Peanut Island is one of the most beautiful attractions in Florida. This stunning tropical island close to Riviera Beach and Lake Worth Inlet is 79 acres large.
As a state park, Peanut Island has everything you would want on a relaxing vacation: sand beaches with large palm trees, clear blue water and tropical fish.
It also offers a variety of walks and water sport activities, as well as camping.
In this vacation guide for Peanut Island, we explore everything this stunning place has to offer, from things to do to the island rules.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Peanut Island?
Let’s start this guide on Florida’s Peanut Island with the best times that you can visit (see also: A Guide To The Amazing Things You Should Do When Visiting Seaside, Florida (& The Top 30A Beaches)!)the island.
While you cannot control the weather, you can avoid the months when you cannot do all the fun activities you plan on doing.
As a rule of thumb, the months between July and September is the hottest time on Peanut Island.
The air temperature will vary during the summer between 77 degrees Fahrenheit and 91 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is also the time when the water temperature is between 78 degrees Fahrenheit and 83 degrees Fahrenheit.
This means summer is the perfect time to go swimming, kayaking and snorkeling on Peanut Island.
April and May as well as October and November are still warm months on the island. The air temperature doesn’t drop below 69 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you want to go hiking or walking, then spring and late fall is the best time to enjoy your vacation on the island.
The months between December and March is the coolest time on Peanut Island, and the air temperature goes down to 58 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is still warm enough for many activities, and you will find that the water temperature in winter doesn’t go lower than 78 degrees Fahrenheit.
Best Quiet Time
If you want to avoid crowds and just spend some quiet time on Peanut Island, then it’s best to travel there over the week.
The weekends are some of the busiest time on Peanut Island State Park, so make sure to get there between Monday and Thursday for a calm and peaceful vacation.
If you also want to avoid the busy crowds on the ferry, then you can take either a rental boat or a private boat.
We also found that the earlier you get to the island in the morning, the more peace and quiet you can soak up.
Best Time For Snorkeling And Swimming
As the water temperature is comfortable all year round, you can go swimming and snorkeling on Peanut Island twelve months of the year.
For the best visibility, make sure to go out during high tide. Check out the tide charts for Peanut Island before your visit.
Best Time For Parties
If you prefer to go partying on Peanut Island, then it’s best to take the trip there for a weekend or a vacation.
If you plan to party on the beach, make sure to check the tidal charts before you travel.
Peanut Island Opening Hours
Just like many state parks across the country, Peanut Island is open to all day visitors from sunrise to sunset every day.
You can also stay on the island overnight but you will need a camping permit and a booking with one of the many camping sites.
What Facilities Can You Find At Peanut Island?
Peanut Island State Park has a large variety of facilities for day visitors, from three bathroom buildings with water fountains to picnic shelters with picnic tables.
You can also find outdoor showers, paved walking trails, boat docks, historic buildings and charcoal grills on the island.
Rules At Peanut Island State Park
In order for everyone to enjoy the beauty of Peanut Island, it’s important that visitors follow a variety of rules.
- Don’t feed wildlife: The feeding of birds and other wild animals is prohibited on the island.
- Day visitors are only allowed during the day: You can stay on the island between sunrise and sunset. Only campers with a permit can also stay from sunset to sunrise.
- Alcohol is prohibited: All alcohol consumption is prohibited across the island except for campgrounds.
- No campground rental for day use: There is no option to rent a camping spot if you are a day visitor.
- Keep dogs on a leash: If you take your furry friend, make sure to keep him on a leash that is maximum 6 feet long.
- Motorized vehicles and bikes are prohibited: You cannot bring rollerblades, skates, skateboards, scooters, bicycles or motorized vehicles of any type onto the island.
- Boat docks can’t be reserved: Boat docks are offered on a first-come first serve basis from sunrise to sunset.
The rules on Peanut Island change occasionally, so make sure to check the Palm Beach County website.
Can You Stay On Peanut Island?
Yes, you can stay on Peanut Island overnight, if you have a camping permit. There are 17 campsites on the island and you can reserve a camping spot up to 3 months in advance.
Depending on the time of year that you want to travel, we recommend that you book a camping site as soon as possible.
