Updated: Sep 2
Let's talk quality time and bucket list items!
Okay horseback riding is always cool but throwing in some beach front riding raises the bar!
These are my recommendations for a fabulous day in the Fort Pierce area. If you are road tripping and need a lay over, make this your location. Or if you are a Florida native wanting a day trip - schedule this on your calendar. I think of how many times we zoomed passed Fort Pierce on I-95 going somewhere awesome never giving it a thought. I'm glad we finally took the time to discover this unique place.
Located on the Treasure Coast, in St. Lucie County, Fort Pierce is a mixture of old Florida charm and new development tied together beautifully. There's been a lot of revitalization to give this community a down town vibe. The waterfront district which includes popular spots to play, eat, and enjoy the view include Jetty Park, and a handful of restaurants surrounding. Parking is not too hard, as it ls free and winds along the canal front. Canal meets the Atlantic Ocean is clearly the main attraction here. Rightfully so, as they have preserved the natural beauty of their beaches with no apology. If you are coming to the area, feel free to use this guide to help plan your time with some of our favorite stops along your journey!
These can be done in one day if you plan accordingly, or spread into a few days if you are in the area and want to have some fun. Other cool nature spots in the area will be posted at the bottom.
Each of these places could easily be their own visit. But the best things to do here are: Horseback riding on the beach, Ross Witham beach rocks, and Jetty Park.
Ross Witham Beach
704 SE MacArthur Blvd.
Hutchinson Island Beaches, Fl
Just north of Bathtub Reef Beach by the House of Refuge Museum there is a very special little beach. Parking is free, although limited. The draw to this beach is similar to the more famous spot in Jupiter: Blowing Rocks Preserve. Ross Witham is also lined with petrified coral /Anastasia limestone structures along the shoreline creating a unique beach experience. Children love to come here to play scientist in rich discovery of these cave-like crags. All kinds of beach combing and exploring is amplified on these rocks. This beach changes drastically from high tide to low tide. At low tide, one can walk in front of the rocks which could be as high as 10 feet. During high tide the waves rush up the sides crashing into the sky.
Staying on the sand is not the only unique feature here! This is the location of the George Valentine Underwater Archaeological Preserve Shipwreck Dive Site. Only 100 yards offshore you could snorkel or dive to check out the remains for yourself. This is part of what makes the treasure coast so alluring. The history found inside the museum of Gilbert Bar just adds to the local lure. Who doesn’t love the oldest building of Martin County, and the only house left of its kind? This was one of ten such houses built along the Florida East Coast offering refuge to those who washed up on the shores. Pirate history is fun for all Florida history buffs and know how fun it can be to learn of the old tales. Tours are given by volunteers and last about 45 minutes.
Add into that this beach is named after the “turtle man” environmentalist Ross Witham, who coordinated much of the sea turtle preservation we know today. And now we know why this is a beach not to be missed. This is still a popular spot for sea turtle nests and visitors need to be aware that the nests may not be disturbed.
This Martin County Beach is accessed by Fort Pierce or farther south at Northeast Ocean Blvd. through Stewart. Fort Pierce is the more scenic route!
In our experience, we drove down and spent a day exploring a bunch of the beaches in South Hutchinson Island. A girlfriend of mine recommended I would love the area so I was trying to take it all in! Checking out the Indian River side was also fun to see. Native Florida plants and trees provide a diverse ecosystem making Florida the special place it is. It was a day of enjoying ourselves in that sub tropical beach wonderland. Also, notable: Bathtub reef beach is great for the children. Having two jetty's and a reef just off the coast creates a waveless area of the shore that is great for the little ones. We walked and swam in the beautiful shallow waves of clear clean refreshing salt water.
It is a beautiful destination where time is well spent and there is so much to explore, bringing out the kid in anyone!
2017 Seaway Dr.
Upon driving by in passing we simply could not drive past Jetty Park! Really, we parked and hopped out for a potty stop along our road trip. But once we were parked, we didn’t want to get back in the car! Fun place! Walk the Jetty, take scenic pictures with the statues and mosaic benches, watch boats, and fish 🐢🐟🐟🐬 Lots of wildlife lives here: birds, pelicans, manatee, sea turtles, even dolphins can be spotted swimming by. Many people walking dogs, or picnicking and hanging out make this a stop. Very relaxing feel with benches tor swings to sit on. There are a few restaurants across the street to have a drink or grab a bite to eat. Picnic benches are available if you prefer to bring your own food. Beautiful river and ocean views. The "porch-type" swings facing the water for sitting and relaxing, were cute for dates, and the canal has a swift current which makes a cool landscape. This narrow park stretches from around a walkway into the beach, and makes hub for locals and a pit stop for visitors. Fun stop!
Horseback Riding on the Beach
Frederick Douglass Memorial Park
3600 South Ocean Drive
Fort Pierce, Florida 34949
😊South Hutchinson Island😊
These were the best horses! Bella was our leader. We had Iggy, Chip and Hoot.
