Explore Palm Beach

Florida Getaway: Palm Beach and Jupiter

Get your fill of small-town charm and laid-back beaches, just an hour from Fort Lauderdale

I was feeling the need for an escape after a week of work and errands. For my husband, it was the duties at his café that had him stressed. Luckily, we live in South Florida and all it takes is a tank of gas and a sense of adventure to whisk us away. Our city of choice this time was Jupiter, Florida. Located in South Florida, about an hour from Fort Lauderdale and two hours from Miami, the quaint city is known for its small-town charm, beaches and dining options. Perfect for couples seeking a laid-back retreat, Jupiter offers an unforgettable weekend getaway filled with a laid-back atmosphere.

Getting there

If you live in South Florida, Jupiter is a straight shot through the main corridor, I-95. Exits 87A and 87B will take you straight into the area in about an hour from Fort Lauderdale and two hours from Miami, depending on traffic patterns. For those coming from further away, the Palm Beach International Airport is located about 30-45 minutes away depending on traffic, making it a quick cab drive to paradise.

Where to stay

Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa is conveniently located off exit 87A right off main road A1A in Jupiter. The hotel offers a tranquil environment, spacious rooms, two restaurants on property, a pool, beach and a spa and salon featuring facials, massages and other services. Perfect for a couple’s getaway, many rooms offers sweeping views of the ocean and at times the resort offers local Florida resident specials. Also, make sure to respect the beaches while there, especially at night…the resort’s beach is famous for being a nesting area for Florida’s unique and beautiful sea turtles.

Top Attractions

The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum offers climbing tours of the impressive landmark Jupiter Lighthouse. Built in 1860, its impressive waterfront views are perfect for pictures and memories. The museum also explores the rich history of Jupiter, and one stand-out is the History Museum located in a restored WWII Naval housing quarters building. Outdoor exhibits where you can catch a breeze include the Lighthouse Keeper's Workshop and Tindall Pioneer Homestead & Seminole Chickee. If you feel like shopping, make sure to visit the Museum gift shop for history and Lighthouse books, clothing and gifts, as well as grab a light snack at the Station J Café.  Private tours are available as well, for those looking for an intimate way to explore the attraction.  Jupiter also offers classic entertainment at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre, an impressive non-for-profit regional theatre dedicated to the performing arts and featuring shows that range from comedies, to dramas to musicals. The website offers information on the spot’s rotating show schedule and information on how to purchase tickets.

Where to dine

Jupiter offers varied dining options, which range from seafood to comfort bites. At the Jupiter Beach Resort & Spa, Sinclairs Ocean Grill and Lounge offers nightly dinner specials, an extensive wine list, impressive cheese plate, seafood and rich steaks. For the casual eater, the resort offers breakfast and lunch at the ocean-side Sandbar, where you can listen to crashing waves while indulging on your meal. Past the resort, Schooners offers fresh regional seafood, a catch of the day and a casual atmosphere perfect to grab a cold beer and some steamed clams or mussels. Schooners offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and brunch on weekends. Duke’s Lazy Loggerhead Café, a preferred spot for locals on the weekend offers a homey breakfast in a bustling and cozy locale. Another unique spot is Too Bizarre, a Spanish-inspired tapas restaurant featuring eccentric art, cozy sofas, great wine list and eclectic atmosphere with artists and young professionals gather for a bite of food from around the world and to people-watch.

Where to play

The relaxed beach vibe and beautiful scenery at Guanabanas make for a fun yet relaxing dinner. (Courtesy Guanabanas)

When the sun goes down, there’s plenty of fun to be had in Jupiter. Guanabanas was opened by surfers in 2004 as a sandwich shop and now has earned quite the party reputation. The casual island-vibe is present and this establishment has become an institution in Northern Palm Beach County, featuring live music, an open-air atmosphere, bar with woven tiki huts and banyan trees towering overhead. Make sure to take a stroll and dance with a frozen cocktail or spirit of choice above the restaurant and bar’s coquina stone pathways. For a more laid-back environment filled with drinks and fun, make sure to pay a visit to the Jupiter Ale House, a small bar and restaurant featuring affordable drink specials and dishes. With locations all over Florida, the ale house in Jupiter was the first one of these ale houses’s to be open in the state and still keeps its “locals-welcome” vibe alive, with many pouring inside and to relax on its outdoor bar with a martini, beer or margarita. For the beer lovers, there’s Tequesta Brewing Company, featuring rotating drafts and a relaxed atmosphere where you can listen to indie hits while socializing with friends and enjoying a cold draft or a sampler of their freshly brewed hops. You will leave feeling energized and ready to come back home and ready to plan your next getaway.