Updated: Jun 20
Florida has miles of beaches that are known for being inviting, what makes this one unique?
Jupiter Florida – Visiting this native Ocean front town which is the northernmost town in Palm Beach County, will certainly make you appreciate the finer things in life. This area in general is considered a high dollar zone, where typical things like gas and food might cost a little more than elsewhere. While blowing rocks Preserve is only $2./ per person, and you can park for free, you will find this area to be a little higher priced than other areas.
The Nature Conservancy Blowing Rocks Preserve located in Jupiter Inlet costs 2$/ person (children under 12 are free). Blowing Rocks is open seven days a week from 9:00am-4:30pm. There is extremely limited parking (although it is free) and absolutely no parking along the streets. When the preserve closes at 4:30pm, the parking lot gates close and lock. There are two lots, one right in front of the preserve, and another across the street from the main access lot. The area is a bit remote, but easy to get to. The ride there is beautiful and takes you along a barrier island with river on one side and Ocean on the other. The river here is full of water sport action. Boats, jet skis, paddle boarding, fishing, you can see it all along the ride in.
This incredible strip of beach/ barrier Island has a craggy limestone coastline that causes the water to shoot up through the air at high tide. At low tide, these limestone formations are cave like structures made for climbing, exploring, and appreciating. Why is so much of the limestone above ground at Blowing Rocks? No one knows. The land here might have once been part of an exposed sand ridge or the top of a reef, or for some other reason higher than surrounding areas. The mysterious line of rock makes the shoreline feel unlike all the other 825 miles of sandy beach. Such a fun place to explore!
Blowing Rock Preserve has a short trail leading to the beach with about 10 steps down onto the sand. Depending on the time of year, you may see orange roped off areas. These are sea turtle nests and not to be disturbed. This is a sea turtle nesting hot spot! Meaning turtles are known to return to this zone for laying their eggs. The preserve has about 1,000 sea turtle nests each season, which lasts from the end of March through October. Hatchlings are sometimes found lodged in rock crevices at the preserve as the rough shoreline can be tricky to navigate. While this can create challenges for the sea turtle community, people can’t get enough of this place. When the incoming tides hits it right, the waves blow up through the holes making it look like volcanic eruptions of water. It really is quite awesome to see and experience. The water plumes soar many feet into the air crashing overhead.
On one trip here, my coworker and I stayed a couple hours and enjoyed the water show. Oddly enough high tide was right at closing time which was right at 4:30. I had read the best time to be there was at high tide and sure enough the closer it got to being at it’s high point, the stronger the water eruptions got. We really enjoyed the time in nature after our work conference in busy Miami and this helped us reset before finishing the drive back home. While I took some pictures of her with the water perfectly displayed behind her, when I sat in the same place waiting for a plume, I was completely engulfed and soaked in the wave.
There are a few things to see at Blowing Rocks preserve. When visiting be sure to explore each area to fully enjoy this day of amazing nature. The .1 Beach trail from the parking lot to the staircase takes you through a shaded maritime hammock habitat. It’s a great walk through a tunnel of sea grape trees (pictured above). This makes you feel like you are leaving one world and entering another. A world with soft sand and warm water with all the healing ions of the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.
Once you hit the platform for the steps to shore (also pictured above), you could turn left and continue the short walk called the “Dune walk”. The .4 mile hike gives panoramic beach views and leads visitors farther north.
There is a Mangrove Boardwalk which is 300-feet of elevated boardwalk (with accessible ramp) through a mangrove forest that includes an overlook of the Indian River Lagoon.
The Lagoon Trail features a 0.4-mile loop trail begins as a sandy pathway along the Indian River Lagoon shoreline and loops through saltwater marsh and coastal strand habitat.
The short Pollinator Garden Scenic Walk (0.01 mile) loops through native pollinator habitat including grasses, shrubs, and flowering plants.
Jupiter Beach (on the river or the ocean side) offers beautiful places to snorkel, swim, body surf, or sun bathe. While most of the people on the beach are checking out the limestone, there are great areas of tide pools down on the southern end of the preserve. Where the limestone creates shallow holes and all kinds of fish and sea life end up here. There are some beautiful shells and awesome creatures waiting to be admired here. The rocks are pretty, and the limestone designs create shadows and light that camouflage little hiding crabs and more. You may see sea turtles just off the shore line mating, swimming, or waiting to come ashore when the people are gone.
Will this place be good for children?
Yes! Children of all ages were enjoying this beach/ play ground. The environment creates a science hands on lesson. A friend once said they didn't think their two year old would have anything to do there. I had to disagree. Giving a child access to nature will instill the appreciation of our lands and seas. Children are masters of using their senses to discover and affirm things in their mind. Here, there are so many possibilities and it will bring out the child in most adults who get excited at the thought of seeing something new, and being able to get caught up in the beauty of it. Our 9 month old had an amazing day. She was interested in everything as babies can be. Let's talk sensory - children who may be on the spectrum or still developing language are often seeking sensory experiences. This is why a sand box could be a great idea or even a water table. Here, you have all the sensory materials right from the hand of God for your enjoyment. Touching and exploring these creations will heighten your senses and light up new parts of your brain.
