Share |
Print Article
Family Travel Files Ezine Family Vacations Resource
Florida: Stuart, Family Beach Vacation Ideas - Sails, Saddles, and Sea Turtles. What could be better, sun, sand, sea breezes, a rich menu of interesting activities and the luxury of time to enjoy them with your kids. Florida’s South Treasure Coast (a.k.a. Martin County) includes glorious Atlantic blue beaches dotted with tidal pools, miles of shaded trails for hiking or biking, quiet places to regroup and best of all the luxury of time, the real treasure in today’s fast-paced world.

This family adventure list is diverse and includes one-of-a-kind experiences unique to the area.

Watch the rocks. On Jupiter Island, at the edge of the sea, “blowing rocks,” provide a daily show. In addition to the natural Anastasia limestone rocks, Blowing Rocks Preserve is also an island sanctuary. It provides an ever-changing window on a variety of natural habitats. Explore a boardwalk with interpretive signs along the Indian River Lagoon, whisper in the butterfly garden, stroll the beachside nature trail. Bonus points: For an escape from the heat of the day, The Hawley Education Center has displays and rotating exhibits that explain the value of area. Discovery: Each Sunday a guided walk is conducted through Blowing Rocks Preserve. It is a chance to explore the geology, wildlife and native plant communities with a trained naturalist. (Blowing Rocks Preserve. 574 South Beach Road, Hobe Sound, 33455. (561) 744-6668 or

Learn to sail. The U.S. Sailing Center provides a dozen ways to enjoy the wind and waves. Summer sessions are designed for kids of all ages and skill levels. Kids learn to hike-out, trim sails, and sail upwind doing a donut, walk-about, hang 10, and sail backwards. Older students drive, tack, gybe and capsize; it’s all part of the experience. Students sail mini sunfish, sunfish, lasers, 420s or a Hobie 16 and have fun learning. Discovery: For more free-form fun qualified sailors or paddlers may rent sailboats, windsurfing equipment and kayaks. The Sailing Center also offers skippered sails along the dramatically beautiful Indian River. (The U.S. Sailing Center Martin County. 1955 N.E. Indian River Drive Jensen Beach, 34957. (772) 334-8085 or

Have horse, will travel. Thirty-six miles of equestrian trails have been developed within the DuPuis Reserve, a 21,875-acre multi-use natural area, located about three miles west of Indiantown. Five gates provide access to the reserve. The best place to start is at Gate 5 where the original DuPuis ranch house now functions as a visitor center. Displays showcase nature and the history of the ranch. A small habitat trail features the diversity of the ranch land which includes numerous ponds, wet prairies, cypress domes, pine flatwoods, and remnant Everglades marsh. A butterfly garden provides quiet inspiration and reflection. Discovery: Bald eagles, hawks, and owls are frequently sighted from the campgrounds.(DuPuis Reserve Visitors Center. Gate #5. 23500 SW Kanner Highway, Canal Point, 33438. (772)924-5310, 1-800-432-2045 or

Fish the big one. Lake Okeechobee, the 730-square mile "liquid heart" of Florida, is awesome just because of its size. For freshwater fishing enthusiasts it is one of Florida’s crown jewels where pickerel, largemouth bass, bluegill, or crappies await. A trip to the shore is worth it even if angling is not on the day’s schedule and Indiantown, an ice cream stop along the way, is only 10 miles from the edge of the lake. Discovery: It is the second-largest freshwater lake in the continental United States, second only to Lake Michigan.(Jonathan Dickinson State Park. 16450 S.E. Federal Highway, Hobe Sound, 33455. (772) 546-2771 or

Feed stingrays. A dreamland for the curious, Florida Oceanographic Coastal Science Center on Hutchinson Island near Stuart showcases the sea and shares insider information about marine life. Most thrilling is the chance to feed and pet stingrays in the aquaculture pavilion. Cruising Indian River Lagoon, passengers receive first-hand information while searching for manatees, spotting dolphins and counting varieties of sea grass. This is an interactive version “Wild Kingdom” with narration. Discovery: Innovative summer programs include turtle walks, seining clinics and snorkeling adventures.(Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center. 825 NE Ocean Blvd. Stuart, 34996. (772) 225-0505 or
See an owl wink. Usually vacations do not include hospitals but the Treasure Coast Wildlife Hospital is an exception. In addition to caring for wildlife they also have an array of fascinating programs including guided access to local natural areas. Staff naturalists use nature as a classroom providing visitors first-hand experiences. Presentations make use of live native wildlife such as the great horned owl, opossum, and American alligator. Discovery: This is the home of a precocious owl named Amber and a regal eagle named Gracie. Their rescue stories are worth a visit. Bonus points: They encourage guests to bring a picnic and enjoy the lawn. (Treasure Coast Wildlife Hospital. 2800 SE Bridge Road Hobe Sound, 33455. (772) 546 - 8281 or

Go where the wild things are.
Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge & Nature Center is a 1000-acre plus, wild place that includes three-and-a-half miles of barrier island beach plus mainland pine scrub forest habitat and a Nature Center. Remarkable for its natural beauty year round, the refuge offers quiet spaces where time almost stands still. Sand crabs scurry, scrub jays call and manatees bask in the lagoon. Discovery: Night action is the real story during the summer months as the prehistoric sea turtle nesting ritual commences. To witness the egg-laying is awesome. Volunteer “turtle scouts” watch the breaking wave s for incoming female turtles. Once a female turtle has been spotted turtle walk participants move quietly to a safe observation spot.(Hobe Sound Nature Center. 13640 U.S Highway 1, Hobe Sound, 33455. (772) 546-2067 or

Where on the  

planet? The South Treasure Coast (defined as Martin County on the Florida map) is located at the southern tip of the Indian River Lagoon, a 156-mile long estuary that stretches from Ponce de Leon Inlet to Jupiter Inlet. Plan your own beach getaway in Martin County, Florida’s Treasure Coast call toll-free 1-877-585-0085 or go to 

Information compiled by FTF satff from destination interviews and onsite visits. Images by FTF. Copyright 2011
Share |
Miami Family Vacations Include Dolphins, Camel Rides, and Beach Time.
From Zoo Miami adventures and Parrot Jungle bird antics to big splashes at the Seaquarium and the small discoveries at the Miami Children’s Museum, Miami has an energizing and engaging side for families.
Fort Lauderdale Vacations with Teens.
The beaches, waterways and parks frame a rich menu of activities and make it easy to unwind and escape from the stresses of everyday life. The area beaches are awesome. In addition to fun-in-the-sun, Greater Fort Lauderdale offers families with teens great stuff beyond-the-beach.
Fort Lauderdale Family Vacations Include Beaches Butterflies, and Terrific Shopping.
Imagine more than 300 miles of navigable waterways and 40,000 resident yachts. The area provides sophisticated fun-in-the-sun, and offers oodles of family vacation activities beyond-the-beach.

Read More Articles


See More Family Vacation Ideas

Use of Travel Communications, Inc., websites constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use.
Site designed and hosted by Tempest Technologies, LLC