Traveling with teens is something I love to do; however, as they get older, finding just the right things for them to experience can be a challenge. We’ve discovered even our kids can become glued to an iPhone or want just to watch TV when we are on vacation. Our recent trip was to Saint Lucie County, located on the Atlantic side of Florida, and it offers some inspiring and thrilling things for teens to do! Enjoy our top 6 things to do with teens when you make plans to come to the Treasure Coast! FULL DISCLOSURE: We were invited to come by Saint Lucie County Tourism

Savannas Recreation Area is nestled in close to the Indian River and offers a plethora of things to do for families, especially teens.

Camping

Florida is a long way from the midwest, and pulling a camper can be a challenge, so we rented from Glampster RV for our stay here. Our full hook up site was #43, which was perfectly situated to all the activities, laundry, and bathhouse. Every location offers a fire ring and picnic table! Site #43 gave us a good dose of afternoon shade, which appreciated in the hot summer sun.

Kayaking or Canoeing

One unique feature of this campground is they offer the rentals of kayaks and canoes! How fun to walk from the site to take a tour through the canals. I found the rates to be reasonable, and they had plenty of units to rent.

Fishing

We love fishing, and here at the Savannas Recreation Area you can fish the day away just a few steps from your site

Hiking

They offer a short hiking trail through the park, and you can see the many birds that Florida has, or you might even get to see an alligator!

Savannas Recreation area location

1400 E Midway Rd,

Fort Pierce, FL 34982

Are you looking for something exciting? Mysterious? Out of the box? Try kayaking at night through the mangroves with Get Up and Go Kayaking!

We were thrilled to try out this fantastic outdoor activity when we were in St. Lucie. Since we are from the Midwest, we did not know what to expect. There was a little bit of nervousness, but once we got to the launch site and went through the prep, all fears were put at ease.

Getting out into the water is incredible, BUT getting out at night is even more FANTASTIC! You can see and hear things that you would not typically experience during the day.

The glowing lights that run along the bottom of the kayak make everything POP. Pick out the color of lights that suits you the best! As you maneuver through the mangroves out to a sandbar, you can quietly take in everything surrounding you.

The sandbar: this is the highlight of the trip. You secure our kayak and hop out to explore. We found crabs, various fish, and enjoyed the smooth firm sand between our toes. Your guides will have nets for you to use, and your headlamp helps light the way to underwater creatures.

Hiking at Local Preserves and Parks

We love hiking, and as midwesterners hiking in Florida it is indeed a whole new experience for us. Things that strike me every time I am here are the sandy trails, sounds of nature I can’t distinguish, and the warmth of the sun. Having said that, before heading out on any hike, make sure you have the things you need, plenty of water, bug spray, sunblock, snacks, and a camera.

Donald B. Moore Heritage Preserve:

Matt and I hiked the trails here within the preserve, and from the road, you would not know all the unique things within these short interpretive trails. We enjoyed the orange trail with its markers teaching us about flora and fauna of the area. I had no idea what most of the plant life was, and I appreciated the new knowledge. The boardwalks and trails are well marked and easy to navigate.

If you finish the orange trail and want a little more hiking, enjoy the green path. This trail offers a history of the area and plenty more lush views. If you’re going to wander a bit further, you can take the blue trail out to the Indian River and check out the kayak stopover and the lagoon kiosk.

This preserve offers plenty of recreational opportunities, which include volleyball, horseshoes, and disc golf. You can have a picnic in one of the various picnic areas that include tables and charcoal grills.

Old Fort Park:

Our family loves history, and we stopped at Old Fort Park for a moment to read a bit about the park and the surrounding area.

From the official historical marker

Fort Pierce (1838-1842) was a significant Second Seminole War U.S. military post built during General Thomas S. Jesup’s winter campaign of 1837-38. Strategically located on a high bluff along the Indian River’s western shore, the fort was constructed by artillerymen from readily available palmetto logs. This fort never engaged in battle, and the fort was deactivated in February 1842 at the end of the Second Seminole War. Sadly, the fort was destroyed by fire in December 1843.

The park is also the site of an ancient burial mound of the Ais Indian tribe.

Today, this historic site is a park along the beautiful Indian River. It is definitely worth the stop.

