Savoring Summer

Whitney Joseph
Whitney Joseph

Welcome to the summer issue of Port St. Lucie Magazine and my introduction to the fascinating places, faces and spaces in and around Port St. Lucie. 

I’d encourage those reading this column to try new things here in Port St. Lucie and to enjoy the many activities available in this incredible city. As I’ve learned, there’s a wide range of things to do, from the exciting and adventurous to the serene and peaceful. 

In my time here, I have discovered some of PSL’s real treasures. The Treasure Coast couldn’t be more aptly named, though I realize it’s based on the gold and silver that was dumped in the ocean more than 300 years ago when Spanish galleons were shipwrecked off the coastline. Whatever the reason, I truly appreciate that moving to this city has brought my partner and I, along with our dog, Bailey, much joy, a slower pace of life and a relaxed lifestyle that we never could have attained south of Palm Beach County. 

I’m very grateful, and whenever the three of us go on an outing — whether to grab lunch, go for a walk, visit a preserve, have a picnic, visit a park, fish off a pier, take a boat ride, go kayaking or simply watch the sunset — whatever our plans, we always enjoy ourselves and marvel at how beautiful this city is and how lucky we are to live here and share this experience together.

PSL is chock-full of places to enjoy, whether for a moment or for a day. That makes it unique from other places. Yes, its neighboring communities are similar, so I must give a nod to Jensen Beach, Stuart and Fort Pierce, which similarly have lovely parks, preserves, beaches, marinas and loads of other amenities, restaurants, bars and shops, not to mention galleries, theaters, festivals, wineries and so much more it’s impossible to list them all. The Treasure Coast is truly one-of-a-kind.

But back to PSL, this summer I shall savor my city; a favorite spot is the Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens. We enjoy going there with Bailey, who trots along the twisting trails with Jason and me. Peppered with plants of various varieties, the gardens offer separate areas boasting orchids, roses, bamboo, bromeliads, butterflies, cacti and succulents, hibiscuses, native and Florida-friendly plants, palms, plus a secret garden, a serenity garden and soon an ancient garden. There are critters and art throughout plus a plant shop, gift shop and, of course, water bowls for the pups. Be sure to check out the article about how PSL is so pet-friendly on page 28, which includes the botanical gardens.

On the other side of SE Port St. Lucie Boulevard is Veterans Memorial Park, a two-and-a-half-acre park that’s open 24/7, and is a beautiful tribute to our war veterans. A ceremonial pentagon with a dozen benches graces a visitation area that’s lit around-the-clock, there’s also a table with benches, an ADA restroom and plenty of parking. A police officer is often on site.

Built in 1995 to honor all branches of the military, during my first visit to this park I was moved by how emotional I felt looking at the numerous statues and tributes. I couldn’t help but think of my late father who served in the Army, and of the millions of others who have served and continue to serve. Of course, my thoughts immediately went to those who never returned from the battlefront.

Names of local veterans who gave their lives are listed on the Vietnam Veterans Wall, World War II Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Purple Heart Memorial, Gold Star Family Memorial, and Iraq and Afghanistan War Memorial. It may sound sad, but the park is peaceful and a lovely place to visit.

When doing something more upbeat, I like to head to River Park Marina — which I’ve happily discovered offers access to the North Fork of the St. Lucie River. Whether wanting a river cruise, a kayaking adventure, a tropical hike or pier fishing, this park has it all, with some of the nicest folks operating those water-friendly businesses. That makes it super simple to access activities and the whole experience incredibly pleasant. Be sure to read about River Cruising on page 14, which mentions activities at River Park Marina.

As I near my one-year mark of living in PSL, my main takeaway is as great as this city is — and Port St. Lucie is indeed fantastic — it’s the people here who are the real treasure. I truly feel as if I’ve struck gold!







Whitney Joseph

Reach Whitney Joseph

See the original article in print publication

Feb. 21, 2024

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