Everything You Ever Needed To Know About Peanut Island
Perfect for the outdoor adventurer and the soak-up-the-sun beachgoer, Peanut Island is a top vacation spot. It offers a superior site for water lovers, whether you’re looking for a daytrip from your South Florida home or are traveling from afar for a Florida vacation getaway.
Peanut Island is located in the major destination of Palm Beach County, Florida, within driving distance of other top spots that includeWest Palm Beach, Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale. You could choose to spend the bulk of your time enjoying Peanut Island or make it part of a South Florida vacation.
Not only is this island perfectly located within South Florida, but it also has an ideal location on the water. Situated on the Lake Worth Inlet of Lake Worth Lagoon, this spot offers amazing proximity to water-based adventures. You and your family or friends can spend your days on the beach, participating in water sports, having wilderness adventures and visiting tourist sites.
High tides bring ocean water to the inlet, offering the continuing flow of translucent blue water to the island. The gorgeous waters provide perfect conditions for swimming, snorkeling, fishing and water sports – or to simply get your feet wet!
Use our comprehensive Peanut Island guide to plan your trip and have a fantastic stay, whether you visit for the day or make a week out of it.
Find Your Way to Island Hotspots!
During your trip planning, be sure to check a map of Peanut Island. Since this nearly 80-acre island is so large and has designated areas for specific activities, it’s a smart idea to know the layout of the land before you visit. Instead of wandering aimlessly and becoming frustrated, you and your group can know exactly where to go for camping, to reach the boat docks and boardwalks, to find the Kennedy Bunker and to explore other sites on the island. Check the map to find the best route to each activity before you come.
Intracoastal waterway, near the Lake Worth Inlet, Riviera Beach
6500 Peanut Island Road
Riviera Beach, Florida 33404
Mapquest: View Map
Delve into the Origin of the Island
Since you’re planning a trip to Peanut Island, are you intrigued by its history, especially of the name? With a curious name like Peanut Island, it’s easy to wonder how this moniker came to be. Does the spot have a past based on the peanut crop? Was the island formed in the shape of a peanut? The name actually comes from a connection to peanut oil, although the nutty substance never “set foot” on the island.
The space was initially given the boring name of Inlet Island but became Peanut Island from plans to make it a peanut oil shipping terminal. This idea never came to fruition but the island got to keep its legume-inspired name.
The island itself came about in 1918. It was man-made out of material from forming the Lake Worth Inlet. Over time, it has grown from 10 acres to about 80 acres because of its ongoing use as a spoil site for dredging of the nearby waterways. This unromantic primary use of the space is what created it to begin with and helps keep the local waterways gorgeous and maintained. Plus, the island’s perimeter is designated as park space for the public to enjoy.
Discover a Piece of Little-Known American History
Peanut Island’s timeline also includes an interesting military history. You can take a break from the beaches and outdoor adventures of the island to spend some time learning about its connection to President John F. Kennedy.
The island houses a fallout bunker that was created in 1961 to serve as a command center and shelter for the president to use when he was staying at his nearby Palm Beach, Florida home during the Cold War. This underground bunker was created in secrecy, and to this day many people don’t know of its existence.The hidden entrance is even hard to notice when you’re on the island!
The Palm Beach Maritime Museum restored the neglected shelter in 1999 to make it a visitor’s site. The museum continues to operate it along with the historicCoast Guard Station and Boat House on the same site.
Through the nearby Currie Park Educational Center, which is part of the museum, you can take a ferry to Peanut Island for a tour of the historic areas of the island. During your visit, you might be greeted by the island’s resident feral cats, Jack, Jackie, and for good measure: Marilyn.
- Tours go from Thursday to Sunday, 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
- Guided Tour: 25-30 minutes
- VIP Tour: 40 minutes
- Group tours are also available.
- You pay separately for the ferry ride.