While the rocks and caves don't stretch too far down the beach, this patch of limestone in the middle of the sand separates the low and high ground. While the high ground is hotter, the lower ground is shady, cooler on the feet, and gives all the beach access to the caves. While we were walking along and the tide rolled in we felt like we might get washed away before we could get around the last big rock. My oldest is 6'4 and has no problem scaling the rocks, he climbed up and over several times. However, my daughter and I who were there with the baby waited until we had a cave like crevice we could sneak into then climb up and around. Once we were back on the high ground we realized we only had one more rock to get around before the string of rocks ended. We were cracking up at how we ran down the beach looking for an outlet. I have to say the tide had come in and we were walking back up top, but the sand and rock got so hot we were running back into the water for relief!
Does the tide matter?
No. High or low tide, this beach offers a different experience and is going to be a fun visit.
If you really want to see the plumes, check the tide chart.
If you really want to see the caves, check the tide chart.
Tide chart can be found here: https://www.tides.net/florida/
Jupiter for the day? Where else can you play?
Jupiter is also home to the Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, a free wildlife center where visitors can encounter alligators, birds, panthers and black bears while learning about Florida's diverse native species. The entire Sanctuary is little over 6 acres of nature trails and boardwalks. Give yourself 45min- 1hr for the walk through.
Jonathan Dickinson State Park is right down the road from Blowing Rocks. It's known as a hiker heaven, with a range of wild and scenic hikes and some very good birding. The Loxahatchee River is a play ground here for all kinds of fun activities. You can rent all your equipment here or bring your own. There’s a great short boardwalk trail –a half-mile trail up “Hobe Mountain” – South Florida’s highest point, with a 360-degree view of the ocean, Intracoastal Waterway and park.
There are tons of places to dine in the Jupiter are and all around. Driving up US1 or headed back toward 95 you will pass many options. We were driving North along US1 and went to Duffy's where we could eat outside. After a day at the beach we didn't want to sit indoors. The food was delicious and service was good. There are many other options for fine dining, and sea food, but as my oldest is allergic to shell fish and the baby didn't care where we went we found Duffy's to be a perfect stop on our way home.
*There is no gift shop or concession stand - if you are coming here to spend a few hours, bring snacks and drinks, Pack a cooler, but no there is nothing close by for snacks!
*There are no pets, or alcohol allowed on this beach.
*While there is a $2.00 per person fee, the box to collect the payment is on the side of the bathroom building coming up the board walk.
*There are outdoor showers and bathrooms.
*Parking is limited. I'd like to say "get there early" to guarantee you a spot, but it seems there is an influx. I'd just suggest getting there and being prepared to wait for a space to become available. You shouldn't have to wait too long.
*It rains. Got to love our tropical climate here. Sometimes it randomly storms briefly clearing all the humidity making a wonderful afternoon. Jupiter gets about 62 inches a year of rain! The hottest month is July. The driest month is December.
*Going to the beach it's important to have a good water proof case for your phone.
*Just go, Don't make it a big production. Sometimes we over think or over plan wanting everything to be perfect. It will be ❤
Sunscreen/ sun protection: My unpopular opinion that a little sun is good for you can quickly change when your skin burns. I like pure zinc sunscreen. Please read the ingredients on your sunscreen. Some of those ingredients cause cancer! You are rubbing it on to prevent cancer then baking it into your skin. The sun here is strong however and there is not much shade. I do see some people bringing their own shade with them and especially for small children this is a nice option. I also see those umbrellas flying down the beach from time to time with a good gust of wind. So just decide how best to plan for lots of sun. We typically only stay a couple of hours and apply zinc before arriving.
Affordability meter: 10/10 - And I don't say this often.
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 10.
The Beach is as economical as is gets. You can pack light or bring it all with you, for the cost of some towels, parking, and the time/ gas to get there let nature do the work for you. Go stand in the water. Build a sand castle. Swim a little. Body surf. Treasure hunt. Enjoy the tides washing up and down. Check out those tide pools. Bring water! You don't actually NEED anything other than your senses to completely experience the ocean. Just breathe and listen. It's a powerful place to be on the edge of the shoreline! I do recommend anywhere you go you see the surrounding area to appreciate all of the beauty that exists. One of my joys is taking photos. Blowing rocks really gives you the perfect backdrop for amazing shots and you will love the color contrasts. Still, the pictures don't do it justice.
Below are some of the pictures captured of the huge water which can be quite unpredictable....
Where ever your travels take you, be sure to keep your presence in the moment.
Enjoy where you are at. Be a little flexible with people and their navigation of time.
Let go of things you can't control.
Remember to put your people above things, and cherish the memories.
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