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Best Place to Get Shipwrecked Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach 2008 - Peanut Island

Peanut Island

Peanut Island

6500 Peanut Island Road

West Palm Beach, FL 33404

561-845-4445

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If you're going to crash your yacht on a sandbar somewhere, do try to avoid Bermuda (gotta travel through the Triangle) and St. Barth's (the euro is so expensive right now!). Aim instead for Peanut Island, located in the Intracoastal Waterway off Riviera Beach. The 86-acre playground was built in 1918 when the Lake Worth Inlet was dredged and workers needed a place to dump all the dirt. Nowadays, the south side of the island is a family-friendly outpost, known for snorkeling and manatee sightings. The 20 campsites here come with grills, showers, and picnic tables and can be rented for $16.50 a night. The north side, meanwhile, is often jammed with so many boats and beer kegs that it's affectionately referred to as the "Redneck Yacht Club." After receiving 78 calls in a two-month period last year, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office led a crackdown on the normal weekend gatherings, hoping to reduce the number of topless chicks and cases of alcohol poisoning. But the party carries on! If it's all too much fun in the sun, you can duck into the on-site bomb shelter, built for President Kennedy just in case World War III broke out while he was vacationing in Palm Beach, and now open for public viewing. Then again, you could always find refuge on your lido deck... or just head home via water taxi, which dutifully runs seven days a week from the Riviera Beach Marina.

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