Can't Get Enough of Jupiter Beach

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Another onsite hit is hanging out come nighttime at the hammocks (the resort has four). Kids love this, of course, and we adults love it with drink in hand (the indoor or outdoor bar is more than happy to serve up your favorite drink). Little kids, due to their height, have an especially fun time trying to get on and off the hammocks—a great photo-op.

Standard rates from Nov. 1-Dec. 31, 2011 start at $229; standard winter rates from Jan. 1-31, 2012 start at $229, and from Feb. 1-April 30, 2012, at $329.

fun must-do’s First-timers to the area will want to visit the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum, which does have, incidentally, height restrictions for those who want to go all the way to the top of the lighthouse, meaning the littlest ones in the family will have to explore the rest of the grounds, such as the newly restored WWII buildings with Florida history exhibits or hang out by the Loxahatchee River, while the older kids climb this landmark 1860 lighthouse ($9 for adults, $5 children ages 6-18, 5 and under free).

We ourselves couldn’t understand why there would be such restrictions in place until we climbed the 105 steps to the top and with only one handrail and perforated metal stairs that give you a clear picture all the way to the bottom, we realized this is no easy task for someone with a fear of heights or a teeny-tiny someone. But we must say, the views from the top are truly gorgeous—the river, the ocean, the city—and how many kids can say they’ve climbed a lighthouse (it’s one for the “what I did on my summer vacation”).

Riverbend Park is another must for the bucket list while in Jupiter Beach, but this is not for those who’d rather be shopping at Worth Avenue. This is a place for the true nature lover, and if you’re truly adventurous, then take a canoe or kayak ride along the river, because this is as good as it gets, with birds practically landing on your back, turtles hanging on tree branches, dragonflies fluttering about, and alligators keeping a close watch—too close for this editor’s comfort—from the river banks. Canoe Outfitters of Florida offers a self-guided (and here the operative word is “self”) 3-hour canoe ride along the river that, truth be told, might be a little nerve-wracking for young girls (although we’re sure boys will get a kick out of it). Families will really get up-close to alligators—when the park’s visitor’s center attendant says, “I’ll be surprised if you don’t see at least one gator,” he means it. But, truth be told, the park is a beauty and definitely makes for a lovely way to while away the afternoon.

For those of us who are more prone to shopping till you drop, don’t leave town without a visit to CityPlace, located in the heart of Downtown Palm Beach and offering a multitude of shops as well as live music, come sundown, and one of the area’s favorite treats—Sloan’s ice cream shop—oozing charming decor, delightful scents and a yummy selection. Before stopping in there, recommend dinner at Brewzzi, which, with its kid-friendly menu, spacious booths and raucous environment is the perfect place to dine with a family.

And for families who plan to visit Jupiter Beach during spring, do recommend they stop in at Roger Dean Stadium, home to the Florida Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals during spring training. The stadium offers a packed spring training schedule that should most definitely be taken advantage of, and it’s a great way to see top teams play in a smaller venue (families are going to feel up-close to the action).

And tell clients that since there is some distance between all of these attractions the best mode of transportation is a rental car—it’s really a must.


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