|PALM BEACH BOATING GUIDE|
|Boating Fun In Florida's Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast|
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|ON THE WATER TODAY|
|Local Hot Spots|
|> Today's Marine Forecast|
|#1 Peanut Island|
|> Today's Tides|
|#2 Peck Lake|
|> Sea Conditions: Live Web Camera|
|#3 Jupiter Sandbar|
|> Live Doppler Weather Radar|
|#4 St. Lucie Inlet|
|> Today's Notice To Mariners|
|#5 Blue Heron Bridge|
|> Today's Bridge Openings|
|#6 Jupiter Island Beach|
|Bookmark This Page For Future Reference|
|#7 St. Lucie Preserve|
|#8 Hobe Sound|
|#9 Water Ski Park|
|Vea en el español|
|C-18 Canal - Jupiter|
|Regarder en français|
|Regarder dans l'Allemand|
|Regarder dans l'Italien|
|Munyon Island Kayaks|
|Square Grouper Bar|
|Local knowledge for visitors and new residents|
|It takes local information to enjoy your boat. This site is organized in three key sections. Click on the topics to right:
LOCAL HOT SPOTS will get you to the fun boating hang-outs.
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE will get you on the water. You'll learn about the area's eccentricities and dangers.
BOAT KNOWLEDGE will help any boater better enjoy their boat.
This site is maintained by a Palm Beach County boater to share knowledge that can only be gained on area waterways.
Palm Beach Boating Guide contains over 90 original pages of local information and 150 original photos. You will find dozens of links to local boating sites for additional information.
The Palm Beach Boating Guide is assembled from many hours of local boating instruction, cruising and networking with other boaters.
I hope it will help you enjoy the fabulous boating available in Palm Beach County, Martin County and St. Lucie County!
Start by clicking here for an overview of boating in our area. You can also click here to start with a tour of Peanut Island, the area's #1 boating hot spot.
Don't forget to bookmark this page in your "favorites." It's an easy place to find the latest marine forecast, tides and local cruising information.
|Blue Vs. Brown Water|
|Local Weather Primer|
|Local Boat Theft|
|Good Repair Shops|
|Good Local Stores|
|Palm Beach Inlet|
|Port Everglades Inlet|
|ICW Rope Swings|
|Local Kayaking Guide|
|Palm Beach Princess|
|Moving To Florida Tips|
|Buying A Boat|
|Using A Ski Tube|
|Cabin Cruiser Info|
|Good Online Stores|
|Good Online Tools|
|Good Boating Forums|
|FAQ For Boat Guests|
|Florida Keys Wallpaper|
|Disney World Tips|
|Local Bike Trails|
|Cruise Ship Tips|
|Car Buying Secrets|
|Uses For Old PCs|
|Jury Duty Excuses|
|Pinewood Derby Tips|
|NOTICE: This web site is for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute professional advice. No representations are made as to the accuracy or completeness of the information contained on this site... or about its suitability for any purpose. Information on this site is NOT FOR NAVIGATION. Linking to this site is encouraged. However, this information is copyrighted and may not be copied or redistributed without permission.|
|A sampling of the articles you will find in the Palm Beach Boating Guide:
BOATING AREA OVERVIEW--The Joys And Pains Of Boating In Florida’s Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast
Local boating is magical.
The boating is so good that everyone, it seems, has a boat. This is the dynamic that is Palm Beach Boating.
A boating season without end
Clear blue ocean water
Lots of boating stores, marinas and resources
Fabulous boating resorts
Snorkeling/diving that rivals Key Largo
Beautiful stretches on Intracoastal Waterway
Plenty of other boaters with which to play
World-class boat shows
Three hours to the Keys
Seeing Florida in a way non-boaters cannot
Crowded boat ramps with limited parking
Huge wakes in narrow channels
Vague speed zone markings
Skiing/tubing in legal-but-stupid places
Overwhelming number of weekend boaters
Overwhelming law enforcement
Frequent requests for tows from fellow boaters
Arrogance and stupidity on the water
Relentless sunshine, extreme UV exposure
I hope this guide will help maximize your boating joys and minimize the pains.
Welcome to boating in the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast!
|Peanut Island - Location: Just north of the Lake Worth/Palm Beach Inlet, just south of the Blue Heron Bridge.
