St. Lu­cie County: A spe­cial place

Travel Guide to Florida - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - BY STEVE WIN­STON

Half­way be­tween Mi­ami and Or­lando, St. Lu­cie is blessed with nat­u­ral beauty and of­fers a plethora of great things to see, do and ex­pe­ri­ence. This is where you’ll find 21 miles of beau­ti­ful beaches on Hutchin­son Is­land; the ma­jes­tic In­dian River La­goon, with its breath­tak­ing scenery and amaz­ing recre­ational op­tions; the Old Florida down­town and cul­tural life of Fort Pierce; and the chal­leng­ing golf cour­ses and quiet hide­aways of Port St. Lu­cie.


Out­door ac­tiv­i­ties abound here. Take a guided kayak tour on the In­dian River La­goon or the St. Lu­cie River. Hike at the D.J. Wil­cox Pre­serve through wet­lands and scrub ecosys­tems that har­bor man­a­tees, al­li­ga­tors and all sorts of marine life. Go horse­back rid­ing on the beach with Beach Tours on Horse­back; this is the only place in South Florida where you can still do this.

Fort Pierce fea­tures a num­ber of cul­tural venues. Learn about the his­tory of Amer­ica’s am­phibi­ous forces at its Na­tional Navy UDTSEAL Mu­seum. This state-of-the-art fa­cil­ity is the only mu­seum of its type in the world and constantly adds new ex­hibits. Tour the A.E. Backus Mu­seum & Gallery to view the na­tion’s largest col­lec­tion of art­work by Florida’s pre­em­i­nent painter as well as the state’s only per­ma­nent mul­ti­me­dia ex­hi­bi­tion on the Florida High­way­men. At­tend a per­for­mance at the his­toric Sun­rise The­atre.

Listed among the top 75 golf re­sorts in Amer­ica, Port St. Lu­cie’s PGA Village Golf Re­sort at­tracts duf­fers from around the world. Port St. Lu­cie is also the spring­train­ing home of the New York Mets from late Fe­bru­ary through late March.

Pho­tog­ra­phy buffs, grab your cam­era and head to Jetty Park where the At­lantic Ocean meets the In­dian River La­goon at the open­ing of the Fort Pierce In­let water­way to truly cap­ture the panoramic beauty of this re­gion.


In Fort Pierce, 12A Buoy serves up tan­ta­liz­ing Caribbean-in­spired dishes and lo­cal seafood. For de­li­cious Ital­ian fare, head over to Tutto Fresco in Port St. Lu­cie.

St. Lu­cie County also sched­ules a full cal­en­dar of spe­cial events from Jan­uary through May. Among them are the Down­town Fort Pierce Farm­ers’ Mar­ket ev­ery Satur­day (year-round), Port St. Lu­cie’s Taste of Lit­tle Italy in Jan­uary, and the Fort Pierce Oys­ter & Seafood Fes­ti­val in April.

TOP: Horse­back rid­ing on Fred­er­ick Dou­glass Beach in St. Lu­cie. CEN­TER: Sun­rise The­atre in his­toric Fort Pierce.

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