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Jensen Beach Vacations

Great activities and attractions in a small town package.

 

Located just a few miles southeast of Port St. Lucie is the casual Florida town of Jensen Beach. Population figures from the year 2000 census show around 11,100 full-time residents. Situated in the extreme northeastern part of Martin County, near the boundary of St. Lucie County to the north, the City of Jensen Beach has become a hospitable city of variety and convenience with great new restaurants, accent shopping and the Florida resort lifestyle mirroring the Florida coastal tradition. Traveling by car you can arrive by Interstate 95, US Highway 1, or the recommended scenic tour via Route A1A up or down the coast. Also, if you choose the scenic A1A route, you will arrive by way of Hutchinson Island, taking the Jensen Beach Causeway over to the mainland portion of Jensen Beach. 

 

The beaches, much less crowded than some of the more frequented tourist spots in Florida, especially in the summer, are easily accessible and reminiscent of Florida’s past tourist fame in the mid 1900’s. The entire area is subdued at night in the quiet little town of Jensen Beach and nightlife is limited to restaurants with bars. Some places are quaint and you can catch a good dinner and a live band. Some of the restaurants offer a dance floor. Many offer outdoor dining, happy hour and early bird specials as well as television for sports events. A favorite pastime of residents and visitors is to sit on the waterfront and enjoy a drink with dinner as the Florida sun sets and the air cools into the evening.

 

The Jensen Beach area was called Eden by early settlers. Planting pineapple became a way of life for many who foresaw a long standing crop to cultivate into the future. After the success of the pineapple plantation of John Laurence Jensen, an immigrant from Denmark who began his entrepreneurial endeavors in 1881, the town became known as the town of Jensen. More of the history of the town is emphasized at a few well kept museums, furnished with photographs by the local historical societies that depict the life back then in perfect, if only black and white, imagery. 

 

In 1895, the town of Jensen was known better as the Pineapple Capital of the World, shipping over one million boxes of pineapples annually, primarily during summer months. People lived very healthy lives back then because they ate what was available. Fresh vegetables and fruits that grew so well in the climate here in Florida; fish from the clean waterways, both fresh and saltwater; and meats sold by trappers or Indians were the diet of the day. The Ais Indians were part of the area early on and the Seminole tribe arrived later in 1800's. In the days that followed until now, it is one of those Florida locations where a quiet lifestyle, very typical of south Florida, is cultivated, even though the pineapples are no longer harvested and shipped.

 

Several city parks provide recreation facilities such as playgrounds, sports fields, hiking trails and other activities. A wonderful place to visit is the Savannas Preserve State Park. The activities include hiking, viewing wildlife, and taking wildlife and birding photos.

 

The Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center is located on northern Hutchinson Island, just a few miles from downtown Jensen Beach. The educational programs, exhibits and events are not to be missed if you want an educational and fun stop for the family. The Environmental Studies Center in Jensen Beach is a great place to learn about the ecology of the area. Admission is free, and this is the place to inquire about guided turtle watching walks in season.

 

The R.R. Ricou Building holds the plaque commemorating Mr. Ricou as one of the greatest Americans. He and Henry Flagler (for which Flagler County is named) joined forces to rebuild Jensen after the town was almost completely destroyed in a 1908 fire. Flagler provided rail service and Mr. Ricou rebuilt the first major building. Visit this building for a learning experience about Jensen, later Jensen Beach, history.

 

Gilbert’s House of Rescue Museum on Hutchinson Island is another interesting spot to visit. The oldest structure in Martin County was originally built as a rescue center for sailors rescued from ships wrecked at sea. Marine exhibits and antique rescue equipment is on display as well as interesting facts about shipwrecks along the Florida coastline.

 

Camping is available in the area at wonderful locations such as Nettles Island Park, where even your well-behaved pets are welcomed. Offering cabin, RV, and tent camping plus dockage for boats, boat ramps, playgrounds, and full-service facilities such as showers, laundry, Internet access, store, swimming pool and even cable television for your RV, this is a luxury campground!

 

For other memorable things to do in the region, try Balloons over Florida. One thing is for sure -- the view will be spectacular. The weather is nearly always clear, and the view of the ocean and the waterways from a balloon basket with up to four people, depending on the weather and wind, is worth the expense to create a very long-lasting memory. Suitable for framing, you will leave with a Certificate of Flight that attests to your adventure.

 

Jensen Beach is bound on the east by the Inter-Coastal Waterway, referred to locally as the Indian River. To enter the harbor areas from the Atlantic Ocean, you can enter the Inter-Coastal at St. Lucie Inlet near Stuart and travel only a few miles south on the Intracoastal Waterway to locate dockage at Jensen Beach. Dockage is readily available along the Waterway for boats of any size.

 

The nearest airports are Orlando International and Melbourne International Airports. Melbourne is about forty minutes away from Jensen, at most, and Orlando would be at least an hour. Allow time for both travel time and check-in and check-out if you plan to use these airports. A smaller airfield is at Stuart for private aircraft access and service, only minutes to the south.

Directory of

East Central Florida

Volusia County

Daytona Beach
New Smyrna Beach
Ormond Beach
Ponce Inlet
Port Orange

 

Brevard County

Cape Canaveral

Cocoa
Cocoa Beach

Kennedy Space Center
Melbourne
Melbourne Beach

Merritt Island
Palm Bay
Satellite Beach
Titusville

 

Indian River County

Sebastian
Vero Beach

 

St. Lucie County

Fort Pierce
Port St. Lucie
St. Lucie

 

Martin County

Hobe Sound
Stuart
Jensen Beach
Palm City
Port Salerno

 

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Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerce serving Jensen Beach , Florida.

 

Nearby cities to check for activities and attractions: Port St. Lucie, Stuart and Fort Pierce.

 

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