County Peanut Island Page
Peanut Island is the obvious choice for the Palm Beach County’s top boating destination. It has a dock, anchorage, designated swimming area, snorkeling, sandbars, picnic areas, restrooms, showers, camping, footpath, museum and presidential nuclear bomb shelter. On an incoming tide the nearby Lake Worth Inlet floods the area with crystal clear blue water. Nearby are the famous homes of Palm Beach and the large ships at the Port Of Palm Beach.
Peanut Island is manmade. It’s a big pile of dredged sand created over the past 80 years. It got its name from a peanut factory that at one time was to be built there. The county has done an excellent job turning Peanut Island from a seedy hangout into an enjoyable place for everyone. The facilities are second to none. See detailed aerial photo of Peanut Island.
EAST SIDE: The main facilities are located on Peanut Island’s east side. This is just across the channel from Sailfish Marina. The island’s dock, restrooms, public phone, drinking fountains, picnic area and developed campground are all located here. There are sandbars in the area so be careful when crossing from the channel over to the dock.
All of the dock spaces are free and open for day use by the public. They’re “first come, first serve.” Overnight the dock can only be used by people using the paid campsites. Note that the current is especially strong at the dock. It’s tough to tie-up on an incoming or outgoing tide! There is an anchorage just south of the docks. Many times it is easier just to anchor and swim in than to use the dock. The paid campsites are wonderful (they’re available through the county.) There is some good snorkeling in the swimming area and around the dock.
Click here to see photos of the campground area.
Note that literally hundreds of boats show up at Peanut Island on weekends.
The area handles even big crowds well, but congestion is definitely a factor.
NORTHERN SANDBAR: The area north of Peanut Island and South of the Blue Heron Bridge is very shallow. It's a popular sandbar during low tide.
Local knowledge: The sandbar is huge. You can walk from Peanut Island north to within a few hundred feet of the Blue Heron Bridge. The sandbar is made up of clean white sand. There is a large submerged dingy that can be seen at lowest tide. I have found conchs while snorkeling here. Watch the current… people have drowned here after getting caught in it. Obviously, watch for shallow water on approach.
See photos of sandbar area.
NORTH AND WEST SIDES: These are largely undeveloped areas. Free “primitive” camping is allowed in a designated area on the west side. Many boaters will beach here or anchor just off shore. Watch for shallow water when approaching! The west side affords good views of the Riviera Beach Marina, Cracker Boy “Do It Yourself” Boat Works and the Port Of Palm Beach. There’s plenty of interesting action to watch. There are restrooms and outside showers located on the west side. Trees can provide limited shade at the beach.
Local knowledge: The north and west sides are where the serious party people go. While snorkeling I have retrieved countless rusty beer bottle caps from the shallow sandy bottom. I have even picked up a syringe cover. Always wear flip-flops or swim shoes to avoid being hurt by these party discards. Also note that this area is not always "G-rated." Some of the music lyrics, skimpy swimsuits and behavior can get a litte crude. Families may be more comfortable near Peanut Island's east side dock or on the quiet south side.
See Peanut Island west side photographs.
There is one question I have never had successfully answered: Why is the center of this spoil island fenced-off with barbed wire? What is the government hiding back there.. a CIA base? Internment camp? Hideaway for a shadow government?
I’m told that all the X-Files-like trappings are simply to protect the vegetation and the museum. Regardless, Peanut Island has the most heavily fortified plant life anywhere
One web site even suggests a Peanut Island link to UFOs and secret government funds.
Click here for the spooky details.
SOUTH SIDE: This area is home to the old Coast Guard station (located here for decades before morning to Lake Park.). The New England style building is now occupied by the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office. Next door is the Palm Beach Maritime Museum and the Kennedy-era nuclear bomb shelter (built for the President whose family compound was on nearby Palm Beach.) It’s the quietest part of the island and a great place to anchor near the beach. In the works are a shallow water reef and lagoon (near the old Coast Guard station.)
See Peanut Island south side photographs.
Palm Beach Maritime Museum: (Palm Beach) The Palm Beach Maritime Museum (PBMM) emphasizes maritime topics of Florida and the Caribbean Basin through a variety of educational programs, collections and interactive exhibits. The Museum is located in the historic Coast Guard buildings, docks, and President Kennedy Bunker on Peanut Island as well as in a "preview" building in Currie Park in West Palm Beach.
FOOD: There are no concession services on Peanut Island. There is a nice ship's store at Sailfish Marina (directly to the east) that sells drinks and sandwiches.
