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16 Top-Rated Things to Do in Port St. Lucie, FL

Written by Shandley McMurray
Jul 16, 2020

A charming town on Florida's Treasure Coast, Port St. Lucie offers travelers the best Florida has to offer, without the massive crowds found in more popular locales. Despite being mostly landlocked, this sweet gem boasts easy access to some of the area's most stunning beaches (we're looking at you, Hutchinson Island strands), as well as phenomenal state parks like Savannas Preserve and St. Lucie Inlet Preserve.

About an hour north of Palm Beach, Port St. Lucie is one of Florida's best places to visit for golf. It's home to the PGA Village, which boasts three championship golf courses and bookable lessons from PGA pros.

When it comes time to relax, head into one of the city's top restaurants or flex your shopping muscles at the many boutique shops. If you're here during spring training, head to Clover Park to catch a New York Mets game.

Not sure where to start your Port St. Lucie adventure? Narrow your options with our list of the top tourist attractions and things to do in Port St. Lucie, Florida.

1. Savannas Preserve State Park

Savannas Preserve State Park

Talk about a wonderful place to renew your spirit! The Savannas Preserve State Park covers a vast expanse of basin marsh so lovely and quiet, you'll forget you're in the heart of a city.

With more than 15 miles of trails winding through its tranquil grounds, the park is a perfect place for outdoor adventurists or those craving a walk through the wilderness. Whether you love to fish, hike, bike, kayak, or ride a horse, you'll be happy you chose to visit this picturesque utopia.

The immense park boasts over 6,000 acres of preserved land, 15 miles of trails, and a diverse selection of ecosystems within its borders. You'll be able to spot everything from water lilies to marshland and bobcats to alligators during your visit.

Looking for more information about the area's natural habitat? The park is also home to a small Education Center, which is open Thursdays through Mondays from 9am to 5pm.

Insider's tip: Clocking in at just over one mile, the Hawk's Bluff trail in Jensen Beach is home to five different habitats. Also, try to book a guided canoe or kayak tour.

Address: 2541 South East Walton Road, Port St. Lucie, Florida

Official site: https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/savannas-preserve-state-park

2. Port St. Lucie Botanical Garden

Port St. Lucie Botanical Garden

Butterflies and faeries and orchids, oh my! There is certainly a bounty of wondrous things to behold at the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens. Centered around a sparkling lake (complete with a spouting fountain), this beautiful spot is so serene, you'll want to sit cross-legged and meditate, or at least breathe a little more deeply to appreciate its intoxicating floral scents.

A horticulturalist's dream, you'll find multiple gardens in this lustrous nirvana, and they all feature a different species of plants. From bamboo to bromeliads to roses to cactuses, each garden is both captivating and picturesque. There's even a garden devoted to the most beautiful of winged insects: the butterfly.

The luscious landscape is also home to fabulous creatures like dart frogs, mockingbirds, great blue herons, and gopher tortoises. Be sure to pack a camera for your visit and comfortable shoes to make walking the lovely trails more enjoyable.

Address: 2410 South East Westmoreland Blvd., Port St. Lucie, Florida

Official site: https://www.pslbg.org/

3. North Fork, St. Lucie Aquatic Preserve

Florida manatee

Welcome to the jungle, or in this case, the North Fork, St. Lucie Aquatic Preserve. A 2,972-acre haven for state-protected animals like the American alligator, manatee, and opossum pipefish, the preserve is a magical wonderland that will soothe your soul and give your camera some serious exercise.

The best way to enjoy the preserve's breathtaking scenery is by water, so rent a canoe or kayak, or book a boat tour to get up close and personal with Florida's most impressive wildlife. The guides are extremely knowledgeable about the area's incredible ecosystems and will teach you about the importance of protecting them.

Hoping to up the adventure? Wakeboarding, waterskiing, fishing, and sailing are all permitted here. Our only advice: try not to fall in!

4. St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park

Aerial view of St. Lucie Inlet

This barrier island preserve offers visitors a unique, peaceful, and overall remarkable experience. Wooden boardwalks dot the forests, allowing safe passage for visitors through land peppered with mangroves, oaks, and cabbage palms. A sandy beach beckons those who cherish quiet time relaxing on a soft strand.

Those who prefer a bit more action can jump into the waves about a half-mile from shore. That's where you'll find a bright coral reef teeming with marine life. Grab a snorkel and mask or descend on a scuba diving adventure. You're sure to see creatures that will capture your heart - and your waterproof camera's lens.

Kayaking is another popular activity for families at St. Lucie Inlet Preserve State Park. A 4.2- mile kayak trail snakes its way through the lush mangroves, taking you on a three-hour adventure filled with beauty, phenomenal wildlife, and utter tranquility.

