Being able to walk to everything is key here at Beaches, Bars and Bungalows. One of the first things we look for is how close all the important components of our getaways are: the beach, the beach bar, and the bungalow motel or mom-and-pop. Being able to go back to the bungalow for a little nap after someone (not I!) decides it’s a good idea to have two Rum Runners in the middle of the day, is such a bonus.
Port Salerno has the walk-ability and in this case also the boat-ability that we seek out, to inspire you like-minded travelers to wander off that beaten path.
Never heard of Port Salerno? We LOVE that! Port Salerno is five miles south of Stuart, 18 miles north of Jupiter, and just eight miles to the beach – Bathtub Reef Beach, what a cool name! And a fun place to float around without worrying about big waves: the reef just offshore protects the beach and creates a wading pool.
Port Salerno is one of the last operating commercial fishing villages on Florida’s east coast, and recently underwent a huge redesign and redevelopment of the roads, waterfront, and the addition of Sandsprit Park. Port Salerno overlooks the Manatee Pocket, which leads to the St. Lucie Inlet and on to the Atlantic Ocean. The boardwalk that connects the shops, restaurants, art galleries, bars and the hotel is often called the Pocket Walk. The Fish House Art Center here is “home” to resident artists’ studios where they create while you watch and their work is available for purchase.
I’ve read various accounts of the beginnings of Port Salerno – which is thought to be named, because of the many Italian emigrants, after Salerno, Italy. And of course Henry Flagler is also tied up in the history (of every. single. Florida. town) and Port Salerno was first named Alice, after his wife. (“Where do you live?” “I live in Alice.” Hm.)
Also notable: segments of “Gentle Ben” were filmed here. I think I might barely remember that movie, do you? Let’s not answer that to avoid dating ourselves…
Boating is big here in Port Salerno. Our day out on the gorgeous waters was spent with our heads whipping back and forth ogling the colossal ships as well as the diminutive dinghies. I overheard a guy on a boat next to ours say “Our boat is bigger than theirs. Isn’t it?” Boat envy! Men.
We were fortunate to be squired around on our friend’s boat (thank you, Harry and Ted!) but there is a plethora of boating options in Port Salerno, some links below:
VIP Fishing Charters – a comprehensive site finding all types of boating options for you
Stuart Sport Fishing – their boat is called “My Other Honey”!!
Boneshaker Charters – another creative name
Sail Surprise – for the sailors among us
4290 SE Salerno Road
- VIBE: Super friendly, contemporary design, hustle-bustle atmosphere without feeling overcrowded. With over 10,000 square feet (it’s the largest family-owned and operated waterfront restaurant in Martin County) how could it feel overcrowded?
- ARRIVE: By boat or by car.
- SIT: Lots of choices: there is an outside bar, undercover outdoor tables, many tables along the windows inside. Upstairs, downstairs – take your pick. Three full-liquor bars.
- SIP: Happy Hour 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. 7 days a week.
- NOSH: With so much to choose from (seafood of course, all fresh – fried, steamed, grilled – sushi, pizza, tacos, classy “twisted” entrees) it was challenging, but we loved our Cracked Conch sandwich and Sunset Salmon. Click on their name above for the full menu and more info.
- LISTEN: Live music EVERY DAY of the week, with Happy Acoustic on Fridays and Saturdays 4 – 8 p.m., then different bands come in from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.
- WE LOVE: The food, the vibe, the VIEWS. The convivial crowd!
With no bungalow style motel or mom-and-pop, the one choice available is not a “we settled for” but a clean, welcoming establishment right on the marina, with its own tiki bar! What’s to “settle” for? And best of all, just a tiny toddle down the street from The Bar.
4307 SE Bayview Street
- VIBE: Welcoming, lots to do and look at (boats, marina right there) fitness room, pool, restaurant and tiki bar.
- WALK: The best part; you can walk to everything you may need or want – shops, art galleries, restaurants and bars.
- DECOR: Light and airy, with tile floors and updated furniture.
- SLEEP: Basic bedding, comfortable for a night’s stay.
- EXTRAS: Gift shop, tackle shop, room service, fitness room, complimentary coffee and tea in the lobby, on-site laundry facility. Check their website for more.
- RATES: Approximately $145 a night.
- WE LOVE: The views of the Manatee Pocket, feeling part of the boating community.
More photos from the boating afternoon of our Triple B trip:
And some around town photos of off the beaten path Port Salerno:
This beauty hangs out with you at The Grove Dock Bar. The first photo of this story is also of The Grove Dock Bar
We’ll leave you with her smiling face and artfully placed purple starfish pasties. Here’s to you – we raise our midday Rum Runner – in hopes you’ll visit the eclectic enclave of Port Salerno soon! Let us know how you like it – we guarantee you will.
Port Salerno is located on Florida’s Atlantic coast, five miles south of Stuart and 18 miles north of Jupiter