On weekends a converted houseboat sells pizza on Peanut Island's north side. Sometimes the restaurant will send a dingy to the west side and deliever food right to you.
For a causal sit-down meal, tie off at Riviera Beach Marina directly to the west. They have an informal restaurant/bar.
Nearby Anchorages: South of the Blue Heron Bridge, near Red Day Mark 40. There are two anchorages. One is south of the bridge west of the channel. The other is south of the bridge, east of the channel and east of Peanut Island. Many boats are anchored in these areas.
The BoatPix helicopter sometimes flies in the Northern Lake Worth Lagoon fast zone. This area of the ICW is just to the north of Peanut Island. BoatPix flies a small helicopter with inflatable pontoons.
If the helicopter takes your picture, you can get information at BoatPix.com. After the company takes your picture, it looks up your boat registration using public records. BoatPix then sends you a lettter. This happened to me. They wanted a minimum of $100 to buy the photo through the mail. Photos were not available to preview on their web site.
Peck Lake’s Greatest Feature: Anchor In The Intercoastal, Play In The Ocean
Location: Intercoastal Waterway Statute Mile 993 (approximate), south of the St. Lucie Inlet, north of Hobe Sound.
See Photo Of Peck Lake
At one time this area was an inlet. Sand deposits entirely separated the ocean from the Intercoastal Waterway. This created an anchorage on the Intercoastal side.
Boaters can stop, walk a few hundred feet and enjoy a beautiful ocean side beach. Access to this area is exclusive to boaters.
This area can become crowded on weekends.
Camping is not permitted on the beach. However, many people seem to overnight on their boats here.
Boats of all sizes anchor in Peck Lake’s sandy bottom. Be careful of shoaling to the south.
The best approach is to stay in the Intercoastal until you are directly perpendicular to other anchored boats (or the trail marker that takes you to the beach), then head straight in. Again, watch out for shallow water!
Peck Lake is a terrific destination, particularly for a day trip from the south. Getting there you will pass the Jupiter Lighthouse, Jupiter Island (the wealthiest place in America), Hobe Sound and a natural preserve. The manatee zone between Hobe Sound and Peck Lake seems like it goes on for ever, but the scenery is beautiful. See aerial photo of Hobe Sound looking north to the slow zone. We frequently see dolphins and other interesting wildlife there. Note that police heavily patrol the Intracoastal along Jupiter Island.
Convenient Location And Plenty Of Room Make The Loxahatchee Sandbar A Great Place To Stop In Jupiter
Location: About two miles directly west of Jupiter Inlet. From the Intracoastal Waterway, go west under the Alternate A1A Bridge/railroad bascule bridge up the Loxahatchee River. The sandbar is immediately to your south about ¾ of a mile up the river.
See photos of Loxahatchee Sandbar area.
Visit the Loxahatchee Sandbar on any weekend during low tide. You’ll find dozens of boats (and hundreds of people) having fun there. Parties tend to be wilder on the east end. Families favor the west end. The sandbar provides nice views of the Jupiter bridges and the lighthouse. View aerial photo of Loxahatchee River in Jupiter.
The channel runs immediately next to the sandbar. Boat traffic speeds by, creating wakes that disturb the boats stopped at the sandbar.
Swimming off the sandbar can be dangerous given the close proximity of the channel.
This area is frequently patrolled by Jupiter Police.
The automated railroad bascule bridge (next to the A1A fixed bridge) can close for long periods of time. The railroad bridge is so low that no boat can fit under when it’s down.
If you continue to cruise up the Loxahatchee, seek out a local knowledge. The channel is not well marked. Shallow water and shoaling are abundant. There are some nice place to water ski/jet ski up the Loxahatchee River.
Near the sandbar area are the Jupiter Lighthouse Rope Swings.
|ST. LUCIE INLET AREA
Lack Of Crowds And A Wide-Open Setting Make The St. Lucie Sandbars And Islands Great Destinations.
Location: Large area to the north of the St. Lucie Inlet and East of the Intracoastal Waterway.
See aerial photo #1. Islands and sandbars are seen near the top of the photo.
See aerial photo #2. Islands and sandbars are seen in the middle right of the photo.
See aerial photo #3. Islands and sandbars are seen in top center of the photo.
This area has a several small islands at which to stop. There is a large sandbar that runs parallel to the Intracoastal Waterway. Generally you will see other boaters stopped at the best locations throughout this area.
This can be a good place to water ski, tube and use Jet Skis.
