I love that we live by the beach. I prayed years ago for the privilege of living near the beach. Now that we do, I want to take full advantage! The sand between my toes, salt in my hair, sun on my cheeks, sound of the waves...it is so relaxing and fun! Not to mention the free entertainment for our kids!
We have tried several beaches here around our home. Before moving here, I had no idea that each beach could be so different. Each one has it's own perks and our children quickly chose their favorites. Unfortunately, until recently, we couldn't find one that we all loved!
There a few things that make Florida beaches unique, particularly Palm Beach County Beaches:
~Most of them are havens for sea turtles and their nests--some have restrictions about beach umbrellas
that dig too far down in the sand.
~Floridians take their beaches seriously: most are not developed (meaning very few hotels,
restaurants, etc can be found on the beach). Make sure to take bags for your trash. Whatever you
do, do not mess with the sea turtles or their nests.
We still consider ourselves beginners, but here is a run down of the beaches we've tried and our opinions of each:
Hutchison Island: This is the furthest north we've been since moving here. The beach (sand area) at this one is deep and and very easily accessed from the parking lot (no crossing the street). The water is shallow for a ways out. It is life guarded. Nice bathrooms right next to the beach. Downsides: parking is definitely a struggle and this is a decent 30-45 minute drive from our house.
Blowing Rocks Preserve: We ended up here on accident..I was actually looking for Jupiter Beach and went way too far north. This is a preserve so parking is far from the beach. It's a neat, natural, jungle-y type walk from the parking lot to the beach. The water comes right up into the rocks at high tide. We wanted beach so we walked a really long way with all of our gear to the sandy area of the beach. We were the only ones on the entire beach which was fun, and a bit nerve racking when I realized there was no lifeguard. No restrooms and they do ask for a $5 suggested donation. And did I mention the large spiders in the canopy of the nature trail? Cool, but uh...we haven't been back!
Jupiter Beach/Dubois Park: This is one of our favorites. It is a large park with lots of parking and several access points to the water. There are 3 swimming areas: the lagoon which is shallow and pretty clear. It feels like a natural pool. The intracoastal which is deeper and rocky and the beach side which is also Jupiter Beach. The jetty is here and there are always pelicans hanging out as people fish. We don't normally swim on the beach side because we've heard of many shark sightings there. All 3 areas are life guarded. The views of the intracoastal, the boats and multi-million dollar waterfront homes make for a scenic backdrop. There are restrooms, playground, picnic tables and grills right along the lagoon and intracoastal. The downsides are the no-see-ums that come out at dusk and rumors of the dangers of the stagnant lagoon water.
Carlin Park: Our very favorite! This is the one beach that we all love. Parking right next to the beach access. Life guarded and wash offs easily accessible. Rocks right along the beach on the north end provide lots of seashells and crabs and snails. The water is very shallow and pretty clear. Lots of sea life here: this is where I swam with the manatees and we saw a sea turtle swimming here too!
Marcinski: Parking right along the beach or in the parking lot directly across the street. Dog friendly (which can be good or bad, depending on your preference). The tide can come right up to the beach access at some spots. Most of this beach is not life guarded.
Loggerhead Park: Another favorite! The Loggerhead Marine Life Center is a must see--we love seeing all the sea turtles being rehabilitated and all the babies! We went once and saw a rehabilitated sea turtle being returned to the ocean. So fun! Beyond that, this is a great family beach. Decent waves for our boogie boarders but not so strong that the littler ones can't enjoy it. This is also life guarded. Parking, restrooms and a playground are right across the street.
Macarthur Park: Brad and I have been here once and we look forward to going back with the kids. A $5 entrance per car gets you all day access to this State Park. There are many things to see and do, including kayaking, nature trails, a nature center and gift shop. A boardwalk provides access over the intracoastal to the beach side of the park. This beach is somewhat untouched and natural. There are restrooms but no lifeguard.
Have I mentioned I love the beach? And this is just the beginning...we haven't even come close to experiencing all there is to see!