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15 Things to Do on Hutchinson Island and Nearby Fort Pierce

Nestled on Florida's Treasure Coast, Hutchinson Island and the Fort Pierce area offer a treasure trove of activities for travelers seeking sun, sea, and a slice of paradise. With its pristine beaches, rich history, and vibrant marine life, this coastal region promises a diverse array of experiences. Whether you're looking to unwind on the sandy shores, delve into the local culture, or embark on an outdoor adventure, Hutchinson Island and Fort Pierce have something to captivate every visitor. This area is renowned for its laid-back atmosphere and natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.

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01 Discover the pristine beaches of Hutchinson Island

hutchinson island beach

Hutchinson Island is a serene barrier island known for its beautiful, unspoiled beaches. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, and beachcombing along miles of picturesque coastline. The island's natural beauty provides a perfect backdrop for a relaxing day by the ocean, with soft sands and clear waters inviting beachgoers to unwind and soak up the Florida sun. Hutchinson Island's beaches are also a nesting ground for sea turtles, adding a unique aspect to the coastal experience.

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02 Explore the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center

Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center

The Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center offers an interactive experience with Florida's marine life and coastal ecosystems. Guests can engage with stingrays at the touch tank, walk through nature trails, and learn about conservation efforts. The center's educational programs and exhibits are both informative and entertaining for visitors of all ages. Situated on 57 acres on Hutchinson Island, it serves as a vital resource for understanding and preserving the local marine environment.

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03 Visit the Elliott Museum

exterior of Elliott Museum

The Elliott Museum enriches the cultural landscape of Hutchinson Island with its impressive collection of classic cars, baseball memorabilia, and local history exhibits. The museum's innovative displays and interactive technology provide a unique journey through the past, showcasing the evolution of technology and the area's heritage. Founded in 1961 by Harmon Elliott as a tribute to his father, the museum has become a cornerstone of the island's cultural offerings.

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04 Take a boat tour from Fort Pierce

Mature couple sailing small boat Gary John Norman / Getty Images

Fort Pierce's waterfront is the gateway to a variety of boat tours that offer a glimpse into the area's aquatic life and scenic beauty. Whether it's a sunset cruise, a fishing charter, or an eco-tour, these boat excursions provide an opportunity to see dolphins, manatees, and a myriad of bird species in their natural habitat. The Fort Pierce City Marina serves as the starting point for these tours, which are a favorite among visitors looking to explore the waterways.

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05 Stroll through the Downtown Fort Pierce Farmers' Market

Downtown Fort Pierce Farmers' Market

Every Saturday, the Downtown Fort Pierce Farmers' Market comes alive with vendors selling fresh produce, artisanal foods, and handcrafted goods. This vibrant community event is a great place to sample local flavors, listen to live music, and experience the friendly atmosphere of Fort Pierce. The market reflects the agricultural richness of the region and serves as a gathering place for both locals and tourists.

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06 Witness the beauty of the House of Refuge Museum

House of Refuge Museum

The House of Refuge Museum at Gilbert's Bar is the oldest building in Martin County and a testament to Florida's coastal history. Once a haven for shipwrecked sailors, the museum now offers a glimpse into the life of a keeper and the maritime history of the Treasure Coast. This historic site, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, provides visitors with a rare look into the region's past as a strategic point for maritime navigation.

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07 Enjoy fishing at the Fort Pierce Inlet State Park

Fisherman catching fish with rod at riverside, closeup Liudmila Chernetska / Getty Images

Anglers will find Fort Pierce Inlet State Park to be an excellent spot for fishing, with the park's jetties offering access to snook, redfish, and other species. The park also provides beautiful beaches for swimming and picnicking, making it a favorite destination for both fishermen and families. The park's location at the mouth of the Fort Pierce Inlet ensures a rich mix of saltwater fish, making it a prime fishing spot year-round.

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08 Experience the A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery

The A.E. Backus Museum & Gallery celebrates the work of Albert Ernest Backus and other Florida artists. The museum's collection includes stunning landscapes and scenes of Florida's bygone eras, providing insight into the state's artistic heritage and the beauty that has inspired generations of painters. Backus, known as the "Dean of Florida landscape painters," has left a legacy that continues to influence local artists and attract art enthusiasts to the museum.

09 Go kayaking and paddleboarding in the Indian River Lagoon

simonkr / Getty Images

The Indian River Lagoon offers calm waters ideal for kayaking and paddleboarding. Paddlers can explore the mangrove-lined shores and spot a variety of wildlife, including birds, fish, and occasionally dolphins or manatees, making for a peaceful and picturesque adventure on the water. As one of the most biodiverse estuaries in North America, the lagoon provides a unique ecosystem for paddlers to discover.

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10 Attend a performance at the Sunrise Theatre

The historic Sunrise Theatre in downtown Fort Pierce is a cultural hub for the performing arts. With a lineup that includes Broadway shows, concerts, ballets, and more, the beautifully restored venue provides an elegant setting for an evening of entertainment. The theatre, which opened in 1923, has been meticulously restored to its former glory and now stands as a symbol of the community's commitment to the arts.

11 Relax at the Pepper Park Beachside

Pepper Park Beachside is a tranquil spot perfect for families and those seeking a quiet beach day. With amenities like picnic pavilions, volleyball courts, and a playground, the park is well-equipped for a full day of fun in the sun, complemented by the soothing sounds of the Atlantic waves. The park's location on North Hutchinson Island makes it easily accessible while offering a less crowded alternative to more popular beaches.

12 Explore the Heathcote Botanical Gardens

Heathcote Botanical Gardens

The Heathcote Botanical Gardens in Fort Pierce are a lush oasis showcasing a variety of themed gardens, including a Japanese garden, a rainforest display, and a collection of bonsai. It's a peaceful retreat for those looking to enjoy the beauty of nature and the art of landscape design. The gardens serve as a living museum and educational center, promoting the importance of botanical conservation.

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13 Visit the Manatee Observation and Education Center

Manatee Observation

The Manatee Observation and Education Center is a haven for nature lovers, providing a chance to observe Florida's gentle giants in their natural environment. The center's exhibits and educational programs offer insights into the lives of manatees and the efforts to protect them. Located in downtown Fort Pierce, the center is an easily accessible spot for families and individuals interested in learning about local wildlife.

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14 Take a historical tour of the Old Fort Pierce City Hall

The Old Fort Pierce City Hall stands as a monument to the city's past, with its Mediterranean Revival architecture and historical significance. Guided tours offer a look into the building's storied history and its role in the development of Fort Pierce. The building, which has served various civic functions over the years, is now a cherished landmark and a point of pride for the community.

15 Indulge in waterfront dining at Fort Pierce Marina

Fort Pierce Marina

The Fort Pierce Marina is not only a hub for boating enthusiasts but also a prime location for waterfront dining. With a selection of restaurants offering fresh seafood and stunning views of the Indian River, it's the perfect spot to enjoy a meal while watching the boats glide by. The marina's revitalization has made it a focal point for dining and leisure, drawing visitors to experience the local cuisine and ambiance.

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