Watch for shallow water. The current can be deceivingly strong. Do not attempt to swim between islands or sandbars.
Dolphins are frequently seen here
|JUPITER ROPE SWINGS
Snorkeling, Tree Swings and Crystal Clear Water Insure A Fun Time For Everyone Near The Jupiter Lighthouse.
Location: Intracoastal Waterway between the Jupiter Lighthouse and the Jupiter Route 707 double bascule bridge. This area is to the northeast of the lighthouse and west (across the Intracoastal Waterway) of the homes on Jupiter Island.
See photo of the rope swing area.
See photo of child using rope swing.
See aerial photo of this general area.
ROPE SWINGS: You can’t miss the rope swing area as you cruise north up the Intracoastal Waterway from the Jupiter Lighthouse (see photo.) There are usually ropes tied onto two trees. One is a “moderate” rope swing for younger kids. The other is high and heavy duty for teens and adventurous adults. Generally the ropes are installed by teens that are willing to climb all the way up into the trees.
These ropes are generally strong and in acceptable condition. However, they are “unofficial.” The ropes should be checked for safety prior to use. It’s best to use the ropes during high tide, when the landing area is deepest. This area is very close to the Jupiter Inlet. The current is strong. It’s advisable for kids to wear life jackets when using the swings to avoid drowning in the current. The bottom here is generally sandy with submerged tree branches. Use footwear to avoid stepping on sharp debris (I’ve cut my foot here on several occasions.)
When stopping here, head your boat into the current. Use your bow anchor to secure your boat and a stern anchor to hold it in place against wakes.
SNORKELING: There is some good snorkeling just north of the rope swings, under the Jupiter Route 707 Bridge. Use the area on the bridge’s west side. Colorful fish like the area around the rocks and bridge fenders. Do not snorkel in the center of the bridge (used by Intracoastal Waterway boat traffic.) The fish population varies by season.
THE BEACH: Many boaters like to nose-up to the "beach" area south of the rope swings (just north of the Jupiter Lighthouse.) See photos of the "beach" area.
CRYSTAL CLEAR WATER: The water here is crystal clear on an incoming tide. The clear ocean water is getting sucked-in via the Jupiter Inlet. When the water is clear, this is the most beautiful boating spot in the Palm Beaches.
On an outgoing tide the Intracoastal Waterway becomes brown and brackish (as mangrove-stained water drains from canals and the Everglades.)
|BLUE HERON BRIDGE DIVING
The Best Snorkeling & Diving On Palm Beach County’s Intracoastal Waterway
Location: East side of the Intracoastal Waterway at the Blue Heron Bridge (Singer Island/Riviera Beach.) North of Peanut Island at Phil Foster Park (900 E. Blue Heron Blvd.)
See Photos Of Diving Area
This area is special for the fabulous sea life that lives around the Blue Heron Bridge pilings. You can see schools of large fish, colorful tropical fish, urchins, huge starfish and barracudas.
The Blue Heron Bridge is a favorite of scuba instructors. It’s an easy first shore dive. The water depth ranges from about 4-18 feet. Sea creatures are abundant amongst the bridge supports and a small reef near the Intracoastal Waterway channel.
Water clarity varies greatly here. It’s best to visit on an incoming tide. This is when clear ocean water comes in the nearby Lake Worth Inlet (aka “Palm Beach Inlet.) The entire area is flooded with clear blue water. It looks like the Caribbean! Plan to dive from about an hour before high tide until about an hour following. This is when the current is manageable. An outgoing tide forces brown brackish water out of local canals. Visibility is poor during an outgoing tide.
Warning: Phil Foster Park has improved over the years, but it is still a little seedy (especially under the bridge.) Watch out for broken glass, dog dirt and stray fishhooks. Wear fins, “swim shoes” or just plain ol’ socks to protect your feet while swimming. Lock your car and don’t leave valuables in sight. Don’t go to the park at night. Phil Foster Park can be very crowded on weekends with both divers and boaters (who use the park’s ramps.) Police will close the gates when parking is full. When closures happen, they’re usually on sunny weekends during the late morning. If the park is closed, try parking in the spaces along Blue Heron Boulevard.
Warning #2: Current under the bridge is strong on incoming or outgoing tides. As previously noted, it is best to dive just before slack high tide. This is when the water clarity is best and the current is not a factor. Fins are advised.