Peanut Island Maritime Museum:
Florida Rambler: Secret Kennedy Bunker on Peanut Island: Hidden treasure, historic site – More Info
Testimonial from Trip Advisor:
“If you take time to see President Kennedy bunker, you’ll be with the tour for about 40 minutes. I loved the bunker – it was small, but something to see at least once in your life, but the coast guard house, while I’m sure others loved it, I didn’t really care to see it, but it’s part of the tour, so….I did it. The tour guide man was fantastic and so knowledgeable about the house and bunker, he gets an A+. “
Learn More About Peanut Island’s Military Past
In addition to the emergency shelter for the president, the educationaltour from the Palm Beach Maritime Museum includes a visit of the no-longer-used Coast Guard Station and theBoat House. These sites are located near the lagoon that surrounds the island.
The Coast Guard Station is a historic building that was opened in 1936 and has been closed for military use since 1995. During your visit, you can enjoy feeling like you’ve gone back in time and get some photos in front of this beautiful building with its red roof.
During your tour, you’ll see relics such as a survival suit, gas masks and emergency drinking water in a can. The station also includes old-fashioned ship fixtures and exhibits from when it was a working station patrolling the coastline.
Gain Stunning Views of Picturesque Lake Worth Lagoon!
On top of visiting the historic parts of the island, make sure to take advantage of spots that provide conditions for enjoying nature and the fantastic South Florida water.For amazing, unobstructed views of the water, visit Peanut Island’s observation deck on the island’s south side. From there, you can take in the picturesque site of 20-mile Lake Worth Lagoon. The deck takes you above sea level so you’ll gain a better look at the scenery, whether you want to capture the images through photography or simply in your mind.
Dock Your Boat on the Island … for Free!
Convenient boat docks allow you to ride your boat to the island and leave it at a boat slip while you enjoy area activities. Best of all, the slips are free to use if you can grab one. These boat docks take you to the west side of Peanut Island, which is a relaxing area with more wilderness to enjoy thancrowds or tourist activities. This is where you can rejuvenate your body and mind. Or you can dock your boat, pick up the walking trail that circles the whole island and head to whichever part you’d like to visit.
Stop and Smell the Salt Water
Peanut Island’s Reef Boardwalk is one option for extending yourself over the water. On the south side of the island, it takes you 280 feet over the gorgeous turquoise waves of Lake Worth Lagoon. Walk this zig-zagged boardwalk to enjoy standing over the water, feeling the water’s breeze and taking in the awe-inspiring views. While there, you’ll have the chance to take relaxing moments to look over the railings and see if you can spot any fish in the water below.
Get Lost in Peanut Island’s Untouched Wilderness
Near the boat docks on the island’s west side, you’ll find another boardwalk, the 230-foot Mangrove Boardwalk. This pathway takes you over a patch of water filled with beautiful mangrove trees. It brings you from the walking path that surrounds the island to the beach, where you can enjoy the surf and sand. When you look over the railings into the water on each side, you might catch glimpses of wading birds and even manatees. If you get the chance, try riding a kayak in the mangrove channels beneath the boardwalk.
Things to Do on Peanut Island:
- Wear water shoes to protect your feet in rocky areas.
- Bring food and drinks for your visit.
- Bring sunscreen and other beach items, such as a beach umbrella.
Things to Know:
- The island does not allow alcohol with the exception of the designated campsites.
- Camping is only allowed in designated areas. Camping in natural areas is closed because of the high tides.
- Specific sections of the beach and the snorkeling lagoon are designated for swimming and guarded by lifeguards. Other areas do not have a lifeguard.
- Balloons are not allowed on Peanut Island.
- Parents should watch children in the changing and sometimes powerful current.
- Visitors can find natural areas with fewer people on the island’s south and west sides.
- The park provides bathrooms and water fountains. There are no places to purchase food or beverages on the island.
Explore One of the Top Snorkeling Destinations in the U.S.!
