Endless Family Fun: Kid-Friendly Activities in The Palm Beaches
Endless Family Fun: Kid-Friendly Activities in The…
You have 12 hours to soak in all Jupiter Florida has to offer. Ready, steady, GO!!
The town of Jupiter, like all of the vibrant communities in The Palm Beaches, is much more than the sum of its parts. It is a place that immerses visitors in tropical beauty, fascinating history and small-town feel. Taking in the sights and sounds of Jupiter in just one day will guarantee you’ll be back for more. Here is our itinerary for 12 hours in one of the crown jewels of The Palm Beaches.
6:00 a.m. Sunrise at Jupiter Beach Park
Few things are as inspirational as watching a tropical sunrise. Out of the swirl of dancing clouds, shifting winds and an awakening sun comes a view that will only be seen once; no other sunrise will ever be the same. The natives know a sunrise on Jupiter Beach never fades from those who experience it. The perfect way to start 12 hours in Jupiter is to stand on the beach and watch your special sunrise.
6:30 a.m. Breakfast in Jupiter
There’s plenty of great breakfast spots in this beach town. From fast counter service to five-star beachside dining, there’s a wide spectrum of choices to consider. Pulling into the Lighthouse Diner at US-1 and South Beach Road will take you back in time. The building was completed in the 1950’s, when the area was little more than palmetto scrub and sugar-white sand. It was a popular stop for truckers driving up and down US-1, so the fare was hearty and filling. The diner’s modern menu lives up to that legacy, with a wide variety of American-style fare.
If a quick coffee and pastry is in order, dash over to Center Street and stop by Jupiter Donuts. Locals flock here for the elaborately iced goodies and a big cup of coffee to go. There is a selection of breakfast sandwiches if you crave something savory. Expect a wait, as this donut shop is a favorite.
7:30 a.m. Enjoy the view from Sawfish Bay Park
Jupiter’s existence is tied to the beautiful Loxahatchee River. The river provided bountiful fish to pioneers, and gave early businesses a way to move people and supplies around the area. The river was essential to Jupiter’s growth, and it serves today as the centerpiece of the town’s identity. Sawfish Bay Park is tucked away alongside Old Dixie Highway, overlooking one of the widest parts of the river. A stop here will allow you to take in the expanse of the Loxahatchee, watch kayakers and paddle boarders slip into the quiet backwaters, and feel what it is like to “live on the river.”
8:00 a.m. Sample the tropics at Dubois Park
Dubois Park sits along the southern shore of the inlet. In this place of stunning natural beauty, visitors can sit yards from the inlet’s blue waters and watch pleasure craft head out to sea. The park has swimming areas and family picnic facilities surrounded by swaying coconut palms. On the park grounds is the DuBois Pioneer home, built in 1898. Tours of the home will show history buffs how frontier families lived in a primitive tropical paradise. 10:00 a.m. Explore the past at the Jupiter Lighthouse and Museum
The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse is perhaps the most enduring icon of The Palm Beaches. Finished in 1860, it is the oldest surviving structure in the county. The lighthouse’s beam first shined over the Atlantic Ocean a full year before the American Civil War began, and generations of heroic lighthouse keepers risked their lives to keep the light turning through ferocious hurricanes and storms. Today, it serves as a beacon of local history, with the Lighthouse Museum chronicling everything from the area’s pre-Columbian inhabitants to the area’s development as a premiere place to work and live. Tours of the lighthouse are available, with visitors encouraged to take the 105 steps to the top of the brick and iron structure. The breathtaking view takes in the entire inlet and much of the river. It illustrates how Jupiter is completely intertwined with the Loxahatchee’s blue, clear waters. While you’re at the top, snap a selfie as part of the #SelfieTrail in #ThePalmBeaches. 12:00 p.m. Lunch at Dune Dog
The most challenging task involving lunch is deciding where to have it. There is a very wide range of choices in Jupiter, for every style and budget. For something a little different, take South Dixie Highway to Dune Dog, a grill with outside seating that specializes in gourmet hot dogs, burgers and craft beer. Old trees have been “built in” to the covered seating area, creating a natural canopy. 1:00 p.m. Explore nature at Busch Wildlife Sanctuary
Drive west on Indiantown Road towards the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, a non-profit organization that cares for injured wildlife and offers permanent shelter to animals unable to return to the wild. The sanctuary blends in wonderfully with the surrounding landscape and provides winding paths for visitors to walk. A collection of surprising wildlife can be seen there, from black bears and Florida panthers to majestic bald eagles. Educational presentations are scheduled several times a day, and visitors come away with a new-found respect for the wide range of animals that call The Palm Beaches home. 3:00 p.m. Shop at Harbourside Place
Built along the placid Intracoastal Waterway is Harbourside Place, a stylish complex of shopping, dining, boating, entertainment and world-class hotel accommodations. A walk along the storefronts shop is a feast for the eyes, with fun, coastal architecture mixing with colorful fashions of all types. Walk along the public docks, watch the boats and have a mid-afternoon snack at one of the many great restaurants nearby. 5:00 p.m. Take a tour on the Manatee Queen
By now, you’ve seen the beauty from the Inlet from every angle, even from atop the Lighthouse. All that is left to do is to hop a boat and cruise the historic Loxahatchee yourself. There’s a great boat tour available to those who phone ahead for reservations. The Manatee Queen is a 50-foot pontoon boat that’s been a fixture on these waters since 1988. A two-hour narrated tour will take you up the Intracoastal waterway alongside Jupiter Island. You’ll see a mix of unspoiled beauty and fabulous homes built or once owned by celebrities like Burt Reynolds and Celine Dion. Tour times and availability depends upon time of year and the weather, so call for reservations and plan your other activities around the trip.
12 hours in Jupiter offers just a taste of what The Palm Beaches has to offer. Beaches, history, tropical beauty and great accommodations are at your fingertips. Jupiter is just the beginning of a memorable vacation in this tropical paradise.
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