I make a couple of annual pilgrimages to Jensen Beach, FL to take in the warm weather in a place quieter than Miami. Don't take me wrong--I love Miami and its world-class art deco architecture but sometimes I just want to chill on the beach and not have to go to restaurants that have an hour or more wait time for a table. My favorite way to fly to West Palm Beach (which has the nearest airport to Jensen Beach, at about an hour away) is via Jet Blue. Why do I love Jet Blue? First of all, they have the lowest fares and most flights to the West Palm Beach from LaGuardia Airport and it's not unusual to find rates at $90 each way before taxes and fees. My number two reason is that they do not charge for your first piece of luggage while 90 per cent of other airlines that fly domestically charge $25. Thirdly, they have the best food offerings on the plane. Besides having complimentary Terra Blues blue potato chips, Pop Chips and other trendy snacks, the items that you buy for $6 are generous, especially my favorite, the Beef Up Box. Lastly, for $5 they have movies on board just on the tale end of their initial run and cable TV with dozens of channels (for free). Did I fail to mention along the way that the attendants always come around and ask if you want a second free snack (at least in my personal experience)? LOL! For more info or two book flights, go to www.jetblue.com.
|Hutchinson Island Condo|
Luxury condo rentals are cheap in Jensen Beach--you can get a 3,000 foot three bedroom in one of the numerous beachfront condos right in the Hutchinson Island area for only $3000 a month in the peak season, while Jersey Shore rentals are that much for two weeks. The most popular rental agency is Mann Realty, with many offices in the area (see hutchinsonislandmann.com for more information). There is great shell collecting, especially if you love trying to find large conch shells, and the water is warm starting in early April. All of the condos on Hutchinson Island have pools and other amenities, and there are even a couple of golf and tennis clubs.
|Spring Rolls with Shrimp at Kaishin|
|Children's Museum of the Treasure Coast|
|Smithsonian Marine Station|
There is also great shopping in Jensen Beach--there is every major department store (with the exception of the luxury stores which you have to head to Palm Beach an hour away for or Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise about 90 minutes away) and a plethora of thrift shops, which is one of the area's best-kept secrets. Try the Hope Chest Thrift store at 2160 SE Ocean Blvd for super cheap prices--and your money will be going to the wonderful Treasure Coast Hospice. The Treasure Coast Hospice has thrift stores in several neighboring towns including Ft. Pierce, and to check them all out, go to tchospice.org.
For more info on what to do in sunny Jensen Beach, go to jensenbeach.biz.
Photos By Anne Raso