If you’re looking for adventure after you’ve walked the island and taken in the sights on dry land, Peanut Island is the ideal spot for water activities and sports. During your stay, make sure you spend some time snorkeling to get a close-up view beneath the water. Peanut Island was included in Yahoo Travel’s list of top 12 U.S. snorkeling hotspots!
Peanut Island snorkeling conditions make it an ideal place for this water activity any time of year. That’s because the water stays at a mild temperature and offers calm water. Plus, it features various underwater habitats and changing sea life to see. Explore the mangrove channels, the Peanut Island snorkeling lagoon and artificial reefs. It’s common to catch a glimpse of angelfish, parrotfish, cushion star fish, sea turtles, manatees, green moray eels and so many other exciting sea creatures.
With a Peanut Island snorkeling rental, you’ll have everything you need to explore the underwater parts of the park. The best time to snorkel Peanut Island is around the high tide, a couple hoursboth before and after it. Check tide charts to find the best time. Take your pick of exploring your preferred spots at your own leisure or of being guided through a Peanut Island snorkeling tour.
Note: While Peanut Island snorkeling conditions are often calm, the current can pose a risk especially for children and novice swimmers. It is recommended to respect the water and for certain people to be prepared with a snorkel vest or life jacket.
See What Everyone’s Talking About With This Popular Water Sport!
Paddle boarding has been blowing up in popularity, around the country and the world. You have the chance to experience this fun and relaxing water sport right on Peanut Island. As you glide along the lagoon’s peaceful surface, paddle boarding near Peanut Island gives the perfect way to enjoy the area’s water and explore the island from the outside looking in.
With paddle boarding, you gain the rewarding combination of physical fitness and calming rejuvenation. Since this water sport doesn’t require the same skill or courage as surfing or jet skiing, it’s a great choice for a variety of people. You can stand, sit or kneel as you paddle around the island.
During your stay, you can enjoy this water activity any time of day or night. Sunset paddle Peanut Island gives you the chance to enjoy the beauty of the setting sun on the water as you glide across it. Another ideal option, especially if you’re camping on-site, is Peanut Island full moon paddle boarding. You’ll be in awe of the full moon glowing overhead while reflected on the surface of the lagoon.
With Peanut Island paddle board rentals, you can easily enjoy the water without owning or bringing a board. If you’ve never tried this activity before, Peanut Island paddle board lessons are available. You can even enjoy Peanut Island paddle boarding tours that guide you around the island, showing you the best hotspots along the way.
Journey the Island by Water
Another way to explore the island throughthe lagoon is to travel by kayak. This water activity allows you to get from spot to spot around the island while relaxing on the surface of the lagoon. As you circle the island, you’ll enjoy sights of the beaches, natural rocks and plants, and swaying palm trees that surround the perimeter.
With one- and two-person Peanut Island kayak rentals available, you can kayak by yourself or with a partner. The design of the island gives you options, with the opportunity to glide on the clear water of the lagoon and to spend time exploring the island’s mangrove channels with an up-close and personal view of the natural environment from your kayak. You also have the chance to take Peanut Island kayak tours that guide you to the best spots for an ideal kayaking experience.
Race Through the Waves on Jet Skis!
Looking for a boost of adrenaline during your visit to the island? Rent Jet Skis for the day so you can soar around the lagoon. You’ll fly through the beautiful South Florida waters, surrounded by the beauty of the island and the sky beyond. Have the freedom to explore on your own or try Peanut Island Jet Ski tours for a guided group experience.
When you get the excitement of speeding through the waves out of your system, take the chance to slowly circle the island to see its beauty from the vantage point of the water. Or you could get the most out of yourheart-pumping Jet Ski experience and switch to a paddle board or kayak for a slow tour of the island.
Glide Across the Crystal Clear Water With a Sightseeing Boat Ride
Off the coast of Peanut Island, you can live the good life on a boat ride over Lake Worth Lagoon. You’ll get a beautiful view of the island’s beaches and natural plant life as you float along the glistening water. During your tour on a sightseeing passenger boat, you’ll get the chance to learn about the history of the area while you enjoy unobstructed views.
