Port St. Lucie, Florida City Guide

By
Sharon J Sanford
Port Saint Lucie
Photo Credits
Sharon J Sanford

 

Port St. Lucie, Florida is a community driven city filled with generations of families and friends. It promotes diversity and individuality with the most populous municipality in St. Lucie County of approximately 200,000 residents. It has a few gardens, parks, and other natural sights that are simply breathtaking to see, and it is located just fifteen minutes from the beaches in Fort Pierce and Jensen Beach. The city is beautifully decorated with palm trees along the roads, and it has several gated community homes and clubs to join. 

Port St. Lucie is best known for the First Data Field, a baseball stadium that is home to the St. Lucie Mets and spring training location of the New York Mets. The city is also the hometown of stars Megan Fox, Vanilla Ice, Rick Ankiel, and Matthew Underwood.

Port St Lucie Berry Fresh Fountain

Culture

Every year, the city hosts the annual Treasure Coast Cultural Festival. As the population continues to grow, the demographics become more diverse and inclusive in ethnicity, color, and religious beliefs. While there are many Christian churches in the town, there are also religious spaces for Judaism and Hinduism, like Temple Beth El Israel and Shree Devi Mandir Inc.

There are meetups and networking for LGBTQ+ groups in the area as well as events, like the of the Annual Pride Fest of the Treasure Coast, to create safe spaces for people of all ages. Pride Fest is held in Port St. Lucie every year to commemorate pride and bring groups of people together to celebrate individuality with live performances and food vendors.

Port St Lucie Tradition Square

History

Port St. Lucie is minutes away from historical cites and museums surrounding other cities of the Treasure Coast and is home to the Treasure Coast Model Railroad. It's a great learning center to visit if you're interested in understanding more of the history and creation of trains and their railroads, or if you'd simply like to see a few model sets in action. It is also home to the Spruce Bluff Preserve and Bluefield Ranch Preserve.

The history of Port St. Lucie is heavily intertwined with that of the Treasure Coast, given its name "St. Lucie" by Spanish settlers. Though initially home to the Ais tribe, it was still mostly uninhabited and used primarily as a fishing and farming location until the late 50's, when the General Development Corporation sought to build a new community. It is now both the youngest city of the Treasure Coast and eighth most populated city of Florida.

Fun fact: Spell check wasn't around until the 70's, and Port St. Lucie contains a handful of misspelled street names, like Southwest Calender Street, Southwest Amethist Terrace, and Southeast Chello Lane. Keep your eye out for the others when you make your visit.

Port St Lucie Town Hall

Food

There are plenty of great local restaurants in Port St. Lucie, beginning with Berry Fresh Cafe, a delicious early breakfast and late brunch spot. There's also restaurants like The Cottage Grill, Fernando's Dockside Grille, and Spice Thai Cuisine that are great for afternoon or late night dining. These spots provide a variety of menu options, but the hardest part will be choosing which tasty dish to order.

There's even two local breweries nearby. Step into the tasting room at Side Door Brewing Company, or grab a seat at the bar at Hop Life Brewing Company and enjoy themed nights with food trucks and originally flavored beers.

If you're looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, grab a cup of coffee at 1971 Roasters and Coffee Bar, where the ingredients are fresh and the people are inviting. Experience the magic of coffee brewing on one of their event nights, or even take a class to learn how to brew on your own. Kava Kat is another warm and welcoming location specializing in kava and serving all sorts of tasty delicacies and teas in an artistic and creative environment.

Port St Lucie Plaza

Shopping

The closest mall is Treasure Coast Square in Jensen Beach, only fifteen minutes from Port St. Lucie and featuring many popular shops and favorite food court stops, but there's plenty of great shopping spots in the area too. St. Lucie West's Town Center and Tradition Square have a variety of shops, restaurants, and fast food locations within walking distance of one another, so you can get most of your shopping done in one place.

There's even a few local stores that you absolutely must visit, like Shell Bazaar, which is the oldest retail and family-owned shop remaining in its original location in all of St. Lucie County. 

Port St Lucie Tradition Square

Entertainment

There's a handful of family friendly entertainment venues to visit during your stay, like Superplay USA, featuring bowling lanes, laser tag, mini golfing, and much more. It's a central hot spot for a lot of locals looking for something fun to do on the weekend. Flying Panda Extreme Air Sports is one of the newer additions to the town, but it has since become nonetheless enjoyed by people of all ages looking to let some energy loose.

There's an AMC right next door that features the latest showings and draws in a lot of crowds. For even more immersive entertainment, Escape Room PSL offers three different challenging rooms that are just waiting to be conquered. Make a reservation, and try to escape!

Port St Lucie AMC

Arts

If you're looking for a creative outlet, consider the A.R. Workshop. Though there are many like it around, Port St. Lucie is the first Eastern Florida location, and it offers a hands-on crafting experience with wood painting. You could even try your hand at a paint and sip class.

