Hutchinson Island, Stuart, Florida is located half-way between Orlando and Miami on Florida’s East Coast and boasts some of the best area beaches and waterfront.
In addition, Downtown Stuart is known for its leisurely charm and fantastic shopping.
If you are planning a visit, make sure and explore everything this area has to offer through:
HOUSE OF REFUGE
The House of Refuge at Gilbert’s Bar is the only remaining House of Refuge. Built as one of ten along the east coast of Florida, it is the oldest structure in Martin County and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Houses of Refuge were designated as havens for shipwrecked sailors and travelers along the sparsely populated Atlantic coastline of Florida.
Today the House of Refuge is open for Tours. Save money and purchase a combined Elliott Museum and House of Refuge admission ticket. House of Refuge exhibits includes Georges Valentine, AIS Native American Artifacts, Lighthouse & House of Refuge Keepers Quarters and Maritime Shipwreck Artifacts.
One of the most photographed locations on Hutchinson Island, the House of Refuge is a favorite location for local photographers, painters and the desired location for beach and Oceanside wedding events. The House of Refuge is available to rent for wedding, family events and business functions.
DIVE GEORGES VALENTINE SHIPWRECK
The Georges Valentine Shipwreck Site is the site of the historic shipwreck of an Italian barkentine off the coast of Hutchinson Island in Martin County, Florida and has become a must destination for divers and snorkelers. On July 19, 2006, the Georges Valentine Shipwreck Site was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. On October 16, 2006, it became the eleventh Florida Underwater Archaeological Preserve. The House of Refuge offers historical artifacts and information in their exhibit: Georges Valentine. Although, not required, divers are invited to take the House of Refuge tour to learn more about the Georges Valentine shipwreck before the dive.
MAKE A DAY OF IT! VISIT FLORIDA OCEANOGRAPHIC SOCIETY
Located right across the street from the Elliott Museum is the Florida Oceanographic Society’s Coastal Center 57-acre parcel houses the Society’s headquarters, nature trails, 750,000-gallon Game Fish Lagoon, Children’s Activity Pavilion, Sea Star Touch Tank Pavilion, Rays on the Reef Ray Pavilion, and the Frances Langford Visitor’s Center. With its coastal hardwood hammocks and mangrove swamp communities, the site provides excellent opportunities for education and research aimed at increasing visitors’ knowledge of these unique environments. www.floridaocean.org.
The Florida Oceanographic Society is a non-profit organization founded in 1964 with the mission to inspire environmental stewardship of Florida’s coastal ecosystems through education and research. As a leading state and nationally recognized environmental organization, Florida Oceanographic offers educational programs to people of all ages and conducts research and restoration programs that lead to healthy coastal ecosystems. Join us in our mission “to inspire environmental stewardship of Florida’s coastal ecosystems through education and research” today.
SAILFISH SPLASH WATER PARK
Make sure to check out Martin County’s new Sailfish Splash Water Park featuring water slides, lazy river ride and more.