Life in Jupiter is worlds away from the hustle and bustle of places like South Beach. Time moves by just a little slower, folks are just a wee bit friendlier, and the splendor of nature is just that much closer. This quaint beach town attracts both affluent snowbirds and easygoing nature lovers looking for a quiet place to hike or surf. Jupiter’s flavor is unique: relaxed but a bit conservative, ideal for families and couples who want to leave the noise behind for a while.
What To See & Do
Aside from swimming, surfing, and sunning, you’ll want to spend some time with the sea turtles while you’re in town. Just a short trip south of the resort is the Loggerhead Marine Life Center, a fully-equipped sea turtle hospital that allows visitors to encounter recovering turtles in large, outdoor tanks for a small donation. Visitors can also view veterinarians caring for sick and injured turtles through that large windows of the hospital itself. And for a special treat, sign up for a guided turtle walk to help young hatchlings making their way toward the ocean on cool, summer nights.
While plenty of smaller parks can be found in and around Jupiter, nature lovers will definitely want to make the 15-minute drive north to Jonathan Dickinson State Park. Climb the Hobe Mountain Tower, a wooden look-out point that’ll give you the best view of the Atlantic as well as the Intracoastal, or do a little mountain biking over the sand dunes. Canoes and kayaks are also for rent here, as are small motorboats, which, at just $50 per two hours (plus $10 per every additional hour) are the cheapest way to go boating in the area.
For those looking to indulge in a bit of history, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum (pictured at top) is the perfect place to brush up on the area’s past. Built in 1860 in the midst of the Civil War, visitors can tour the lighthouse throughout the day and then stop in the museum to learn about the history of the Jupiter Inlet and Loxahatchee River over the last 5,000 years.
Where To Eat & Drink
Local restaurant group Little Moir’s has the bases covered when it comes to a delicious and fun night out in Jupiter. Their Food Shack is a hidden gem nestled inside a shopping center and delivers a different menu daily, often a combination of American, Asian, and Caribbean cuisine. Right beside the Food Shack is Maxi’s Lineup, an ideal spot to go for a post-dinner drink and some good tunes. The Leftovers Cafe is even more eclectic, with craft beers, creative cuisine, and work from local artists on the walls, plus live entertainment from local bands happening nightly.
If the tiki bar scene is more your thing, you can’t go wrong with Guanabanas. Once a simple sandwich shop, this oceanfront restaurant has blossomed into a local’s favorite thanks to its flavorful (and affordable) dishes like the macadamia coconut fresh catch and the shrimp and grits. Laid-back attitudes abound here, so make sure to sport some flip-flops and a smile.
Jupiter and the surrounding area boasts a number of breweries. The Tequesta Brewing Company’s dark interiors are perfect for getting lost in a few rounds of craft beer. Civil Society Brewing has only been open since last year, but already has a reputation as a stellar brewery with some of the greatest IPAs in South Florida. Before leaving the area, make sure you also stop in at Twisted Trunk Brewing, a hip spot in Palm Beach Gardens.
Where To Stay
The Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa, an OPAL Collection property, stands out as the only hotel with private beach access in the area. After all, if you’ve come this far to unwind, you’ll want to be able to walk from your room to the sand without the hassle of driving. Each of their 168 rooms and suites boasts a black marble walk-in showers, comfortable bedding, and private balconies with resort or ocean views. Decorated in dark wood furnishings with tropical accents, like framed images of palm trees, every room perfectly captures its existence between Old Florida and the tropical islands beyond.
The elegant dining room at Jupiter Beach Resort’s Sinclair’s restaurant.
Enjoy ocean front dining at Sinclair’s, refreshing cocktails poolside and a bit of pampering at the spa. And if that doesn’t leave you completely relaxed, swinging in the adults-only hammock garden certainly will.
- Jupiter Beach is a two-hour drive from Miami via the I-95 or Florida Turnpike.
- Nightly rates at the Jupiter Beach Resort and Spa from $130.