Cattails and knotty trees shake themselves in the breeze drifting off waterways, where gentle wakes spread behind Riverfront Kayaks’ colorful vessels. The staff presides over a range of single and double kayaks, as well as paddleboards, which let one stand upon the surface of the water. Their gears purring in the sun, bikes also cruise from the shop with easy speed. During eco-tours and other activities, the crew introduces guests to Florida's rippling rivers, fishing hot spots, and official state fishing story.
Dolphins, manatees, and sea turtles swim through the waters surrounding Coastal Paddleboarding. It's quite easy for visitors to view these majestic creatures as they play water polo in their natural habitat; all that stands in the way is a short paddleboarding lesson. After this instruction—which is included in all of Coastal's tours—guides lead groups through mangroves, intracoastal waters, and other areas. Alternatively, customers can rent a paddleboard and chart their own adventures.
Named after prolific inventor Sterling Elliott, Elliott Museum documents the history of Martin County. It's so much a part of local life that it's hard to tell where the museum ends and Martin begins—literally. The award-winning green building was designed to blend in with the local landscape, and its exterior matches the colors and textures of the sand and rock prevalent in the area.
The natural-looking walls aren't the main attraction, though. That would be the museum's interior, which for more than 50 years has housed exhibits pertaining to the history of the state and region with a focus on technology, art, and history. The museum features a three-story mechanical car racking system, displaying more than 80 rare and vintage automobiles. One of the mainstays of the permanent collection is an exhibit tracing the county's evolution, from its founding to the present day. However, the same collection touches on national topics, too. Currently on display is an exhibit called "Dugout Canoes: Paddling Through the Americans", and there's also an exhibit on the history of personal transportation, and another one on baseball, stocked with paraphernalia such as signed cards and vintage bats.
Featured in TC Palm, Treasure Coast Sailing Adventures’ schooner, Lily, is one of the few of its kind left sailing. Since 1999, Captain Fred Newhart has overseen care of the vessel, which hauled lumber between Martha’s Vineyard and Maine in the '70s and '80s, joined by First Mate Jamie Miscoski in 2010. Today, the barge takes up to 35 passengers on scenic tours and private charters that cruise down the Saint Lucie River. Each passenger can choose to help with tasks on deck, such as raising the sails, or simply sit back and sip from a glass of wine.
Captain John Raasch Charters curates fishing trips and cruises according to passengers' preferences. Licensed and insured captains lead adventure seekers through the North Fork of the Saint Lucie River to catch sand perch, mangrove snapper, and bluefish. Those who prefer to watch fish rather than catch them can enjoy a river cruise, where they might spot dolphins and manatees. Captains also take the helm so groups can enjoy a party on the water without the responsibility of steering the boat. John Raasch has spent the last 35 years fishing; he provides the bait, gear, and licenses, as well as a 21-foot Sea Hunt boat that can accommodate up to eight passengers.