There are no hotels for visitors on Peanut Island itself. However, you can stay at one of the many hotels around the island. Check out our hotel guide below.
Where To Park To Get To Peanut Island
There are a couple of different ways to get close to peanut island, depending on if you travel by boat or car.
There are no cars allowed on Peanut island, so you will need to park your car at the Peanut Island Parking Lot near Riviera Beach Marina Village and take the ferry across to the island.
This parking lot is free and you will be able to find it without problems.
If you prefer to arrive by boat, then you can travel directly to Peanut Island State Park and dock it at one of the day-use slips on the West and North side.
Keep in mind that these boat docks are on a first-come first-served basis, so you will need to arrive early to catch one of these popular spots.
How To Get To Peanut Island
Thanks to its convenient location near Palm Beach Shores, it’s very easy to get to.
Get To Peanut Island On A Boat, Kayak Or Jet Ski
One of the most fun ways to travel to Peanut Island State Park is by boat, paddleboard, jet ski or kayak.
This means you can go at your own pace without the crowds on the ferry. Plus, you can even save the shuttle boat fee.
Take The Peanut Island Shuttle
If you don’t want to rent a boat or you want to take a lot of gear with you, then you can simply take the ferry boat to Peanut Island.
The ferry leaves from 200 E 13th St Riviera Beach, 33404, Florida.
The Peanut Island Shuttle runs every 25 minutes between 10am and 5pm from Riviera Beach Marina to the island. The journey only takes maximum ten minutes.
As most people travel to Peanut Island for the day only, the ferry only offers return trip tickets.
The last boat from Riviera Beach Marina to the island leaves at 3pm, and the last boat from Peanut Island leaves at 5pm.
There are a few extra charges for longer gear, such as beach wagons and kayaks. Plus, there is also an extra charge if you plan to camp on the island.
For the most recent information about the ferry, travel updates and charges, make sure to check the Peanut Island Shuttle website.
Where To Stay Near Peanut Island In Florida
Peanut Island is in the middle of the Lake Worth Lagoon. This makes it easily accessible.
If you don’t want to camp on the island, then you can also stay overnight in a hotel in Lake Worth, the Port of Palm Beach or the City of Riviera Beach.
For example, the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa is just 1.5 miles away from Peanut Island.
Alternatively, you can also choose the Marriott Ocean Pointe 2BD Ocean Side Condo (0.86 miles from the island) or Serenity At Seascape (2.4 miles).
There are plenty of other hotels and accommodations options near Peanut Island.
Things To Do On Peanut Island
Peanut Island isn’t just a beautiful place to visit but there are also so many things you can do, from exploring the underwater world to hikes along the mangrove boardwalk.
Here are some of the best ways to spend your time on Peanut Island State Park.
Kayak On Peanut Island
One of the reasons why Peanut Island is so popular with visitors across the country and the rest of the world is because of its amazing water.
You can spend hours enjoying the warm water.
If you are into paddle sports, kayaking around Peanut Island is a splendid way to pass the time, enjoy the gorgeous water, and relax.
You can easily kayak from Riviera Beach Marina or Phil Foster Park to Peanut Island. It’s a great way to explore the waters around the island.
If you want to start kayaking from Peanut Island, then you can also take your kayak on the ferry for an extra charge.
Whether you kayak alone or with friends, just make sure that you are aware of other boat traffic.
If you prefer to spend more time in the water than on it, then Peanut Island is the right place to be.
The water temperature is warm throughout the year, so you can enjoy a long swim on your trip.
Around the Southeast beaches of Peanut Island, there are lifeguards watching the coast during high season.
Snorkel In The Lagoon
Peanut Island has been voted one of the best snorkel spots in the US in the past, and this reputation is well deserved.
If you want to go snorkeling around Peanut Island, then it’s best to do this during high tide. Then, the water flows in from Palm Beach Inlet improving the visibility underwater.
The beautiful lagoon around the island has some stunning man-made reefs that are perfect for snorkeling.
You can watch a wide variety of marine life, including squid, manatees, sharks,(see also: Do We Know If There Are Sharks In The Mediterranean Sea?) starfish, lobsters, rays, octopus and stonefish.
Sometimes there are even sea turtles passing through this area.
