Treasure Coast is a State Treasure
This area of Florida is as beautiful as its name implies, offering both natural and man made beauty and attractions. It boasts a laid back atmosphere, amazing fishing and fun watersports, and one of the most diverse ecosystems in the US, along with some of the most beautiful parts of Florida’s geography. So let’s take a look at this treasured area.
This area of Florida located on its Atlantic coast is comprised of three counties – Indian River, St. Lucie and Martin. Within these counties is no shortage of beauty, fun adventures, great fishing, and a generally laid back atmosphere.
The area is shielded from the Atlantic Ocean by narrow sand bars and barrier islands which protect shallow lagoons, rivers, and bays. This means beaches are exceptionally safe due to the natural barrier of the geography. There are beaches on almost every block it seems. There are many beaches such as Bathtub Beach and Stuart Beach in Stuart that are perfect for families. Shallow waters and pristine sand makes these a great spot to learn a new sport too. Make your way inland, and you’ll find pine and palmetto flat lands along with a preponderance of lakes and rivers dotting and crisscrossing the entire Treasure Coast region. This area is also bordered by the Atlantic leg of the Inter-coastal Waterway.
Flora and Fauna
The Treasure Coast boasts some of the most beautiful flora of the entire state. No matter where you go, you’ll see no end to the vibrant colors of the region’s blooms and the rich texture of its foliage. With everything from ferns to palm trees, this area of Florida is a gardener’s dream.
If you love wildlife, there’s plenty to be seen in this area, as well. The area is a bird watcher’s paradise with dozens of colorful species. In addition, you can see deer, alligators (of course), and the always adorable manatee. the ocean angling is great as is fishing in the lakes and streams.
Treasure Coast is a photographer’s paradise. There are tons of crabs playing on rocks and near estuaries, and the fish can be seen jumping as you dine at a waterfront restaurant. Herons and pelicans are commonplace here and you can snap pictures of them easily while dolphins play nearby. I was taught a trick while paddle boarding and kayaking one day. Pay attention to the pelicans over water. When they skim the water, you will know where the dolphin pods show up next. When pelicans want food they will steal it practically right out of a dolphin’s mouth. That makes it easier to tell where to stand to take a picture.
the Treasure Coast isn’t just about wildlife. It also has some vibrant communities just waiting to be explored. All of these communities boast excellent dining and shopping opportunities to begin and go from there. They also have a laid back atmosphere that can help relax even the most tense of individuals. The major cities of the area are:
- Port St. Lucie
- Fort Pierce
- Vero Beach
In addition to these cities, you can find smaller cities and townships with no less to offer in the way of culture and dining. Stop by a local restaurant to experience authentic fresh southern Florida seafood or hit one of the local shops for some funky finds.
Traveler tip: look for the waterfront restaurants and you will be rewarded with beautiful scenery.
While here there are many things to do and I will talk about that in another post. But because this is the Treasure Coast, you have to make time to visit McLarty’s Treasure Coast Museum. The museum is located at 13810 Highway A1A, on Orchid Island, Sebastian Inlet not far from Vero Beach. It is inexpensive and educational. Admission was $2. this museum tells the history of Treasure Coast and how it came to be named.
I won’t spoil the trip, but I will say that there have been many many shipwrecks over the years off this coast. In 1715 a storm sank a fleet of wooden Spanish ships carrying treasures and jewels of the Queen. Visit McLarty’s Treasure Museum on Facebook for more information. The jewels from the shipwrecks are still being found today. Divers come from many areas of the world to try to locate some of the lost treasures. Just last year a treasure hunter found a haul worth about $4 million US. About 20% of the artifacts are claimed by the state of Florida to eventually be displayed as artifacts.
Mel Fisher also has a Treasure Museum in Vero Beach area but I ran out of time and was only able to visit McLarty’s while in the area. McLarty’s exists on the spot where survivors washed ashore and set up camp.
Treasure Coast, Florida – Exactly What Its Name Says
Treasure Coast, Florida is exactly what it’s called – a treasure. This area of Florida is one of the most beautiful in all the state, and it has a laid back atmosphere that makes it perfect for decompressing from life’s stressful day-to-day’s. Whether you’re a nature buff, a beach lover, an active sporty adventure traveler, or a person who enjoys a little food and wine, Treasure Coast, Florida has something for you.
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Paula Schuck is a Canadian travel blogger and Mom of two active girls.
She tweets at @inkscrblr has written for many magazines and newspapers in Canada and publishes travel, tech and health topics at Thrifty Momma’s Tips.