How to Get to Peanut Island

how to get to peanut island

Peanut Island is a beautiful 80-acre island located just off the coast of Palm Beach County, Florida. Situated in the Intracoastal Waterway between Palm Beach and West Palm Beach, Peanut Island offers pristine beaches, abundant wildlife, rich history, and stunning views.

If you’re looking for a unique way to experience Florida, a visit to Peanut Island is a must. Here is a complete guide on how to get to Peanut Island.

Peanut Island Day Trip Plan

When planning your visit to Peanut Island, the first decision is how you want to get there. The most popular options are by boat, water taxi, or paddleboard/kayak. A private boat is the most convenient option if you have access to your own or a rental boat.

Water taxis run regularly from the Riviera Beach Marina and can drop you off right onto the shore. Paddleboarding or kayaking offers a fun recreational option for experienced paddlers, but does require more time and effort.

how to get to peanut island

You also need to decide what you want to do during your time on the island. Popular activities include swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing, picnicking, hiking, birdwatching, and camping. On the eastern side of the island, you’ll find two snorkeling locations: a compact reef and a more extensive snorkeling lagoon. Around the island, you can also see sea turtles and manatees.

The island has a walking path of about 1.25 miles for walking or jogging. A boardwalk stretches across the reef zone on the eastern side. You may want to bring a packed lunch or snacks and plenty of water/beverages. There are no stores or restaurants on the island. You also need to be prepared with sun protection, including hats, sunglasses, and sunscreen.

If you plan on camping on Peanut Island, you must obtain a permit from Palm Beach County Parks and Recreation ahead of time. Campsites allow tents only, so you will need your own camping gear. There are restrooms and shower facilities available. Fires and alcohol are prohibited. You’ll need to bring all your own food and supplies.

Peanut Island Shuttle Boat

One of the best parts about Peanut Island is you truly feel like you’re getting away, as you can only access it by boat rides. If you have access to your own motor boat, that is the most convenient and quickest way to reach the island.

how to get to peanut island

Simply launch your boat at one of the nearby marinas, such as Riviera Beach Marina, PBG Yachting Center, or Sailfish Marina. From there, you can boat about 5-10 minutes across the Intracoastal to Peanut Island. Just be sure to dock safely and be mindful of any swimmers.

If you need to rent a powerboat, centers like Sailfish Marina offer rentals for half or full days. Options range from center console boats to pontoons that can transport larger groups of 6-12 people.

Rental rates average $200-$400 a day, depending on the boat size. Ensure you are comfortable captaining your rented craft. Basic boating skills and navigational competence are required.

Getting to Peanut Island by Water Taxi

For those without access to a private boat, the most hassle-free option is taking a water taxi over to Peanut Island. Water taxis run regularly from the Riviera Beach Marina, with the ride only taking about 5 minutes. The marina is located at 200 E 13th St, Riviera Beach, FL 33404, situated just across from Peanut Island.

how to get to peanut island

Water taxis can transport between 6 and 18 passengers, depending on the boat size. You don’t need to make reservations, just show up at the marina and buy tickets. The one-way fare is $7 for adults and $6 for children under 12.

Water taxis run daily during daylight hours with specific schedules posted online. The earliest boats depart Riviera Beach Marina at 10 am and then every 30-60 minutes after that. The last return boats leave Peanut Island around 5 pm.

The water taxi boats are partially covered and provide a smooth, enjoyable ride. Captains are very experienced with the route and will get you to shore safely without needing to dock.

When debarking, you just take off your shoes, roll up your pants, and wade a short distance onto the beach. This is an extremely convenient transportation option for getting to Peanut Island.

Paddleboarding or Kayaking to Peanut Island

For the adventurous, touring Peanut Island by paddleboard or kayak can be an incredibly fun and rewarding experience. It offers a chance to take in the scenic Intracoastal sights under your own power. However, this should only be attempted by experienced paddlers who are very comfortable traveling long distances on the open water.

how to get to peanut island

The route from Riviera Beach Marina to Peanut Island is about 1 mile each way. You need to paddle across the open Intracoastal, which can have heavy motorized boat traffic. So use extreme caution and always yield to larger vessels in the channel. It’s recommended to make the crossing early in the morning when water conditions are calmest.

You can rent single or tandem kayaks and paddleboards from outfitters like Kayak Lake Worth or Blue Paddle FPB. An outrigger canoe may be safest for the crossing. Wear a life jacket at all times and dress for getting wet, as you may need to disembark directly into the water. Bring plenty of drinking water as well, as you’ll work up a thirst paddling under the hot Florida sun.

The journey requires some advanced paddling skills but offers a unique way to experience Peanut Island and the Intracoastal up close. Take proper safety precautions for this more demanding endeavor.

What to Expect on Peanut Island

Once you arrive by boat, water taxi, or paddleboard, you’ll step onto a serene natural escape just minutes from the city. Peanut Island encompasses 80 acres of lush landscape, ringed with pristine beaches on the Intracoastal side and Lake Worth/Atlantic Ocean side.

The interior of Peanut Island consists of vibrant mangrove wetlands and woodland areas with palm and oak hammocks. The island is rich in biodiversity, being home to 60 species of birds, including pelicans, ospreys, and endangered wood storks. You may also spot iguanas, tortoises, squirrels, and rabbits as you explore.

how to get to peanut island

A network of walking trails spans the island for hiking and exercise. You can swim and wade along the calmer Intracoastal side, while the beaches on the Atlantic side have rougher surf more suitable for sunbathing.

At the north tip of Peanut Island lies an important landmark – the JFK Bunker, a fallout shelter prepared for President John F. Kennedy that was later decommissioned. Informational signs detail the history of the bunker and the Cold War era. You can even climb down inside to see it up close.

Other facilities and amenities include:

  • Picnic areas with grills and tables
  • Restrooms with showers and changing rooms
  • Snack bar (open intermittently)
  • Campground store with gear, snacks, and souvenirs

But overall, Peanut Island retains a wonderfully untouched feel. You can bask in solitude on the quieter stretches of the beach and truly disconnect for a little while. This serene retreat seems a world away, yet it is so close to the modern conveniences of West Palm Beach.

Visiting Peanut Island Return Trip Considerations

how to get to peanut island

When planning your visit to Peanut Island, be sure to budget ample time so as not to miss your return boat, water taxi, or paddling exit. Build in a cushion of at least 30 minutes to account for packing up and walking or paddling back to the departure points.

Water taxis heading back to Riviera Beach Marina Village begin departing Peanut Island around 3 pm, with the last boat at 5 pm. So don’t get left behind! Renting a private boat gives you more flexibility on when to leave. But avoid navigating back after dark if unfamiliar with the Intracoastal channel.

For paddleboarders and kayakers, start heading back well before dusk. You don’t want to get caught crossing the Intracoastal channel at night, which is extremely hazardous. Again, allow extra time, as paddling back against currents and winds may be more taxing. Hydrate and fuel up for the return trip.

Getting to Peanut Island, Florida

Peanut Island makes for an amazing day or overnight excursion into nature that feels worlds away but is just minutes from civilization in Palm Beach County. Now that you know the best options for how to get there – by private boat, water taxi, or paddleboard/kayak – you can start planning your own island escape.

Just be sure to check current weather, tides, and water conditions before departing. Then follow the tips in this guide to experience this unique tropical gem located right in Florida’s backyard.

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