Take your pick of the following boat tours on Lake Worth Lagoon:
- Peanut Island Eco Tours
- Peanut Island Sunset Tour
Rejuvenate on Peanut Island’s Hidden Beaches
You can’t help but relax on Peanut Island’s beautiful beaches, with the vibrant sky and gently waving palm trees as the backdrop to the surf and sand. Peanut Island gives you the tropical experience of South Florida beaches without the crowds and traffic.
Long stretches of beaches along the perimeter of Peanut Island offer amazing spots to soak in the Florida sun and enjoy the water lapping on the sand. The beach environment features the beauty of the natural environment with colorful wildflowers in the natural rocks, beach grasses and palm trees adding to the atmosphere.
Designated swimming areas with lifeguards help you safely enjoy yourself when you want to cool off from sunbathing by jumping into the refreshing, clear lagoon. The trees provide some shady spots to escape the sun for a bit, or feel free to bring your beach umbrella.
Peanut Island Beach Tips:
- Peanut Island has lifeguards seven days a week during summer break from Palm Beach County public school.
- During the public school year, Peanut Island swimming areas have lifeguards only on weekends.
- Peanut Island’s lifeguards are on duty from 9:15 am to 4:45 pm.
- Dogs are not permitted on Peanut Island beaches.
Camp Under the Stars!
Peanut Island camping gives you the opportunity to stay on the island and be part of its natural wilderness during the length of your vacation. Since the number of campsites is limited, you’ll remove yourself from the masses of people in other Florida tourist areas and enjoy getting away from it all.
When you stay on-site, you have the chance to enjoy the breeze on the beach at night and take in the natural wildlife and habitat when fewer people are around. At the same time, you can take advantage of some of the luxuries of a hotel stay with on-site restrooms that include hot showers. Enjoy meals with loved ones and other campers at the picnic tables, and eat s’mores at the fire ring.
If camping isn’t for you but you still want to visit Peanut Island, you have plenty of hotel options a boat ride away. Check the “Where to Stay” section of our guide to discover your range of hotel options.
Peanut Island Campground Map:
You need a permit and reservations to camp on the island. Within 90 days before your trip, call to make a reservation at (561) 845-4445 or toll free at (866) 383-5730. Online reservations are not currently possible. The on-site office does not accept cash for reservations or firewood.
Stays are offered indesignated areas of the permit-only campground. The Natural Area camping spots are CLOSED because of high tides, while you need to check on the status of north end campsite by calling (561) 845-4445.
Peanut Island’s campground includes 17 campsites that are beautifully landscaped with tropical plants. Each campsite features a tent pad, picnic table and grill. The wider campground also includes a picnic pavilion, fire ring and bathrooms with showers.
Additional rules and restrictions apply for camping on Peanut Island’s campground. Read more on the Palm Beach County parks website: More Info
Experience This Top Spot for Saltwater Fishing!
If fishing is what draws you to the sparkling waters of Florida, don’t miss out on the off-the-beaten-path gem of Peanut Island. Surrounded by water with the entire perimeter as a public park, you’ll have endless opportunities around the island for your favorite sport.
Take your pick of spending time on designated parts of the beach with your pole, taking part in pier fishing or fishing from a boat around the shore. You’ll have the chance to catch various types of saltwater fish, as well as shellfish, in the clear and beautiful waters of the island.
On Peanut Island, you can saltwater fish away from the guarded swimming spots of the island. Unless exempt, state residents and visitors need to obtain a saltwater fishing license. To learn more, visit www.myfwc.com.
With a paved 1.25-mile path that extends the perimeter of the island, you have the chance to walk, jog or bike along the whole public park. The walking path’s paved, even surface makes it easy for everyone to safely enjoy it.
