Beach Vacations to Jupiter, Florida

Beach in Jupiter, Florida
Beach and resorts in Jupiter, Florida (

Jupiter Beach Travel Tips

  • From May to August, giant endangered sea turtles lay their eggs on county beaches south of Jupiter. Instead of looking for these animals on your own, find a responsible turtle-watching program.
  • The dunes along Jupiter's beaches are fragile—stay on the walkovers provided every 500 feet or so. They're easy to spot (look for distinctive clusters of palm trees) and are equipped with showers and trash bins.
  • If you notice sea-lice warning signs, keep out of the ocean. April through August marks the high season for these microscopic jellyfish larvae, and they sure can sting.

Not to be confused with the fifth planet from the sun, this quiet, watery enclave of 50,000 residents lies about 20 miles north of upscale West Palm Beach. Compared to other towns along the Gold Coast—as Florida's southeast shore is known—Jupiter is more laid-back and less touristy, with relatively few fancy hotels or attractions, and plenty of space and nature for R&R.

Burt Reynolds grew up here (hence the local film and theater institute in his name), and today the town is home to more than one celebrity abode (Celine Dion keeps a place there). It has also become a popular second-home destination for planeloads of Northerners.

But the real stars of Jupiter are its beaches. While the center of town sits inland near the Loxahatchee River and Intracoastal Waterway, Jupiter's coast is strung with miles of dune-lined beaches and plenty of parking. Should you find yourself making the drive from West Palm Beach to here, opt for the coastal A1A route over the Florida Turnpike or Interstate 95. It's longer, yes, but the serenity is worth it, especially after you pass Juno Beach. Three area attractions of note: Dubois Park, a 29-acre beach at the mouth of Jupiter Inlet (its shallow waters are perfect for little ones); the 1898 Dubois Pioneer Home (located in said park); and nearby Ocean Beach, an excellent spot for surfing and windsurfing.

Because Jupiter occupies the space where Florida's east coast juts far into the Atlantic, it has long served as an important landmark for sailors. The earliest known records of Jupiter Inlet date back to 1565, and the town's iconic 105-foot brick lighthouse was built in 1860 as part of a military installation for the Seminole Wars. Twenty-first-century visitors can explore the site's history-laden museum and join ranger-led tours of its grounds.

Make no mistake: Retirement complexes are commonplace in Jupiter and the pace of life is slow, which is how everyone wants to keep it.

Published: 27 Dec 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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