home-school class    www.floridaoceanographic.org/

Sewall’s Point / Ocean Breeze Park kids can wade in the Indian River or play on shady park.    www.neighborhoodscout.com/fl/jensenbeach/sewallspoint

Children’s Museum , Jensen Beach www.childrensmuseumtc.com



Halpatioke park is awesome (and covered) & has great hiking trails,Canoe rentals, and perfect for family outings; www.coastaltravelguide.com/Florida/Martin/Parks/HalpatiokeeRegionalPark.htm

Family Fun Center (great coupons on website)- miniature golf, arcade, go-carts, and lots of kid friendly family fun stuff; www.golfworld76.com/

YMCA Sports World– $10 open gym on Fri and Sat a.m. – great! www.ymcatreasurecoast.org


Indian River County

Sebastian Aquatic Center-North County Aquatic Centerfun family swimming and more. www.swimmersguide.com/query/Detail.cfm?PoolID=14282


Sebastian Inlet State Park on A1A in Sebastian – great for surfing, snorkeling, swimming, camping and there’s a museum at the park. www.floridastateparks.org/SebastianInlet

Majestic Movie Theater in Vero Beach. Monday thru Thurs all movies are only $5. www.majesticvero.com

McKee Botanical Gardens in Vero Beachwww.mckeegarden.org

Skate Factory on 27th Ave in Vero Beach – very family friendly and clean www.skatefactory.us


Palm Beach County

Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiterwww.buschwildlife.com

Splash playground ,Palm Beach Gardens Aquatics4404 Burns Road, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 , ph# 561.630.1100

Rock watching –On Jupiter Island, at the edge of the sea, “blowing rocks,” provide a daily show. In addition to the natural Anastasia limestone rocks, Blowing Rocks Preserve is also an island sanctuary. It provides an ever-changing window on a variety of natural habitats. Explore a boardwalk with interpretive signs along the Indian River Lagoon, whisper in the butterfly garden, stroll the beachside nature trail. Bonus points: For an escape from the heat of the day, The Hawley Education Center has displays and rotating exhibits that explain the value of area. Discovery: Each Sunday a guided walk is conducted through Blowing Rocks Preserve. It is a chance to explore the geology, wildlife and native plant communities with a trained naturalist. (Blowing Rocks Preserve. 574 South Beach Road, Hobe Sound, 33455. 1(561) 744-6668 or www.indianriverlagoon.org)

Dubois Park in Jupiter. It’s near the inlet and has a lagoon that is not too deep and great for kids to swim in, a lazy river and the water is crystal clear. Awesome for a day at the beach. http://www.pbcgov.com/parks/locations/dubois.htm


Jupiter LighthouseAdd some local history to it (right there at the inlet) and make it a history lesson so beach day turns into a mini unit study of science, history, geography and PE 🙂 http://www.lrhs.org/htmlPages/dubois.htm

A Whole Latte Fun Have a coffee and watch your kids play! www.alattefun.com


Mounts Botanical Gardens- www.mounts.org/home.asp



Wild Things and More at: Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge & Nature Center is a 1000-acre plus, wild place that includes three-and-a-half miles of barrier island beach plus mainland pine scrub forest habitat and a Nature Center. Remarkable for its natural beauty year round, the refuge offers quiet spaces where time almost stands still. Sand crabs scurry, scrub jays call and manatees bask in the lagoon. Discovery: Night action is the real story during the summer months as the prehistoric sea turtle nesting ritual commences. To witness the egg-laying is awesome. Volunteer “turtle scouts” watch the breaking wave s for incoming female turtles. Once a female turtle has been spotted turtle walk participants move quietly to a safe observation spot.(Hobe Sound Nature Center. 13640 U.S Highway 1, Hobe Sound, 33455. 1(772) 546-2067 or www.hobesoundnaturecenter.org)

The Best Kid Friendly Restaurants on Florida’s Treasure Coast to visit while on your Florida Family Beach Vacation

These were voted on by Urban Spoon users so you may or may not agree with the choices, but if they don’t sound like your family’s style, check out other kid friendly restaurants in the area around:

Fort Pierce | Hobe Sound | Jensen Beach | Palm City | Port St Lucie | Sebastian | Stuart | Vero Beach

  1. Bonefish Grill
  2. On The Edge Bar and Grill
  3. Gigi’s Italian Restaurant
  4. New England Fish Market
  5. Sunny Days Deli
  6. Tutto Fresco
  7. Crawdaddy’s
  8. Bluewater Beach Grill
  9. La Borgata
  10. Panera Bread

Best Kid-Friendly Places to Stay on The Treasure Coast while on your Florida family beach vacation:

Vero Beach Hotel & Spa, A Kimpton Hotel
3500 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach, FL 32963
: Vero Beach
Located directly on the beach in the charming seaside village of Vero Beach, the Vero Beach Hotel and Spa – a Kimpton Hotel is a newly constructed all-suite …The environmental program, Kimpton Hotels EarthCare, supports a sustainable world by using non-intrusive, high quality, eco-friendly products and services, including In-Room recycling bins, non-toxic cleaners, organic honor bar items and water/energy efficient measures. Kimpton Hotels EarthCare products and practices are based on California Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Lodging Guidelines.

