6 Places to Go Boating on The Treasure Coast
If you’re in the mood for some summertime cruising in South Florida, the Treasure Coast area can provide you with a perfect day on the water. This boater’s paradise offers some fantastic opportunities to spend time with family and friends and enjoy your yacht at the same time. Whether you’d like to drop anchor in a tranquil setting or you prefer to dock up for dinner, drinks and a vibrant nightlife, Florida’s renowned Treasure Coast has something to meet your yachting day trip goals.
1. Peck’s Lake – Stuart, Florida
Right off the Intracoastal Waterway in Stuart, Florida is an idyllic destination for a seaside retreat where boats of all sizes can anchor up. Take your dinghy or tender to the beautiful oceanside private beach, where access is exclusively for boaters. Gorgeous, unspoiled Old-Florida scenery awaits you here – a true natural wonderland. Part of the charm of this location is its seclusion, there are no facilities, so sure to pack everything you’ll need to comfortably spend time on the pristine white sand beach. Bring your kayak, paddle boards and fishing rods to Peck’s Lake for more on-water fun. Many locals enjoy snapper fishing in this area. On a clear day you can even go snorkeling and observe the Peck’s Lake Reef which is full of tropical marine life and coral.
If you are making the day trip to Peck’s Lake from the south, you’ll have a gorgeous ride up. As you make your way you will pass the Jupiter Lighthouse, Jupiter Island, Hobe Sound and a nature preserve. The manatee zone between Hobe Sound and Peck Lake will slow you down, but it will give you more time to enjoy the beautiful scenery and breath in the salt air. At one point, Peck’s Lake was an inlet and over time sand deposits separated the ocean from the ICW creating the anchorage on the Intercostal side. While boats of all sizes can anchor on the sandy bottom here, beware of shoaling to the south.
2. Pirate’s Cove Resort and Marina – Port Salerno, Florida
Pirates Cove Resort and Marina is the perfect place to dock up and have a little fun in the sun. This lively waterfront resort is located in the Manatee Pocket, perfectly protected from the Ocean, yet only a short distance away through the Intracoastal Waterway in Stuart, Florida. The full service marina features 50 wet slips for boats and yachts up to 100 feet in length. After you disembark from your vessel, head to the waterfront Tiki Pirate Bar. There you can kick back and enjoy live music, drink specials and even some games in a casual beach setting. Apart from the tiki bar is the Pirate’s Loft Restaurant. Whether you are on a romantic date or having fun with the whole family, take in the beautiful waterfront views of the Manatee Pocket. Dine under the covered deck, inside one of their two dining rooms, or grab a drink in the Pirate’s Loft Lounge.
3. Historic Downtown Stuart – Stuart, Florida
Sunset Bay Marina and Anchorage is an exceptional spot to dock your boat for the day or evening in Stuart, Florida. The large marina has 198 slips, many of which can accomodate yachts up to 150 feet in length. Once you dock, you can take advantage of the marina club house which offers patrons a range of service and amenities. Nestled right next to the marina is one of Stuart’s most popular waterfront restaurants, Sailor’s Return. Here you can enjoy an outstanding seafood dinner complete with cocktails and live music while overlooking the waters of the St. Lucie River.
Docking your vessel at Sunset Bay Marina makes for easy access to Historic Downtown Stuart, a charming portion of Stuart that flaunts a laid back, old-Florida atmosphere and is completely pedestrian-friendly. Peruse their shops, ice cream parlours, bars and many restaurants. Downtown Stuart also offers visitors historic museums, art galleries and a scenic riverwalk where live music can be found. For those of you seeking nightlife fun on your trip, Downtown Stuart is always buzzing with good after-dark vibes at places like Crush Wine Bar or Terra Fermata. The Atlantic Coast city of Stuart was recently voted as the number one happiest seaside town by Coastal Living Magazine. That ranking alone should be enough to encourage you to cruise through Stuart, Florida for a visit.
4. Manatee Pocket – Port Salerno, Florida
If you’re a boater looking for the ultimate bar-hopping opportunity, you’re in luck. On the beautiful, protected waters of the Manatee Pocket in Port Salerno, Florida, you’ll find a sweet set up of three wildly popular, ideally located dockside restaurants – and here, it’s always happy hour. Pull up to any dock and check out Twisted Tuna, Manatee Island Bar & Grill and Shrimper’s Bar & Grill all in one day. Whether you’re visit is during the day for lunch or at night for a little extra fun, these establishments in the Manatee Pocket are sure to deliver a good time. At night, Twisted Tuna becomes an even more energetic venue with live music blasting from a floating dock. You can even get a cornhole tournament going on their expansive deck area.
5. Fort Pierce City Marina and Main Street – Fort Pierce, Florida
In the more northern region of the Treasure Coast off of the Indian River Lagoon is the historic seaside town of Fort Pierce, another ideal location for a yachting day trip. The floating docks at Fort Pierce City Marina have wet slips that can accommodate vessels up to 160’ depending on draft. Once you’ve secured your yacht the opportunities for enjoying your day here are endless. Make sure your first stop is to get a delicious beverage at the Original Tiki Bar right next to the marina, it’s a favorite destination for many people to grab a bite and a drink in a tropical setting. A variety of restaurants, Farmers markets, boutique shops, live music and beautiful colonial Spanish architecture await you as you make your way into town. Fort Pierce’s Main Street was voted one of the 50 Best Small Towns by Top Value Reviews as it truly has so much to offer.
6. St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park – Port Salerno, Florida
One of the few remaining undeveloped barrier islands on Florida’s east coast, the St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park is accessible only by boat and totally worth the ride. On the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway side there is a dock with many available slips to dock boats up to 32 feet in length. A boardwalk will take you across forests of mangroves and hammocks of live oaks to a nicely preserved, quiet Atlantic beach. 2.7 miles of white sandy beach are accessible to you while on your day trip here. During the summer months, the island is an important nesting area for loggerhead, leatherback, and green turtles. Visitors come here to kayak, swim, surf fish, sunbathe, or picnic at the beach pavillion. Snorkeling and scuba diving are also popular activities at this state park as there is an extensive Anastasia rock reef just offshore of the park extending 4.7 miles along the coast and up to one mile offshore. Depths range from 5 ft. to 35 ft. This reef is the northernmost limit for the ranges of several species of corals found in South Florida. St. Lucie Inlet State Park is located at Port Salerno, on the Intracoastal Waterway, 2/3 of a mile south of the inlet. Helpful hint: Watch for shoaling between the dock and the Intracoastal Waterway channel. There is a lot of shallow water in this area. Be sure to head out of channel right by the big dock sign that reads “St. Lucie Inlet Preserve Park.” There won’t be any issues with shallow water near this sign or the dock area.