By Dalia Colon

Where: In St. Lucie County on Florida’s central eastern coast.

Length: 42 miles.

How to get around: Car or bicycle.

Best time to visit: February or March to catch a New York Mets spring training game.

Fun fact: The area is home to Manatee Observation and Education Center in downtown Fort Pierce.

For more info: Check out or stop by the Seven Gables House Visitor Center, a century-old home operated by the St. Lucie County Chamber of Commerce that provides tours and information.

Located on Florida’s Atlantic Coast between bustling Daytona Beach and glitzy Miami is a less showy vacation spot that’s popular with folks who know great beaches and great small towns.

“There are so many things you can see, I don’t know where to start,” said Edward DeFini, program manager for the indian river lagoon scenic highway.

The area has natural attractions at literally every turn, as you travel along Hutchinson Island with the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Indian River to the west. For a more up-close view of the waterfront, snorkel in Pepper Park, pitch your tent along the beach at Jetty Park in Cape Canaveral or catch some rays on the northern part of Hutchinson Island.

Another peaceful way to spend day? The state park. “If you go into Fort Pierce Inlet State Park, you’ll see everything there is to see as far as wildlife and nature,” including birds and turtles, DeFini said.

When you’re ready to rejoin civilization, the options expand even more. Cool off inside the Navy SEAL Museum or the boat docks or stop into Archie’s Seabreeze, a no-fuss eatery in downtown Fort Pierce that’s known as much for its live music, karaoke bingo nights as its burgers.

Also carve out time to spend in historic downtown Fort Pierce, where you can browse the Saturday morning farmers’ market or attend a festival along the riverwalk.