Fort Pierce is located on the Indian River just south of the Intracoastal Waterway’s intersection with Fort Pierce Inlet, a well-maintained, all-weather channel.
Fort Pierce is located on the Indian River just south of the Intracoastal Waterway’s intersection with Fort Pierce Inlet, a well-maintained, all-weather channel. Rock jetties, which will be lighted when improvements are completed, flank the inlet entrance. Locals warn of the chop created by an ebb tide against an east wind.
Boatyards, marinas and the commercial port dot the river’s west bank for two miles, from north of North Bridge (an open-on-demand drawbridge with 26-foot closed clearance) to Fort Pierce City Marina, south of the fixed (65-foot clearance) South Bridge.
From the ICW the marked channel — 1/8 mile south of the bridge — to Fort Pierce City Marina leads west, then doglegs south. Strong currents run through the bridge. Fuel is available at Fort Pierce City Marina (ICW Mile Marker 966), Harbortown Marina and Taylor Creek Marina (both on Taylor Creek at Mile Marker 965), and Pelican Yacht Club (off the inlet). Fort Pierce City Marina and Harbortown Marina both offer dockage, pumpout, showers, laundry, lounge, Internet access, ships store, BoatU.S. discounts, dock-and-dine restaurants and other amenities. Each charges from $1.50 to $2 a foot per night. Reservations are recommended.
• City Marina — (800) 619-1780, VHF channel 16, www.fortpiercecitymarina.com — has dockage for boats to 90 feet (maximum draft of 6 feet). It offers free dinghy tie-up, has an ATM, and can arrange for repairs.
• Harbortown Marina — (772) 466-7300, VHF channel 16, www.harbortownmarina-fortpierce.com — has dockage for boats to 120-plus feet. A Clean Marina, it has a swimming pool and on-site repairs and car rentals.
Dockage also may be available at the following:
• Pelican Yacht Club — (772) 464-1734,
www.pelicanyachtclub.com — can accommodate boats to 115 feet.
• The Sandhurst Hotel and Suites (772) 595-0711, www.thesandhurst.com — can accommodate guests’ boats to 30 feet for $40 a night plus room rate.
• Taylor Creek Marina — (772) 465-2663 — may have limited space for transient boats to 40 feet.
• Harbour Isle Marina — (772) 461-9049,
www.harbourisleflorida.com — at Harbour Isle Condominiums across the Indian River from downtown, has floating transient dockage from $2 a foot per night for boats to 100 feet. It offers pumpouts but has no shoreside amenities.
• BoatU.S. is at Harbortown Marina, and the Coast Guard station is on the inlet. Full repairs are available at Riverside Marina — (772) 464-5720,
www.riversidemarinafortpierce.com — at Mile Marker 964, as well as four yards on Taylor Creek: Indian River Boatworks — (772) 468-0770, www.indianriverboatworks.com — and Whiticar Marine Services North — (772) 460-0660, www.whiticar.com — both at Harbortown Marina; Anchors Aweigh Marine at Taylor Creek Marina — (772)-465-2663, www.anchorsaweighmarine.net — and neighboring Cracker Boy Boatworks — (772) 465-7031. Both Riverside and Cracker Boy allow do-it-yourself work.
Cruisers arriving from outside the United States must check in with Customs and Immigration at the St. Lucie International Airport. Call (800) 432-1216 between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. Boats can anchor in the Indian River off Harbortown Marina, opposite Fort Pierce southeast of South Causeway Island or in Faber Cove. Anchoring within city limits is restricted to 96 hours.
Inexpensive city buses and a seasonal trolley connect downtown, attractions, supermarkets, the mall and ocean beaches. Rental cars, taxis, Greyhound buses and shuttles to Palm Beach, Melbourne and St. Lucie Airports are available. NOAA chart 11474, Bethel Shoal to Jupiter Inlet, covers approaches to Fort Pierce. Chart 11475 covers Fort Pierce Harbor.
• St. Lucie County Tourist Development Council, (800) 344-8443, www.co.st-lucie.fl.us/tourism/index.html .
• City of Fort Pierce, www.cityoffortpierce.com .
• Thursdays — Bike Night, with motorcycles, food, and music on Second Street from 6 to 9 p.m.
• First Fridays — Friday Fest, with food, music, crafts from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., downtown waterfront, (772) 466-3880.
• Saturdays — Farmer’s Market, 8 a.m. to noon, downtown waterfront, (772) 940-1145.
• Third Saturdays — Antiques Alley, (772) 489-0721.
• Mid-December — Sights & Sounds on Second, holiday parade, Santa’s arrival, downtown, (772) 466-3880.
• Late February — Jazz Week/Main Squeeze Citrus Festival, downtown, (772) 460-5200.
• Early March — Backus Art Festival, at A.E. Backus Art Gallery and Museum, (772) 465-0630.