Incorporated in 1925, the city of Jupiter is in northern Palm Beach County and is part of the Miami metropolitan area, which is the state’s largest population center and home to more than six million residents.
Jupiter lies between Lake Okeechobee to the west and The Bahamas, which lie off the Atlantic coast to the east.
Ranked as one of the country’s most pleasant and livable coastal towns by a well-known travel magazine, it’s full of beautiful beaches, cultural and natural attractions, and in many ways, is the quaint yin to Miami’s stylish and exclusive yang.
Below are 15 things to do in and around Jupiter, Florida.
1. Jupiter Lighthouse Park
Managed by the Loxahatchee River Historical Society, Jupiter Lighthouse and Park has been open to the public since 1973 and sits on a 120-acre site that affords some of the coast’s most magnificent views.
Guided and unguided tours of the facility are available; for tech-savvy travelers, it’s possible to use your phone as an audio guide, so you’ll get the same great information but at your own pace.
It’s possible to climb to the top of the lighthouse, though it’s an activity best left to the fit and fearless.
Children must be at least four feet tall to trek to the top of the lighthouse.
2. Jonathan Dickinson State Park
Open seven days a week and located in Hobe Sound just a few minutes from Jupiter, Jonathan Dickinson State Park is the largest park in southeast Florida and offers visitors a wide array of activity options.
For those who want to burn some calories and see the park at the same time, canoe, kayak, and bicycle rentals are available. Guided tour options by boat, canoe, horseback, and buggy are available as well.
There’s a trendy new food and beverage area featuring wine, beer, and a full menu consisting mainly of items made with locally grown and produced ingredients.
3. Dupuis Nature Center
Providing a wide range of recreational activities on its more than 20,000 acres, the Dupuis Nature Center contains a variety of natural environments, including pine forests, marshes, and cypress swamps.
The nature center is primarily a community-based education center that targets nearly every segment of the local population with hands-on, interactive, and educational programs and events that are fun and entertaining.
Some of the most popular events are their guided evening stargazing tours that are led by center staff.
For a complete schedule of their events and programs, click on the ‘Community Events’ section of their website.
4. Carlin Park
Sporting nearly 3,000 feet of white sandy beach that slopes gently into the aquamarine ocean, Carlin Park is located on State Route A1A in Jupiter and is open daily from sunrise to sunset. It offers six lighted tennis courts that are open until 9:00 PM.
The park’s beach is one of its most popular attractions and includes defined swimming areas staffed by lifeguards, nearby picnic tables, pavilions, and several age-specific playgrounds.
After a long day of exerting activities like swimming, volleyball, and tennis, visitors appreciate the outdoor showers and relaxing café; it’s the perfect place to unwind with a cold beverage.
5. Gumbo Limbo Nature Center
Located on North Ocean Boulevard in Boca Raton, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center offers visitors an interesting insight into the natural environments, plants, and animals that make Florida so unique.
The center offers a variety of naturalist-led activities, like nature walks and an ever-popular turtle hatchling and reintroduction program that’s especially liked by kids.
In conjunction with Florida Atlantic University, Gumbo Limbo Nature Center also operates a sea turtle rehabilitation program that nurses sick and injured animals back to health before returning them to the wild.
A boardwalk, aquarium, nature trails, and beach access are also included. Though admission is free, donations are appreciated.
6. The Wick Theatre and Costume Museum
For those looking to experience a little bit of the Big Apple in the heart of Boca, taking in a show, a tour, or both at the Wick Theatre and Costume Museum would be a great way to do so.
The museum began in 2013 when an underused auditorium sporting more than 300 seats was purchased to house the one-of-a-kind costume collection, and the community theatre wasn’t far behind.
Since then, the venue has been providing high-quality performing arts for a fraction of what you’d pay in larger metropolitan areas.
Tour, show, and dinner packages are available for those who’d like to experience the whole shebang.
7. The Town Center at Boca Raton
Though there are plenty of modest and reasonably priced shopping areas in Florida, the state is particularly well-known for its upmarket destinations that are often the exclusive haunts of the fabulously wealthy.
The Town Center at Boca Raton is more the latter than the former and is full of exclusive fashion brands like Saks Fifth Avenue, Cartier, and Neiman Marcus, to name a few.
In addition to retail facilities, there are a variety of dining options. There’s even valet parking service perfect for those who’d rather let the hired help park their Bentley.
The town center is conveniently located just off Interstate 95.
