Jupiter and the surrounding beach communities are first-class destinations for fun in the sun, but they also boast a host of non-beach-related attractions sure to float your boat.
Make no bones about it, the first thing you'll want to do in Jupiter is hit the beach. Miles and miles of sand stretch all along the coast, but good places to start include Jupiter Beach Park , at the mouth of the Loxahatchee River . To experience the distinctive beauty of this mighty waterway, hop on a boat or spend an afternoon on the Riverwalk , an expertly landscaped pathway that snakes along the water, past marinas, yacht clubs, parks and dockside restaurants and watering holes like Jetty's and the world-famous Square Grouper .
Right across the river from the Grouper is the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse , a towering reminder of the town's maritime heritage, celebrated by locals and tourists alike. Tour the lighthouse and picnic in the lush riverfront park in which it sits. For more on the history of this seaside community, attractions like The Last Galleon , a sunken ship, and the Dubois Pioneer Home , built atop an authentic Native American shellmound, are must-see spots.
Today, Jupiter is home to some of the most cherished big-league points of interest in all of South Florida. The Busch Wildlife Sanctuary , a combination veterinary hospital and educational facility, is beloved by kids of all ages from all over the world. Similarly huge crowds gather at Roger Dean Stadium , spring training home of the Florida Marlins and the St. Louis Cardinals . Join them and watch the "boys of summer" work themselves out of their wintertime funks. If there is one treasure in Jupiter to which every visitor must make a pilgrimage, surely that treasure is the Burt Reynolds & Friends Museum , a comprehensive commemoration of the life and times of the mustachioed icon – and the iconic mustache itself. If the lines and admission fees of zoos, spectator sports and museums prove too dauting, put yourself in the center of your very own first-hand adventure. Take the plunge with Jupiter Dive Charters or Scuba Works . They'll gear you up for and ferry you out to one of the Jupiter coastline's many wreck diving sites . If you like hooking fish rather than just gawking at them, set out to sea as a contestant in the Jupiter Billfish Tournament , a three-day sportfishing extravaganza. And for an activity completely devoid of fish, enter yourself in Jupiter's annual Loggerhead Triathlon . After all that, hunger will surely strike. When it does, choose from high-energy beachfront eateries like Dune Dog , or off-beat local favorites like Little Moir's Food Shack .
As if Jupiter proper were not beach oriented enough, this district takes it to the max. Juno Beach Park is the anchor, with its miles of sandy beaches, trails, picnic areas and more. Before hitting the beach, you'll need to hit a surf shop such as Ground Swell , where you'll be outfitted with everything you need for a proper endless-summer experience. The Marinelife Center of Juno Beach will push to enjoy the beach in a whole new way. Through educational programs and displays, and face-to-face encounters with live leatherback sea turtles, the center leaves no visitor unappreciative of nature's bounty.
Restaurants here, even if not located right on the beach, honor South Florida's seafood-lovin' heritage with all their might. Hurricane Cafe , for example, has a boatload of elegantly prepared fish plates on their menu. At the annual Art Fest by the Sea , the food is a big part of the show. The fest draws hordes of fun-loving art lovers to Juno Beach, all reveling in an epic celebration of art, food and fun.
This district is home to a fine mix of culture and commerce. The Lighthouse Center for the Arts champions art, drama and creativity of every stripe, offering programs and exhibitions both enlightening and entertaining. The height of culture! Just down the road is Tequesta's Fashion Mall , a stunning example of a mall being the best a mall can be. The height of commerce! Combining the best of both worlds is independent bookseller My Book Place - track down a fine piece of literary culture, and then buy it!
When it comes time to get back to nature, Tequesta's got a bit of that too. Coral Cove Park is a spacious beach, wide open and unspoiled. Bring the whole family and marvel at the rays of the sun and the churning of the surf. Loggerhead Reef , just off shore, is an ideal place to dive and soak in the undersea wildlife.
Palm Beach Gardens & Palm Beach County
Golf is the name of the game in Palm Beach Gardens. The world-famous PGA National Resort is located here, and fans of the sport know this is the place to be for a truly all-golf-all-the-time experience. Book a room at the on-site PGA National Resort Hotel & Cottages , and play a few rounds. The resort also plays host to such internationally renowned events as The Honda Classic Tournament .
If your party includes members less inclined to label themselves "golf crazy," send them over to the Eissey Campus Theater for an evening (or afternoon) of dance, drama or musical performance. The Raymond F. Kravis Center for Performing Arts down in West Palm Beach is a prime performance destination if there ever was one, playing host to operas, plays and more. If their distaste for theater is on par with their distaste for golf, perhaps they like to shop! In that case, Gardens Mall just might be the answer.
Jupiter is an eclectic mix of cultures and traditions, so it is little wonder that its restaurants follow this same pattern. From down-home Florida cuisine to funky jazz cafes, you are sure to find something to suit your palate.
Catch the Surf
Seafood is the top choice in this beach town, and with good reason! The catch of the day is often only a few steps away, so make sure to take advantage of the opportunity for some great fish while you are here. The love of shrimp will surely lead you to The Crab House , part of the Miami-based chain that devotes entire pages of its menu to shrimp and crab, while Schooners Restaurant makes seafood dining fun for kids and parents alike. For a side of kitsch with your meal, check out Little Moir's Food Shack , an unpretentious hole-in-the-wall serving up one of the most interesting menus in town. Those who enjoy dining with a view will love Jetty's , a dock-side restaurant serving delicious gourmet dishes with a panoramic view of Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse .
…And the Turf
Nothing says Southern cooking like an old-fashioned BBQ, and Jupiter is in no way lacking in the down-home cuisine department. There's no fooling around with food at Uncle Mick's Bar & Grill , where locals and visitors alike crowd in to stuff their guts with pub-style fare. Local treats and spicy appetizers rule at Blondie's Bar & Grill , while Jupiter's original R.J. Gator's Florida Sea Grill & Bar continues to serve up some of the best drinks around. If you long for a taste of something out of the ordinary, try your luck with local specialties like the Dolphin Sandwich at the popular Dune Dog Cafe .
For those who seek something more than steaks, grills and seafood, there are several other options that may tickle your taste buds. Too Bizaare Cafe & Wine Bar is a funky hang-out with menu items such as salads, wraps, and a wide selection of wine, all served alongside live entertainment. If you are in the mood for some jazz with your meal, the Blue Note Cafe is the place to be. For those longing for Mother England, Queen Mary British Pub can provide you with hearty fare and draughts aplenty. When the craving for pizza or pasta strikes, locally-owned Italian eatery Nick's Tomato Pie or Tequesta's Baldino's are on-hand to serve large portions of traditional favorites. All hope is not lost for vegetarians in this seafood-loving town, as you can indulge in the Corner Cafe's special Portobello Mushroom Sandwich and garden variety greens and salads.
Rise and Shine
In search of some breakfast to start your day? Nothing beats the bagels at Einstein Brothers , which also serves pastries and coffee for those in a rush. Oven-fresh is the status quo at Mr. Bread , and when in the Juno area, stop by Hurricane Cafe , which serves some of the region's best breakfast (as well as light lunch and dinner).