Warning #3: A huge number of boats pass under the Blue Heron Bridge. Most use the Intracoastal Waterway channel and pass between the fenders under the bridge’s center. Do not attempt to swim in channel! The channel begins after the fourth set of bridge pilings.
Occasionally a boat will attempt to pass over the diving area. These captains are reckless and stupid (not to mention criminals when divers are present!) To be a good “defensive diver”, use a diving flag and stay deep.
Warning #4: The area under the “old” Blue Heron Bridge is for fishing. Watch out for hooks and lines.
By boat, anchor south of the bridge’s southeast landing. You will see a guarded swimming beach (buoys mark the swimming area.) Drop anchor west of the swimming area. Diving is east of the bridge’s boat fenders.
By car, shore dives are easy from this location. Park in the southwest corner of the Phil Foster Park lot. You can enter the water from a beach that is located directly under the bridge. Note that this beach is an unimproved sailboat-launching ramp. Sometimes there is tension between the divers and sail-boaters trying to use the same area.
The park has open-air freshwater showers, restrooms and pay phones.
Enjoy! This is a very fun place! More quality snorkeling can be found across the water at Peanut Island.
|HOBE SOUND SANDBAR
Beautiful Setting And Lack Of Crowds Make Hobe Sound An Excellent Place To Relax, Tube and Water Ski
Location: The Hobe Sound cable crossing anchorage (sandbar) is located on the Intracoastal Waterway (statute mile 1000) at Green Marker #44 and Red Marker #43.
Look for the “Cable Crossing” sign on the sandbar to the west and the white New England style house protruding from Jupiter Island to the east.
A large speed sign here announces the beginning of the “fast zone” for northbound boats (the start of the “slow zone” for southbound traffic.)
See Hobe Sound Sandbar photos.
Ever want to know how the other half lives? At the Hobe Sound Cable Crossing you can see how the other .00001% of the populations lives! Jupiter Island is America’s wealthiest place. Anchoring here affords spectacular views of the mansions on Jupiter Island to the east. To the west is unspoiled preserve. Few boaters venture here (I assume it’s because it’s a fair distance from both the Jupiter and St. Lucie inlets.) You will find that only a handful of boats stop here on weekends. On weekdays you will have the entire place to yourself.
LOCAL KNOWLEDGE: Be careful of water depth as you approach the shore. Charts show the area outside the channel has a depth of 9 feet. It quickly becomes 3 feet near shoe and the cable crossing area.
Water color here is always brown. This location is too far from an inlet to get clear ocean water on an incoming tide.
The bottom is mostly grassy, with bare sand near the shoreline and cable-crossing sandbar. Manatees can be found in this area (they like the grass.)
Fast boating is only allowed in the ICW channel north of the cable crossing. Even though the Hobe Sound waters are deep, fast boating is not permitted outside the channel.
The fast zone is a good place to ski or tube. Lack of traffic and the wide sound make this place safer than most.
Watch out for the change in speed zones here. Many boaters miss the speed zone sign (it’s in the middle of the sound. There are no speed signs on Markers #44 and #43, which would be the more logical places.) Jupiter Island Police monitor this area carefully.
Also see Jupiter Island Cruise and Peck Lake.
Photos: Hobe Sound Sandbar Area
Aerial Photo: North Hobe Sound
History Of Jupiter Island
Nearby: St. Lucie Inlet Park & Nude Beach
See aerial photo of Hobe Sound. Note that this is this aerial photo is of the northern part of Hobe Sound near the Hobe Sound Bridge. The area discussed here is about 4 miles south of the bridge. This is NOT a photo of the sandbar area.
| BOAT RAMPS
Top Boat Ramps-Palm Beach County
These Are The Best Places To Get Your Boat In The Water. All Are Palm Beach County Operated And Free Of Charge.
#1: Burt Reynolds’ Park: Located 800 & 801 U.S. 1, north of Indiantown Road. These ramps have great access to the Jupiter Inlet from a well maintained county park. There are two sets of ramps:
Burt Reynolds West Side: These two ramps offer quick access to the Intracoastal Waterway. They are a favorite of fishermen wanting to make a quick run out the inlet. My experience is that these ramps are used by experienced boaters who sometimes run short patience. It’s best that you be able to quickly load/unload and get out of the way! The ramps are lit after dark with two streetlights. There is 24 hour access.
See photos of Burt Reynolds west side ramps.
