Treasure Coast

Treasure Coast is a region on the east coast of Florida. It has beautiful beaches and many opportunities to see nature, and have fun. It is comprised of Indian River County, St. Lucie County, and Martin County.

Cities

Despite the Treasure Coast being a relatively small area, there are many historic cities for you to enjoy, some larger than others, but all retain a sort of small town feel.

Understand

The Treasure Coast is a booming coastal area that grew from a swamp of nothingness to a resort oasis of 600,000 for many hotels, the PGA, the St. Lucie Mets, and many beautiful natural habitats and preserves. The self-proclaimed capital of the region is Port St. Lucie, which is the Florida home of the New York Mets and the PGA. In the suburban cities of the region are historic downtown regions and boating ramps giving access to the Atlantic.

The Treasure Coast consists of two metropolitan areas, the Port St. Lucie MSA (St. Lucie and Martin Counties) and the Sebastian-Vero Beach MSA (Indian River County). The climate on the Treasure Coast retains a relatively warm climate throughout the year, about 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter to about 80-90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summertime.

You can't visit the Treasure Coast without the opportunity to find sunken treasure from the 1715 loss of 11 ships in a Spanish treasure fleet during a hurricane in the area. Treasure has been found off the coast of Port St. Lucie, Fort Pierce, Sebastian, and Vero Beach. Much treasure has not yet been recovered, so who knows what can be down at the ocean floor for you to dig up!

Talk

Due to the close location to the Miami metropolitan area, it is good to know at least some Spanish, just to get you through Miami if you plan to go there. Also, the Treasure Coast is a region built from scratch in the South, so Southern accents may be quite common, and it may be useful to know some of the Southern jargon.

It's not uncommon to hear these Southern slang words, even if some people don't speak with a Southern drawl/twang (word: definition):

Get in

By train

The closest Amtrak station is in West Palm Beach; within the next few years this region will get one. The Florida East Coast Railroad has plans to remake its historical passenger line and allow Amtrak trains; the FEC's main line hasn't heard the rumbling wheels of passenger trains since the 1970s by the consolidation of passenger lines to form Amtrak. The proposed stations are to be located in Fort Pierce, Stuart, and Vero Beach.

By car

A1A bridge over Sebastian Inlet, in Sebastian Inlet State Park

The Treasure Coast is served by Interstate 95, the Florida Turnpike, and U.S. Highway 1. Popular alternative routes include US A1A along Hutchinson Island, the barrier island bordering the ocean, and Indian River Drive, which runs the length of the Indian River Lagoon.

I-95 reaches the Treasure Coast from Bridge Road in Hobe Sound to Fellsmere Road in Fellsmere.

If you want to go here from or around Lorton, Virginia (or the Washington DC area), you can also take the Auto Train to Sanford and drive from there. (see above)

By air

Most of these airports are outside of the region, but they are the closest commercial hubs. Airports in the region are general use airports, so bring your own plane! General airports in the region are:

Get around

In the Downtown district of most cities, everything is walking distance, but otherwise it is good to have a car. Public transportation is very limited, and most natives have their own vehicle. Visiting tourists and "snowbirds" from urban areas often express exasperation at the difference in distance between destinations on the Treasure Coast, and Florida in general. You pretty much need a car to get anywhere.

By bus/public transport

There are connections between each transit system at: the main Indian River State College campus in Fort Pierce, South Point Plaza in Vero Beach, and the Treasure Coast Square Mall in Jensen Beach. The Treasure Coast Connector is the system that links the GoLine IRT to the "Marty", from Indian River to Martin counties.

Websites

By car

In the major cities of the region, everything is within driving range, from the city hospitals to the local malls. Major highways in the area include: I-95, Florida's Turnpike, US-1 and State Roads A1A, 60, and 70. The Turnpike's rough paralleling of I-95 ends in Fort Pierce, after which it diverts northwest, eventually crossing I-4 and ending at I-75 in Wildwood. I-95 continues up the region, not exactly on the East Coast of Florida, but through flatlands.

See

Martin County

St. Lucie County

Indian River County

State parks

Beach at Avalon State Park
Jonathan Dickinson State Park, from the top of the observation tower

Do

The Ocean Discovery Center at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in Fort Pierce

Eat

Mulligan's is a restaurant chain serving Martin and Indian River counties, and further south in Lake Worth and Lauderdale by the Sea. Here, visitors can chow down on more than 50 dishes, including Mahi Mahi Sliders and any of their 7 lobster dishes; for the "land-lubbers" or those with allergies to fish, steak, ribs and jerk chicken are available as an exquisite alternative.

Another locally-favorite chain of restaurants is Duffy's, which started out further south in Palm Beach County, and found considerably large business on the Treasure Coast with the three restaurants in the region. They've expanded far along South Florida, even owning a location in Orlando.

Drink

Just about every restaurant on the Treasure Coast has a bar or an extensive liquor selection, mostly wine and beer and well-known cocktails, such as martinis, daiquiris, and Bloody Marys. The best restaurants to visit for cocktails and alcohol would be a sports bar or a "pub".

Stay safe

Florida’s beaches are generally well maintained and guarded; they're reasonably safe. Nonetheless, rip currents and jellyfish can challenge even the best swimmer. Pay close attention to lifeguard instructions and warning signs. Never swim outside of marked zones. Wear shoes on the beach to protect your feet from glass and hot sand. When boating, monitor your weather radio frequently. Do not swim or operate a boat when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Florida’s crime rate is slightly lower than the national average. Local authorities do an excellent job of patrolling the tourist areas. Use the same precautions that you would in any big city. Keep a close eye on your purse or backpack, especially when shopping or visiting attractions. Lock your car and stash valuables out of sight. Avoid walking alone at night in unfamiliar neighborhoods.

Although Florida’s roads are frequently upgraded, traffic tends to be quite heavy through tourist areas. Try to avoid driving during morning and evening rush hours. Allow extra time to reach your destination; stay in the right lane except when passing. The roads can be confusing, so use a good GPS system or plan your route carefully on a map before leaving. Toll roads are well-maintained and lightly trafficked, making them an excellent alternative to the interstates.

Go next

Routes through Treasure Coast

Volusia County Space Coast  N  S  Palm Beach County Miami-Dade County
Volusia County Space Coast  N  S  Palm Beach County Miami-Dade County
Metro Orlando Osceola County  N  S  Palm Beach County Miami-Dade County
Tampa Polk County  W  E  END


This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, March 23, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.