Discover an Uncrowded Paradise in Hidden Gem Martin County
Sunny south Florida is chosen as a beach vacation spot by families the world over for its warm weather, pristine views, and crystal-clear waters. So what makes Martin County so special? Many things. But with its chill vibe, host of family friendly activities, and remarkable natural wonders, calling Martin County a “beach vacation” simply doesn’t do it justice. In fact, visiting Martin County feels like you’re discovering an uncrowded paradise all to yourself!
Martin County isn’t just one destination, per se. It includes the individual, unique and delightful communities of Port Salerno, Stuart, Palm City, Jensen Beach, Indiantown, Jupiter Island, Hobe Sound and Hutchinson Island. While each has its charms, what they all share is the same beautiful backdrop, welcoming spirit, and carefree, leave-your-troubles-at-home vibe.
Martin County boasts nearly 22 miles of uncrowded beaches, with free parking at all of them. That alone should entice beach-lovers, who will find countless opportunities for skiing, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, SUPing, or simply lounging by the water and soaking up some sun. As wonderful as the water is (and it is absolutely stunning), Martin County is so much more than a beach destination. Martin County is also home to 77 parks on more than 100,000 acres of park and conservation land, making the area a choice destination for exploring and hiking.
Most impressive however, Martin County is located along one of the most bio-diverse lagoon ecosystems in the Northern Hemisphere. The St. Lucie inlet is the conduit between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River Lagoon. Consequently, this incredible ecosystem provides a safe home for more than 4,300 species of plants and animals, including more than 30 threatened and endangered species. See if you can spot the manatees, Florida scrub jay, wood storks, sandhill cranes, and peregrine falcons.
Things to Do
Nature lovers of all ages will have a blast at the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center. Touch a stingray, see a sea turtle up close, even watch a feeding frenzy in a 750,000-gallon game fish lagoon. The center is open Monday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and noon to 4pm on Sunday. Tickets are $12 for adults, and $6 for children ages 3 to 12.
Another local favorite that families will love is the 1000-acre coastal Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge. There are numerous nature trails to choose from, but the sea turtle walk program is a summer favorite, held on warm nights from the end of May through mid-July. Be sure to make your reservations beforehand.
For families with small children, the Children’s Museum of the Treasure Coast is also a must-visit. A bargain at only $8.50 a ticket, the museum features bright, hands-on exhibits that empower your child’s creative thinking.
Where to Stay
In Martin County, where you stay is just as fun as where you play, with relaxing beachside resorts like the new Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa and Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort & Marina, to charming bed & breakfasts like the Inn at Shepard’s Park. There are of course plenty of brand-name hotels, including the Courtyard by Marriott, Best Western, Hampton Inn, and more. There are also a host of boutique properties, including the Old Colorado Inn, the Historic Seminole Inn, and Pirate’s Cove Resort and Marina. Experience old Florida up close at the Driftwood Motel and River Palm Cottages, located in family friendly downtown Jensen Beach.
From high-end shopping, to art galleries, to one-of-a-kind museums and eco-adventures, experience stunning natural beauty and a treasure trove of activities — minus the crowds. Start planning your trip at discovermartin.com.