beach pineapple

The pineapple is a symbol of hospitality and pineapple emblems can be found on hotel gates, B&B signs, and restaurant menus around the world. So it’s especially fitting that Jensen Beach, Florida - the official “Pineapple Capital of the World” - gives a wonderfully warm welcome to visitors eager to explore its attractions, as well as those throughout Martin County.

Florida’s sun-kissed climate offers the perfect conditions for growing pineapple, an industry that thrived in the late 1800s but declined in more recent years. The prickly fruit's heyday may lie in the past, but the spirit of the industry and pineapple heritage remain vibrant in Martin County. It's a legacy that is celebrated with passion at the city’s well-attended annual Pineapple Festival.

One of the last true street festivals in Florida, the Jensen Beach Pineapple Festival is packed with family fun, and an amazing line up of musical performances. It's also home to the Bahamian Market, compliments of its sister city of Eleuthera, which offers traditional Bahamian crafts, music, and palate-pleasing treats. While the Pineapple Festival is bustling with energy, you’re more likely to bump into locals than tourists – this is one of Florida’s wonderfully under-visited counties.

If all this pineapple talk has your mouth watering, you’ll be happy to know that Jensen Beach holds an annual Food Festival and competition. Keen taste testers will love the “people’s choice” contest category, which encourages visitors to vote on their favourite culinary options. Hard work, but someone has to do it! If you can't make the festival, one recent winner, Pineapple Jack’s Bistro, serves up a diverse year-round menu with subtle touches of pineapple, including pineapple glazed jumbo scallops, fried rice, and flatbreads.

Port Salerno Seafood FestivalPort Salerno Seafood Festival | Cinegraphix Studios

Port Salerno Seafood FestivalPort Salerno Seafood Festival | Cinegraphix Studios

Martin County really does love good food- and not just pineapple! The region is famous for fresh seafood, caught daily off Florida’s eastern coast. Nowhere is this better highlighted than Port Salerno, home of an annual Seafood Festival. Visitors can indulge in steamed clams, freshly shucked oysters, fish tacos, and fried calamari. A portion of proceeds goes to local charities, an added incentive to sample even more delicacies. The gorgeous beaches around Port Salerno are the perfect place to work off all that food. Take a relaxing swim or enjoy a quiet afternoon with binoculars and a bit of bird watching.

Lyric TheatreLyric Theatre

Martin County’s love of festivals reflects a longstanding support of community events. In the historic town of Stuart, you can visit the 90-year-old Lyric Theatre. Now a performing arts and concert venue, the Lyric began as a silent movie theatre and has a storied history, surviving a number of reincarnations before returning to its artistic roots. The lovingly preserved building is found on the National Registrar of Historic Places, and even offers free movie tickets in the summer.

Stuart is also home to The Barn Theatre, an incredible testament to artistic dedication. An old flower packing barn, it was converted into an independent theatre through tireless volunteer work. It’s Martin County’s oldest non-profit community theatre and can be counted on to always perform outstanding productions of classic and modern theatre.

Florida Oceanographic Coastal CenterFlorida Oceanographic SocietyGet to know another community of Martin County 'residents' at the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center, located on Hutchinson Island. Sting rays, turtles, and fish are just some of the marine life that inhabit Florida's coastal ecosystems and you'll find them all at this premier research center. Learn about conservation efforts in delicate habitats before rolling up your sleeves and getting interactive. Tickle a stingray in the touch pool (feed them at 1:30 pm!), meet five species of local sea turtles, and identify sharks and gamefish in the 750,000 lagoon pool. 


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