Discover Unique Outdoor Adventures At This Underrated Tropical Florida Park

Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Pompano Beach combine to create Florida's largest metropolitan area. However, there are even more large cities clustered around the area, such as Boca Raton and West Palm Beach. All of these cities make up the state's Tri-County Area. Despite the high population, southwest Florida still has tropical escapes. Among them is Peanut Island just under 5 miles north of West Palm Beach.

Peanut Island is in the Intracoastal Waterway, which is between mainland Florida and Singer Island further off of the coast. The Peanut Island Shuttle Boat in Riviera Beach adjacent to the island takes passengers to and from mainland Florida and Peanut Island at 25-minute intervals every day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the last boat leaving the island at 5 p.m. Tickets do not need to be booked online, but doing so is recommended as boats can fill up. Buying tickets online can help you skip lines as well.

Relax on the beach or venture out into the ocean

While Peanut Island is only 80 acres in surface area, there is plenty to do from relaxing on the beaches to exciting water activities. The warm, shallow water surrounding the island is perfect for snorkeling, and there is a fabricated reef enjoyed by snorkelers and wildlife alike. Keep your eyes out for parrot fish, angel fish, and maybe even a sea turtle or a manatee. If you do not have your own mask and snorkel, the Peanut Island Shuttle Boat Service offers rental equipment.

The Intracoastal Waterway around Peanut Island is a popular place for paddling. Nautical Adventures in Riviera Beach just across from Peanut Island has kayaks and stand-up paddleboards for rent. You can take these on the shuttle boat service or use them to get to Peanut Island yourself. Also in Riviera Beach is Palm Beach Jet Ski, but those looking to rent a jet ski must have a boating license or pass Florida's free boater safety course. Boat slips on Peanut Island are for day use only, but not required for non-motorized boats like kayaks and paddleboards.

Keep wildlife in mind when visiting Peanut Island

Another fun way to enjoy Peanut Island is camping. Tent sites on the island have picnic areas, bathrooms, and showers, but do not allow for electricity generators. These campsites are also the only places on the island which allow alcohol. There are just 17 campsites, so make sure to use the contact information on the campground's website to make a reservation in advance. Peanut Island does not have any places to purchase food, so be sure to pack enough for the duration of your stay.

Whether you are at your campsite or kayaking in the water, keep the wildlife and the environment in mind. Florida's wildlife is iconic, but many of its animals are endangered, including sea turtles. As part of the state's efforts to protect these animals, balloons are not allowed at Peanut Island. Watch out for animals while operating motorized boats, and to keep the white sand beaches pristine, leave no trash or personal items behind.