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South Hutchinson Island—A True Gem on the Treasure Coast

If you have never visited Hutchinson Island, Florida you are in for a real treat!  A barrier island located along 23 miles of the coastline of St Lucie and Martin counties, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River, it is rich in both beauty and history. 

Hutchinson Island

What makes it so special, is what you won’t find here—as much as what you will discover!  In Martin County, you won’t find buildings above four stories in height, as that’s part of their building restrictions. The result is that the beautiful sky and ocean are not blocked by row after row of high rises obscuring the beauty of the coastline.

As you drive the island, you also won’t find amusement parks, cars on the beach, or a plethora of tasteless souvenir shops!  What you WILL discover, is a near-perfect mix of the natural beauty of old Florida’s shoreline which has been preserved and maintained for all to enjoy. It DOES have carefully planned residences, services, an assortment of restaurants offering menus of fine to casual dining, tasteful resorts, public & private marinas, and 23 miles of free beautiful, sandy beaches!  There are Martin and St Lucie County parks on both sides of the island to be enjoyed by all.  

Activities on Hutchinson Island include the obvious Swimming & Sunbathing, Surfing, Fishing, Wind Surfing, Boating, Golfing and Tennis.  If you are interested in the history of Hutchinson Island and the Treasure Coast, you won’t want to miss The Elliot Museum and The Gilbert Bar House of Refuge. 

 The Elliot Museum was founded in 1961 by Harmon Elliot and given to the Martin County Historical Society which still operates it today.  In 2013, the new 48,000 sq ft building opened with the largest model A and AA exhibits in the country, after merging with the Classic Boat and Maritime Museum.  Guests can choose which vehicle they would like to see and a special rotating lift system picks it up, brings it to the viewing level for all to enjoy.  Other exhibits in the Museum feature Baseball, Treasure Coast History, and several other exhibits that include the Arts.  

The Gilbert Bar House of Refuge is the last standing House of Refuge which was part of a House of Refuge system of ten which spanned the Florida Coastline from Daytona Beach to Stuart.  The system was built between 1876-1886 due to the high loss of lives and property from shipwrecks during that period, caused by hurricanes.  The Gilbert House of Refuge became a US Coast Guard Station during WWII and its wooden tower (off-limits to guests) was used as a lookout for German U-boats.  After the Coast Guard decommissioned it in 1945, it sat for 8 years, totally abandoned until Martin County purchased it and 16+ acres at a Government Surplus sale for a mere $168!! 

 Today, the Shipwreck of the Georges Valentine of October 1904 is off the shore of the House of Refuge and is a popular snorkeling and diving spot.  The Museum inside the House of Refuge holds daily tours or you can wander at your leisure and read the history as you go.  Tickets for the Elliot Museum and House of Refuge can be purchased separately, or as a package at a discounted rate.

Hutchinson Island is accessed by the Evans-Crary Bridge from Stuart, The Jensen Beach Causeway in Jensen Beach and the A1A Seaway Dr. Ft Pierce bridge on the south side of the Ft Pierce Inlet and the Northside of the inlet over the A1A North bridge is the Ft Pierce Inlet State Park, and the ever-expanding Navy SEAL Museum.  Speaking of Inlets, the St Lucie Inlet cuts into the mainland at the south end of Hutchinson Island with access to quaint Stuart, FL. You have access to the entire Treasure Coast communities, entertainment, shopping, and more!

You will find Hutchinson Island to be a true Jewel on Florida’s beautiful Treasure Coast.

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