If you're more interested in simply observing the art, there are plenty of galleries in the county and neighboring towns of Fort Pierce, Stuart, and Jensen Beach. The Port St Lucie Civic Center also features a selection of pieces from different artists every eight weeks for visitors to admire during special events, and while Kava Kat is a tea and dessert shop, it is also a local artist gallery. Support your local artists and take a visit, or try your hand at some artistic pieces of your own at Kava Kat. They also host open mic nights to encourage performing artists to get on stage.

If you're looking to become part of the thespian community, the Treasure Coast Community Theatre hosts open auditions to people of all ages, and they perform a new play every month. It is a very inclusive space that encourages creativity and diversity.

Port St Lucie Treasure Coast

Sports

In the heart of Port St. Lucie is the First Data Field, home to the St. Lucie County Mets baseball league and spring training location of the New York Mets. Playing in the USL League Two is the Treasure Coast Tritons soccer team, formerly known as North County United. The Parks and Recreation Department is committed to the youth, adult, and senior communities by providing a variety of sports leagues in softball, baseball, football, cheerleading, and soccer.

The department even offers classes and programs that are open to the public. The public schools and parks in the community promote healthy activity in sports and encourage many young students to try out for their schools' teams in order to become more active in their environment and partake in something self-rewarding.

First Data Field

Nature

Florida is a beautiful state with plenty of parks, nature walks, and trails packed with well preserved and nurtured ecosystems, and Port St. Lucie is one of the towns bustling with plant and animal life. A few native wildlife include gopher tortoises, sandhill cranes, bobcats, foxes, alligators, bats, and coyotes. The Botanical Gardens is one of the most renowned natural locations in the area, as it protects a large community of plant life while preserving smaller insects like ladybugs. The venue hosts special events and programs for all to join.

A few other must see locations include the Savannas Preserve State Park, Riverwalk Boardwalk, and Oak Hammock Park, where the legend of the Devil Tree originates. There's a few hiking trails too, like Halpatiokee Nature Trail and the 3.8 mile hiking loop of the Oxbow Eco-Center. Port St. Lucie is filled with breathtaking spots and natural getaways that are just waiting to be observed.

Port St Lucie Tradition Square

Education

Port St. Lucie lives in the heart of St. Lucie County, an educational district that offers a wide variety of sports teams, clubs, and academic programs to all students, like international baccalaureate (IB), marine and oceanographic academy (MOA), advanced international certificate of education (AICE), dual enrollment, and much more.

The Creative Arts Academy of St Lucie follows an arts magnet school curriculum. They provide classes in music, drama, visual arts, and more. Lincoln Park Academy, Treasure Coast High School, and Somerset College Preparatory Academy are just a few of the county's renowned public schools for their programs and grade point averages. Keiser University and Indian River State College are the two neighboring college campuses that provide higher education to seeking individuals with a variety of courses and degrees to choose from.

Indian River State College

Tourism

Despite the city's minimal celebrity status, Port St. Lucie does not get a lot of tourist attention. Though according to Champion Traveler, the town's peak tourism months are March and July. Meanwhile, October is considered the lowest travel month and cheapest of the year.

If you are planning a trip, a few of the best rated hotels to stay at in town are Hampton Inn and Suites Port St. Lucie, Hilton Garden Inn at PGA Village, and Holiday Inn Express & Suites Port St. Lucie, which is just a short walk across the street from the AMC theatre and Superplay USA!

Flying Panda

Transportation

While most of Port St. Lucie's residents travel by car, the traffic is typically moderate, even during peak times. There are hardly any traffic jams. The only times you need to worry about slow downs are on game days near the First Data Field. The incoming and going cars can be a rush!

From most residential areas and neighborhoods, stores, gas stations, and local parks are just a short walking distance, but if you're looking for a different way to travel, there is a community transit called the Treasure Coast Connector. It is free to ride and provides seven different bus routes. If you're looking to travel beyond the Treasure Coast, the Greyhound Bus makes a few stops to other cities for a charge.

The closest airport is the West Palm Beach International (PBI), approximately 40 miles from Port St. Lucie. It's far enough that you don't have to worry about waking to the sounds of landing planes, and you can sleep soundly.

Tradition Square

Health

St Lucie Medical Center, Port St Lucie Hospital, and Cleveland Clinic Tradition Health are some of the hospitals and emergency rooms open in Port St. Lucie, but in the county and along the Treasure Coast are a variety of hospitals, clinics, and centers that are available to and affordable for everyone.

There is even a handful of treatment centers, like Amethyst Recovery Center and Ambrosia Treatment Center, for those suffering from any substance abuse or psychiatric issues. 

Indian River State College

 

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