The Treasure Coast of Florida runs along the Atlantic Ocean and the Atlantic portion of the Intracoastal Waterway. The area is comprised mostly of the three counties: Indian River, Martin, and St. Lucie.

Each county has a variety of cities and towns, which we'll consider as “neighborhoods,” as well as barrier islands, narrow sandbars, lagoons, bays, lakes, rivers such as the Indian River, and flatlands.

Where did the Treasure Coast get its name? In a 1715 hurricane, 11 out of 12 Spanish ships carrying back wealth from the New World (America) were lost in a hurricane between Cape Canaveral and the St. Lucie River.

In 1961, salvagers started recovering silver, gold, and jewels scattered on the seafloor in present-day Vero Beach; til this day, treasure still exists and will wash up onto the shore.

The 1961 events brought international attention to the area, which had no name, and the Vero Beach Press Journal began referring to it as the Treasure Coast. That name distinguished it from the Space Coast in Brevard County to the north and the Gold Coast from Palm Beach to Miami to the south.

Indian River County has an art museum, botanical gardens, approximately 160 locally-owned restaurants, and the chance to snorkel through those historic shipwrecks.

St. Lucie County has outdoor adventures, world-class fishing, beaches covering 21 miles, championship golf, and more. St. Lucie appeared on the maps of Spanish explorers in the early 16th century under the name Santa Lucea.

Today, it's also known as the “Sailfish Capital of the World” as St. Lucie has a lot of fishing, deep-sea charters, and over more than a dozen tournaments from October through January.

Martin County is the southernmost county with rodeos, sea turtles, more than 100,000 acres of conservation land, also miles of beaches, shopping, museums, and other adventures.

Notable Neighborhoods

The most notable neighborhoods in the Treasure Coast are culturally vibrant and enjoy current amenities but have a laid-back quality of life centered around the outdoors, beaches, water sports, and community events.

The Treasure Coast's population is made up largely of census-designated places. Only one city has a population of over 100,000, and that's Port St. Lucie. The smallest place is Sewall's Point with a population of approximately 2,100, followed by Indian River Shores with approximately 4,075 residents.

Stuart's charming, historic, restored, and walkable downtown contains the Lyric Theatre, which has hosted pop and classical performances. The Court House Cultural Center has art exhibits and is the sponsor for the ArtsFest every March. The Stuart Heritage Museum memorializes the early 20th-century architecture and history.

Jensen Beach, on the Intracoastal Waterway, is the prototype of an Old Florida beach town. Once known as the “Pineapple Capital of the World” before the industry collapsed at the turn of the 20th century, the pineapple is still a part of the town’s identity, and the annual Pineapple Festival that crowns Miss Pineapple is held each November.

Other Attractions

The Jonathan Dickinson State Park is a nature preserve of 11,500 acres near Hobe Sound where visitors can view how this land looked prior to settlement by the Europeans. The park contains subtropical and tropical wildlife, hiking, canoeing, picnicking, fresh and saltwater fishing, and camping.

Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge was founded to provide shelter and food to shipwrecked sailors.

The Elliott Museum's exhibits focus on history, art, and technology.

For More Information

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Cover photo courtesy of Goodfreephotos