Today’s Plan: The Ocean, the Grill, and a Cooler

Memorial Day isn’t a couch holiday. It’s not about watching football, turkey, presents, or your grandma. It’s about beer. It’s about something grilled. Best served outside.

You won’t find a Barcalounger at any of these three spots, but what you will discover is a shady spot to drink too much and burn some burgers.

• For most of the country, Memorial Day kick-starts summer. For us, it’s about the start of the hell-hot season. It’s easy to forget that sweltering sun at Jonathan Dickinson State Park, where hundred-year-old cypress trees and a muddy swamp provide natural AC. For one cool picnic spot, take the 3.5-mile canoe ride up to the former camp of early pioneer Trapper Nelson. Find the park at 16450 SE Federal Highway in Hobe Sound. Call 772-546-2771.

• Sitting in water up to your neck makes for one killer Memorial Day, and that’s what most folks do when they head to Peanut Island. This sandy speck of land in the Intracoastal near Riviera Beach isn’t exactly a redneck riviera — yachts and cruisers mix with skiffs and rowboats. But remember: Your cooler can work as a flotation device. For info on ferries, call 561-966-6600 or go to

• A man without cares related to money might drop $4 for the shady pine trees of John U. Lloyd State Park on Dania Beach. But a man with sense, and some meat to grill, can do so for free at the beachfront park just north of Atlantic Avenue in Pompano. This isn’t some well-manicured strip of grass, just some sand, palm trees, barbecue pits, and a view toward Europe. Sorry, this park has no phone, website, or entry fee. Eric Barton
Mon., May 31, noon, 2010


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