Florida is home to so many beautiful beaches, but one of the most stunning I have seen is Peanut Island. This park in Palm Beach, Florida is only accessible by watercraft and provides an island escape without having to leave the country.
This is the perfect day trip for anyone on the east coast of Florida. Whether you want to relax on the beach, paddle a kayak, or go snorkeling, Peanut Island Florida is one of the best places to visit. In this guide, I will share everything you need to know before spending a day here.
Things to Do on Peanut Island, Florida
Peanut Island truly has activities for everyone from exploring the history to swimming around. I have seen young and old have a blast here and even dogs too. Before I explain all about how to spend a day here, I will walk through all the different activities possible for a day at Peanut Island.
1. Peanut Island Snorkeling
If you are looking for a good place to go snorkeling, Peanut Island is one of the best spots in Florida! You can snorkel all around it, but most people agree that the southeast tip is where you want to snorkel. This is just to the east of the dock from the shuttle boat and you will see the lagoon where the water is shallow (about 10 feet deep max) and easy to snorkel in.
The best time to snorkel at Peanut Island is between the hour before and after high tide. You will want to wear a float vest and be a decent swimmer, as there are strong currents at times, especially near the pier. The views are worth it though, with lots of coral, crabs, sea urchins, tropical fish, and even sea turtles and manatees!
If you are a confident snorkeler, you can easily bring your own equipment and snorkel yourself. However, places like Get Wet Water Sports offer snorkel tours of Peanut Island if you prefer a guide. They also have snorkel gear rentals for only $30 per day if you forgot yours at home.
2. Kayaking and Paddleboarding To and Around the Island
Another popular activity to experience at Peanut Island is paddling! I frequently see so many kayaks and paddleboards around the island when I visit. You can bring or rent your own kayak or paddleboard and simply paddle from Riviera Beach Marina in fifteen minutes or less.
Once you get there, you can paddle right onto the beach for free and relax in the sun. There are also bathrooms, showers, and picnic tables if you want to bring lunch. In addition to paddling to the island, it’s also worth paddling around the perimeter and seeing the unique views of the shore.
3. Relaxing on Peanut Island
My favorite thing to do on Peanut Island is relax on the beach and then take a leisurely walk around the island. You can even bring dogs and Kiwi loves spending the day with us on the dog-friendly beaches here!
The flora and fauna are just breathtaking and it feels like you are a world away from civilization. My favorite area to relax is the east side of the island, just north of the snorkelers. The west side is a bit more industrial and the north side is known for having lots of boat parties.
I highly recommend taking a walk around the island’s 1.25-mile walking path. It’s very scenic and ideal for seeing the unique aspects of the island. I have found some cool picture-taking spots on the southwest part as well, near the campground.
Make sure to bring plenty of towels, sunscreen, water, and snacks so you can enjoy the day here. You can even bring some noodles if you want to float in the beautiful water! Keep in mind, alcohol is not allowed unless you have a campground and there is nowhere to buy food or drinks on Peanut Island.
4. Camping on Peanut Island
If you can’t fathom only spending the day at Peanut Island, you can also stay the night and camp here! There are seventeen campsites for tent camping! You will need to make a reservation up to ninety days in advance and pay the $28 per night camping fee.
Sleeping is permitted in tents only and you must have a reservation to camp there. You can stay up to three nights and use the indoor showers, picnic grills, and tables. I have yet to do this but I know people who have and they say it’s amazing camping on this gorgeous island. You just have to make sure to pack well, since it requires a boat ride to get back to the mainland!
Where is Peanut Island?
If you are wondering where Peanut Island Park is, it’s located at the mouth of Lake Worth Inlet between Riviera Beach and Palm Beach Shores. Most people park at the Riviera Beach Marina Village to get there. It’s a fifteen-minute drive north of Downtown West Palm Beach and a half-hour drive south of Jupiter.
How to Get to Peanut Island
Since Peanut Island is in fact an island, it is only accessible by Boat or watercraft. Many people take their own boats and park in the northern part of the island. In fact, the Peanut Island Sandbar is a popular spot on Sunday Funday.
However, those without their own boat can easily visit as well. The Peanut Island Shuttle Boat leaves from the Riviera Beach Marina every twenty-five minutes between 10 Am and 5 PM. It is only a ten-minute boat ride to the island, so you will be there before you know it!
The shuttle boat costs $16 per adult, $8 per child and dogs are free. You can make a reservation ahead of time, but most days it is not necessary. Campers are required to make a reservation and can rent equipment from the boat if needed.
In addition to taking a boat to the island, you could rent a kayak or paddleboard as mentioned above. One other option is to rent a private charter boat. This is ideal if you have a larger party or want to celebrate. You can even swim to Peanut Island if you really feel like it, but I would not recommend it. Make sure to bring a surface marker for your swim if you do!
When to Visit
I have visited Peanut Island multiple times and it is lovely to go any time of year! I think November through May is best weatherwise, as there is less of a chance of afternoon storms. You definitely don’t want to go in the rain because there are not a lot of places to take cover!
If you visit on the weekend, going earlier in the day is ideal as the crowds will be less. On hot days, the shuttle boat can sell out, so make a reservation if the weather is really nice. However, I have also enjoyed an afternoon visit in the winter and found it to be such a scenic experience. This really is a little slice of paradise no matter when you visit!
Peanut Island Day Trip Itinerary
Lastly, I wanted to share an itinerary of what I recommend for spending a day at Peanut Island. This is an example of what to plan for when taking a day trip to Peanut Island.
- 9:30 AM – Arrive at Riviera Beach Marine and buy shuttle tickets. Bring a beach towel, a picnic lunch, snorkel gear, sunscreen, lots of water, and any other beach items.
- 10:00 AM – Take the first shuttle boat to peanut Island
- 10:15 AM – Find a spot on the beach to relax
- 11:00 AM – Take the 1.25-mile walking path around Peanut Island. Check out the Kennedy Bunker, the Historic Coast Guard Station, the mangrove boardwalk, and the reef boardwalk.
- 12:30 PM – Have lunch at one of the picnic areas
- 1:30 PM – Go snorkeling in the lagoon
- 2:30 PM – Relax on the beach
- 3:30 PM – Pack up and take the shuttle boat back to the marina
Know Before You Go: Visiting Peanut Island Park
With clear crystal blue water and the best snorkeling lagoon around, Peanut Island Park is one of my favorite beaches to go to in Palm Beach! Though it does require a boat ride to get to, that makes it all the more exciting of a beach day than any others around.
Whether you are a local or a visiting the area, Peanut Island is a must-see to experience the beauty of this part of Florida. Here are some things to keep in mind before you go:
- Peanut Island Park can only be accessed by boat or watercraft. The most common way to get there is to take the Peanut Island Shuttle Boat, which runs from 10 AM to 5 PM daily.
- You can take the boat from the Riviera Beach Marina Village. Parking in this lot is free.
- The island has bathrooms, rinse-off showers, and picnic tables. There are no food or drink stands on the island, so you need to bring your own.
- If you want to take your own boat or kayak or paddleboard, there are free day-use docks.
- You can camp in a tent on the island for up to three nights. Reservations must be booked online, ahead of time and popular dates do fill up!
- Dogs are allowed on Peanut Island and are free to ride the shuttle.
- Check the Peanut Island tide information before visiting and aim to snorkel around high tide.
Have you been to Peanut Island before? Let me know what your favorite thing to do there is if you have! For more ideas for things to do in Palm Beach, check out my complete travel guide here.