Martin County’s unique collection of diverse natural wonders offers visitors a range of under-the-radar (but unforgettable) eco-friendly adventures. One of the best ways to beat the summer heat is with an aquatic adventure, and it’s common to find adorable dolphins playing in our beautiful waters. Here are some of the best ways to spot them for yourself during your South Florida vacation.
Paddle Over to the St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park
Thrill-seekers looking to reconnect with the outdoors should consider venturing over to the St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park, located just off the coast of Port Salerno. The secluded barrier island is only accessible by boat or paddleboard, but it’s well worth the trip. Rent your gear from local outfitters like Native Water Sports or join a guided excursion with Stuart Paddle Tours to spend an exciting afternoon exploring the island’s mangrove forests and live oak hammocks. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled – it’s common to see dolphins playing alongside your paddleboard, or even manatees swimming by. On the island, the winding boardwalk leads intrepid navigators to a neatly preserved Atlantic beach, which also serves as an important nesting area for sea turtles each summer.
Join a Sunshine Wildlife Sailing Tour
Join Captain Nancy Beaver of Sunshine Wildlife Tours on an eco-boat tour of the Indian River and the St. Lucie River and discover what makes Martin County’s estuaries so special. See Bottlenose Dolphin, Manatee, Sea Turtles or perhaps an Otter or a Sting Ray. Experience the most diverse estuary in North America aboard “Sirenia”, a 35′ pontoon boat with a full roof and restroom. Captain Nancy Beaver has over 20 years of experience with nature and the wildlife of the Indian River Lagoon.
Immerse Yourself in Underwater Wonders
Martin County may be known for our pristine and uncrowded beaches, but what lies beneath the ocean surface is just as exciting. Discover one of Martin County’s hidden gems, the Georges Valentine Shipwreck, by diving into the unknown and exploring this 1904 wreckage for yourself. With local diving experts on hand, such as Kirk’s Dive & Surf, Stuart Scuba, or Deep Six Dive & Watersports, you are sure to have an incredible experience. Cut through our warm waters to witness our coral reefs, diverse marine life, and learn more about this historic site. Lucky divers have even seen pods of dolphin as they swim toward this historic site!
Efoil over the Atlantic Ocean
With consistent thermal breeze, flat shallow water on the inside, and waves on the outside, Stuart, Florida serves as the perfect destination for dare devils of any age. New Wave Kiteboarding offers unique water-based adventures, like kiteboarding and efoiling, all year long. Let their professional staff show you how to glide over the waves during a personalized lesson. The operators also offer wakeboarding, kiteboarding, and tubing – so there’s always an aquatic adventure waiting to be discovered. Dolphins can frequently been seen during one of these heart-racing adventures. Whether you’re looking to learn a new hobby or just sharpen your skills, New Wave will help you kick your vacation up a notch.
Reel in the Memories During a Deep-Sea Fishing Excursion
There’s something so thrilling yet rejuvenating about spending the day casting a line out on the open water. With a multitude of local charter captains and fishing instructors, deep-sea fishing is a must-do outdoor adventure in Martin County. Expert guides from companies like The Fighting Lady Sportfishing Charters, Chaos Fishing Adventures, and Lady Stuart I Deep Sea Fishing are Martin County locals that will hook you up – literally! Take an exhilarating boat ride up and down our gorgeous waterways, catch a glimpse of a dolphin or two, and come home with an impressive catch.
Watch Dolphins From Your Oceanfront Balcony
For an unforgettable stay, book a spacious suite at the oceanfront Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa, which was just named one of the Top 30 Resorts in Florida by Condé Nast Traveler. Located on Hutchinson Island in Jensen Beach, the recently opened coastal-inspired property is the perfect upscale retreat with 178 guest rooms that reflect the ocean’s color spectrum of blues, greens and pearl. Greeted by a welcoming, architecturally beautiful lobby with a grand floating staircase and elegant features, guests of the award-winning resort can unwind with a rejuvenating spa treatment; dine at Drift Kitchen + Bar (serving fresh seafood and American fare alongside an expertly curated wine selection); or enjoy tropical cocktails by the pool while overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. After a busy day exploring Martin County, relax on your oceanfront balcony and keep your eyes on the horizon to see pods of dolphin playing in the waves!