Southeast Florida is synonymous for its multi-million dollar celebrity homes, nightlife and culture but there is a more natural, untouched side that remains undiscovered. Stretching from the Atlantic Ocean at the east to the Florida Straits at the south, the southeastern part of Florida offers a variety of quiet, undeveloped beaches located at various locations, many within driving distance from each other. Whether you are a surfer wanting to catch a big wave or a treasure hunter looking to discover something new with your metal detector, there is the perfect beach out there waiting for you.
With more than 340 acres to explore, Ft. Pierce Inlet State Recreation Area offers visitors both a half-mile beachfront and walking trail. If planning to stay overnight, the park offers on-site camping. Ft. Pierce is located on Hutchinson Island. The island is also home to Avalon State Recreation Area and Jack Island Preserve so visitors can make a day of it exploring all Hutchinson Island has to offer.
Another place where the ocean meets nature is John D. MacArthur Beach State Park located in North Palm Beach. This park is unique in that it contains 174 acres, but 161 of them are submerged. There are 1.8 miles of oceanfront, as well as nature trails and a nature center that is open to visitors. Part of this park’s unique experience is that it contains an open amphitheater, which is popular among guests during the summer months.
If a learning experience combined with a relaxing day at the beach is your idea of a perfect vacation, consider visiting John U. Lloyd Beach State Recreation Area in the town of Dania. The park is the meeting area of the Intercoastal Waterway, Mabel Lake and the Port Everglades Inlet. This allows visitors to have an extraordinary experience as the 253 acre park offers visitors a 2.5 mile beach, a 1 mile hiking trail and boat parking. Visitors by land and sea can come experience the park’s interpretive and education center and participate in ranger-led programs offered seasonally.
Finally, if staying for a little while appeals to you, Hugh Birch Recreation Area is the perfect choice for weary travelers in need of a little rest and relaxation. Hugh Birch is set among 180 acres and offers visitors and intimate 400 feet of beachfront access and 1.3 miles of hiking. There are campground spaces available in addition to cabins for rent. Hugh Birch is located in the busy city of Ft. Lauderdale, but the park makes visitors seem like they are miles away.
When planning your vacation, its important to note that Atlantic Coast beaches are least crowded during the months of January, September and October. Hurricane season is a great time for treasure hunters and shell collectors to visit, as Florida had many Spanish Galleons sunk off of its Atlantic Coast. Many rare shells and artifacts have been known to wash up on the beach, as recently as last year, during a tropical disturbance when strong gusts and tides blew them in. Whether you are treasure hunting, beach combing or relaxing in the sun, southeast Florida’s beaches offer something for everyone.