Monday, June 13, 2016

Peanut Island Park

Peanut Island Park is a small island (about 88 acres) located in the Intracoastal Waterway in the Lake Worth inlet.  It is in close proximity to the Port of Palm Beach and you can get there only by boat or ferry. We took Captain Joes ferry and it is only about 300 feet to the island, so you can also kayak or paddleboard there. As soon as you get off the boat you walk down the dock to the shore and as we were making our way onto the island, my son spotted this huge sea star just hanging out..

Peanut Island is a county park and there is plenty do there. You can spend your day fishing, swimming or boating. They also have twenty campsites on the island if you want to stay longer than the day. Restrooms with hot showers, picnic areas and a fire ring are available, but you must have a reservation to stay.

Our favorite thing about the island is the amazing snorkeling. Since the island is located near the Lake Worth inlet, at high tide, waters from the Gulf Stream flow through and bring in warm, crystal clear Carribean waters. Make sure you are there at high tide or about an hour before, to see the awesome show of fish and gorgeous blue water. Each time we go, we see a variety of different species, from puffer fish to barracuda to parrotfish. It's incredible! Even my little man was ready to jump in and check it out!

  As you continue around the island, you can stop to take a tour of the 1936 Coast Guard station and President John F. Kennedy's bunker that is hidden on the island. The Palm Beach Maritime Museum restored and runs it now and it is worth a visit. My son had fun looking at all the ships and different boats that were docked close by. There is also a small shop on the island with drinks and snacks which is nice, but we also packed a cooler with a picnic lunch since there are grills and picnic areas around the island.

      We enjoy spending time at Peanut Island and it should definitely be on your Florida bucket list.


                                  A couple of Gopro videos of some of the fish that we saw!                                                              


Friday, June 10, 2016

Blowing Rocks Preserve

So, it's been a while. Took a (more than) little blogging break but I have already been to a few incredible places this year with my family and need to share. Hopefully I can find the time to be more consistent!

We have many adventures planned for this summer and the first one we ventured out to was Blowing Rocks Preserve near Jupiter Beach.

So, living in Florida, big rocks on the  beach is a pretty cool thing. We have plenty of beaches with rocks, but not rocks like these, limestone rocks, that line the whole shore. It was pretty magical. 
When the tide is high, the waves beat the rocks and "blow" the water up and out of the rocks.
Unfortunately, we missed high tide (typical), and did not get to see this glorious show. 
That being said, the beach was one of the most beautiful beaches I have seen in Florida (and I've been to most of them). The water was clear and blue. We even saw a sea turtle drifting along in the ocean. Getting to the beach, you walk through a tunnel of sea grapes, which my kids thought was awesome.

They also enjoyed climbing and jumping off the rocks and playing in the ocean. Amazingly, there were hardly any people there, which gave them free range of the beach!

My son especially loved playing and hiding in the rocks.

The beach extends a little over a mile and the dramatic shoreline is  the most distinct in Florida. It was preserved by the locals in 1969 and later relinquinshed to the Nature Conservancy. If you're lucky, you can witness sea turtles laying their eggs on this stretch of beach. More than 600 sea turtles lay their eggs here every summer.  There is also a nice hike along the Indian River Lagoon behind the Hawley Environmental Center, where we parked our car. Remember to hide your valuables, which we learned the hard way..

Other than our car getting broke into  (nothing too valuable was stolen), we had a great day exploring and playing at this amazing beach.

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse