Known as “The Sailfish Capital of the World,” Stuart is located along the Atlantic Coast of Florida, north of West Palm Beach and just south of Port St. Lucie. This area of Florida is also known as “The Treasure Coast” because so many ships have been lost here fighting to survive storms over the years.
The area that would eventually become Stuart was once noted as “Gilbert’s Bar” on nautical charts after the famous pirate, Pedro Gilbert. Legend has it that Gilbert would use the large sandbar outside of Stuart to hide his ship before chasing down and looting merchant ships.
In 1893, the area was named Potsdam by local landowner Otto Sypmann, who was originally from Potsdam, Germany. It was then renamed after Homer Hine Stuart, Jr. in 1895, following the completion of the Florida East Coast Railway.
You aren’t likely to find any Pirates strolling through Stuart these days, but the lifestyle here still starts and ends with the beach and the water. On any given day, you are almost certain to find residents enjoying themselves at Stuart Beach, Sandsprit Park, and Bathtub Reef.
If you are looking to explore some inland waterways or take in some local wildlife, Halpatiokee Regional Park is definitely the place you are going to want to start. And don’t forget about all of the local fishing charter companies that will gladly show you why Stuart is known as “The Sailfish Capital of the World!”
One of the most interesting museums in Stuart is The House of Refuge Museum, which is the former site of Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge. This historic building has weathered more than its fair share of storms over the years while providing a safe haven for sailors whose ships were not so fortunate.
The Fish House Art Center is just a few miles south of town and the boardwalk there features local artists, an AirBnB, an art gallery, boat charters, a marina, and more.
Like most small towns, Stuart offers a collection of boutique shops and independent businesses that carry a wide range of handmade crafts and other unique products. You can start your shopping trip in City Hall parking lot and head down SW Osceola Street on foot.
You’ll also want to check out the Stuart Green Market by the water at Flagler Park every Sunday from 9 am to 2 pm. Here you will find a complete farmers’ market and more!
As a small town located along the Atlantic Coast of Florida, the dining scene in Stuart is definitely focused around seafood. One of the favorite local spots to grab some crab legs and listen to a live band is Gettin Crabby. They might have the best blue crabs in all of Florida.
If oysters are your seafood of choice, then Riverwalk Cafe & Oyster Bar is going to be your favorite restaurant in town. They offer a great selection of oysters on the half shell, as well as Oysters Romanoff, Oysters Rocka”Feder,” Cornmeal Crusted Fried Oysters, and Oyster Stew.
Another great oyster spot is District Table & Bar. However, you are going to want to order more than just oysters here because the food is out of this world. This is one of those places where the menu is constantly evolving, so you probably want to try whatever special they are currently serving!
Stuart Area Communities
Just outside of Stuart in Port St. Lucie you'll find Valencia Walk at Riverland is the newest 55+ community on Florida’s East Coast.
Building on the resounding success of both Valencia Cay and Valencia Grove, which sold out at unprecedented rates, GL Homes is excited to introduce Valencia Walk – coming soon to Riverland! The third 55+ community to be built as a part of the overall 4,000-acre Riverland masterplan, Valencia Walk will offer the next generation of new home designs, incredible amenities and is located in very close proximity to Riverland’s 5-acre Arts & Culture Center, as well as the future City Parks and Town Center.
Sound intriguing? You can request more information right here:
Other nearby communities to consider include:
Tradition is a master-planned community in Port St. Lucie. The Town Center creates a natural community hub for residents to meet and socialize, where events like a weekly farmers market invite one and all to gather. The extensive Tradition Trail winds through the community connected to over 300 acres of parks, inviting residents to explore the outdoors, meet up with friends, or enjoy a casual stroll and visit the Town Center.
Tradition is comprised of several different neighborhoods. While some neighborhoods are open to residents of all ages, Tradition also includes several 55+ neighborhoods from developers like Del Webb, Mattamy Homes, and Minto. Prices here generally start in the $300k's.
As soon as you enter Vitalia at Tradition, you’ll know you have found the ultimate active adult lifestyle in Port St. Lucie. From the welcoming palm-lush and Mediterranean-inspired entrance to the passionate attention to detail in every resident home, Vitalia at Tradition has taken the art and science of resident-centered community planning to new levels.
With bicycles and golf carts as the preferred method of transportation, active adult residents can join friends within the neighborhood or explore the vast 8,300 acres of Tradition.
A 24,000-square-foot clubhouse encompasses everything from tennis and bocce courts to a great lawn with fire pits and a putting green to a ballroom, fitness rooms and more! The Captiva Club is a private lakefront facility offering year-round recreation and social activities for Vitalia residents, complementing an active lifestyle. Home prices start in the $300k's.
PGA Village Verano is a gated, golf resort community in Port St. Lucie FL. While not exclusively 55+, there is a 55+ neighborhood within PGA Village Verano called Cresswind at PGA Village Verano that features a 27,000 sq ft Social Center with a state-of-the-art fitness center and a 27 court Pickleball center, the largest private complex in South Florida. A full-time Lifestyle Director and Activities Coordinator maintain a year-round calendar of social and fitness activities. Most homes start in the $300k's.
Whether you are looking for a great little place right in Stuart or a home in one of the nearby communities like Valencia Grove, having access to the lifestyle, culture, shopping, and dining in Stuart is a fantastic way to enjoy life.