Official site: https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/st-lucie-inlet-preserve-state-park

5. River Lilly Cruises

American alligator

River Lilly Cruises offers passengers a fun and intimate look at many of Florida's wildest creatures in their natural habitat. After climbing aboard a large pontoon boat, guests set sail down the mangrove-lined river for a jungle adventure they'll never forget.

Every trip is different and offers passengers an intimate view of incredible animals like vultures, blue herons, turtles, and of course, alligators.

While puttering along the North Fork of the St. Lucie Aquatic Preserve, guests are treated to informative commentary by Steph Hamrick, a former flight attendant who started the company over 24 years ago with her husband, and the boat's captain, Eddie.

A bonus: the boat offers soft seat cushions and is covered to provide shade from the hot sun.

Official site: http://riverlillycruises.com/index.html

6. Oxbow Eco-Center

Gopher tortoise

If you're hunting for a slice of serenity, you'll find it at the Oxbow Eco-Center. Boasting 225 acres of lush preserve, this is one of the best places to visit in Port St. Lucie.

For starters, you'll find a wide assortment of some of Florida's most treasured creatures - from gopher tortoises to otters to armadillos. Most can be spotted while hiking along the center's seven trails, which vary in length from 0.35 miles to 1.15 miles and offer differing terrain. Informative signs are posted sporadically throughout.

For a bird's-eye view, climb to the top of the observation towers, which are spread out along the Blue Heron Trail.

The Eco-Center itself consists of a small exhibit hall and discovery room. They both contain interactive exhibits and a few live creatures. It's only open from 12pm to 5pm Tuesday and Fridays and 10am to 5pm on Saturdays, so plan your visit accordingly.

Insider's tip: The Orange Scrub Jay Trail can get quite muddy, especially after a big rainstorm, so pack proper footwear.

Address: 5400 North East Saint James Drive, Port St. Lucie, Florida

Official site: https://www.stlucieco.gov/departments-services/a-z/oxbow-eco-center

7. Jensen Beach

Sunrise at Indian River Park in Jensen Beach, Florida

About 11 miles east of downtown, Jensen Beach is a lovely place to escape for a day. Once dubbed the "pineapple capital of the world," this divine spot is bursting with character. From delectable restaurants to eclectic boutiques to a fun children's museum, there's plenty to do inland. Or, take advantage of the area's best asset: the beach.

Some of the softest, whitest sand greets travelers hoping to soak up rays by the azure water. A perfect spot for sunning, surfing, scuba diving, sailing, fishing, and water skiing, you'll be hard-pressed to find fault with this lovely locale.

Indian Riverside Park is a must-visit, complete with a children's splash pad, as well as a three-quarter-mile walking trail, boardwalk, fishing pier, and pavilion. You won't be bored for even a second.

8. Bluefield Ranch Preserve

When you're sick of picking sand from your bathing suit, head to the beautiful Bluefield Ranch Preserve. With over 3,200 acres of land and more than 20 miles of trails, this spectacular preserve is an outdoor-lover's paradise. There are many ways to explore the vast landscape, including by bike, foot, or on horseback.

Once used as a cattle ranch, you'll find plenty of animals to admire, including bald eagles, alligators, hogs, and quail. An observation tower and wildlife blind make observing them even more exciting.

The area prides itself on being the "largest stand of scrub in St. Lucie County." It's also home to other ecosystems, such as pine flatwoods, swamps, and prairie hammock.

Insider's tip: Contact the preserve before you go to be sure it's open, as it closes periodically.

Address: 30501 Bluefield Road, Port St. Lucie, Florida

9. Paleo Hammock Preserve

Paleo Hammock Preserve is a perfect place to get lost for a while. Don't worry, it's easy to find your way out. Offering 80 acres of tropical forest, walkers can enjoy a secluded one mile walk along a quiet trail flanked by tall elm, oak, palm, and hickory trees, as well as lush hammocks. The highlight: an observation tower proffering wonderful views over the marsh.

If you're super silent during your hike (which is easy to do since you'll likely be alone), you may bump into some incredible creatures, including a barred owl, deer, or ibis. All trails are well-marked, and some waterside paths offer views of more water-based animals like alligators.

Insider's tip: This area can get buggy, so don insect repellant.

Address: 8551 Carlton Road, Port St. Lucie, Florida

10. PGA Village

Teeing off in Florida

Fore! A mecca for golf lovers, PGA Village boasts 54 championship holes across three first-class courses. As if that wasn't enough to entice you to dust off your clubs, this phenomenal setup offers lessons by PGA pros. Who knows, they could turn you into the next Rory McIlroy.

Traveling with kids? Book a tee time on the PGA six-hole Family Short Course.

When you aren't hitting a massive line drive, visit the PGS Gallery. You'll find a wide array of golf paraphernalia and memorabilia that includes the first Wanamaker Trophy.