There are many benefits of riding a horse! These include developing better reflexes and stimulating positive emotions for individuals. Learning something new can increase self esteem and connecting with an animal is a great way to deepen you sense of empathy. Horses are known for being highly intelligent animals, very social, and communicate their needs to their guardians. These herd animals have high survival instincts and as herbivores they can be very self sufficient to live on the land.
*Riders must be at least 10 years old
*Horses ride rain or shine!
*Closed toed shoes needed
*Meet under the pavilion to sign waiver and pay prior to ride
* Bring cash $3.50 added per rider for paying with a card.
*Call to book reservation and pay when you arrive, they will send you a confirmation text a few days prior to your ride. VERY Professional.
Fredrick Douglas Memorial Park is a few miles south of Jetty Park. If you park a little early, you can see the previous tour returning and they do take a few minutes between unloading and loading for the horses to rest and have a drink. They say you can lead a horse to water but can’t make him drink!
Loading goes easily!
Riders climb a short step stool and swing up into the saddle. Staff will designate (according to weight) which horse and rider are the best pair. This varies by group but groups are kept together. You won’t be separated from your party. Tour guides will help you get on and off the horse.
Your horseback ride down the beach lasts an hour. It is a down and back route beginning by heading south. This is a leisurely unspoiled beach walk, without much foot traffic (there was no one else there when we were there) where you feel like you have the whole beautiful view to yourself. This is great. Lots of deep breaths and enjoying the present. While the horses skirt the edge of the tide you’ll get a few splashes along the shoreline. You are never deep or submerged in the waves.
Horses walk in a line and know the route. They follow each other. They are extremely tame and calm. Holding the reins is still necessary and giving the horse some direction although they are really competent in the routine. My horse was responsive. Working the reins is easy, pulling to the left will lead the horse left. Pulling right leads right. Pulling back, means stop – and if you keep pulling back they will back up.
Walking south is great. Taking in the Atlantic Ocean is always awe striking. The day of our walk there was a tropical storm out at sea so it was rough and powerful. (Later becoming Nicole and landing not far from this very place.) The sky was dark and heavy with clouds. It seemed like it would rain but never did. And there in our sights was a beautiful rainbow. The breathtaking view was amazing to experience in this way. Before turning around, the guide will line up your group with the Ocean behind you for pictures with your phone. They will let you make sure you like the photos. This is an especially nice feature since some companies limit personal photos on tours. In fact, no one made a single comment to my constant photos and video during the entire tour 😊
Our tour guide also suggested some great places to eat in the area. As a Fort Pierce native she knows the area well. Her first recommendation was Taco Dive, which turned out to be a great suggestion. She even gave great directions. Right across from Jetty Park, we parked and wandered in to eat.
Taco Dive - Good prices and fresh ingredients made this menu extra fun. These are not your average tacos, they have some really interesting combos, in my group we each ate something different and were all impressed. Service was quick and efficient. But honestly, this whole strip is packed with delicious places to eat and the crowd suggests all positive experiences as a wide variety of people are here enjoying this hub of food with a view.
Nature at it’s finest
Anytime you are outside in the fresh air surrounded by the magnificence of mother earth and all of God’s natural creation it is uplifting. Breathing fresh air while surrounded by the beauty of the landscape increases the production of endorphins, which is always good for us (but especially good when we get them in healthy ways).
Also in the area: Fort Pierce Inlet State Park, Manatee Observation & Education Center, and many who do pay for entry to the House of Refuge also take the time to enjoy the history of the Elliott Museum also in South Hutchinson Island.
I specialize in doing a bucket list item (like Horseback riding on the beach or even finding a new cool place) and including other free or budget friendly things in that same area. I believe if I am already going there in making the most of it! I love to give my kids these great experiences which help create reference with the world and respect for our land, but honestly I just love to have a good time!
Affordability meter: 7/10
On a scale of 1-10 how affordable is this day?
With 1 being utterly unaffordable and 10 being basically free, I rate this adventure a 7.
The beach is as economical as it gets! Aside from gas to get there, these adventures were very economical. $50/ per person for the horse back riding and what ever is spent on food, this is not a huge expense and can be planned and budgeted for. This day was 100% worth the time and money as the peace of nature nurtures the soul, and it is hard to find a day with higher value and less cost.
We are great at packing a cooler with drinks and beach snacks. Our beach bag has all the items we need to have a fun day. We do like to try some of the local food which was a choice not a necessity, so an expense that we could have avoided if we needed to.
Nature has amazing healing properties, get out there and breathe deep breaths!
Inhale the freshly made oxygen while enjoying the vibe of the sea air surrounding you.
Be flexible and remember to cherish people over things.
Love yourself more, start exactly where you are today.
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~ Mz. Savvy
The fact that so much natural beauty surrounds us is a gift we must never take for granted. Go see it and believe it. Just knowing such beauty exists in the world helps me to keep my hope alive.
If you are in the area, it's worth another stop in Jupiter at Blowing Rocks Preserve!
A note from the editor:
The information in this article was accurate when published but may change with out notice. Confirm details when planning your trip.
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