This Underrated Florida State Park Holds A Hidden, Uncrowded Beach And It's Heavenly

While Florida can get busy with tourists there are many hidden gems where you can go to escape the crowds. One of these places is the gorgeous St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park which is on Jupiter Island, near Port Salerno. The park is close to the lesser-known Florida beach town destination of Jupiter, so there are plenty of places to stay and activities surrounding it.

This preserve is only accessible by boat but the journey to get there is every bit as wonderful as the sand itself. Once in the preserve, a boardwalk takes visitors through an area of mangroves, oaks, cabbage palms, paradise trees, and wild limes which are all populated with native wildlife. It's not just humans who love the beach as three species of turtle choose to nest on the 2.7 miles of white sand. Make sure to eat a hearty breakfast as there are more than 4 miles of mangroves in which you can kayak through and explore before taking a rest on this blissful beach. There is also much to do here for outdoor lovers, as you can snorkel, scuba dive, walk, and birdwatch in the inlet preserve.

Know before you go

As there is no boat or vessel rental available at the park, you will need to bring your own. The park is open for visitors every day and there is a small entry fee of $3 per boat and $2 for a canoe or kayak. It operates on an honesty box system so make sure to bring the correct amount with you as no change can be given.

There are three kayak landings on the North, West, and South sides of the island. The shortest paddle is to West Kayak Landing which is where you can join the boardwalk to the beach. Paddling to the North and South landings is more complicated to navigate as they both take in the tidal creeks. It is important to know where you are going as there are no signposts within them. The North Kayak Landing route will take you to the pretty 'Hole in the Wall' tidal lagoon. Each landing has a path that will take you to the beach where there is even more fun to be had.

Things to do at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve

Aside from kayaking, the beach in the reserve is a wonderful place to swim or sunbathe, but for more adventurous visitors there is much to see in the water itself. There is the Anastasia rock reef close to shore where you can snorkel or scuba dive, but you will need to bring your own equipment. It is a beautiful opportunity to spot tropical fish as well as green, loggerhead, and leatherback turtles.

Wildlife enthusiasts can look out for the herons, pelicans, ibis, bobcats, otters, and raccoons that live on the island. There is also the chance to fish for bluefish, snapper, and snook either on the beach or the docks. Don't forget to bring a picnic as there is a pavilion where you can enjoy a snack in the peace and quiet of this perfect state park. A day spent on this island is bound to persuade you that this is one of Florida's best beaches as it has fun for the whole family!