Burt Reynolds East Side: These four ramps are a pleasure to use. The extra capacity keeps things moving, even on crowded days. The downside is that you have to clear one of two short fixed bridges (one is immediately to the west of the ramps, the other requires that you circle around the island on which the park is located.)
The parking lot is almost always jammed on holidays and weekends. People use the park’s grassy areas for overflow parking. I have heard (though not confirmed) that all Burt Reynolds ramps have stops in case you back your trailer in too far. I have a large trailer and never had a problem, even at extreme low tide.
See photos of Burt Reynolds east side ramps.
#2 Phil Foster Park, East side of the Intracoastal Waterway at the Blue Heron Bridge (Singer Island/Riviera Beach.) 900 E. Blue Heron Blvd.
This ramp has good access to Peanut Island and the Lake Worth (Palm Beach) Inlet. There are two wide ramps with a fair amount of parking. This location can get crowded on weekends (Police close it when parking runs out.) It is especially crowded now that the Lake Park Marina ramps have closed for renovation.
There is an excellent spot for beach dives and snorkeling off the south end of the parking lot. The restrooms and general condition of this park is marginal. Homeless people sometimes stay here. Some people are not comfortable in the area after dark. Overnight parking is not recommended for fear of theft. See photo.
See Palm Beach County web site for Phil Foster Park.
# 3 Bert Winters Park, 13425 Ellison Wilson south of Donald Ross Road in Juno Beach. Two ramps with access to the Intracoastal Waterway. It’s about a half hour boat ride to the Jupiter Inlet (north) and the Lake Worth (Palm Beach) Inlet (south). This ramp is less congested because of its location. Strong current in the Intracoastal Waterway can make it difficult to maneuver upon your return. Park gates close at night. See photo.
#4 Juno Park, 2090 Juno Road off Ellison Wilson north of PGA Blvd. in Juno Beach. One steep ramp with access to the Intracoastal Waterway. It’s about a half hour boat ride to the Jupiter Inlet (north) and the Lake Worth (Palm Beach) Inlet (south). This ramp is less congested because of its location. Strong current in the Intracoastal Waterway can make it difficult to maneuver upon your return. Park gates close at night. Check the condition of the dock fenders which can be useless during low tide. The ramp’s steep grade and tight tow vehicle turn-around space are of concern to some boaters. The restrooms and playground are in good condition. See photos.
Photos: Burt Reynolds West
Photos: Burt Reynolds East
Photos: Bert Winters Ramps
Photos: Juno Park Ramp
More Area Ramp Locations
Martin County Ramps
St. Lucie County Ramps
Okeechobee Waterway Ramps
Indian River County Ramps
Brevard County Ramps
Broward County Ramps
Miami-Dade County Ramps
Florida Keys Ramps
Florida Statewide Locations
US East Coast Locations
South Florida Boat Ramp Locations
Additional Palm Beach County Ramps
C-18 Canal, Jupiter (south side of Indiantown Road just east of I-95) A favorite for Jet Skis.
John Prince Park, 2700 6th Avenue South, Lake Worth
Lake Ida Park, 2929 Lake Ida Rd, Delray Beach (Lake Ida Road access)
Okeeheelee Park, 7715 Forest Hill Blvd, West Palm Beach
Stub Canal, 2140 Oglethorpe Rd, West Palm Beach
John Stretch Park, 47225 US Hwy 27, Lake Harbor
Paul Rardin Park, 4600 Bacom Point Rd, Pahokee
South Bay RV Campground, 100 Levee Rd, South Bay
Fresh Water Ramps Palm Beach County
20 Mile Bend Recreation Area, SR 80, on Canal L-40
Anchorage Park, 603 North Anchorage Dr., North Palm Beach
Belle Glade Marina & Campsites, SR 717, on Lake Okeechobee, Torry Island, Belle Glade
Belle Glade Recreation Area, off CR 717, on Lake Okeechobee, Belle Glade
Boat Ramp C-18, 2.4 miles east from crossing Florida's Turnpike and PGA Blvd., Palm Beach Gardens
Canal Point Public Use Area, off US 27, 25 miles north of South Bay
Gaines Park, Australian Avenue and 15th St., on Lake Worth, West Palm Beach
Hillsboro Recreation Area, west end of CR 827 Canal L-39, north of Boca Raton
J-Mark Fish Camp, SR 717 Torry Island, on Lake Okeechobee, Belle Glade
John Prince Memorial Park, 2520 Lake Worth Road on Lake Osborne, Lake Worth
John Stretch Memorial Park, 47225 US Hwy. 27, at Lake Okeechobee
L-8 Boat Ramp North, 3.8 miles north of SR 80, on West Side of L-8 Canal, West Palm Beach
