Treasure Coast Florida is located in the southern United States, specifically on the Atlantic coast in the state of Florida. This coast, which we will discuss in detail later, is made up of the Indian River, St. Lucie, and Martin counties.
There are two metropolitan statistical areas defined by the Office of Management and Budget. These areas are used primarily by the Census Bureau, although there are other agencies operating there as well.
What is considered the Treasure Coast?
Geographically speaking, the Treasure Coast is protected from ocean hazards by sandbars and barrier islands. Thus, all the bays, rivers, and lagoons along the coast are not defenseless against the sea.
On land, it is normal to find vast plains of palm and pine trees. The region is full of lakes and rivers, being particularly representative of the Indian River.
The Treasure Coast is bordered, in part, by the Atlantic section of the Intracoastal Waterway. The waterway begins in Brownsville, passes through Texas, Boston and Massachusetts, culminating in Florida.
Why is it called Florida’s Treasure Coast?
It is true that today’s Treasure Coast has been inhabited for centuries. But as was often the case with virgin expanses, it had not gained an identity until the 20th century. It was in the last century that the area experienced its first population increase.
But to understand its present name, we must go back to the year 1715. That year, a hurricane sank the Spanish Treasure Fleet near Sebastian Inlet.
It wasn’t until 1961, when a portion of the Spanish treasure surfaced, that the popular name was first seen. John J. Schumann Jr. and Harry J. Schultz, through the Vero Beach Press Journal, christened the region, coining the term for the first time.
The name Treasure Coast flew fast from newspaper sheets, through community mouths. Evidently, the appearance of gold in the waters of the Caribbean attracted national and international attention, promoting its growth.
However, that was not its official name until several years later. For example, in 1972, the Miami Herald’s Florida Almanac calls the area “Tropical Coast“.
There was also, in 1982, the name “Gold Coast,” but then this name was relegated to Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Interestingly, the Treasure Coast continues to spread southward into Florida. It is believed to be due to the high development in the Miami urban metropolitan area.
What cities are included in the Treasure Coast?
Most of the Treasure Coast’s population is in Indian River and Martin counties. According to the latest census, only one city exceeds 100,000 residents, and that is Port St. Lucie in St. Lucie County.
That said, we can find the following communities, ordered in decreasing order according to their population density:
- Port St. Lucie.
- Fort Pierce.
- St. Sebastian.
- Vero Beach.
- Indian River Shores
- Sewall’s Pont.
- St. Lucie Village.
- Palm City.
- Vero Beach South.
- Jensen Beach.
- Hobe Sound.
- Lakewood Park.
- Port Salerno.
- Fort Pierce North.
- Indian River Estates.
- River Park.
- Fort Pierce South.
- White City.
- North River Shores.
What is there to do on Florida’s Treasure Coast?
If there’s one place that won’t bore you on a trip, it’s the Treasure Coast. It is worth mentioning its idyllic landscapes and radiant nature. But there are also many attractive activities, such as multiple museums, kayaking, scuba diving, and fishing, etc.
1. Treasure Coast beaches
As we said, the beaches of the Treasure Coast offer many activities for tourists and Caribbean lovers. There are some shipwrecks of the Spanish fleet that can be visited by diving.
2. Sebastian Inlet State Park
If you prefer surfing, then you have to visit Sebastian Inlet, State Park. It is one of the best places in the state to practice this sport. It is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River Lagoon.
Besides being perfect for surfing, you can also go snorkeling, boating, fishing, and diving is an area surrounded by family resorts.
It has wide, calm beaches for swimming.
Jaycee Park is also attractive to families. It has a restaurant, a boardwalk, picnic area, a playground, and a swimming area enclosed by buoys.
If you’re looking for something more youthful, you can go to Golden Sands Beach Park, which has grills, a picnic area, showers, restrooms, changing rooms, and more.
It’s perfect for diving or snorkeling.
Humiston Beach Park is perfect for shopping.
There you will find the Vero Beach shopping district, art shows, crafts, and festivals of all kinds.
3. Martin County
This county includes many beautiful beaches, including Stuart Beach, Jensen Beach, and Bathtub Reef Beach. The latter has a coral reef, ideal for snorkeling.
But there is also the St. Lucie Inlet State Refuge on Jupiter Island. It is a natural reserve full of mangroves and reefs where marine fauna abounds. This place is famous for being where sea turtles make their nests in the summer or spring.
4. Treasure Coast Museums
The sinking of the Spanish fleet in 1715 has given rise to numerous subsequent discoveries. It is relatively common to find valuable objects on the coast, especially after a storm.
Twenty-five percent of what you find goes to the Treasure Coast’s many museums, so there is a substantial collection. Here are some of the museums in the area:
5. McLarty Treasure Museum
Its collection preserves weapons, equipment, and various treasures of gems, gold, and silver. In addition, there is a cannon that has been kept in perfect condition since its extraction. The museum is located in the same place where the surviving sailors of the shipwreck settled to recover the sunken treasure.
The site was abandoned some years later because it was attacked by pirates. It was a real danger, considering that word of sunken treasure had spread.
6. Mel Fisher Treasure Museum
This museum mainly exhibits treasures recovered from the shipwreck. In particular, its collection corresponds to the galleons Nuestra Señora de Atocha and the Santa Margarita. Both ships carried the most valuable cargo, which remained submerged until 1989 when they found the exact location of the treasure.
Interestingly, you can purchase some of the original treasure in the museum’s souvenir store or on eBay. In addition, there is an original gold bar that you can touch through a window.
7. St. Lucie County Regional History Center
The first thing you’ll see in this museum is the original anchor and cannons of the Spanish galleon Urca de Lima. Inside the museum itself, you’ll find artifacts recovered from the wreck. But there are also copies of maps of the time and a miniature model of a Spanish ship.
Plus, if you’re into history, you can learn a bit about the native tribes of the area. There is also interesting information about the later industries related to fishing and pineapple cultivation.