Description - **Note: This information was provided by www.floridastateparks.org.
In the 1970s, businessman John D. MacArthur donated the land for this park to preserve a subtropical coastal habitat, much of which had already been lost to urban sprawl. A unique mixture of coastal and tropical hammock and mangrove forest, this barrier island provides a haven for several rare or endangered native tropical and coastal plant species. The park's nature center shows visitors why the park is a biological treasure. Visitors can swim, picnic, and surf at the beach; scuba diving and snorkeling are also popular activities. Birdwatchers can see herons, brown pelicans, terns, sandpipers, and gulls. Anglers can fish in the lagoon by wading, kayaking, or canoeing-they can also fish from non-swimming areas of the beach. Located in northern Palm Beach County, 2.8 miles south of the intersection of U.S. 1 and PGA Boulevard on A1A.
- There are 2 picnic pavilions and several picnic tables located throughout the park. The North Pavilion (more secluded) has 10 tables and accommodates approximately 80 people. It also has bathrooms, water and electricity. The Nature Center pavilion has 9 tables and accommodates approximately 72 people. Electricity is available. Bathrooms, snack machines and a water fountain are located nearby. Grills are also located at each pavilion for visitors to use. The charge to rent one of these pavilions is $100.00 per day.
In addition to numerous species of shore and wading birds, the park is a prime nesting site for sea turtles. Large numbers of loggerhead, green and leatherback turtles nest from early May through late August.
The William T. Kirby Nature Center features displays depicting the park's natural communities and live animal exhibits. Visitors may also view a 15-minute video on the park. The Nature Center is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
Come relax or play on our nearly two miles of pristine beach.
Recreation - Scuba diving and snorkeling are permitted. A "Diver Down" flag, for snorkelers and divers, is required by law and is available for rent at the Nature Center.
Swimming is available in designated areas.
The park has three nature trails for visitors to explore.
Fishing is allowed in designated areas.
Canoeing and kayaking are available.
Climate - Florida's weather is dominated by the water that surrounds it. The Atlantic Ocean in the east and the Gulf of Mexico in the west provide a stabilizing force that maintains the mild climate. Northern Florida is considered sub tropical, although it does receive some snow. This area is drier than the rest of the state. Southern areas of the state, definitely the Keys, lie within a tropical climate. Humidity is high, a characteristic of the climate, although the temperatures usually don't extend past 90 degrees F.
On the average the state receives 50 to 65 inches of rain. Summer is the rainy season, which extends into October in the south. Hurricane season begins in late August. Some hurricanes can bring up to 25 inches of rain. An average of two hurricanes per season reach the Florida peninsula. Most often these storms reach the Atlantic Coast rather than the Gulf Coast.
John D. MacArthur Beach State Park is located 2.8 miles south of the intersection of U.S.1 and PGA Blvd. on A1A in North Palm Beach.