Floridays’ hometown is Hobe Sound—a truly unique small town that today IS what Old Florida WAS. With its canopies of ficus trees, one-of-a-kind shops in a quaint and quiet historic downtown, friendly people and slower pace, it offers a quality of life reminiscent of yesteryear. In Martin County, it’s the perfect place to relax and get back to nature.
Nearby Jonathan Dickinson State Park features 11,500 acres of sand pine scrub, pine flatwoods, mangroves, and river swamps—and all the wildlife to go with it. You can rent canoes or kayaks in search of the elusive manatees that frequent the river in winter or hike the trails by foot or on horseback. Mountain bikers will find both easy and challenging trails throughout the park, and it’s a birdwatcher’s paradise for those who prefer their feet firmly planted on the ground. Ospreys and bald eagles build nests in the forest and along the Loxahatchee River. It’s not uncommon to spot deer, foxes, otters, and alligators.
The park’s newest addition is Palmettos on the Loxahatchee, an outdoor food and beverage garden overlooking the river serving wine and beer and fresh food using local, sustainable or organic foods when possible.
Just across Highway 1 from the State Park is the Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge with 300 acres of hiking trails and a charming Intracoastal Waterway beach for long walks at sunset. On January 7, you can join an “EarthCache Adventure” to learn from naturalist Lis Wight about the unique features of the Hobe Sound Refuge’s ecosystem through the use of GPS coordinates. Reserve your space at (772) 546-2067.
Martin County’s Hobe Sound Public Beach is a short bike ride away, but even if you drive, parking is free. Public facilities include restrooms and a covered picnic area. Locals like to grab a sandwich “to-go” from Publix’s deli section and head to the beach just before sundown to catch the sounds and sights of the Atlantic Ocean.
For fishing aficionados, there are plentiful docks and piers throughout Martin County along the Intracoastal Waterway. Jimmy Graham Park offers a public boat ramp with restrooms and 50 parking spaces. The waters around Hobe Sound teem with every kind of saltwater fish. See the list. Check here for licensing information.