South Beach – Fort Pierce, FL

No part of South Beach sits far from the water, with the Indian River on the west side and the Atlantic Ocean on the east side. This waterfront locale provides the luxury of ocean beaches and waterside restaurants to grab a meal or drink. The south part of barrier island Hutchinson Island encompasses this neighborhood, while South Beach actually falls under the city limits of mainland city Fort Pierce. Some people call this area Fort Pierce Beach instead of South Beach. It takes just under four miles to reach it from the Fort Pierce city center.

Restaurants & Nightlife

The top part of South Beach contains the restaurant and nightlife district. In this seaside destination, restaurants serve up fresh seafood and simple American cuisine with a laid-back atmosphere to match the beach location. You won't find much nightlife in the area, but the same restaurants locals go to for a casual meal provide night time entertainment as well, complete with bars and live music. Sit by the water to enjoy a meal at On the Edge Bar & Grill. Your menu options include fresh seafood dishes such as Bahamian Conch Chowder, Hoisin Glazed Yellowfin Tuna or Mahi Rachel with your choice of blackened or grilled mahi mahi. The menu even includes Gator Bites with real gator tail to experience a taste of something different from the norm. Make this place your night time joint as well with its rum buckets and beer specials at the tiki-style bar. Bands sometimes play to liven up the night even more. Tantalize your taste buds at the Bluewater Beach Grill with its unique flavor combinations. Try Parmesan Crusted Tilapia with black bean and corn salsa on top and Bluewater fritters on the side. Choose oysters from the raw bar or fish of the day specials. If you wish to steer away from seafood, pick from numerous burger, salad and sandwich choices – the menu even features the Rad Dog hot dog with coleslaw on top. Sit on the patio to feel the breezes from the inlet, and catch live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Try the Inlet Grill at the Beachfront Inn at Hutchinson Island. This waterfront restaurant serves up an array of seafood choices, from Conch Ceviche to the fresh catch of the day, as well as flatbreads, burgers and pasta. Don’t leave without ordering a Florida favorite, key lime pie. This restaurant also creates a nightlife scene with a bar and entertainment that alternates between a DJ playing and live music; check the calendar to see who’s performing when. For another option with live music and a lively bar at night, check out Archie’s Seabreeze. Although this place also serves meals, many locals prefer to drink here rather than eat. This biker bar hosts some form of entertainment most nights of the week, including live music, trivia games, open talent nights and karaoke.

History & Culture

In the 1700s Native Americans lived on the land of the island, and Spanish ships brought treasure through the area. In the 1800s, James Hutchinson received a land grant to start farming, and the federal government created shelters for travelers and sailors, which became lookouts during World War II. The area around the island changed when the trains came through, promoting tourism and shipments of goods, although much of the growth skipped over this island, which still caters to those seeking the simple life. This neighborhood houses the St. Lucie County Regional History Center. Nearby neighborhoods feature Gilbert’s Bar House of Refuge (one of the original lookouts), the Navy Seal Museum and the Elliott Museum, which hosts history, technology and art exhibits, as well as an annual Classics at the Beach Car Show.

Transportation

Locals sometimes choose to walk this compact neighborhood, but destinations on the mainland call for a car. Public transportation doesn’t reach this barrier island, and cab drivers don’t cruise around looking for people who need a ride. However, you can call a cab company to pick you up, and Uber serves the area as well. The only highway that passes through South Beach, State Road A1A, brings you to Federal Highway. From here you won’t have far to travel before reaching major highways I-95 and Florida’s Turnpike, which both run close to the coast in Fort Pierce. As a great perk, the island provides public parking by the beach for free. Parts of A1A include biking lanes for safe riding, and residential areas provide quieter spots to ride a bike with less traffic.

Cost

South Beach's average monthly rent of $786 falls below the city average, making the cost of living in South Beach cheaper than the city. Expect to pay two percent higher than the national average for gas and $2 to $3 for a beer at your local bar.

Shopping

Shoppers have to leave the island to get their proper fix, but Fort Pierce provides many options not far from the entrance to the mainland. Most of the stores in this area fall under the specialty store category. The Original Discount Furniture store sells reduced-priced mattresses and room sets. In South Beach, you see a mix of high-end and high-value prices, depending on the store. Just as you reach the mainland, you'll find Chic and Shore Things, a home decor store that stocks the beach-themed and shabby chic items to create the right vibe for your South Beach home. You can find one-of-a-kind and handmade items here to make your home unique. The store even stages the pieces to demonstrate what they would look like in your home. Buy everything you need for diving and fishing at Dive Odyssea, located right near Chic and Shore Things. In addition to providing rentals and classes, it also sells kayaks, fishing and scuba gear for pros as well as for those who rent first and then decide to stick with these water sports. You don't have to leave the island for a supermarket, as Seabreeze Food Store supplies groceries for the area. Between shopping trips, grab staples like milk and bread at Lipshitz & Dimaggio South Beach Market. If you prefer a chain supermarket for all of your ingredient needs, Fort Pierce has a Publix on Federal Highway just north of South Beach. To buy your produce at a farmers market, head to Nelson Family Farms in White City. It has great deals on fresh fruits and vegetables and also sells jams, smoked fish dip, eggs and fresh orange juice.

Parks

Residents don't have trouble finding parks in and around South Beach. The nearest park, South Causeway Island Park, includes a playground for the kids, a boat ramp, picnic spots and fishing areas. Jaycee Park encourages a family atmosphere with a large playground, a swimming spot, sports courts, boat ramps and picnic areas. For a day at the beach, visit Kimberly Bergalis Memorial Park or Surfside Park, which provide shower and bathroom facilities as well as picnic areas to help residents enjoy the beach. If you want a place to take your dog, go a little bit south to Walton Rocks Beach and Dog Park, which allows dogs an opportunity to enjoy the beach. The area’s parks don’t feature great exercise facilities except for the sports and swimming areas, in addition to canoeing and hiking opportunities at Fort Pierce Inlet State Recreation Area/North Jetty Park on North Hutchinson Island. This park hosts an annual Party in the Park event and a Kid's Fishing Clinic.
Sands at St Lucie
2750 S Us Highway 1, Fort Pierce, FL 34982
2 hrs
$689 - 785 2-3 Bedroom Available Now
844-241-6961
Atlantis Cove
2476 Atlantis Ave, Fort Pierce, FL 34981
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$729 - 949 1-2 Bedroom Available 03/29/17
772-618-4944
Cortez Village Townhomes
2101 Cortez Blvd, Fort Pierce, FL 34982
1 wk
$925 - 1,100 1-2 Bedroom Available Now
844-888-8839
Treasure Cay Apartments
1200 Treasure Cay Dr, Fort Pierce, FL 34947
New
$910 - 1,065 1-2 Bedroom Available 04/11/17
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Portofino Landings
5121 E Portofino Landings Blvd, Fort Pierce, FL 34947
$1,000 - 1,125 2-3 Bedroom Available Now
844-204-0754