A Day in Port St. Lucie, Florida

Exploring Florida…The Treasure Coast

Sunday, May 9, 2021

The song, “On the Road Again,” was written, sung, and made famous by Willie Nelson in 1980.  It was written as the theme song for the movie “Honeysuckle Rose” about a musician and his life of touring from city to city; concert to concert; gig to gig.  We suspect, it may now be the theme song for all adventurers who love to travel but have been waylaid by Covid-19 and cancellations and lockdowns.  As the song says, “…just can’t wait to get on the road again…”  And that’s exactly why the RovingRaconteurs, after returning from a road trip along the Florida Panhandle, quickly embarked on another Florida adventure!!!

Let us tell you about it!!!   

It all began while writing the Apalachicola blog.  We referred to the “Forgotten Coast,” a phrase coined by the Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce in the 1990s to promote the Apalachicola area.  That got us thinking about all the other “Coasts” in Florida.  How many are there???  (At least 10.)  Why???  (Most usually for tourism and commercial promotion.)  How are the names chosen???  (Ah, well that’s where the fun comes into play–often the nickname will reflect the history, accomplishments or reputation of the area—something to quickly impart an enticing mental image of the area.)  And that is why we decided to explore the Treasure Coast!!!  The mental image conjured for us was of something amazing and desirable.

So how did that work out???

Well, so-so at the beginning; but quite interesting as we went on to explore a few historic areas along the coast.  We stayed at the Sheraton PGA Vacation Resort (PGA Village is owned and operated by PGA of America).  The 2021 PGA Professional Championship was underway, so the three championship courses designed by Tom Fazio and Pete Dye were closed to non-participants.  No matter, we had a home away from home and used it as our base of operations as we hunted our own personal treasure of discoveries, experiences, and adventures!!!  We discovered that Port St. Lucie grew from a collection of communities merging into one large, expansive city.  This means there is no single history, nor an historic downtown.  That makes Port St. Lucie, itself, sort of ho-hum.  But hey, that’s why the designation “Treasure Coast” has become a unifying factor.  Encompassing the coastline from the Gold Coast up to the Space Coast, this area garnered international attention in 1961 when salvagers began recovering Spanish treasure off the coast.  It was in 1715 that the entire Spanish Treasure Fleet, returning from the New World to Spain, sank during a severe storm.  Eventually, some of those treasures began to wash up on shore.  Hence, the moniker Treasure Coast!!!  Although we did not find any artifacts or coins lying around, it is, none-the-less, possible to vicariously experience the exploration of these shipwrecks through the pages of Kip Wagner’s book, “Pieces of Eight,” which details the diving-for and the finding-of these shipwrecks along Florida’s Treasure Coast.  We, however, were quite content to explore the local area; all the while, discovering new sites and experiencing the joys of the local seafood as we wined and dined along the way!!!  Let’s start with Port St. Lucie. Here are some photos:

Port St. Lucie is home to PGA Championship Golf. We chose the Sheraton PGA Vacation Resort as our “home base” for exploring the Treasure Coast.
Port St. Lucie has no standard “downtown” but this “lifestyle development” could fill that role in this part of town. Called Tradition, the “town square” is really a shopping center, but also serves a much larger purpose.
A real community was created around the “town square.” There is even a Town Hall, a bandstand, and a green “commons area” where food trucks come every 3rd Friday of the month; Green Market occurs every Sunday; and Taste of Italy happens each January.
The master-planned community of Tradition engulfs the shopping area.
Then there’s the “Town Hall.” It is a private events venue available for parties, banquets, weddings, and such, for up to 450 people.
The houses are charming.
The streets are wide, divided and nicely planted.
Shopping and services are conveniently located…
…as are fast food eateries…
…and fine dining restaurants.
Then these cute little shuttles tie it all together.
The vehicle is fully electric, driverless, and with no steering wheel or foot pedals. The fixed route is pre-programmed utilizing localization techniques and state-of-the-art sensor technology.
All in all, this functions quite well, for now, as a downtown for Port St. Lucie. However rumor has it, plans are underway to create an “official” downtown!!!
But the charm of Tradition is surpassed by the clever design of the Veranda Falls Shopping Center!!!
Veranda Falls is unique with the charm of classic architecture, beautiful water features, and alluring art. The shopping and dining are pretty impressive, too!!!
Just strolling through the complex is a pleasure.
We stopped for lunch at Bonefish Mac’s.
Bonefish Mac’s has a rustic coastal vibe. It was quite nice!!!
We enjoyed our time here!!!
And yes, there are housing developments at Veranda Falls, too!!! This gated community is Veranda Gardens–just outside the Veranda Falls shopping complex.

Port St. Lucie appears to be a nice place to live.  But several other towns are more interesting to visit.  Next, we’ll explore the ill-fated community of White City and wander through the coastal city, Stuart, Florida.

As Willie Nelson sang,

…”Goin’ places that I’ve never been

Seein’ things that I may never see again

And I can’t wait to get on the road again…”

Join us, next, for another ramble through an interesting Florida city!!!