Stuart

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Get to know Stuart

If Stuart had “Beach” in its name, it might be one of the world’s most famous seaside towns. Instead, it has become one of the world’s most livable. The downtown is a well-preserved example of small-town Americana, with restaurants and retail shops, most locally owned, in a central area that’s close by several wonderful neighborhoods. The waterfront — and there’s a lot of it, since the city is surrounded by broad expanses of the St. Lucie River — is home to the Riverwalk, a 2-mile-long boardwalk where there’s a weekend concert series throughout the year. Water is literally the center of the city, and Stuart bills itself as the Sailfish Capital of the World. Marinas line the St. Lucie, and there’s easy access to the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean and its beaches, making this a water lover’s paradise. Development in the city has been judiciously controlled, meaning that there are no towering hotels or office buildings, and also that the environment is lush and green.

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Stuart Commerce & Culture

Stuart is very much a beach town, but it has not yet become a destination beach town, meaning that the existing services are for day trippers and the locals, not for hordes of screaming tourists drinking from oversized margarita glasses. The restaurants feature an astounding quantity of fresh seafood and very good views, and the shops are curated affairs that bring in quality goods for people who make Stuart home — though you can certainly find a souvenir T-shirt or beach towel should you desire one. Stuart has maintained its small-town feel even as other communities along the Treasure Coast have exploded, and the locals very much like it that way. It’s a family-friendly town, and though there’s too much going on to call it a bedroom community, the bulk of evening entertainment does seem to take place when neighbors gather around each other’s pools under the blue Florida skies.