Old Fort Park address:

800 S. Indian River Dr.

Fort Pierce, FL 34950

Horseback Riding at the Beach or Nature Preserve

Horseback riding is the perfect way to explore St. Lucie’s hammocks or enjoy the serene beach views. We went out with Beach Tours on Horseback and had the best time taking in nature. You can take one-hour, two-hour, half-day, or full-day rides.

Our family went on a hammock tour in Steven J. Fousek Preserve, a complex of 494 acres. When you think Florida, you think beaches, but there is so much more to offer in this ecologically diverse state!

Upon arrival, we were given our horses and taught how to use the reins for our trail ride. Trails through a hammock are expansive, and you can see many kinds of flora and fauna while exploring them. We were able to see many birds that are native to Florida, which was terrific.

We are not professional horseback riders, so I can honestly tell you the horses are well mannered and easy to work with for “greenhorns”! This made the trail ride very relaxed and enjoyable, knowing we were on such well-trained horses.

You are wondering about snakes and alligators, aren’t you? We saw none! However, I know that they make the hammocks their home, and you might see one when you visit. Which I think would be stellar!

Pro Tip:

Wear bug spray

Bring plenty of water

Sight See Fort Pierce on LINKS Scooters

Teens can be picky, and I have one that doesn’t always love what activities I come up with. However, renting electric scooters was a hit for the whole family and Mr. Picky!

What exactly is an electric scooter? It is like the razor scooter you had as a kid, but AMPED up, and you don’t have to power it with your foot either. Electric scooters have a small motor and are secured on larger wheels.

Admittedly, I had no idea how to use one of these, so I was glad that I had some instructions beforehand. The key is to give your scooter a small push off with your foot and then squeeze the throttle with your thumb. You’ll be a bit taken off guard for a moment, and then off you’ll go!!

Where should you explore? That is up to you. You can hop from location to location, or you can take a sightseeing trip along the waterway. One place to make sure you go is the Peacock District Arts District to enjoy the wandering peacocks and visit a few local shops.

Other scooter stops I recommend to explore:

  • Seven Gables House Visitor Center
  • A. E. Backus Museum and Gallery
  • Fort Pierce Farmer’s Market
  • Street Art locations

Sailing Trip with Sail Aiki

I’ve watched people sail from the shore many times and have always wanted to get out on the ocean and try it. However, the time had never been right, but on the trip to Fort Pierce, we were treated to a marvelous morning sail.

We were welcomed aboard by Kyle and Hannah, who had prepared for our sail in advance. We slipped off our shoes and prepared to board. The Aiki is a fully restored Condor 40 with three hulls that 40 feet long x 28 feet wide with custom trampolines for you to sit on during your sail. They have provided comfortable pillows laid out for you to recline on.

Music fills the air as you board and get situated. I quickly found my spot, got my morning Mimosa and waited to get started. One other great thing is you can pick your tunes for your sail, and Abbie chose Lo-Fi, which was perfect! It set a very relaxed feel to the sail.

As we headed out to the Atlantic, I closed my eyes as I took in all the morning feels! The wind was blowing on my face, water gently splashing on the sides of the boat, and the sounds of birds filled the air.

You might wonder what we saw while out on the seas, and we were lucky to see dolphins, a shark, and tarpon! I do know that turtles and manatees can be seen while out sailing, which would be stunning.

MORNING SAIL

  • a picturesque morning sail as the sun rises over the beautiful Treasure Coast
  • Enjoy complimentary mimosas and beverages.
  • $150.00 per person, for first two adults in a party ($75.00 for each additional person after that)
  • Time: 8AM-10AM 2 hour trip

You can book your sail on their website Sail Aiki.

    St. Lucie county has won our hearts! It is a perfect destination for families and especially teens. I have looked for a place we could come without the crowds and yet has all the Florida fun we could want. We have found it and it is situated right in the middle of the Treasure Coast.

    There are plenty of things to do with teens in Saint Lucie, Florida!

    Happy Florida adventures!

    Brandy

    Looking for other things to do with teens in the Midwest? Check out our trip to French Lick Resort in Indiana

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    Saint Lucie is Gleason Family Adventure approved!