Weekender Extended Magazine

Page 10

By Kathleen Walls Guest Publisher American Roads and Global Highways

Glamping on Flor


uppose you love camping but your mate craves luxury hotels. There is a compromise; go glamping. I recently experienced glamping at its best using Glamping Hub and stayed at Headwaters Jupiter, an Eco Retreat on the Loxahatchee River. You would not believe how comfortable residing in three recycled shipping container can be. My friend and I each had our own personal space. It could accommodate eight people so we had lots of room. There are two bedrooms and a small bath upstairs with a fridge and microwave. Downstairs, besides the bedrooms and nice bath, there is a full and well equipped kitchen, dining area, and living room. A two hour kayaking trip at nearby Jupiter Outdoor Center is included. Naturally, the air conditioning and wifi worked perfectly. The containers-turned-luxury-gamping spot boasts an upstairs and downstairs patio where you can sit out and enjoy the view; the Loxahatchee River directly behind the lodging, flowers and trees all around and a campfire and barbecue area in your back yard. Could Heaven be any better? There is so much to see nearby. We explored neighboring Martin County where they pride themselves that there are no high-rises blocking the beach. Nature is important here. One of their best natural attractions is Jonathan Dickinson State Park. The park is named for a shipwrecked Quaker -10- | WEEKENDEREXTENDED.COM ~ JULY, 2019

merchant who along with his family and others was held captive by local Jobe Indians. Another interesting character associated with the park is Trapper Nelson, the legendary Wild Man of the Loxahatchee’ whose spirit is said to still inhabit his cabin and the park. You usually can tour the cabin but the day we visited the tour was not running. You can bike, hike, ride the equestrian trails or go canoeing and kayaking on the Loxahatchee River. It has an observation tower with a view from Indian River to the Atlantic. The coastal sand hills, upland lakes, and scrub forests unique ecosystems are home to many species of wildlife. We saw two momma sandhill cranes and their babies that seemed unafraid of humans. They paraded around with their chicks and got so close I could almost touch them. The park has a campground, too. Another great natural resource is the Florida Oceanographic Society. It’s located in Stuart, FL on 57-acres on Hutchinson Island between the Indian River and the Atlantic Ocean. It is the perfect mix of education and entertainment about sea life in the Atlantic Ocean. You will see everything from stingrays to sharks. The turtle tank is inhabited by sea turtles that cannot be rehabilitated and returned to the sea. Behind the main center, there is a nature walk. For a touch of history mixed with the paranormal take Port Salerno Ghost Tours with Patricia and Patrick Mesmer. Their tours tell of the area’s bloody history. Stories about

You can search for the spirits that still reside there with a special “ghost hunter” lantern, they provide. You can rent other authentic ghost hunting tools to use on the tour. Local legend John Ashley, a Robin Hood style bank robber and bootlegger, is just one of the historic characters you learn about. It is so detailed Patrick showed us a map where John Ashley’s lived. Don Pedro Gilbert, a vicious South American pirate who frequented Martin County, is another story that provided reasonable fodder for a ghost story. The history and authenticity of the tour make it a must see. We visited two very different houses, Mansion at Tuckahoe and the tiny House of Refuge. The Mansion at Tuckahoe sits atop Mt. Elizabeth, a 4,000 year-old Indian mound. Before the present

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