Comfortable Suites and Whimsical Vistas are Feature of Jensen Beach Motel on Indian River Lagoon

By: Hilda Mitrani

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Recently, I stayed at the Caribbean Shores, a charming motel on the Indian River Lagoon, one of the most biodiverse (and I think, prettiest) areas in North America. Like many family-owned motels, it's spotless and owned by friendly folks that are eager to help visitors enjoy the sun, waterfront and nearby attractions. In fact, motels have long been a mainstay of Florida tourism and there are plenty of them throughout the state.

Located in Jensen Beach, the Caribbean Shores motel has whimsical murals painted throughout the property, which I photographed with my Kodak Zx1. The accommodations, which are extremely comfortable, include fully-equipped kitchens, ceiling fans, air conditioners, a large closet and drawers. Most units have sofa beds too.

I loved having a kitchen table to sit and read the newspaper with my Natalie's Orchid Island Company fresh-squeezed orange juice, all in the privacy of my one-bedroom suite. In fact, all the units on-site are motel rooms with small refrigerator and microwave, one bedroom suites or cottages that have one to three bedrooms.

Jensen Beach is in Martin County, considered the Sailfish Capital of the World. The ample parking lot at the Caribbean Shores makes it popular with anglers towing boats and people who are spending the winter in South Florida. The mile-wide Indian River Lagoon is just steps from the rooms, and the motel has a 300-foot pier that's perfect for fishing. Boat dockage comes with electricity and water. Access to the inlet is just four miles.

Downtown Jensen Beach has many eclectic shops and outdoor cafés. A pedestrian-friendly area, there are no parking meters anywhere in the county nor are any buildings over four stories. Just a few miles north, the Indian River Lagoon Scenic Byway allows birders to find a dozen federally listed threatened and endangered species like the Roseate Tern, Piping Plover, Wood Stork, and the Bald Eagle.

A stay here is a lovely respite from urban life. I'm hoping to get back for some fishing soon.

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