Friday, August 17, 2012

Blowing Rocks Beach - Hobe Sound

I have been to most of the beaches in Florida over the years. The beautiful white, ice cold sands of Pensacola, Siesta Key, and Lido. The shell strewn sands of Captiva and Sanibel. The crowded, relaxing, family friendly beaches of Naples and Fort Myers. The hot body beaches of South Beach and Fort Lauderdale. The blazing hot, crushed shell beaches of Pompano and Palm Beach. Even the fine grey sands of St Augustine and Fernandina beaches.

This week I visited the most unique beach in Florida. Blowing Rocks Beach in Hobe Sound.

Where the sea meets the land, you find rocks instead of sand. Actually limestone or ancient coral. Most of us who live on the coast know you don't have to dig down in the sand very far to hit coral and salt water. This is one of the very few places the coral is exposed at the shoreline. The ocean slowly eats away and undercuts this rock and in several places drills a hole to the surface. At high tide or stormy days, geysers shoot from these holes up to 50 feet I hear. Of course I timed my visit at the lowest possible tide so all I managed to capture was a bunch of wet rock.

Jupiter beach is completely build up and the entrance to this preserve is well hidden. I passed it even with my GPS telling me I was right on top of the entrance. I discovered this 73 acre preserve was set aside back in 1969. Natural treasurers are rare on the Treasure Coast. I was very happy to learn this natural wonder was not simply paved over like so much of the Florida coast during the last century. Next visit I'll plan a bit better and bring an umbrella, picnic basket, and tide chart to enjoy this nature show.

Blowing Rocks Beach - Jupiter FL

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Downtown Stuart

I have been spending an increasing amount of my time recently in Downtown Stuart. The more time I spend, the more I like it. My parents retired to the area some fifteen years ago. Back then I considered Stuart a sleepy town bordering on nearly comatose.  In the last few years, I've been making the drive up from Fort Lauderdale with more frequency and  Downtown Stuart has become a regular part of my visit to the area.

Downtown Stuart
I write this blog mostly for my local friends and family but my real life has taken me to twenty five states and eleven countries. I prefer the small town experiences and the little out of the way, seldom visited attractions. Considering all the places I've been, I would sum up Downtown Stuart in one word - Comfortable.

According to the Downtown Stuart web page link above, there are 50 shops, galleries, and restaurants. Every time I think I've seen them all, I find one more to enjoy it seems.

On my last visit, I decided to take a few early morning photos for my Flickr collection. As expected, downtown was deserted when I arrived but I was surprised by the number of joggers out to greet the dawn with me and my camera. Shortly after sunup, I was further surprised to see the morning breakfast crowd had already rolled into town. I think of Stuart as primarily a retirement community but certainly not one that sleeps late.

There are plenty of attractions in the area such as Blowing Rocks Beach, the Jupiter Light House, and the Elliot Museum.  My last posting from Stuart is my 3rd most popular ever. There seems to be more interest in Stuart than I originally thought. And now that my family has relocated to the area it's time I took a closer look.

Roosevelt Bridge - Stuart