Spend Time On The Beach
The white sand beaches around(see also: 16 Best Beaches In and Around Dallas) Peanut Island are what attracts most tourists to this beautiful part of the world.
You will find that the water quality and the size of the beaches of Peanut Island varies slightly depending on where you are.
The sandy areas on the west side and the north side of Peanut Island State Park are smaller in size. Plus, the waters in this area are not as clear.
For the best Peanut Island beaches, you will need to visit the east and south sides of the island. This area has beautifully sandy beaches with clear water.
The quickest way to reach the beaches in the southeast is by turning off left from the shuttle landing spot. You can then follow the paved path all the way to the lagoon.
This being said, there are so many amazing spots in and near the water on Peanut Island.
You can lounge in the sun for a sunbath or spend time reading in the shade of the many trees dotted along the shore.
Manatees love the protected waters around the lagoon of Peanut Island. This is what makes this spot a fantastic place to watch manatees in their natural environment.
The most common time to spot these sea mammals is during the winter months when they enter Peanut Island Lagoon to feed.
Make sure to use polarized sunglasses to get the best look at these sweet sea animals.
As Peanut Island is surrounded by warm Florida waters, it is the perfect spot for fishing.
If you are not a Florida resident, then you will need a fishing license to fish along the shores of Peanut Island.
However, if you live in Florida, then you can fish without a license.
The best place for fishing on Peanut Island Florida is on the pier along the northeast coast of Peanut Island.
Rent A Boat
If you want to explore Peanut Island from the water, then you can easily rent a boat. Keep in mind that boat rentals and boat docks are very busy over the weekend.
That’s why, if you plan to explore the island and stop off there with your rental boat, then make sure to head out as early as possible.
You can go swimming, snorkeling and diving when you decide to discover the waters around Peanut Island State Park with a boat.
Go Beach Combing On Peanut Island
With all the amazing beaches on the island, it is the ideal place to do some beach combing. Check out the tide charts before you are travelling.
The best time for beachcombing along Peanut Island is after high tide. That’s when you are most likely to make some interesting finds such as shells.
Also keep an eye out for tide pools where starfish are hiding.
Enjoy A Party On Peanut Island’s Sandbar
Peanut Island is a great destination for celebrations and parties. However, keep in mind that you are not allowed to bring alcohol, unless you plan to go to the sandbar.
This being said, the sandbar is a popular party spot during low tide, so make sure to get there early to avoid the crowds.
Alternatively, you can also stay close to Peanut Island with a rental or private boat. You can then enjoy the sunshine, a swim and a few drinks.
Have A Barbecue Or Picnic
Peanut Island is a very popular spot for having a BBQ or picnic with friends and family.
As there are no grocery stores or restaurants on the island, you will need to bring your own food and drinks.
You could pack a hamper with a simple packed lunch, such as sandwiches, some fruit and chips.
Don’t forget to bring any plates, glasses, a picnic blanket and anything else you need for a comfortable picnic.
Alternatively, you can also have a barbecue with some grilled food. Just make sure to bring a lighter and charcoal.
The island provides charcoal grills in different spots.
Walk Along The Paved Path
If you want to get away from the busy crowds, then you can easily explore the island by following the signposted trail along the shore.
Peanut Island’s paved path is around 1.25 miles and it takes up to an hour to walk. This is the best option if you are visiting Peanut Island for the first time.
The trail gives you an overview of the entire island, some stunning views and unique viewing spots that you may want to keep in mind for a return visit.
It’s best to do the walk early in the morning or in the early evening. That’s when the sun isn’t too strong.
See The Coast Guard Station And JFK Bunker
Many people who are visiting Peanut Island are surprised that the island has a long history, and there are a number of historic sites that you can visit.
For example, you can see an old atomic bunker that was designed and constructed for President John F. Kennedy in 1961.
Constructed from extremely thick concrete, it is covered with soil and it was accessed via a steep tunnel.
Peanut Island is also home to a boathouse and a Coast Guard Station which was constructed in the mid-1930s.
The Coast Guard Station was used until 1995 for coastal patrols and sea rescue missions.
If you want to visit both the Coast Guard Station and the JFK Bunker, then head to the south of the island. Just follow the paved paths and keep an eye out for the signs.