Country Inn Suites Vero Beach 
9330 19th Lane, Vero Beach, FL  32966
: Vero Beach
The newest hotel in Vero Beach offers complimentary Continental Plus Breakfast and nation-wide phone calls.

Disney’s Vero Beach Resort
9250 Island Grove Terrace, Vero Beach, Florida 32963-4145
: Vero Beach
Situated on a scenic stretch of Atlantic coast, Disney’s Vero Beach Resort is located less than two hours from Disney World.

Comfort Suites Vero Beach
9050 Americana Way, Vero Beach, FL, 32963
: Vero Beach
This Vero Beach, FL hotel provides easy access to many area attractions including the McKee Botanical Garden, Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge and the Vero Beach Museum of Art. Downtown Vero Beach is just minutes away and offers a variety of fun things to see and do.

The Driftwood Resort
3150 Ocean Drive, Vero Beach, FL  32963
: Vero Beach
The Driftwood Resort listed on the National Registry of Historic Places is the treasure of the Treasure Coast, located directly on the Atlantic Ocean. Every units has either a queen or king bed and a sleeper sofa with kitchen facilities and a living room. Wireless internet is available at no charge. The two original buildings constructed in 1937 make up the core of the resort which now has 7 additional buildings of varying ages and decor. The Driftwood has an eclectic collection of artifacts and antiques and is a perfect getaway spot for couples and families.There are two pools on the property and a full service restaurant. Eat in or dine at Waldo’s Restaurant with an open air oceanfront deck. Spend your evenings sipping a cocktail while rocking in your own rocking chair on your balcony and let the ocean breezes blow your troubles away. Within walking distance of many restaurants, including the famous Ocean Grill. McKee Jungle Gardens is just a few miles away. Disney World and Universal are just a 90 minute drive. Kennedy Space Center is 1 hour away.

Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort and Marina
555 Northeast Ocean Boulevard, Stuart, FL 34996 US
: Stuart and Jensen Beach
The Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort and Marina is only 45-minutes from the Palm Beach International Airport. This resort is easily accessible and away from the congestion of South Florida. Visitors to Stuart, Florida, agree that the Hutchinson Island Marriott is the perfect beach get-away. This location is also half a mile from the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center, seven miles from downtown Stuart, eight miles from Hallstrom Planetarium, and 15 miles from Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge. This resort is a 200-acre island resort near Jupiter, Florida, offering 274 deluxe accommodations in a relaxed south Florida atmosphere. In the Sandpiper Beach Villas, guests will enjoy beachfront accommodations that are relaxed and casual.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Port St. Lucie
10301 SW Innovation Way,Port Saint Lucie, Florida, 34987
: Port St. Lucie
The Homewood Suites by Hilton Port St. Lucie-Tradition hotel is conveniently located near the I-95, in the heart of the Florida Center for Innovation, (FCI) in the beautiful town of Tradition. The hotel is situated 45 miles from Palm Beach International Airport, 85 miles from Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International, and 121 miles from Orlando International Airport.The hotel amenities include a complimentary delicious hot breakfast buffet every day, complimentary dinner, beer and wine Monday through Thursday, and a complimentary business center with computer, printer, and Internet access. The hotel also features a spacious Precor® fitness center. It offers complimentary strong Wi-Fi connection throughout the hotel. The hotel also offers complimentary self parking and pets are allowed.

Vistanas Beach Club
10740 South Ocean Drive, Jensen Beach, Florida 34957
: Jenson Beach and Port St. Lucie
Vistana’s Beach Club is located on the beach of Hutchinson Island, approximately 50 miles north of West Palm Beach and Palm Beach International Airport. This location is also three miles from Jensen Beach, four miles from Treasure Coast Square Mall and Stuart Heritage Museum, 25 miles from Burt Reynolds Museum, and 30 miles from Vero Beach (upscale shops and restaurants). Hotel amenities include the heated outdoor swimming pool, kids’ wading pool, Internet access, free parking, outdoor spa, boardwalk with gazebo, picnic area, video arcade, clubroom, daily housekeeping, tennis courts, and fully staffed activities department. Boating, golf, and a health club are a short distance away.

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