Today’s SUMMER BUCKET LIST includes a step back in history at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area in south Florida.
For the history buff, you might be interested in early Native American communities, pirates or even Tarzan personalities. The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area (JILONA) has it all. From ancient Native American mounds to the restored WWII museum building, indoor and outdoor exhibits all tell the engaging tales of an evolving coastal community. The unique and carefully preserved cultural and historic resources at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum provide a variety of fun and educational opportunities for the public to participate in on a daily basis. Newly created interior and exterior exhibits, guided tours, educational materials, lectures and events at this spectacular waterfront site provide an authentic heritage experience for visitors of all ages. Access to the Jupiter Lighthouse is by guided tour only. Tours are offered year round, and the Lighthouse is even gaining tremendous popularity as a “historic destination wedding” site. Also very popular are the weekly Sunset or Moonrise Tours.
The seventy thousand annual visitors find that JILONA has abundant natural resources such as fresh water and rich fisheries. The bluff at the confluence of the Loxahatchee and Indian Rivers attracted indigenous people for thousands of years, and provided the optimal place to construct a lighthouse to safely guide ships past the treacherous reefs and sand bars off the Jupiter Inlet. A recently constructed Nature Trail on the north side of Beach Road meanders through Florida Scrub habitat and leads to an equally new observation pavilion overlooking a quiet manatee refuge surrounded by wetlands. Visitors are encouraged to bring their cameras and binoculars for exceptional flora and fauna sightings. You can kayak with manatees, traipse the Nature Trail and keep an eye out for the host of endangered species that call JILONA home. This “small patch of green” in south Florida is not too far off the beaten path and should definitely be a spot to add to your bucket list.
Learn more at http://www.blm.gov/es/st/en/fo/Jackson_Home_Page/jupiter_ONA.html