Hello friends. I am so sorry for my hiatus from blogging. Life has been crazy on my end. I want to share about my recent adventure to Peanut Island. It’s not that recent. I actually visited Peanut Island back in January but haven’t had the time to post about it. I’ve had so much going on and have sadly neglected Jetsetter’s Diary. I promise to do better and I thank you for supporting me.
For all of you wondering what in the world is Peanut Island, trust me I thought the very same thing. I’ve been vocal about my mission to discover parts of Florida that I’ve never heard of. A friend of mine mentioned it to me and shared that Peanut Island was a unique place to visit. I’m always down for new things so made plans to go. Who knew that I would be in for quite the history lesson?
What is Peanut Island?
Peanut Island is a manmade island off the coast of Palm Beach. It is only accessible by boat and was originally created and used by the U.S. Coast Guard as a station. Later, there were plans for the island to be used to ship peanut oil. Hence the name, Peanut Island. Those plans were eventually scraped. In 1961, the Kennedy Bunker was built to provide shelter for President Kennedy should there be a nuclear attack. Why was it located there you might ask. President Kennedy had a home in West Palm Beach that he visited frequently. The rule of thumb back then was there should always be a nearby bunker in case of attack. Anyway, the bunker remained a secret for years but was restored and open to the public in 1998.
Getting to Peanut Island:
You can only get to the island by boat. Luckily there is a shuttle that goes to and from the island every 15 minutes. I parked at the Riviera Beach Marian Village then caught the Peanut Island Shuttle Boat for a 6 minute ride to Peanut Island. The roundtrip ride is $12. It was a very smooth ride due to Captains Rich and Ken. They shared history of the island as we rode overlooking the nearby cruise ships.
What I ate:
Peanut Island doesn’t have a restaurant. Snacks and drinks are available at the Palm Beach Maritime Museum, which is located at the island’s shuttle drop off and pick up point. Knowing that ahead of time, I picked up some lunch from a local restaurant – Southern Kitchen Dinner. It wasn’t anything fancy. However, I ordered the grouper Cesar salad which was surprise amazing. It was the fried grouper which had so much flavor. I enjoyed it on the wait and ride over to the island. If you’re into picnics, you can totally bring a basket full of goodies to the island. You can eat it along the shoreline or in the many pavilions or tiki huts on the island.
What to do on Peanut Island:
- Take a Tour – The Palm Beach Maritime Museum offers tours of the former U.S. Coast Guard station and President John F. Kennedy’s bunker. I definitely took advantage of this opportunity since I’ve never experienced either. I really love learning new things so I thought it was cool and educational. The cost of the 30-minute tour is $17 for Adults and $12 of children ages 5-17. If you take the Peanut Island Shuttle Boat to the island and show your ticket stub, you get $2 off the tour ticket. Tours of the grounds are offered Thursday-Sunday from 11am-4pm.
- Enjoy the Beach – I really took some time to relax on the beach. I will say that the sand was shallow. It wasn’t as wide of a beach that I hoped for. However, the beaches were not crowded which is just the way that I like it. I found a quiet piece of paradise to have all to myself to take my countless selfies in peace. Snorkeling is also available on the island.
- Go for a Walk – There is a walking trail that is 2-miles long and goes along the perimeter of the island. I really enjoyed the walk. You can take in all of the nature around you.
- Camp – Overnight Camping is also available on the island for $27 per day in their designated tent sites. You can also camp for free on the sand on the western side of the island. You just have to register at the park office first.
All in all, I really enjoyed my time. My visit was just the amount of relaxation that I needed. I can’t wait to go back.