Bask in the Splendor of Local Nature

Grab a camera (and some sunblock) and live like a tourist while visiting the natural wonders that draw so many visitors during season

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It’s easy to get caught up in work and social events during season and forget that some of the best times can be had just by going outside. Summer is the perfect time to stop and smell the proverbial roses and enjoy our beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, watersports, hiking and biking, and more.

Take in the awe-inducing limestone shoreline at Blowing Rocks Preserve. Photo by Michelle Lee Ribeiro
Take in the awe-inducing limestone shoreline at Blowing Rocks Preserve. Photo by Michelle Lee Ribeiro

Take a trip to Jupiter Island to see waves crashing onto the limestone shoreline during high tide at the Nature Conservancy’s Blowing Rocks Preserve, or pay two dollars to walk to the end of the Juno Beach Pier, where you may see manta rays, sea turtles, and sharks swimming below.

If you’ve yet to visit Loggerhead Marinelife Center’s newly expanded campus in Juno Beach, register for a guided turtle walk on select evenings in July for your chance to observe one of the thousands of loggerhead, green, and leatherback sea turtles that nest on our beaches each year. Don’t forget to set aside some time to visit the center’s turtle tanks for a peek at this season’s hatchlings and hospital patients.

Bike the trails at Riverbend Park. Photo courtesy Jupiter Outdoor Center
Bike the trails at Riverbend Park. Photo courtesy Jupiter Outdoor Center

Spend a day biking the nearly 10 miles of compact shell rock trails at Riverbend Park, where you’re likely to have some exciting wildlife encounters along the way. If you don’t have your own mountain bike, rentals are available here. At Jonathan Dickinson State Park in Hobe Sound, the Camp Murphy mountain bike trails are much quieter during the summer months (and the seasonal rain helps keep them compact). A mountain bike rental here is $35 for two hours.

Rent a paddleboard from Blueline Surf & Paddle. Photo by Greg Panas
Rent a paddleboard from Blueline Surf & Paddle. Photo by Greg Panas

For a self-guided coast around Jupiter’s waterways, rent a paddleboard from Blueline Surf & Paddle and walk across the street to Guanabanas to launch. At John D. MacArthur Beach State Park, visitors can rent a kayak at the gift shop to paddle around the estuary or travel into the Lake Worth Lagoon to Munyon Island. Afterward, head across the boardwalk to the state park’s pristine beach and meandering nature trail.

Go on a glass-bottom kayak tour along the Intracoastal with Get Up and Go Kayaking. Photo by Justin Buzzi
Go on a glass-bottom kayak tour along the Intracoastal with Get Up and Go Kayaking. Photo by Justin Buzzi

Get Up and Go Kayaking brings a new kind of ecotourism to Jupiter with its guided clear-bottom kayaking tours along the Intracoastal, where you can see sea stars, manatees, and other marine life up close and personal.

Whatever outdoor activity you decide to take part in, consider winding down your day with a Jupiter Island Sunset Cruise. Manatee Queen has been operating local catamaran cruises
and private charters since 1988, and the two-hour sunset cruise includes snacks, beer, wine, and soft drinks ($65 adults; $40 kids 12 and under).

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