Looking for a relaxing spot to bring your lunch and eat outside in Jupiter?
Here’s my five favorites:
Sawfish Bay Park
View of Jupiter Inlet from Sawfish Bay Park (Photos by Bill DiPaolo)
Pelicans perch the dock and the boats float by at Sawfish Bay Park on the east side of Alternate A1A Dixie north of Indiantown Road. There’s always a breeze as you watch the boats float by and in front of the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse. It’s fun to watch the U.S. 1 bridge — scheduled to be replaced in about five years for about $80 million – go up and down. If the sun’s too bright, there’s a gazebo on the north end, where fishermen try their luck. Others cast nets for baitfish. You might have to share the picnic table with fishermen, who like to tell stories about the big one they caught — yesterday.
Riverbend Park/Battlefield Park
Take a seat on the picnic table under the tiki hut next to the kayak rental store, and cantankerous peacocks will sometimes wander over. The hut is cool, even on hot days. The trucks and cars rumbling by on Indiantown Road is only a few football fields away, but the only noise you hear are a few squawking birds. Folks walking by are talking about the great days they had hiking, bicycling and bird-watching. After lunch, take a walk around and check out the Seminole War battlefield sites.
Burt Reynolds Park
Gazebos are open to the public
Go behind the Loxahatchee River Center next to Fire Station 18 on the east side of U.S. 1, and maybe one of the wooden gazebos — with picnic tables, trash barrels and cooking grills — will be open. If not, you can park in the shade of one of the many sea grape trees. Roll down your windows and enjoy the cool breeze. Through the thick, 20-foot high mangroves, you can watch boats are floating by on the Loxahatchee River.
Fishermen on the Jupiter Inlet
There’s lots of great places to dine at one of Palm Beach County’s smallest — and most popular — parks. You can sit under the pavilion named after Roy Rood — a member of one of the pioneer families of Jupiter. Or you can take a walk near and along along the jetty and watch the fisherman and the boats drift out of the Jupiter Inlet. If you are lucky, you might find an empty picnic table near the snorkeling area. Take a walk by the DuBois House, one of the oldest buildings in Palm Beach County.
Busch Wildlife Sanctuary
Busch Wildlife is a busy place during school vacation week
The sanctuary on Jupiter Park Drive has picnic table tables just inside the visitor’s center. After lunch, you can take a walk and see the otters, foxes, alligators, bald eagles, parrots, opossums, panthers, snakes all the other residents. And don’t forget to make a donation in the wooden box as you enter.