Worth the Trip: Northern Exposure

Jupiter Lighthouse

Enjoy fun, frivolity and fastballs at the tip of Palm Beach County

Jupiter has a well-suited name—for many South Floridians, it may as well be in another galaxy. Yet every time we go, we wonder, why don’t we come more often?

With almost 65,000 residents, the northernmost town in Palm Beach County isn’t close to being a tiny hamlet, but when driving up U.S. 1 with a view of the Loxahatchee River, it’s what I imagine Old Florida was like. You know, the kind of Florida where the ebb and flow of the tide keeps time, the beer is cold, the music is vibing, and the light breeze on your sun-kissed face is just right.

For your staycation, the Jupiter Beach Resort offers a secluded getaway overlooking the ocean. The best part is swaying in a hammock nestled inside a tangle of sea grape trees on the water. At the resort’s Sandbar, guests can enjoy a drink or meal al fresco right on the edge of the beach. During baseball season (especially Spring Training!) the resort is conveniently 15 minutes from Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium. Home to the Miami Marlins and St. Louis Cardinals, the stadium received a $500,000 facelift this year.

Roger Dean Chevrolet Stadium

But for the ultimate cold cocktail, there’s no question: Visitors must hit up the Square Grouper. In fact, the open-air tiki bar fit with towering palm trees captured island living so well that it was the scene for the “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” music video with Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffett. Another local favorite is the Jumby Bay Island Grill, the quintessential Florida dive bar with pool tables, fishing nets, pineapples, mounted fish, and of course, beach cocktails.


DID YOU KNOW?

Jupiter’s original name by the Spaniards was Jobe, named for the Indian village nearby (hello, Hobe Sound!). When the English came, the name was mistaken for the Roman god Jove, another name for the god Jupiter. His wife is Juno, giving rise to the neighboring town of Juno Beach.


Visitors to Jupiter are also enamored by its natural beauty—many a photo session has been staged at Blowing Rocks Preserve, where sea water shoots through gaps in the limestone that lines the beach for a riveting water show. However, be sure to go during high tide, or you’re basically visiting any other beach in town (visit tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov to track the tides).

Hands-down the most stunning view you will have in Jupiter is from the top of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse—from here, you can see where the Loxahatchee River meets the Atlantic Ocean. During the lighthouse’s 1860s origins, keepers were responsible for guiding ships through treacherous reefs along the coast. On the property, visitors can explore the lighthouse keepers’ workshop and the Tindall Pioneer House, the oldest home in Jupiter that’s still standing.

U-Tiki

To wind down, head to U-Tiki, where outdoor tables let you literally have your feet in the  sand while noshing on grouper cheeks, cracked conch and a cocktail. While we’re on the wrong side of the coast for pristine sunsets, watching the sky’s colors change from blue to pink to purple is just as magical over the Loxahatchee River.

To end the evening, walk just west to 1000 North, a fine-dining restaurant owned by basketball legend Michael Jordan. The restaurant offers four different dining areas to enjoy its extensive drinks menu, including beers from area breweries Tequesta Brewing, Twisted Trunk, Inlet Brewing and more.

After a day—or even a staycation—in Jupiter’s orbit, you’ll be sure to keep it in your  itinerary for another trip soon.


This story comes from our December 2018 issue of Boca magazine. For more content like this, subscribe to the magazine.