Lake Ida Park, 2929 Lake Ida Road, on Lake Ida, Delray Beach
Lake Ida, Lake Ida Road, Boynton Beach
Lake Mangonia Boat Ramp, 29th Street and Australian Avenue, West Palm Beach
Lake Wyman Community Park, 1600 NE 5th Avenue, Intracoastal Waterway, Boca Raton
Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Route 1, Boynton
Mangonia Lake Park, 23rd Street and Australian Avenue, on Lake Mangonia, West Palm Beach
Maplewood — DRI, 101 Timber Lane, on Jones Creek, Jupiter
Miami Canal Boat Ramp, Miami Canal at Bolles and Miami Canals, south of Lake Harbor
Pahokee Breakwater Park and Harbor, 171 N Lake Ave., Pahokee
Pahokee Marina Campground, 200 Upper Lake Drive and US 441, on Lake Okeechobee, Pahokee
Pioneer Canal Park, NW 9th Street and NW 13th Avenue, on Canal 16, Boynton Beach
S-2 Boat Ramp, US 27, on New River Canal, South Bay
Silver Palm, CR 811 and Palmetto Road, Boca Raton
Six-Mile Bend Boat Ramp, SR 827 and US 441 at Six Mile Bend, on Hillsboro Canal, Chamblee
Slims Fish Camp, SR 717 Torry Island, on Lake Okeechobee, Belle Glade
South Bay Access Area, US 27 and Rim Canal, on Lake Okeechobee, South Bay
Major Annual Boating Events In South Florida
Fun local boat events that are popular and well attended:
February: Miami International Boat Show-World famous boat show. More information.
March: Palm Beach Boat Show-Not quite as big as Fort Lauderdale or Miami, but a fantastic boat show by anyone’s standards. Traditionally held on the Intracoastal Waterway along Flagler Drive (between Clematis and Fern Streets) in Downtown West Palm Beach. More information.
May: SunFest-Downtown West Palm Beach’s premiere annual event. It’s South Florida’s largest art and music festival. Each year there is a fabulous fireworks show. The show can be viewed by boat from the Intracoastal Waterway. All of the spectator boats will try to leave immediately after the fireworks end. It’s best to wait 15-30 minutes for boat traffic to clear. Watch out for impaired captains.
July 4th: West Palm Beach Fireworks: The City puts on an annual fireworks show that is spectacular. The show can be viewed by boat from the Intracoastal Waterway. All of the spectator boats will try to leave immediately after the fireworks end. It’s best to wait 15-30 minutes for boat traffic to clear. Watch out for impaired captains.
The “4th on Flagler” is South Florida's largest free Independence Day extravaganza, featuring three stages of entertainment, kids activities and fireworks over the Intracoastal Waterway. 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. For more information call (561) 659-8007.
Late July: Lobster Mini-Season-Two day period when recreational divers can hunt lobsters prior to start of commercial lobster season. This short “sport” season is very popular in both the West Palm Beach area the Keys. The Coast Guard reports an unusually high number of rescues are required during mini-season, typically by divers that have been swept away from their boats by the Gulf Stream.
You must have a Florida saltwater fishing license ($14) with a crawfish stamp ($2.50.) Licenses available in the sporting good sections at Wal-Mart and K-Mart.
Limit: 12 spiny lobsters per person per 24 hours. Do not take female lobsters with egg sacs regardless of size. Don’t take lobsters smaller than tree inches across the carapace (the area between the eyes and the beginning of the tale.) Divers must measure lobsters underwater and release those that are too small. All divers must be certified. Limits are strictly enforced (law enforcement set up a hotline to report violators, 800-432-2046.) Be prepared to be questioned or have your boat boarded during mini-season.
Regular lobster season runs on specified dates August through March.
October: Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show-World’s largest boat show. People from all over come here for this one. It’s about an hour south of West Palm Beach and well worth the price of admission. More information.
Early December: Holiday Boat Parade Of The Palm Beaches-Very popular for both boaters and spectators. Decorate your boat and join the fun (registration required)! Because of the route, it can actually be difficult to view this parade from your boat. Lots of people try. It’s tough to find a good spot to drop anchor. Sometimes it’s better to watch from onshore.
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