City Guide: 12 Places Kids Will Love in Palm Beach County, Florida

While most people head to the pristine beaches or pools of Palm Beach County, Florida, there is plenty to do off the sand and surf. We’re lucky to have family who live in Delray Beach and over the years, we have enjoyed exploring a wide variety of family friendly attractions.  Palm Beach County includes 39 cities, towns, and villages from Jupiter (the northern most part) to Boca Raton in the southern part of the region- see the full list here.

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Five Ways to Explore the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum in Jupiter, Florida

We’ve explored Palm Beach County, Florida many times when visiting family in Delray Beach. This past trip, we finally had time to stop at the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum that we’ve passed several times and enjoyed exploring the ever expanding complex. Operated by the Loxahatchee River Historical Society, the first lighthouse museum opened in 1973 and now welcomes over 800,000 visitors to the complex each year. The nonprofit manages the 1860 Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Oil House, 1892 George Washington Tindall House, 1929 Lighthouse Keeper’s Workshop, and 1940 Naval Housing Building (currently closed due to nearby bridge construction). The lighthouse and museums are located on a complex, owned by the town of Jupiter, which also include large sports fields, nature trails, and a large playground. 

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The Portland Observatory in Portland, Maine

Earlier this summer, we enjoyed a few days in Portland, Maine, a beautiful seaside city on Casco Bay. One of the highlights of our visit was a guided tour of the Portland Observatory. Built in 1807 by Captain Lemuel Moody and one of the oldest marine signal stations in America, the six floor tower was used commercially until 1923 when it was abandoned. It is not technically considered a lighthouse because, although it does light up at night from the interior rooms, it does not emit light outwards. In the late 1930s, the tower was used as a lookout in World War II. The location of the observatory, and the unique octagonal shape, offered numerous views of the harbor. The Observatory went through several restorations throughout the 20th century and finally opened as a museum in 2007. 

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10 Ways to Explore the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum in Florida

Located across the street from Lighthouse Park and Cox Recreation Facility (both maintained by the city of St. Augustine), the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Maritime Museum complex  features indoor and outdoor exhibits, walking trails, and the opportunity to climb to the top of the lighthouse. Built in 1856, the first watchtower was 350 yards closer to the ocean than the current complex. The second tower, 165 feet tall, followed less than 20 years later, including the addition of the 1876 home for Head Keeper William Farn, Assistant Keeper Joseph Rantia and their families. Lightkeepers tended to the lighthouse until the mid 1950s when the light became automated.  The Junior Service League saved the property from being bulldozed in the 1970s and spent almost 20 years restoring the lighthouse tower, innkeeper’s home, and the original Fresnel lens. The museum officially opened in 1994 with a collection of over 19,000 artifacts and documents providing a timeline of the history of the lighthouse, its occupants, and the greater St. Augustine area.

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York, Maine

I’m lucky enough to have first cousins all over the country. We’ve been trying to get everyone together every few years and this past month, we reconvened in York, Maine for “CousinFest”. The oceanside community did not disappoint. The people were so friendly and welcoming, and I have never met a more pedestrian friendly place in all of my travels. York, Maine consists of four distinct areas: York Village, rich in history; York Harbor, with lots of cottages looking out at Long Sands Beach; York Beach, with many tourist attractions; and Cape Neddick, mostly residential, ocean front properties.  Here’s a list of some things we all enjoyed in York: 

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