Manatees glide under the silent shade of mangrove trees. Tropical fish flock together in clear island waters. Out in the wilderness, silence abounds, interrupted only by the jovial voices of tour guides as they point out special landmarks, including the historic Jupiter Inlet lighthouse. At Jupiter Outdoor Center, visitors immerse themselves in local ecosystems through watery sports such as kayaking and standup paddleboarding, embarking on guided tours, or heading out to explore on their own.
Group tours take paddlers out to explore local waterways and stargaze or search for marine wildlife. Guides expound on local history as they pass sights such as the Jupiter lighthouse and Dubois Park. On various trips, they can traverse calm waters in protected waterways through Jupiter Inlet Aquatic Preserve and St. Lucie Inlet Preserve, navigating open streams and mangrove-sheltered estuaries. Staffers also supplement their sport-based excursions in classes, during which they lead night or early morning wildlife-photography safaris or teach yoga workouts aboard standup paddleboards.
Sculpted on a 28-acre estuary between the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean, Jupiter Dunes Golf Club presents a short par 3 course that features prominent water hazards that come into play on 12 holes. Coastal trade winds routinely knock approach shots off course on their way onto small paspalum greens, a challenge only mitigated by careful shot selection or digging wind-free fairway tunnels. Even with these obstacles, the course's truncated length lets beginners make an enjoyable foray into the game, and more experienced players can work on short game acumen.
Jupiter Dunes’ resident golf pro Jeff Leishman strives to make golf a pleasant pursuit for all players, including juniors. Jeff creates an instructional regimen that best fits each player, helping adults to lower their handicaps during lessons and showing juniors how to make a golf-cart booby trap at summer camps for kids aged 6–14.
Course at a Glance:
The late artist Joe LaPierre often dreamed of opening a studio where anyone could come in and learn to paint with the help of friendly, experienced instructors. The artist's children, Sarah and Jesse, realized his legacy with Alla Prima Creations—named for the Italian phrase for works of art that are begun and finished in a single session. The center offers classes five days a week where students learn to replicate a bright, cheerful painting. The calendar gives pupils a wide range of artwork options, any of which students can learn to replicate on their own 16"x20" canvas. Students can tote along a favorite beverage or snack—which allows for a relaxed classroom environment as students sip on wine or nibble crackers while they create fanciful scenes of artists sipping wine and nibbling crackers. For a change of medium, lass-painting sessions give students the opportunity to customize champagne, margarita, and wine goblets with abstract designs.
The five-star, PADI-certified staff at Jupiter Dive Center, a waterside school, mentors divers of all experience levels in progressive PADI courses. In the multiday courses, instructors teach to general open-water certifications and specialized styles, such as wreck diving and night diving. Guides also lead certified divers on guided day or night charters into the artificial shipwrecks and coral reefs blanketing the local sea floor. Though specific sites vary according to daily conditions, excursions drift past herds of sea life, including colorful schools of fish, peaceful anemones, and sea turtles out-swimming hares arrogantly napping in their own scuba helmets. Dive-shop staff outfits divers' bodies with high-end scuba gear, such as Scubapro suits and instruments.
Since 1983, My Gym Children's Fitness Center has blossomed into more than 200 locations spanning 25 countries, striving to foster children’s cognitive, emotional, and physical development in a structured, safe environment. Guided by founder Randy Bertisch’s vision, teams of motivating and energetic instructors weaves music, dance, and gymnastics into classes that boost little one’s self-esteem and creativity at each location. During martial-arts and gym classes, which are divided by age, kids pump up their muscles and coordination skills, preparing them for a future of battling dragons. The open-play sessions welcome kids to caper about the vibrant facility’s play equipment, interact with toys and games, and plunge into bottomless ball pits. Both the classes and open-play sessions cater to kids 6 weeks–13 years old.
Drawing on 17 years of experience, North County Training Facility's seasoned horsewoman, Robin, oversees student-and-steed pairs as they prance beneath the shade of majestic oaks and pines on the 3-acre facility. The enthusiastic instructor concocts curricula to encourage responsibility in young riders while distracting them from less-gainful extracurricular activities, such as giving their guinea pigs mohawks. Lessons extend beyond riding instruction alone to include proper grooming, saddling, and bathing techniques. The school accommodates both recreational and competition-hungry riders as well as those preparing for careers as mounted insurance salesmen.