I rang in the new year by heading east to Stuart, Florida for a weekend full of kayaking, fishing, and relaxation on the St. Lucie River. It was a spur of the moment thing and super last minute. I was lucky to book the kind of amazing deal I did considering it was in the middle of the holiday season and the reservations were made within 48 hours of my stay.
I was looking for somewhere that’s quaint, on the water, and within a few hours drive of St. Pete, and Stuart seemed to be all that and more. This was my first time visiting Stuart and it ended up being such a pleasant surprise trip that I truly can’t wait to visit again.
Stuart, Florida – A Treasure Coast Gem
Stuart is a small, Atlantic Coast city in the Port St. Lucie area about two hours north of Miami. Located along Florida’s renowned Treasure Coast, it boasts of a quaint fishing community and is known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World” due to the abundant sailfish found just off the coast. Stuart was awarded America’s Happiest Seaside Town in 2016 by Coastal Living Magazine and named a top ten beach town by the Huffington Post.
You’ll love Stuart if you’re big on water sports and the outdoors. The fishing in Stuart is some of the best Florida can offer. There are a number of fishing charters to choose from, or you can bring your own gear like me and fish from a kayak or fishing pier. Stuart is pedestrian-friendly so be sure to bring your walking shoes and take a stroll along historic downtown and The Riverwalk. It’s a great spot for fishing and taking in gorgeous views of the St. Lucie River. They also offer free concerts on the weekends.
One Bedroom Cottage Along The River
I stayed for three days and two nights at the amazing Sunset Point Cottage. It faces a canal along the St. Lucie River; the sound of mullet jumping and splashing literally woke me up every morning. The cottage is a cozy one bedroom with a queen bed and has a pullout sofa in the living room area. It was complete with a fridge and kitchenette, as well as a television and other electronics.
Not only did this cottage have amazing views, but it also came with great amenities too. There were kayaks, a canoe, and life vests available for use as well as a cooler in case I got lucky fishing. I did some blogging from the Adirondacks that were on the patio. I also fired up the grill and made a delicious t-bone steak. Oh, I went all out. There were bikes for riding as well but I didn’t get a chance this time around.
Kayak Fishing On The St. Lucie River
I made sure to take advantage of the fishing opportunity and went kayak fishing early the following morning. The host mentioned neighbors and visitors catching snook and redfish on the regular, though they were still reeling from the effects of red tide. I packed snacks and a lunch and doused myself in Florida’s finest lotion and perfume (sunscreen and bug spray) and headed out for the day.
The river was beyond calm that particular morning and the mullet were pretty much jumping all day. I only mustered three catfish, which aren’t exactly a thrill to catch here. Not when there are tastier quality species like spotted trout and snapper varieties.
New Years On Hutchinson Island
On the morning of New Years Day, I packed up my belongings and headed to Hutchinson Island for some beach time. Hutchinson Island is a barrier island that stretches from Stuart to Fort Pierce, Florida. It’s miles of sandy white beach and the sound of crashing waves from the Atlantic Ocean.
It was a typical New Years Day in Florida. The weather was a perfect 75 degrees and there was a cool breeze with just the right amount of overcast. I left my fishing poles in the car. It was a day for relaxing.
I had such an amazing time in Stuart, Florida and Marin County as a whole. It has a welcoming small-town feel and the propensity for water activities is forever alluring. I look forward to making new experiences in Stuart someday!
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