6 Reasons to Plan a Family Escape to Florida's Best Kept Secret Beach Destination - Family Traveller (USA)

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Lulling waves, fresh seafood, the great outdoors — it's everything a family escape should include these days. And while Florida is brimming with all of this, Martin County is the Sunshine State's best-kept secret beach destination. Situated along South Florida's Atlantic Coast, the region is chock full of parks and beaches, unique dining experiences, outdoor activities, diverse arts, wellness options and family-oriented hotels — plus the space to spread out and make your getaway to the Treasure Coast feel perfectly private. Here some of the reasons we love this very special area.

Stuart Beach.

1. There's room to spread out.

Whether it's along the more than 22 miles of stunning shoreline from Hobe Sound to Jensen Beach, or in the 100,000 acres of parks and conservation lands, you can easily carve off a piece of paradise for your family. And another important differentiator about Martin County: You won't find skyscraper hotels lodging tons of people, ensuring your vacation will be largely free from crowds year-round.

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Martin County's Indian Riverside Park.

2. There's no shortage of aquatic adventures.

Visitors to Martin County spend almost as much time on water as they do on land. And for good reason! The destination is home to the most bio-diverse ecosystem in the Northern Hemisphere — the St. Lucie Inlet, where you'll find plenty of water activities and the perfect place to spot a wide variety of marine life. Popular activities in the area are great for family adventures: Zeke's Surf, Skate, & Paddle Boarding Tours, sailing aboard the Schooner Lily, kayak excursions with Native Water Sports, surfing lessons with Ohana Surf Shop, scuba diving at Georges Saint Valentine shipwreck and rowing lessons with the Treasure Coast Rowing Club.

Hobe Sound murals.

3. The legacy of Old Florida lives on in the arts scene.

Martin County's arts scene brings to life the unassuming, charming side of classic Florida. Dance, music, theater and visual arts are integral to the community, with plenty of events each week for the whole family to enjoy. From Fish House Art Center to Court House Cultural Center and Art Gallery, from The Lyric Theater to the Hobe Sound murals, from Rock'n Riverwalk to Clay Habit Studio and Supply, the Treasure Coast's history comes alive through myriad arts venues.

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The Boathouse Restaurant in Stuart, Florida.

4. The dining options satisfy every taste.

In search of waterfront views? Alfresco dining? "Floribbean" flavors? Something geared toward kids? There's truly something for everyone when it comes to Martin County's restaurant scene. Try Harry and the Natives for down-home Old Florida dishes. Head to Stuart Boathouse to park it next to the water in historic Downtown Stuart. Get a taste of Cajun flavors at Crawdaddy's N'Awlins Grill & Bar or dabble in Caribbean cuisine at Classic Jamaican Jerk Stop. Wrap things up with the heavenly desserts at Signature Sweets Chocolate and Ice Cream.

Paddleboarding with Zeke's Surf, Skate & Paddle Sports.

5. The wellness options renew your mind, body and soul.

Arguably, there's no better way to focus on wellness than by connecting with nature. Martin County is renowned for its expansive public outdoor spaces and natural wonders like the Hobe Mountain Trail and Martin Grade. The destination also offers a variety of private wellness experiences that the whole family can enjoy. Unplug together at the Hutchinson Shores Resort with a seaside spa treatment or try a stand-up paddleboard yoga excursion with Zeke's Surf, Skate & Paddle Sports. Kids will get a kick out of pop-up events, like the Goat Farm Yoga in Indiantown.

Hutchinson Island Beach Resort, Golf & Marina.

6. There's every type of accommodation under the sun.

From quaint inns to beachside resorts with marinas to family-oriented hotels, there are plenty of lodging options in Martin County. Families looking for tons of space gravitate toward places like the Old Colorado Inn, a boutique hotel in historic Downtown Stuart that has stand-alone homes. Want a full-service hotel? Check out the Marriott Hutchinson Island Beach Resort, Golf & Marina in Stuart or Pirate's Cove Resort and Marina, a waterfront escape in Port Salerno. Caribbean Shores Waterfront Resort exudes that Old Florida vibe, as does Seminole Inn in Indiantown. For campers, Phipps Park Campground in Stuart offers options for RVs, camping and canvas platform tents. Wherever you choose to stay in Martin County, you'll enjoy charming architecture, hospitable people and a true vacation-like atmosphere.