Staying at the Hilton Garden Inn at PGA Village allows access to all of this and more, although it's not a necessity to book a tee time. The courses are open to the public and are, surprisingly, "reasonably" priced.

Address: 1916 Perfect Drive, Port St. Lucie, Florida

Official site: https://www.pgavillage.com/

11. Spruce Bluff Preserve

Step back in time at the Spruce Bluff Preserve. Home to over 97 acres of historic landscape, this picturesque spot can be reached by car, foot, bike or canoe (from the North Fork of the St. Lucie River). This preserve was once the site of a tiny pioneer village settled in the late 1800s.

Today, you'll find remains of a school, post office, cemetery, and sawmill in addition to houses. Those who follow the trail to the south end of the preserve will find a prehistoric Native American mound.

The preserve's two main trails wind through the tropical forest, providing visitors with a welcome breath of fresh air and an intimate look at the area's bird and plant life. Stop along the boardwalk to see what creatures you can spot in the river below.

Address: 611 South East Dar Lane, Port St. Lucie, Florida

12. Hutchinson Island

Sunrise at Hutchinson Island

A mere 12 miles east of Port Lucie lies the best place to be on a sunny day in Port St. Lucie. Technically two barrier islands, North and South Hutchinson Islands are separated by the Fort Pierce Inlet, and they run along the coast from Fort Pierce in the north to Stuart in the south.

If you're looking to spend a day shelling, you'll hit the jackpot on these islands' fabulous strands. Miles of sandy beaches welcome visitors looking for natural treasures or a soft, quiet place to lounge by the ocean. A great place for couples, these isles offer plenty of secluded and romantic places to get away from it all.

Insider's tip: Keep your eyes peeled on the water. You just might see some of the area's most captivating residents - manatees, dolphins, wales, and turtles.

13. Veteran's Memorial Park

Veteran's Memorial Park | Phil Galdys / photo modified

At 2.5 acres, Veteran's Memorial Park isn't large. What it lacks in size, however, the park makes up for in both beauty and heart. Multiple memorials lie in this perfectly manicured park, set serenely against towering trees.

Many branches of the military are represented here, as are fallen heroes from WWII, the Vietnam War, and Korean War. There's also a memorial to those who've won the Purple Heart.

The park is also host to a lovely boardwalk and fishing pier, which is often spotted with anglers hoping to real in "a big one." The on-site boat launch is another draw, as are the picnic areas, benches, and restrooms.

Address: 2200 South East Veterans Memorial Parkway, Port St. Lucie, Florida

14. River Park Marina

Twelve acres of lush tropical forest greet visitors to this enchanting park. Whether you're hoping to run the kids ragged at the on-site playground, try your hand at fishing, or launch a boat onto the St. Lucie River, this lovely spot offers plenty of ways to stay active and engaged.

Picnic tables, a pavilion, and restrooms are on hand, making this a wonderful place to dine al fresco. Rent a kayak to explore the wildlife up close, walk along the trail, or merely sit back and watch the boats and animals travel along the water.

Address: 500 East Prima Vista Boulevard, Port St. Lucie, Florida

15. Treasure Coast Model Railroad Club

Model railroad

Looking for a way to amuse the kiddos or entertain yourselves on a rainy evening? The unique Treasure Coast Model Railroad Club is an interesting place to spend a bit of time. Plus, it will make you appreciate a couple of skills many of us lack: patience and attention to detail.

Inside what was once the town's fire station, you'll find perfect replicas of gas stations, grocery stores, homes, and, of course, trains of all types. Modeled after trains and stations that existed between the 1940s and 1970s, this remarkable set up includes working lights and railway crossings, as well as moving cars and locomotives.

Insider's tip: Technically a private "club," the establishment's doors only open to the public on Tuesday evenings between 7 and 9pm and Saturdays between 10am and noon. Admission is free, but a donation is encouraged.

Address: 273 South West Becker Road, Port St. Lucie, Florida

Official site: http://tcmrr.org/

16. Superplay USA

Bowling

It's easy to feel down on a dreary day in Florida. After all, when planning a trip to the Sunshine State, you're expecting well, sunshine. A trip to Superplay USA can help bust those rainy-day blues, especially for families. The only thing you'll have to worry about is the tantrum your kids will throw when you tell them it's time to leave!

A 70,000-square-foot fun zone, Superplay USA boasts everything you'd dream of in an entertainment center. Want to bowl? They've got multiple lanes. Crave a laser tag battle? You can do that, too. How about a place to practice your swing? Their batting cages will more than suffice!

Did we mention the giant arcade? Told you there'd be trouble when it comes time to leave.

Address: 1600 North West Courtyard Circle, Port St. Lucie, Florida

Official site: https://superplayportstlucie.com/

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