Since the path is close to the shore, you’ll enjoy water views and breezes as you walk or jog. Along the way, you’ll find coastal dunes, mangroves and other wildlife of the island.A bonus is that this trail allows you to stay active and stick to your fitness routine during your vacation!
While you can navigate the perimeter of the island by boat, kayak, paddle board or Jet Ski, the walking pathgives the way to get from place to place by land. Take it to conveniently reach each of the island’s destinations, as it leads you to the observation deck, the John F. Kennedy bunker and other spots.
Spot Land, Air and Sea Creatures Within Natural Habitats
The natural world is one of the best parts of this uncrowded island. Whether you’re walking the path, exploring by paddle board or getting around in another fashion, you’re sure to catch glimpses of the flora and fauna of Peanut Island.
Filled with natural wonders, this island gives you many opportunities to search for or stumble upon plant and animal life. The island’s habitats include reefs, mangrove channels, beaches and other areas. These habitats are filled with vibrant yellow dune sunflower, the wild form of the rosemary used in cooking, the gorgeous crawling railroad vine, flowing sea grasses and red mangrove with its roots in the water.
Just as Peanut Island’s human visitors include a mix of South Florida residents and tourists, the natural habitats of the island include creatures that visit and ones that call the area home. During your time on the island, you might catch a glimpse of various sea creatures, such as manatees, cowfish, spiny puffer fish, sea stars and hermit crabs. And birds from white ibises and brown pelicans to impressive ospreys could fly in for a visit. These are just a few of the creatures you might spot on the island.
- Peanut Island Park: More Info
- Peanut Island Facebook Page: Visit Facebook Page
- Peanut Island Wikipedia: View Website
- Foursquare Peanut Island: More Info
- Yelp Peanut Island: More Info
- Instagram Peanut Island: Visit Instagram Page
- Pinterest (Search for Peanut Island) View Pinterest Page
- Trip Advisor Peanut Island Park: More Info
- Trip Advisor Things To Do Near Peanut Island: More Info
- Palm Beach County Parks & Recreation: More Info
- Palm Beach County Environmental Resources Management: More Info
- Lake Worth Lagoon Initiative: View Website
- Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND): http://www.aicw.org/
- Visit Florida:
Discover the Palm Beaches: View Website
- Lightning Safety: Download PDF Brochure
- Sun Safety: Download PDF Guide
- Skin Cancer Myths & Facts: Download PDF Guide
- New York Times: Long-Secret Fallout Shelter Was a Cold War Camelot – More Info
- USA Today – Top things to do with Kids: More Info
- USA Today – Top Outdoor Activities: Read Article
- USA Today – Top Beaches: View Website
- Destination 360 – Peanut Island Florida: More Info
- Florida Rambler.com – Peanut Island: Snorkeling, historic Kennedy Bunker, even camping More Info
- The Palm Beacher: Riviera Beach’s Peanut Island Named Among Best Snorkel Spots In The U.S. – Read More
- Florida Rambler: Secret Kennedy Bunker on Peanut Island: Hidden treasure, historic site – More Info
Google Images: View Images
Frequently Asked Questions
There is no bridge that can take you to Peanut Island, so you need to get there by water. Traveling by boat is part of the experience of leaving the normal life of South Florida to enjoy the hidden wonders of this less-traveled island.
Are you asking: How do I get to Peanut Island? There are a few options for you to choose from:
Peanut Island Water Taxi:
Testimonial from Trip Advisor: “Riviera Beach marina is much improved and the water taxi is no longer run by Capn. Joe . There is a new company running the taxi service – really nice guys, full of great advice and very cheerful. They drop and collect every 15 minutes so no hassle.”
