South Florida is home to some of the most beautiful beaches on the Western Atlantic. But differentiating one from another—at first glance—can be a difficult task. Unless that beach is Blowing Rocks Preserve (561-744-6668). Located on Jupiter Island, this 73-acre preserve, under the protection and guidance of the Nature Conservancy, is a prime example of Florida’s natural beach habitat, containing dunes, coastal strand, mangrove swamp and tropical hardwood hammock. But about that name…
Photo by Fabian Bonilla @efedef
Blowing Rocks’ stems from the outcropping of Anastasia limestone lining the shoreline. The largest collection of coquina on shore along the U.S.’s Atlantic coast (usually Anastasia limestone is found underground or submerged underwater; the exposed rock at Blowing Rocks has been a scientific mystery for years), the limestone has been sculpted and carved by thousands of years of crashing waves and howling winds. On king and spring tides, and after strong winter and tropical storms, as waves crash among the rocks, plumes of seawater rockets through carved gaps, chimneys and holes like giant oceanic geysers—some reaching as high as 50 feet—with a thundering rumble. It is quite an impressive sight.
When the storms are not raging, the outcroppings and tidal pools are pretty fun to explore, while the rocky reef below the water’s surface makes for some interesting snorkeling too—don’t be surprised to see rays, shark or a turtle or two. For a more informative visit, stop by the Hawley Education Center and learn about Blowing Rocks’ habitat and the animals that call it home.