While Stuart, Florida may not have the same name recognition of other towns nearby, with the town being nicknamed the “Sailfish Capital of the World” it’s certainly a draw for saltwater anglers throughout the country. In addition to being a fishing hotspot, the town of Stuart also boasts many other things to do for both tourists and locals alike. Art enthusiasts can discover new works at the Gallery 36, museum lovers can explore the Stuart Heritage Museum and Elliott Museum, theater-goers can catch a show at The Barn Theatre, and outdoor adventurers can spend time in the Halpatiokee Regional Park.
1. Elliott Museum
© Elliott Museum
The Elliott Museum is home to many different exhibits that highlight the economy and history of the local area, along with exhibits that touch on the region’s connection with aviation, art, and sports. A significant portion of the Elliott Museum is devoted to the rich maritime history of Florida, however, the museum is largely an informative and unique hodgepodge of interesting displays. The Treasure Coast stories and histories are likely to delight visitors of all ages. The Elliott Museum also hosts an array of pop-culture and quirky special events designed to take guests on a stroll “down Memory Lane.”
825 NE Ocean Blvd, Stuart, FL 34996, Phone: 772-225-1961
2. The House of Refuge Museum
© The House of Refuge Museum
The House of Refuge in Stuart, Florida is the only one left of the ten constructed by the United States Treasury Department in 1876. These houses were built as havens for shipwreck victims and sailors along the coast of Florida. Standing against the test of time, the House of Refuge Museum today stands as the oldest structure in Martin County and brings its rich American and maritime history to life for visitors, providing a look at the area’s bygone seaside lifestyle. Interpretive signage lets guests take a self-guided tour of the museum, however, guided tours are also offered.
301 SE MacArthur Blvd, Stuart, FL 34996, Phone: 772-225-1875
3. Halpatiokee Regional Park
The largest park in Martin County, Halpatiokee Regional Park encompasses over five hundred acres of preserved natural acres and developed land. Popular amenities at the park include the outdoor roller rink, tennis courts, baseball fields, and soccer fields. For those who rather get out in nature and away from any crowds, Halpatiokee Regional Park also offers several trails for biking and hiking, as well as paddling trails. There are also primitive campsites with a fire pit and a picnic table. For visitors looking for a picnic spot, Halpatiokee Regional Park includes large pavilions and covered seating areas.
8303 SW Lost River Rd, Stuart, FL 34997, Phone: 772-221-1419
4. Stuart Heritage Museum
© Stuart Heritage Museum
Housed within the oldest commercial building in Martin County and the town of Stuart, dating back to the year 1901, the Stuart Heritage Museum lets visitors step back into the past and learn about the fascinating, the forgotten, and the unusual places, events, and people from the history of the local area. The mission of the museum is to preserve the history, artifacts, and culture of Stuart, Florida and the surrounding communities.
161 SW Flagler Ave, Stuart, FL 34994, Phone: 772-220-4600
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5. The Barn Theatre, Stuart
© The Barn Theatre
The Barn Theatre in the coastal town of Stuart, Florida is a small 169-seat community theater that presents five main-stage productions every year, as well as a Showcase Series consisting of one-act plays. This series takes place between the main-stage productions. With more than fifty seasons of experience, The Barn Theatre is the oldest non-profit community theater in Martin County, as well as the only community theatre venue anywhere from Jupiter to Fort Pierce. The theatre company takes a great deal of pride in its passion for keeping the local community of Stuart and beyond involved in the theatre arts.
2400 SE Ocean Blvd, Stuart, FL 34996, Phone: 772-287-4884
6. Geoffrey C. Smith Galleries
© Geoffrey C. Smith Galleries
The Geoffrey C. Smith Galleries in Stuart showcase the works of Geoffrey C. Smith, a photographer, painter, sculptor, and naturalist who has been inspired for more than forty years to create award-winning works of art that depict the vast wildlife diversity with a sense of action and deep emotion. His most notable work is perhaps the Stuart Sailfish. This bronze sculpture was placed in the middle of the town’s “Sailfish Circle” in 2003 and has become a symbol of Stuart, Florida, known worldwide as the “Sailfish Capital of the World.” Smith’s artwork is also displayed in many other galleries throughout the country.
47 SW Osceola Street, Stuart FL 34994, Phone: 772-221-8031
7. Tropical Ranch Botanical Gardens
© Tropical Ranch Botanical Gardens
The Tropical Ranch Botanical Gardens are a small botanical garden situated along Ranch Trail in Stuart and is Martin County’s only botanical garden, open free of charge to the general public. The botanical gardens were opened in 2006 by Jim Haines and Diane Rexroad after deciding they wanted to open up their many colorful gardens to the people of Stuart, Florida and the surrounding communities as a way to provide education about how to place the “right plant in the right place.” There are several different themed gardens for visitors to explore, and the gardens have become a popular wedding venue.
1905 SW Ranch Trail, Stuart, FL 34997, Phone: 772-283-5565
8. Gallery 36
© Gallery 36
Specializing in fine art photography, the Gallery 36 has a focus on photography that captures the local feel of the state’s surrounding Treasure Coast, as well as the state of Florida in general. Tourists and locals alike can explore the variety of amazing photographs throughout the gallery. The boutique fine art gallery has become a bit of a new chic hotspot in Stuart, Florida, featuring a small town charm and unique character, yet still gives off an air of sophistication often found in more urban, metropolitan settings.
36 SE Ocean Blvd, Stuart, FL 34994, Phone: 772-888-3408
9. La Forchetta, Stuart
La Forchetta is a local family-owned and operated Italian restaurant serving traditional Italian dishes, as well as a few with a bit of more modern flair. The menu includes a variety of pasta options, along with pizza, seafood, chicken, and veal dishes. The owners of La Forchetta strive to make every meal memorable for all of their guests, striving to make customers feel like they are at home and offering attentive, personal service. Everything served at La Forchetta is made to order and recipes consist of several ingredients imported from Italy to provide guests with an authentic Italian meal.
7820 SW Lost River Rd, Stuart, FL 34997, Phone: 772-872-7333
10. Berry Fresh Cafe
© Berry Fresh Cafe
The Berry Fresh Cafe is a family-owned and operated restaurant that originally opened in 2009 in Port St. Lucie, Florida. It has since expanded to include additional cafe locations in Stuart and Jupiter. The menu includes signature "jazzed-up" comfort foods, along with many healthy gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan dishes designed to be tasty for any food palate. The What's Fresh menu features seasonal dishes that showcase the talents of the Berry Fresh Cafe chefs. Founded by Tim Timoteo, the cafe still adheres to his principles: service with a true smile, a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere, reasonable prices, and great food.
1429 SE Federal Hwy, Stuart, FL 34994, Phone: 772-324-8287