Jensen Beach, the former Pineapple Capital of the World, is found in Martin County, Florida, on the Atlantic Coast. Jensen Beach has beautiful beaches, ecotourism opportunities, great restaurants, and a laid-back vibe that draws you right in. Many artists make Jensen Beach their home and draw inspiration from the beauty of this small town.
Whether it’s hitting the sand and surf, or enjoying the downtown art offerings, charming Old Florida cottages, and great eats, here are the best things to do in Jensen Beach, Florida. We even share where to eat, stay, and play in this fun East Coast Florida town.
Where is Jensen Beach?
Jensen Beach is about an hour north of Fort Lauderdale, 2 1/2 hours from Orlando, and convenient to A1A, the Florida Turnpike, and US-1.
Let me explain the Jensen Beach connection to pineapples. In 1888, John Laurence Jensen opened the first pineapple plantation, which exploded and became the most prominent supplier. Then, the industry was shattered by freeze and fires. Jensen Beach’s history is celebrated each year at the Pineapple Festival, featuring carnival rides, food, and top-name entertainment.
What to See and Do
Explore Downtown Jensen Beach by strolling its picturesque streets and popping in the antique shops and boutiques, such as We Be Jammin and Ain’t Miss Bee Haven. Stop at Crawdaddy’s for a cold beer or cocktail at the welcoming bar area to quench your thirst or have a delicious cup of coffee or smoothie at Bunkhouse Coffee Bar, a 100% plant-based cafe.
You won’t want to miss the artists in action around Maple Street Art Cottages, a series of tin-roofed structures that are now artists’ studios. Watch them work, purchase the goods, or admire the area’s beauty in this interesting enclave. Rare Earth Gallery is another place to visit for impressive local artworks. The studio floor is filled with one-of-a-kind treasures.
Eagle Marsh Golf Club is an exceptional place for hitting the links. Designed by Tommy Fazio, this is the closest course to Hutchinson Island and the beach views, five sets of tees, and overall design of the course will have golfers salivating.
Enjoy the biggest perk of Florida by stepping out on the beach while you are in town. Walton Rocks Beach is a popular one, with 24 acres and allow pets off-leash, too.
Kids will enjoy the Children’s Museum of the Treasure Coast, currently in its 12th year. This lesser-known gem has hands-on learning opportunities and exhibits. The pirate ship will make you want to be a kid again, let alone the super cool grocery store, railroad, and traditional Florida cracker house. There is even a fun learning opportunity to introduce recycling to the wee folks.
Previously owned by a Coca-Cola heiress, the Mansion at Tuckahoe is a beautiful site and place you will admire the Old Florida charm at first glance. This Mediterranean Revival home, set within Indian Riverside Park, was once the host to a plethora of parties attended by the elite and the WWII soldiers from Camp Murphy. While you can only admire the house from the outside unless attending an event at the Treasure Coast’s premier venue, it is incredibly picturesque and stately and one of the best things to see in Jensen Beach.
Where to Eat in Jensen Beach
A few of the restaurants we are incredibly fond of are Conchy Joe’s, Jan’s Place, Crawdaddy’s, Mrs. Peter’s Smokehouse, Cinco de Mayo Mexican Cuisine, and Drift Kitchen + Bar. From freshly caught fish dishes to local favorites and ethnic eats, you are going to love noshing your way through this area.
Conchy Joe’s Seafood
At Conchy Joe’s Seafood, Bahamian-inspired seafood is the star of the menu. Doing business in Jensen Beach since 1979, this mainstay has delicious clam chowder, a noteworthy raw bar, and always fresh fish. The crunchy-fried fish sandwich with coleslaw is the bomb!
Jan’s Place is always in the #1 or #2 spot on TripAdvisor for best eateries in Jensen Beach, and we concur. Known for exceptional breakfast cuisine, the Creole Benedict, with biscuits as the base, topped with fried shrimp, sautéed onions, andouille sauce, and peppers, then drowned in a cajun hollandaise, is fabulous. Jan’s is cozy and comfortable, plus they make fresh pastries, muffins, and bread daily. Watch for seasonal menu items, such as the Pumpkin French Toast.
Crawdaddy’s is great for a mouth-watering cocktail, delicious appetizers, a complete cajun/creole meal, or to enjoy the live entertainment that you can often hear down the street. It is loads of fun, and the food is pretty good, too. My go-to item is the Cajun Gorgonzola Meatballs, a flavorful dish of hearty meatballs in a tangy sauce, with a gob of rice in the middle of the plate. The hurricane drinks are a perfect choice any time of day.
Cinco de Mayo
We discovered a unique Mexican fare menu when dining at Cinco de Mayo Mexican Cuisine in a local strip mall. The margaritas are mixed just right, and the Divorced Enchiladas, an innovative dish with a chicken, cheese, and ground beef enchilada dressed up in different sauces, was one of the best Mexican meals I’ve had in years.
Mrs. Peter’s Smokehouse
If you have been to Florida before, you will know that Fish Dip is a staple, and nearly every seafood restaurant you visit will have its own recipe. Mrs. Peter’s has one, too, only hers is sold in dozens of grocery stores and several varieties, including smoked hot-ta Mahi, Maryland crab, and shrimp. The fish are cooked over local hardwood and have no fillers, added salt, gluten, or GMOs.
You can also visit her restaurant, Mrs. Peter’s Smokehouse, which has a cute outdoor patio setting to enjoy your meal. While I just tried a sampler of two dips with accompaniments (flour tortillas, carrots, celery, and crackers), the restaurant also serves rice bowls with smoked proteins, loaded nachos, pizza, crab cakes, and tacos. Ask for a side of jalapeños, which pair wonderfully with the fish dips.
Drift Kitchen + Bar
Drift Kitchen + Bar, at the Hutchinson Shores Resort, is stellar for homemade pasta dishes, wood-fired pizzas, local snapper, and center-cut pork chops. The service is impeccable, and honestly, the food is exceptional at this beautifully-designed eatery. Drift Kitchen’s Bucatini Carbonara, with crispy pancetta, Cremini mushrooms, peas, and a Pecorino Tuscano Cream sauce, is finished with a traditional egg yolk and 10/10 delicious. The pasta pairs perfectly with the warm, complimentary bread and herbed butter spread.
Where to Stay
Look no further than the Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa, a charming seaside escape on Ocean Boulevard. Known for family vacations, corporate retreats, weddings, and meetings, this chic and beautiful luxury resort will steal your heart. The lobby is stunning, picture-perfect at every square inch. The resort’s spa is an excellent place to unwind and indulge in a skilled massage, facial, or body treatment, but currently closed due to COVID.
Condé Nast Traveler 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards listed Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa as one of the top 30 resorts in Florida.
Rooms (178 to choose from) at Hutchinson Shores Resort are stylish and comfortable, with a few special features unique to this hotel brand, part of the Opal Collection. The nautical-themed designs and decor are lovely against the ocean views and sand from the room’s balcony views.
I loved that the resort uses ice bags in freezers, so there is no noise or mess involved. I know it’s a weird thing to note, but it was that impressive to me. Hutchinson Shores Resort also has two heated swimming pools, a modern fitness studio, front-row beach access, a fun pool bar (with excellent drinks and food), and a top-notch aesthetically pleasing restaurant. Hutchinson Shores is pet-friendly.
To learn more about this exceptional resort, read this.
Learn more about Martin County by visiting their tourism board website.
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