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Peanut Island: Snorkeling, historic Kennedy Bunker, even camping

The beach at Peanut Island overlooks the port. The nearby rocks provide excellent snorkeling.

The beach at Peanut Island overlooks the port. The nearby rocks provide excellent snorkeling.

By Bonnie Gross, FloridaRambler.com, Special to EyesOnNews.com, April 30, 2015 – There are three good and distinctly different reasons to visit Peanut Island:

  • It has terrific snorkeling.
  • It offers a fascinating historic site — the bomb shelter used by President John F. Kennedy.
  • It has 20 campsites for tents.

As a bonus, if you’re a kayaker, it makes a fun destination while you avoid the expense of the water taxi.

Peanut Island is a man-made island in the middle of the Port of Palm Beach, created in 1918 when the Lake Worth Inlet was dredged. (Its only connection to peanuts, it turns out, was a never-implemented proposal to make it a shipping point for peanut oil.)

It’s an 80-acre county park with guarded swimming, picnic shelters, 20 camp sites and a 1.25 mile paved walking path around the perimeter. It’s a magnet for power boaters, who moor around its perimeter and party in the shallow, sandy-bottom water that extends out into the Intracoastal. (There’s even a pizza boat you can reach only by water.)

Surrounded by boats playing music and located in the middle of a populated area, it’s not much of a natural experience — except for what you see underwater.

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