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In itself a remote northern suburb of metropolitan Miami, Jupiter is a holiday town set on the western fringes of West Palm Beach in sunny Florida. With its waters warmed by the Gulf Stream and a long string of sandy beaches, it’s a great location for lazing, swimming, water sports and fun daytrips with a hire car to visit Miami’s fabulous shopping districts, hang out in buzzing nightlife haunts or tour the city’s famous Art Deco district.
Who to Book With
Enterprise has three outlets in the small, beach-side town and is joined by Budget and Avis, with one depot each. Jupiter’s central area is all about shopping and dining, with its beaches the main attraction, but car rental is a bonus for visitors if they’re intending to tour the sub-tropical holiday paradise of southern Florida in its entirety. Car hire is popular here, with booking in advance online the best way to reserve a vehicle suitable to your needs and pocket.
Best Time to Go
The high season for visitors from more northern latitudes is the warm winter, with accommodation and car rental charges surging. A visit in the hotter off-season months will cost less, but may have high humidity levels as well as soaring temperatures. If you’re planning to spend time in Miami, it’s perhaps best to avoid Spring Break, when the city and its beaches are overrun by university students.
Need to Know Essentials
At the collection point, you’ll need to show the following documents:
- Your UK driving licence or an International Driving Permit
- Your passport or another current photo ID
- The credit card used to make the booking
- A printed copy of the confirmed booking
The region’s state highways, interstates and other main roads are in good condition and, due to lower speed limits than those in Europe, driving in the main is a safe and pleasant experience. However, Florida’s record for auto accidents on freeways leaves a lot to be desired, making attentive motoring the best idea, especially at night. The recent repeal for UK visitors of Florida’s new law forcing the use of an International Driving Permit is causing confusion, with travellers advised to check with their intended hire company as to its stance.
More detailed advice and driving info can be found on our US guide page.
Florida is the land of the car, and Jupiter is no exception. Your rented four wheels are an essential accessory for a successful holiday, especially as the town is known for its nearby eco-tourism activities. Public transportation within Jupiter is by local government-operated bus services, and there’s a commuter train service linking the town with Miami proper. A good choice of pre-bookable taxi and limo services is also offered.
Jupiter’s Tri-Rail train service is amid at commuters to Miami’s international airport, Miami city centre, Fort Lauderdale and West Palm Beach rather than at tourists and is run by the South Florida Regional Transport Authority. Regular schedules run weekdays and Saturdays, with a reduced service on Sundays, and fares are cheap.
The bus service in Jupiter, Palm Tran, is run by the Palm Beach County Government and covers greater Palm Beach County. A one-way fare is just £1 however long the journey, making it an inexpensive way to get around, except on Sundays when the service is suspended.
Taxis in Jupiter, West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County give efficient, friendly service, and are easily booked by phone, but are a pricey way to travel. Jupiter offers the Inlet Cab Company, which serves Miami International Airport as well as other destinations, and is reputedly prompt, dependable and safe.
South Florida’s unique topography makes for scenic drives through state parks, along the Treasure Coast and into the rural Florida Heartland region that is set well off the tourist track. Miami offers its own treasures, ranging from the famous Art Deco district to gated millionaire mansions owned by movie stars and the equally famous shopaholics’ dream discount warehouses.
Miami - Must-see Miami is just a 1 hour, 30 minute drive away south on the coast road, along the seemingly endless beaches lining the Atlantic Ocean. If you’ve time to spare once you’ve seen the Art Deco district and you’ve shopped until you drop, head directly west to the tip of the Florida Everglades National Park.
Indian River Lagoon - Just an hour by car to the north along the coast road is Indian River Lagoon, a spectacular shallow-water estuary that is rich in marine mammals, birds and other indigenous wildlife. A confluence of Indian River, Banana River and the Mosquito Lagoon, and set along 40 miles of coastline, this eco-delight is the US’s most diverse estuary and holds over 2,500 species, indulging the rare manatee.
Kennedy Space Center - For the experience of lifetime if your visit is lucky enough to coincide with a launch, you should head for the Kennedy Space Center, just over 2 hours’ drive along the northbound coastal highway from Jupiter. It’s based in Brevard County, close by the Cape Kennedy Launch Site, and the visitor complex with its Space and Missile Museum is one of the world’s most exciting family daytrip destinations.