Fort Pierce

Fort Pierce is a small city on the Treasure Coast of Florida. Many nicknames are used to refer to the city, mostly Port Fierce and FP.

Understand

Fort Pierce is the oldest incorporated city in St. Lucie County, with a bustling and historic downtown area, close location to beaches on the Indian River Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean by its extension to Hutchinson Island, and many famous celebrities visiting every summer at the Sunrise Theatre. Ft. Pierce has a population of 43,601 by the 2013 US Census Estimate; Fort Pierce is also a part of the Port St. Lucie metropolitan area, or the Treasure Coast, an area populated at almost 600,000.

Fort Pierce is a small railroad city along Florida's east coast, being the location of a mid-sized rail yard with track rights owned by the Florida East Coast Railroad, with track all the way to Miami and Jacksonville, and South Central Florida Express, with track from the downtown yard to Clewiston and Sebring.

FP is becoming more and more modernized, but slowly and steadily. Downtown is considered the hot-spot of the city due to its blossoming commercialism, amazing Spanish-colonial buildings, celebrities performing at the Sunrise Theatre, and an amazing Christmas display yearly at Avenues A and Orange. There's a lot of fun going on with the marina and many interesting shops on the thoroughfares of Orange Avenue and Avenue D.

Get in

By car

Fort Pierce, like many cities has many major highways running through the city. Major highways include I-95, US-1, and Florida's Turnpike.

By Interstate 95, you can access Fort Pierce by:

By Florida's Turnpike, you can access Fort Pierce by:

One special thing about the Okeechobee Road area between I-95 and the Turnpike is that it is considered to be a "cross-roads", where two highways are within a driving range of less than a mile. Businesses, from hotels to restaurants, are abundant in this State Road 70 corridor. Businesses along State Road 70 don't just exist at the cross roads, but also run along to US-1.

US-1 and A1A run through the heart of downtown, and A1A almost parallels US-1. A1A runs along the barrier islands of the east coast, from Miami to the Jacksonville area. The local name for A1A on Hutchinson Island South crossing onto US-1 is "Seaway Drive".

By plane

Fort Pierce is home to the St. Lucie County International, the local airport. Here, you can buy a plane to fly from place to place, due to no commercial flights.

If you want to get in by a commercial flight, your best options are:

By train

There has been much talk and controversy about the Florida East Coast Railroad and Amtrak giving the Port St. Lucie area, possibly Fort Pierce, a train station that serves passengers. If these plans go through, they will be serving the Florida East Coast Railway on rails that have not been touched by the rumbling wheels of passenger trains since the mid-1900s. Also, there has been controversy of a high-speed rail project from Miami to Orlando with a station in West Palm Beach; a station may be placed in the PSL area as well to accommodate. The full plan is rebuilding a passenger line to re-connect the Treasure Coast and the Space Coast with the rest of the country, serving from Martin County to northern Brevard County. The closest stations to date are in Okeechobee and West Palm Beach.

By bus

There is a Greyhound station in Fort Pierce, located at Kings Highway and Okeechobee Road. Hours for the station are 7:30am to 6:30pm.

Get around

By car

In Fort Pierce, the roads are the easiest way to get around. Major roads lead to the highways, and Downtown Fort Pierce can tend to get crowded at any time of day, but you can take in the view of the Spanish-colonial style buildings as you drive through Downtown.

By bus

The cities of Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, Jensen Beach, and now Vero Beach are all served by bus through the Treasure Coast Connector. Service extends from 43rd Street SW in Vero Beach to Avenue D in Fort Pierce via the northern routes, and from St. Lucie West in Port St. Lucie to the Treasure Coast Square Mall in Jensen Beach.

There is only one transfer point in Fort Pierce: the Intermodal Facility on Avenue D for Routes 1, 2, 3, and 7; for Indian River County transfers, there is a stop at IRSC on Route 3 and South Point Plaza on Route 7.

By light rail?

Yes, it may be hard to believe, but there was a study taken in 2010 to see if St. Lucie County would get a light rail system. County commissioners met and talked it over, and within the next 15 or so years, a light rail system may make getting around Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie and all of St. Lucie County.

By boat

Fort Pierce is a city built on the water, and it is no coincidence that using a boat is one of the easiest ways to get around the city. Fort Pierce may not have many navigable canals like neighboring Port St. Lucie, but most of Fort Pierce is a waterfront city. The city boundaries extend to the Atlantic Ocean. Downtown is a mostly waterfront area, with many restaurants and businesses on the water.

See

The Sunrise Theatre in the heart of downtown

Do

Buy

Fort Pierce's shopping economy is built on mostly fishing, as well as commercial "big-wig" names in retail, even some small businesses carrying big names. Not what you'd expect, but it gives you the right tools to enjoy one of the greatest activities on the Treasure Coast.

The Arcade Building in Downtown at one time was the largest commercial building in St. Lucie County. There aren't many stores in the Arcade, however it is making a comeback and lots of spaces for rent.

Eat

Drink

Sleep

A majority of hotels in Fort Pierce are located in one part of the city. This part of the city is referred to as the "crossroads" because the Turnpike and I-95 are closest by distance here, and it gives you a chance to change your traveled highway if your plans call for such.

Connect

The area code for Fort Pierce, Port St. Lucie, and the Treasure Coast is 772. There are many post offices in the area, but POs in the city limits are located on Orange Avenue and Midway Road, depending on where you stay.

Stay safe

Fort Pierce may be an interesting city, but there is one area (numbered streets and lettered avenues) that is considered a "ghetto" or a "hood", where crime is abundant, and there has been at least one shooting a year. Exercise caution when in that area, and keep your windows up when driving, particularly at night.

Go next

Routes through Fort Pierce

Daytona Beach Vero Beach  N  S  Port St. Lucie West Palm Beach
Orlando Kissimmee ← Jct W E  N  S  Port St. Lucie West Palm Beach
Daytona Beach Vero Beach  N  S  Port St. Lucie West Palm Beach
Daytona Beach Vero Beach  N  S  Jensen Beach West Palm Beach
Bradenton Okeechobee  W  E  END


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, March 22, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.