part 1 of our roadtrip from Miami Beach to Stuart along the east coast of Florida
The Florida State Road A1A runs with just some minor interruptions between the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean along the east coast of Florida. The surroundings of the road itself win you over with lush vegetation, beautiful views of the ambient coastline and just little road traffic. But this road also connects many historic important places being crucial for the understanding of floridian and overall american history.
It took us a little over an hour to go to Fort Lauderdale via A1A, while passing by drawn-out beaches, spacious parks and hotels lining the road. We skipped the inner city and the canals and just headed to the beach promenade of Las Olas Beach. The parking lots right next to the beach ($1,75 per hour) are perfect for exploring the beach area. Usually there are some facilities provided next to those parking lots all along the way. So they make good stops to refresh yourself even if you don’t want to stay for long.
It was kind of strange to see all those inhabitants working out at the sports ground right after the temperatures had dropped a little. For Europeans like us it was a well know prejudice that was confirmed. So we took our time to observe the whole spectacle a bit.
Following the A1A onward you might start thinking Floridas beaches are nearly endless. Now and then they are open-worked by inlets to the Intracoastal Waterway marked by lighthouses.
On our daytrip to Stuart Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse was the first of two lighthouses to spot. Although I am a little obsessed with lighthouses we did not stop to visit it. However we took a walk on the beach and some pictures from the southern side of the inlet. If you want to visit the lighthouse you can park at the marina right next to the visitor centre. For our stop at the beach we parked at the end of NE 16th street. There are a few parking lots and you pay $ 1,25 per hour.
Lake Worth and Palm Beach
Continuing our way direction north we did a stop-over in Lake Worth for lunch. This city is situated south of West Palm Beach and offers long beautiful beaches and some restaurants. We had paid a visit to the pier and caught a glimpse at the neighbourhood.
With the erection of the railway section through Henry Flagler Palm Beach County grew to a much loved winter domicile for wealthy Americans. You just need to take a look at the houses and especially at Worth Avenue in Palm Beach. This 4 blocks broad street houses exclusive designer shops and everything an extravagant heart longs for. At the beach Worth Avenue is flanked by the Clock Tower. For taking a walk into the city and along the beaches you will find parking lots close by.
The next city you will be passing when you continue on the A1A is Jupiter. From far away you can spot the red color of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse. If you want to stop, parking lots are close to the visitor centre and the entrance fee is $12. After climbing 105 steps you will have an amazing view high above Palm Beach County. We did not stop at the lighthouse, because we still had a lot of distance to manage but I would suggest a visit around sunset.
Hightlight at high tide – Blowing Rocks Preserve
A highlight of this route section from Miami to Stuart was beyond doubt Blowing Rocks Preserve. Providing a wide range of flora and fauna you can learn a lot of this wildlife sanctuary in the visitor centre. As the name already told you, it is famous for the waves breaking at this limestone coastline. Because we usually do not care about high and low tide we did not time the visit to this stunning place right. But it is definitely worth a visit anyway. The entrance fee is $2 each, parking lots are opposite roadside of the visitor centre. To get to the coastline you have to take one of the accesses through the bushes.
end of our roadtrip from Miami Beach to Stuart
The city of Stuart presumes to be sailfish capital of the world and is a perfect bivouac if you want to skip the high hotel prices in Palm Beach County. This idyllic place has everything you need to end a wonderful and impressive day with a lovely stroll around Flagler Park and Boardwalk Run. Along St. Lucie River you will find a lot of restaurants to enjoy the sunset.
overall costs for the whole day: ~ $241 for two persons (parking: $9, hotel: ~$93, meals: $139)
distance coveres from Miami Beach to Stuart: ~ 185 km or 155 mi
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