8. Oxbow Eco-Center
Operating under the philosophy that the best way to ensure the preservation of the natural environment for tomorrow is by providing education today, the Oxbow Eco-Center is comprised of more than 200 acres of land that’s part classroom, part field laboratory, and part wildlife sanctuary.
Oxbow Eco-Center isn’t just another look-but-don’t-touch facility; the staff offer a variety of guided tour options that are engaging, educational, and entertaining.
For those unfamiliar with the area’s ecology and plant and animal life, there’s no better place to see it all up-close.
The center is located in Port St. Lucie, an easy drive from Jupiter.
9. Clematis Street
Considered by many to be West Palm Beach’s historic heart, Clematis Street is also a trendy destination that’s home to some of the city’s most popular watering holes, eateries, galleries, and shops.
If you’ll be in the area mid-week, consider stopping by for a Thursday evening full of live entertainment, which generally runs from six until nine PM.
Many of the establishments stay open until 11; those that do are known to serve some of the best grub and drinks you’ll find anywhere in the area.
Be prepared to pay a premium for such a great atmosphere, but it’ll be money well spent, and the area is serviced by two of the city’s trolley lines.
10. Palm Beach Zoo & Conservation Society
What it may lack in size, the Palm Beach Zoo and Conservation Society more than makes up for with the variety of exhibits and programs it offers guests.
Many of the zoo’s events are children centered and include opportunities to touch and feed some cuddly critters like koalas and other relatively harmless animals.
Weekends during the peak tourist season can get so crowded that it can have an impact on many guests’ experience, so if that’s a scene you’d just as soon avoid, consider visiting during the week or at other non-peak times.
Considering all there is to see and do, the cost of admission is relatively inexpensive.
11. Norton Museum of Art
Located on South Olive Avenue in West Palm Beach, the Norton Museum of Art has been around since the early ’40s and includes thousands of pieces of art from around the globe.
Though many of the museum’s pieces are centuries old, they’ve got an impressive collection of contemporary art as well, and feature some examples from noted masters like Picasso and Monet.
In addition to their permanent exhibits, the museum often hosts temporary ones, which many visitors find just as unique and alluring.
Don’t forget to take advantage of their gardens, gift shop, restaurant, and stylish coffee bar before hitting the road.
12. Diva Duck
For coastal towns like West Palm Beach, there’s no better way for visitors to get the lay of the land – and sea – than by taking a duck tour.
‘Duck’ is just another name for an amphibious vehicle that’s part bus and part boat. Diva Duck tours include a professional guide and driver, narration, and are appropriate for adults and kids alike.
Tours generally last a little more than an hour and include unique area neighborhoods, historic landmarks, and amazing views of the coast.
Considering the length of tours, prices are a bit steep, but most guests feel like they’ve gotten their money’s worth after it’s all said and done.
13. Peanut Island
If you’ve never heard of Peanut Island, that’s probably because it’s a local gem that’s off the beaten path and is only accessible by boat.
At just 80 acres, it’s small as islands go but offers visitors a variety of recreation options, including camping, fishing, swimming, and snorkeling.
The boat ride takes about 15 minutes and runs at a variety of times throughout the day, every day of the week. There’s plenty of room onboard for those lugging their beach gear.
Camping carries an additional charge to the island’s regular entrance fee, and the facilities are relatively rustic.
14. Manatee Lagoon
Other than the alligator, no animal represents Florida more than the slow-moving and adorable Manatee.
Located near the warm water outlet of the Florida Power and Light Company’s Riviera Beach Plant, Manatee Lagoon is the best chance that most guests will ever have to see the amazing sea cows in their natural environment.
From November until March is when visitors will have the highest likelihood of seeing these massive aquatic herbivores; they’re occasionally accompanied by newborn calves that seek out the warm water when ocean temperatures are at their coldest.
Located on North Flagler in West Palm Beach, it is free to visit.
15. Palm Beach International Boat Show
Not surprisingly, Florida is one of the country’s epicenters of boating and yachting; for those who’d like to get a view of many of these impressive machines that may be out of their price range, there’s no place better to do it than at the Palm Beach International Boat Show.
Taking place over four days in March, the boat show has been going strong for more than 35 years. It includes everything from relatively humble fishing boats to massive, diesel powered yachts that can cost well into the tens of millions of dollars.
The show offers a variety of fishing, boating and safety seminars, and includes plenty of food and refreshment options and even a bit of live entertainment.