When most people think of Jupiter, some of the first things that will pop into their mind are the rich and famous, who like to buy mansions over on nearby Jupiter Island. Jupiter’s famous lighthouse is another thing that may pop into your mind, located over on the inlet, having led boats safely into the Loxahatchee River for the last 150 years. Nearby Jupiter resident Burt Reynolds may also pop into your mind, as Jupiter is home to a park bearing his name and was formerly home to a museum of his life. Or if you’re really not familiar with this area, you’ll probably just think of the planet.
Jupiter is located on Florida’s Atlantic coast about an hour north of Miami where the “Gold Coast” of the south meets the “Treasure Coast” of the states mid-Atlantic region. It’s a friendly town, brimming with natural beauty, gorgeous beaches and lots of fun stuff to do.
The Mr. and I had long been yearning for some sunshine since the weather in Atlanta had awfully been unkind to us. So, after our trip to New Orleans, we took a flight to Florida to fulfill an outstanding invitation from our friend, John, and satisfy our ‘sun’ cravings. John picked us up from Fort Lauderdale Airport which is about an hour drive to Jupiter. West Palm Beach Airport was closer however the flights to there can be pretty steep.
Being the most hospitable host ever, John gave us the best room of the house. Luxury amenities and comfortable beds, we felt like royals. The first morning while still tucked in the bed, I soaked up a gorgeous view of the river while the sun was gently shining through the glass door. Our room was literally a few steps away from the water. We could just stay in bed all day but there’s plenty of activities in store for us.
We had planned to go diving in Blue Heron Bridge later that day so I needed to get some diving lessons before we go. The Mr. is a certified PADI Dive Master and was more than willing to teach me the basic scuba skills. Luckily, our host who is a diver himself has a complete set for both of us. So, we geared up and started the lesson. The Mr. taught me the basic skills which I would need when I go diving. I already knew a few skills when I first went diving in Camotes Island in Cebu but it helps to refresh my memory. It was a breeze (except the part where I had to clear my mask lol).
After a short break and some light lunch, we made our way to the dive site. There is one thing to keep in mind when diving esp in Jupiter: the current is a b*tch unless you are drift diving. You can be washed away a few miles up your dive entry. Since we were shore diving, we had to make it to a window between high tide and low tide, just when the current is still weak so we don’t find ourselves sorry later. It pays to have a good, effective dive plan. Our friend took the led and showed us some interesting sites underwater. He was also our camera man. Peace John!
Later that night, went out for some drinks at Square Grouper Tiki Bar as John personally recommended. This open-air marina with live music has a laid back atmosphere overlooking the Jupiter channel. You can get drinks and walk out on the dock to enjoy the beautiful view out over the water and across to the lighthouse.
The next day, the Mr. and I were quite excited to try out kayaking together in preparation for our kayak tour in Raja Ampat. Our friend John lent us his kayak and we borrowed another one from his friendly neighbor.
Kayaking may look easy but it is pretty exhausting activity. Nevertheless, it is truly rewarding and it’s a fabulous way to exercise! Paddling with a consistent, sustained touring stroke is great aerobic exercise. With the correct paddle technique, it works many muscle groups, especially the abdomen, glutes and shoulders.
Another great way to explore and exercise simultaneously is through biking. The neighborhood is quiet and bike friendly. We got some simple instructions from John and headed towards Hobe Sound beach.
Hobe Sound Beach is a public access beach on Jupiter Island. There is parking, restrooms, picnic tables, showers to wash off the sand and a lifeguard station.
Afternoon before our flight, John took us to Twisted Trunk, a local microbrewery in Palm Beach Gardens. They have a wide variety of beers such as German pilsner, watermelon saison, Irish red ale, American IPA, a session IPA, and an English stout. They will also offer a rare black saison in limited quantities. You can take a pint of your choice or take a sampler of up to 4 beers.
The servers were very friendly and I appreciate that they gave samples to try to help us find a beer we like. If you ask nicely, they will give you a brief summary of the brewing process and reveal the secret to your beer’s taste.
The closest airport to Jupiter is at West Palm Beach. However, Fort Lauderdale has more frequent and cheaper cheaper flights. From both airports, you can take the Tri-Rail, a commuter rail line linking Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach.
Before I end this post, I would like to give a shout out to John for his warm hospitality. He made us feel welcome and at home. Olivier and I truly enjoyed our weekend getaway in Florida. Thank you, John!
And oh, best regards to the sweetest dog we’ve ever met, Abigail. ❤