America’s ‘Happiest Seaside Town’ Offers World-Class Shopping, Dining and Healthcare in a Postcard Setting
It’s artsy, funky and emits a cool coastal vibe that endears it to residents and tourists alike. The coastal town of Stuart is an angler’s paradise, and proudly bills itself (no pun intended) as the “Sailfish Capital of the World.”
Yet it’s also a haven for families in search of a livable community with top notch public and private schools, as well as a hotspot for retirees fleeing colder temps and higher taxes for a tropical climate and maritime setting.
Incorporated in 1914, Stuart is situated on the southern end of Florida’s underrated, and underexposed, Treasure Coast. The region running from Indian River County south to Martin County is a throwback to the Sunshine State’s unspoiled coastal landscapes of the 50s and 60s.
Our 532-acre private golf community is just minutes away from what Oprah Winfrey just ranked as the sixth most charming town in America. Stuart has racked up numerous awards and accolades over the years, not the least of which was being named America’s “Happiest Seaside Town” by Coastal Living.
Sound like the sort of place you where you might want to park your flip flops for a long while? Well, here are five things our Sailfish Point residents love about living near Stuart.
Historic without being stuffy, downtown Stuart claimed the 7th annual “Great Places in Florida” award hosted by the state’s chapter of the American Planning Association, a professional organization of city and urban planners.
With its location between the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon, downtown is a haven for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, wind surfing and other waters spots. Residents also love to simply relax and catch a sunset at Shepherd Park with the Shepard Park Drum Circle playing in the background.
Restaurants abound downtown, with a plethora of delicious seafood joints ranging from hole-in-the-wall to upscale. The Boathouse lands somewhere in the middle, and its setting right on the water draws big crowds on the weekends.
2. Cleveland Clinic
Proximity to health care and medical facilities is a major factor when it comes to retirement and relocation. And Sailfish Point is the beneficiary of the famed Cleveland Clinic’s newest Florida branch, the Cleveland Clinic Family Health Center.
The $36 million, 87,000-square-foot one-stop shop for elite medical care opened in in October 2019, forever changing the face of the county’s healthcare industry. It joined Cleveland Clinic Martin North and South to create one of the state’s best regional hospital networks.
With the Cleveland Clinic Martin Health, Sailfish Point residents have the best of both words – a secluded-yet-spacious island lifestyle and convenient access to the world’s best medical care just minutes away.
3. Martin County Airport
Sailfish Point residents can easily make their way south to Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) for commercial flights. But private aviation is becoming more affordable and accessible in response to high-net-worth individuals’ desire to travel safely and efficiently amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Martin County Airport, Witham Field in Stuart, Fla. is a 726-acre facility home to more than 200 private and business aircraft. Once operated by the U.S. Navy for flying fighters and light bombers, it’s considered one of the state’s premier fixed base operations.
Living near Stuart provides easy access to the Bahamas, Bermuda and several Caribbean Islands, and is part of the appeal of living in this maritime paradise. But with international travel comes re-entry into the U.S., and with re-entry comes U.S. Customs. And not every non-commercial airport has a Customs Facility.
Martin County Airport, Witham Field, however, does.
And uniquely, it can process travelers arriving via both aircraft and marine vessels. The procedure for pilots is incredibly efficient: taxi up to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Facility at Taxiway A2, proceed to the processing area, pay the fee ($30 to $500 depending on aircraft) and head back to your aircraft.
4. Extensive Waterways
Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway is a labyrinth-like network of hundreds of miles of coastal bays, inlets and rivers running along the entirety of the state’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Stuart is one of its hubs and offers unrivaled motorized and non-motorized boating activities and adventures.
For a taste of Old Florida, it’s hard to beat kayaking the South Fork of the St. Lucie River. The trip entails paddling upstream (south) starting at Hosford Park at 7474 S.W. Gaines Ave. Kayakers will quickly find themselves surrounded by live oaks draped in Spanish moss while navigating through numerous mangrove islands.
After a relaxing paddle south, the river meanders by the landing at Halpatiokee Regional Park, a great spot for pulling kayaks, canoes or paddle boards onshore for lunch and a little exploring by foot.
For boating and yachting enthusiasts, the options around Stuart are almost endless. But a favorite among Sailfish Point’s tried-and-true mariners is the Okeechobee Waterway, a protected inland passage across the entire state from Stuart to Punta Rassa near Fort Myers.
5. Family Fun
Niche.com named Stuart as one of the best places in Florida to raise a family. And while the majority of Sailfish Point residents are Baby Boomers, many have children with grandchildren who have either moved, or are considering relocating, to be closer as a family.
Stuart’s proximity to amazing beaches provides countless hours of entertainment for young families. It’s also home to the Children’s Museum of the Treasure Coast, Elliott Museum and the Florida Oceanographic Coastal Center.
And for multi-generational fun, downtown is a hotbed of weekend festivals, including the ever-popular Craft Festival, typically held in October. The Riverwalk, Stuart’s waterfront boardwalk along the St. Lucie River, is a popular spot for strolling and picnics and is also the home of Rock’n Riverwalk, a year-round weekly outdoor (and free) concert.
Visit our guides to Stuart and Hutchinson Island to learn more about the wonderful area surrounding our island paradise here at Sailfish Point.
For more information about Sailfish Point, or to arrange a tour of any of these listings and the entire community, Sailfish Point Realty is conveniently located just outside the community gates.
Simply call 772-225-6200 or click here to send a detailed message about your upcoming visit and we’ll customize a safe and enjoyable itinerary. For those looking to extend their stay and explore the area, we partner with Hutchinson Shores Resort and Spa for oceanfront accommodations.
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