Known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World,” Stuart is home to numerous fishing tournaments year-round, held inshore, near shore and offshore. Prefer a deep-sea adventure? Martin County’s shores are doted with numerous thriving natural and artificial reefs, each offering a bounty of rich aquatic life. These reefs creating ideal locales for saltwater anglers and recreational divers alike. If that weren’t enough, Martin County’s Artificial Reef Program offers over 100 outstanding sites for fishing and exploratory diving. Start offshore at the southern end of the north current for a mile long stretch of 14 artificial reefs.
The Georges Valentine Shipwreck Site is the site of the historic shipwreck of an Italian barkentine off the coast of Hutchinson Island in Martin County, Florida. The Georges Valentine Shipwreck Site is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and is the a Florida Underwater Archaeological Preserve.
Georges Valentine is a pleasure to dive or snorkel because she rests in shallow water, only 100 yards offshore. Visitors can park at the House of Refuge and walk to the entry point, a rocky outcropping 100 yards south.
Want a personalized offshore excursion? Charter boats throughout Martin County offer full-day, half-day and custom charters. Charters are suited for novices and experienced sailors alike, as professional captains provide tailored advice and planning to ensure a customized and memorable offshore fishing experience. The autumn and winter months (November to March) are prime for sailfishing, while spring and summer months see the return of dolphin, wahoo, kingfish, and marlin.
Not into fishing? Take a sailing lesson at the U.S. Sailing Center of Martin County, with class options available for beginners, pros, and everyone in between. Make plans to catch one of the many regattas held in Martin County throughout the year, like the Junior Olympic Festival, the Laser Masters, the 420 Midwinter Championships and OptiFest.
Martin County has long since been a recreation destination for boaters. The Intracoastal Waterway and Okeechobee Waterway meet at the Crossroads, just west of Martin County’s St. Lucie Inlet, and our estuaries and ocean access create ideal locales for anglers and divers, as well. Martin County is home to a dynamic group of marinas, restaurants, cultural attractions and marine trades, and offers uniquely direct access to the Bahamas and Florida’s West Coast. Our local waterways are both a boating mecca and a convenient departure point for the Islands of the Bahamas, located just 68 miles southeast at West End.
Stuart is the hub of Martin County, and has been referred to as the “Sailfish Capital of the World” since the early days of sport fishing. It’s also a Sister City to Hope Town, Abaco, Bahamas. Martin County’s general aviation facility, Witham Field, is a great base for aviation tourism, private pilots, and corporate visitors, and features two world-class FBOs.
Locals and visitors agree: Martin County’s quaint shorelines are the perfect place to relax. With miles and miles of peaceful beaches, beautiful water, and natural sand dunes, there’s no better place to disconnect and soak up the incredible ambiance of Old Florida. Check out our Beaches Itinerary for the most idyllic stretches of Martin County sand.