Unfortunately, the public aren’t allowed to enter these historic buildings anymore but they are still interesting to view from the outside.
Go Camping On Peanut Island
While you can spend a whole day on Peanut Island, there is enough to see to extend your trip for more than a day.
Watch the sunrise or do some stargazing on the beach or your camping spot.
Peanut Island features 17 camping spots that you can reserve. As there are only few sites available, it is best to book well in advance.
Keep in mind that there is a small fee to pay when you want to go camping. The campsite offers a picnic table, a grill and a tent pad.
There are also fire rings, hot showers, bathrooms and a place for picnics available.
Essential Safety Tips For Your Time On Peanut Island
To make sure that your trip to Peanut Island State Park is fun, there are a few safety tips that are important to keep in mind.
Check The Tide Charts
The waters around Peanut Island are tidal. This means that you will need to check the tide charts for low and high tides.
Look Out For Currents
The lagoon area of Peanut Island has a lot of rip tides and currents. That’s why, you need to be careful swimming out too far.
While there are lifeguards on duty during the busiest months of the year, it is best to swim in the safer southeast area of the island.
Stay Safe In The Sun
Florida’s sun is strong and intense, so you can easily get sunburned if you are not careful. Make sure to wear sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen.
It’s also a good idea to stay out of the intense afternoon sun.
Stay Safe On The Boat
What many visitors to Peanut Island don’t realize is that there is a lot of boat traffic around the island.
If you are planning to kayak, paddle board, snorkel or swim in the area, then make sure that you wear visible clothes.
Keep an eye out at all times for boat, jet ski and other water vehicles. It is also a good idea to swim with a friend.
Stay Away From Jelly Fish
Jellyfish are frequent visitors to this tropical island. That’s why, it is essential that you put on a rash guard if you plan to go into the water.
This will help prevent nasty jellyfish stings and allergic reactions. If you get stung by a jellyfish, then take out any tentacles with tweezers.
Then instantly soak the affected area in warm water for half an hour. It’s important that you do not rub the sting or put anything on it.
Watch Sharp Rocks
Just like many other tropical islands, Peanut Island has plenty of sharp rocks scattered along the coast. Make sure to wear your water shoes to avoid any scratches or cuts.
A Brief History Of Florida’s Peanut Island
While Peanut Island looks so beautifully natural, it is actually a man-made island that was built in 1918.
At the time, the nearby Lake Worth was excavated and the excess sand was transported to this spot to create a large island.
Peanut Island was originally named Inlet Island but its name was changed in 1946 as a reference to its intended use at the time for peanut oil export.
While the island was never used for this purpose, the name remained.
Over the years, Peanut Island was used as an essential spot for a Presidential fallout shelter in the 1960s and a Coast Guard Station during WWII.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Bathrooms On Peanut Island?
Yes, Peanut Island has three large bathroom complexes that offer toilets and showers. There are also a number of different outdoor showers across the island.
Can You Bring Your Dog To Peanut Island?
Yes, you can bring your dog with you to Peanut Island. Saying this, you will need to keep your pet on a leash that is maximum 6ft long.
Also make sure to clean up after your dog and provide water and food for him during your stay.
Can You Buy Food On Peanut Island?
No, you cannot buy food on Peanut Island as there are no restaurants or stores that sell food.
When you are visiting the island, you will need to bring food and drink with you. If you just want a snack, then you can also buy a small treat on the Peanut Island shuttle boat.
Alternatively, there are also a number of different restaurants on the main land that offer delivery service to Peanut Island.
This being said, make sure to check before your travels to find out who delivers and what time they could deliver. Some boat delivery services are only available from spring to fall.
Where Can You Consume Alcohol On Peanut Island?
You are allowed to consume alcohol on your campsite if you are staying on the island overnight. Don’t forget to get a camping permit.
You can also drink alcohol in boats that are anchored offshore or on the sandbar that is located in the northern part of the island.
Any other area of Peanut Island is an alcohol-free zone.
Final Thoughts: Is Peanut Island Worth Visiting?
Peanut Island in Florida is definitely a great place to visit. It offers something for everyone, from snorkeling and swimming to kayaking and walking.
You can even take a barbecue or picnic with you to enjoy the beautiful beaches with warm sand, sunshine and stunning views over the water.
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