- $12 per Person
- Children 3 and Under Free
- Camping shuttle $20.00
- Camping Parking$25.00 per night and $50.00 a night on Holidays and Special Events
- Everyday departure times 9:45am, 11:45am, 1:45pm & 3:45pm
- Returning times 11:30am, 1:30pm, 3:30pm & 5:30pm
Peanut Island Shuttle Boat
- $12 per person round trip
- Camping shuttle $20 round trip
- Large groups of 40+ call (561) 723-2028
- Can bring coolers, beach chairs, camping gear, etc. (increased rate for excessive gear)
- Monday – Friday 10:00am – 5:00pm (Last boat to the island at 3:30pm)
- Saturday – Sunday 9:30am – 6:00pm (Last boat to the island at 3:30pm)
- Camping shuttle leaves Riviera Beach Marina 10:00am and 3:30pm
- Arrive 15 minutes in advance for parking pass and camping gear drop-off
Peanut Island Ferry (Captain Joes Ferry)
Peanut Island Ferry Rates
- Call for rates at 561-844-7969. Group rates are available.
- Ferries leave every 30 minutes
- Open 7 days a week
- Summer hours 9:00am – 6::00pm
- Winter hours 10:00am – 5:00pm
Peanut Island Weather Radar
- Peanut Island Tides – Pay attention to the tides, it is preferable to go at high tide. The incoming tide brings in beautiful clear blue water with great visibility.
- Lake Worth – Peanut Island Tide Times and Heights: More Info
- Peanut Island Water Temperature
- Peanut Island Webcam (Nearby Lake Worth Inlet): More Info
Can you surf Peanut Island? It’s best not to expect rideable surf on Peanut Island, as it’s very rare with the island’s calm conditions. Nonetheless, you’ll sometimes find good waves on the east side of the island during large swells that push in the Palm Beach inlet all the way to the sandbar of the island. If you can’t catch good surf, try other water sports on the waters that surround the island. Depending on your mood, the conditions of the day and the areas you plan to explore, take your pick of paddle boarding, Jet Skiing, boating or kayaking.
Peanut Island does not include its own dining destinations. This is a spot to bring your cooler for sandwiches on the beach or to grill burgers at the island’s designated picnic spots. When you’re looking for fancier fare or a nice cocktail, head off the island to nearby South Florida locations. A number of quality restaurants and other eateries are a quick boat ride away. The following list is just a sampling of the range of restaurants, bars and cafes available to fit your tastes and budget:
- Sailfish Marina
- The Islander Grill &Tiki Bar
- Guakamole’s Mexican Grille & Cafe
- Rocco’s Tacos & Tequila Bar
- Johnny Longboats
- Two Drunken Goats Beach Cantina
- New York Bagel & Deli
- Pelican Cafe
- Frigates Waterfront Bar
Find additional spots on the list of Trip Advisor Places to Eat Near Peanut Island: View List
The only way to stay on the island is to go natural and camp there. If you’d like more information on that option, skip to our section on camping. Otherwise, hotels and AirBnBoptions are just a short distance from the island, allowing you to quickly reach the island for the day and head back to the hotel or rental in the evening.
Peanut Island Hotels
- Marriott Singer Island Resort
- Hilton Singer Island
- West Palm Beach Marriott
For additional hotels, check Booking.com Places to Book Near Peanut Island: https://www.booking.com/landmark/us/peanut-island.html
Another option is to rent a home through AirBnB. This choice can offer more room for a family, private space with separate bedrooms, living areas and a kitchen. You have the advantage of enjoying a family atmosphere and cooking some of your meals.
Find homes in Peanut Island on Airbnb: More Info
(You can even stay on a Sailboat!)
While the entire perimeter of Peanut Island is designated as a public park, the middle of the island has its own purpose. This area holds dredged material from area waterways, helping maintain the water’s beauty and quality. This use is how the island was formed, and 23 acres in the center is still set aside for this purpose. Another 15 acres on the southwest part is designated fordock and turning basin maintenance dredging materials. Even though these parts are off-limits, visitors get to enjoy the best the island has to offer through natural habitats and gorgeous beaches along the perimeter.
Peanut Island Treasure Hunt